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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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Daily Drift

The Tenth of our trees of December ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Everyone Has Rights (well, except maybe wingnuts) ... !
Today is  - Human Rights Day

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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Henry Farm, Kitchener, Montgomery, Montreal, Nicolet, Quebec, Saint-Basile-Le Grand, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, Canada
Bogota, Colombia
Boaco, Nicaragua
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Hadcizi, Mostar and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Karlin, Pardubice and Prague, Czech Republic
Great Paxton, London, Manchester and Woking, England
Vantaa, Finland
Boulogne-Billancourt, Cerny, Roubaix, Rouen, Velizy-Villacoublay and Villeurbnanne, France 
Athens, Greece
Hamburg and Nuremberg, Germany
Ivrea, Matera, Naples, Ravenna and Rome, Italy
Bonyhad, Hungary
Lisbon, Portugal
Novi Sad, Serbia
Bratislava, Slovakia
L'Olleria, Spain
Kista, Sweden
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Dhaka, Bangladesh
Rangoon, Burma
Chennai, Gaya, New Delhi, Patna and Shillong, India
Jakarta and Mulyorejo, Indonesia 
Tehran, Iran
Tokyo, Japan
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Lusaka, Zambia
The Pacific
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Today in History

1582 - France begins use of Gregorian calendar1672 - NY Gov Lovelace announces monthly mail service between NY & Boston
1684 - Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.
1690 - Massachussetts Bay becomes first American colonial goverment to borrow money 
1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie's army reaches Manchester
1799 - Metric system adopted in France, first country to do so
1810 - Tom Cribb (GB) beats Tom Molineaus (US-Negro) in 1st interracial boxing championship (40 rounds)
1817 - Mississippi admitted as 20th state of the Union
1836 - Emory College (now Emory University) is chartered in Oxford, Georgia.
1868 - The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps. 
1869 - Women suffrage (right to vote) granted in Wyoming Territory (US 1st)
1896 - 1st intercollegiate basketball game (Wesleyan beats Yale 4-3).
1902 - Women are given the right to vote in Tasmania.
1907 - The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals who have been vivisected.
1911 - Calbraith Rogers completes 1st crossing of US by airplane (84 days)
1922 - Pete Henry makes longest known NFL drop-kicked field goal, 45 yards
1926 - 1st radio broadcast in the Sprinfield area (WCBS)
1927 - Grand Ole Opry makes its 1st radio broadcast, in Nashville, TN
1945 - Preston Tucker reveals plan to produce the Torpedo, a new 150 MPH car
1948 - UN General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1968 - Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.
1984 - 1st "planet" outside our solar system discovered
2013 - Uruguay becomes the first country to legalize the growth, sale, and use of marijuana
December 10th is the day the Nobel prizes are awarded. 
Here are some of the past winners:
1901 - First Nobel Peace Prizes awarded (to Jean Henri Dunant, Frederic Passy)
1901 - First Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Wilhelm Röntgen for his discovery of X-rays
1903 - Nobel for physics awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie
1906 - Pres Theodore Roosevelt (1st American) awarded Nobel Peace Prize
1907 - Ruyard Kipling receives Nobel prize for literature
1910 - Johannes van der Waals wins Nobel Prize for physics
1911 - Calbraith Rogers completes 1st crossing of US by airplane (84 days)
1911 - Tobias Asser given Nobel prize for peace
1913 - Kamerlingh Onnes receives Nobel prize for physics
1919 - Nobel peace prize awarded to US president Wilson
1920 - August Krogh is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the regulation mechanisms of capillaries in skeletal muscle
1922 - Nobel prizes awarded to Fridtjof Nansen, Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein
1924 - Willem Einthoven awarded Nobel for medicine
1925 - George Bernard Shaw awarded Nobel prize
1931 - Jane Addams (1st US woman) named co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize 
1936 - Stockholm: physicist PBJ Debije receives Nobel prize for chemistry
1946 - German/Swiss novelist Hermann Hesse wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style"
1950 - Ralph J Bunche (1st black American) presented Nobel Peace Prize
1954 - Linus Pauling wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry 
1954 - Albert Schweitzer receives Nobel Peace Prize
1960 - Willard Libby wins the Nobel prize in Chemistry for his work developing carbon-14 dating (radiocarbon dating).
1961 - Robert Hofstadter and Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleon
1964 - Nobel Peace Prize presented to Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in Oslo
1966 - Israeli Shmuel Yosef Agnon wins Nobel Prize for literature 
1966 - Nobel for chemistry awarded to Robert S Mulliken
1971 - West German union chancellor W Burns receives Nobel prize of peace
1975 - Andrei Sakharov's wife Yelena Bonner, accepts his Nobel Peace Prize
1978 - In Oslo, Menachem Begin & Anwar Sadat accept 1978 Nobel Peace Prize
1983 - Danuta Walesa, wife of Lech Walesa, accepts his Nobel Peace Prize
1984 - South African Bishop Desmond Tutu received his Nobel Peace Prize
1986 - Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accepts 1986 Nobel Peace Prize
1994 - Nobel prize awarded to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat  
1998 - Indian Professor Amartya Sen is awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics

9 ways christian zealots cripple America

With xmas nearly upon us, an examination of how religious fundamentalism holds the entire country back
Holiday season is in full swing, which means it’s time for American culture to get even more aggressively religious than usual, which is saying a lot. Angels, jesus, miracles, usually good TV shows coughing up saccharine episodes with morally pat endings: For those of us who aren’t big fans of syrupy religiosity, the last month of the year is hard to take, no matter how many presents you get to make up for it. There’s a lot of religious self-congratulation going on, so as a corrective, here’s a list of 9 terrible things religion has brought upon American culture. To be clear, as many religious people also have their problems with some of the excesses of christianity in America, this is more a reminder of the problems with those excesses than some kind of slam on religious people generally.
1. War on Christmas hysteria
It’s become an annual tradition, along with Christmas pop-up shops and holiday shopping specials: Fox News trying to scare their viewers into thinking the evil liberals are going to steal xmas from them. This year, so far, the culprits are muslims wanting their own holidays,women who dare complain if holiday stress gets to them, and Obama for supposedly not being gung-ho enough. (Reality check: The Obama White House has, if anything, upped the ante for White House xmas decorating.)
All of this dishonest panic about the imminent demise of xmas is little more than an excuse for wingnut christians to get even more aggressive. By redefining every reasonable limit on their proselytizing or attempt at being more inclusive as somehow “oppression,” they’re able to shove their religion on others in the guise of resisting this imaginary oppression.
2. Terrible social safety net
The jesus christ of the bible is forever going on about the need to clothe and feed the poor, but the jesus christ of the wingnut's imagination is just as quick to kick a homeless person as he is to give him a meal. One of the biggest projects of fundamentalist christianity of the past few decades is to create a religious justification for slashing the social safety net. That’s why wingnut christians tend to ignore the hundreds of verses in the bible about feeding the poor and focus instead on a single verse, 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which reads, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
This verse, in context, is little more than Apostle Paul laying out the community-specific rules for a cult during his era–basically saying that everyone in the cult should pitch in and help–but wingnut christians have exploited the hell out of this verse to justify all manner of starving the poor and casting them out to sleep in the cold. Megacult nazi-leader John Hagee interprets the verse to mean that welfare should be ended. Kevin Cramer whips the verse out to justify starving SNAP-dependent children. And  Stephen Fincher does the same, even though he wasn’t against taking millions in government aid himself, in the form of farm subsidies.
3. Creationism
One of the most peculiar ways wingnut christians try to assert cultural dominance in the U.S. is to reject the theory of evolution and instead insist on some sort of biblical literalism that suggests humans were created by dog instead of evolved over time. Because of this, only Turkey has lower rates than the U.S. in the Western world of acceptance of the theory of evolution. Unfortunately, wingnut christians refuse to limit themselves to simply believing weird stuff. Instead, creationists are forever trying to find new ways to push their religious beliefs off as “science” in science classrooms, even though the courts have firmly told them they really can’t be doing this.
4. Battles over proselytizing in schools
Creationism is just a small part of a larger, ongoing hunger the christian wingnuts have for access to children in public schools. The First Amendment should forbid exploiting the fact that kids are required to go to school to foist christian delusions on them, but the lure of all that captive audience means wingnut christians keep trying.
In a recent example, the school district in Orange County, Florida, thought they’d be clever and merely “allow” a christian cabal to pass out literature at the high schools, by exploiting a loophole that says proselytizing is okay so long as all groups get to it. Their bad faith, however, was swiftly exposed when the Satanic Temple demanded equal access to the children, forcing the school to reconsider their pro-proselytization policy.
5. Convincing people to vote against their own self-interests
The 2014 midterm elections were strange, in that nearly every time voters had a chance to vote directly on legislation–such as raising the minimum wage–they voted for the liberal side, but somehow repugicans still swept the elections. There are many complex reasons for this, but one of the most straightforward is that this is the problem with religiosity. The repugicans thump the bible hard and frequently, and that causes a lot of people to believe that a vote for repugicans is a “christian” vote. The fact that repugicans refuse to walk the walk–attacking the poor to fluff up the coffers of the wealthy every chance they get–matters little. The religiosity is skin deep, but that’s all it needs to be to get votes.
6. christian “entertainment”
The sense that “the world” is corrupt and sinful has led many wingnut christians to feel uncomfortable with–or boycott entirely–mainstream music, TV shows and movies. This, in turn, has created one of the great scourges of American culture: explicitly christian entertainment. When wholesomeness is prioritized over quality, no big surprise, quality suffers. Thus there’s an endless outpouring of crappy christian movies (sometimes with Kirk Cameron!), terrible christian 'music' that weakly rips off mainstream music, and even fourth-rate christian comedians peddling deeply unfunny humor. You almost feel sorry for the people that have to endure this nonsense, but then again, they bring it on themselves.
7. Faith healing
One of the saddest aspects of the grand American tradition of competitive piety is how many charlatans gleefully exploit people’s desire to be the most faithful to squeeze them for their money and/or loyalty. Faith healing is one of the biggest scams going, with the so-called healers conning the true believers, who often have serious health problems, into believing that all they need to get better is pray. In some cases, the belief that all you need is prayer goes so deep that parents have allowed their children to die of preventable causes rather than take them to a doctor, a practice that is sadly legal in many states.
8. The modern repugicancabal
Many political observers are prone, at times, to wonder how it is that the repugican cabal of the mid-20th century seems to have disappeared entirely. Gone are repugicans like Dwight Eisenhower or Gerald Ford, who while certainly wingnut, at least seemed to feel somewhat beholden to things like “facts” or “desire to govern,” and instead it seems like every new crop of repugican politicians going into office is nuttier than the last.
This is entirely due to religion. The past few decades have been a stampede of religious fanatics into high office. The results are disturbing: Congressional panels convened to push the idea that contraception is some great moral evil, Congress forbidding the EPA from consulting actual scientists on science questions, anti-science fanatics heading science committees, anything Michele Bachmann had to say during her stint in Congress. Sure, some of the anti-fact ideology of the repugican cabal isn’t about religious claims–even some non-believing wingnuts deny the reality of climate change–but the bible thumpers and their insistence that conviction matters more than facts really helped get the repugican cabal to a place where politicians feel confident ignoring inconvenient facts entirely.
9. Rape culture
Most of us are fully aware of how wingnut christian hostility to reproductive rights and gay rights is setting back progress, but it’s also true that christianity plays a big role in making it hard to address the problem of sexual assault. Many wingnut christians eagerly spread the discredited myth that women make up rape in order to “cover up” for having consensual sex, which is what Todd Akin was doing when he claimed women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” But more than that, because of their hang-ups about sexuality, wingnut christians generally get wrapped up in the idea that the problem with sexual violence is less the violence part and more the sex part.
Witness, for instance, National Review hack Carl Eric Scott, when he writes about the problem of rape: He assumes that the problem is not forced sex, but consensual sex, and his “solutions” to the rape problem are all centered around trying to discourage consensual sex. It’s a little like arguing that the way to stop a mugging problem is to discourage gift-giving. Unfortunately, because they keep injecting their anti-sex agenda into the discourse about rape, wingnut christians continue to confuse the issue about what exactly causes rape, by leading people to believe it’s just about too much sex when it’s actually about power and domination.

Beware of Wingnut, Disgruntled, Homegrown Anti-Government Terrorists

by Bill Berkowitz
aaaKKK2Surely you remember the five-step color-coded terrorism alert system – ranging from green (go shopping to defeat terrorism) to red (stay at home and defeat terrorism by shopping online) -- devised by the shrub junta to keep Americans on its collective toes.
If this system hadn't been phased out by President Barack Obama's then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, it would probably be flashing red. Not because of actions by homegrown self-described 'patriots' who threaten to shoot children crossing the country's southern border, or anti-choice fanatics who maintain they're doing dog's work by killing doctors who perform abortions and bombing abortion clinics, or because of the shoot-em-up actions of disgruntled domestic wingnut anti-government xenophobes, but rather because these days, it's all about the threat to the homeland posed by ISIL and other jihadist groups.
Last week, in about ten minutes time, Larry Steve McQuilliams, 49, of Austin, Texas, shot off an estimated 100 rounds of ammunition throughout Austin's downtown area; firing at the federal courthouse and the Mexican consulate. No one was killed or wounded other than McQuilliams, who was shot and killed by a police officer.
Early media accounts reported that McQuilliams may have had "anti-government" and "anti-immigration motives."
You think?
Consider this: Had McQuilliams been a muslim, how would media outlets handled their first reports? Would they have even considered labeling it solely as an "anti-government" act or would it have immediately been labeled an "act of terrorism?"
McQuilliams' attack was just the latest in a seemingly never ending series of wingnint anti-government-motivated attacks which have included: anti-government gatherings at the Cliven Bundy ranch in Nevada, during which well-armed "patriots" faced down government officials; anti-Semitic-motivated shootings in Overland Park, Kansas; an attempted attack on a Forsyth County Georgia courthouse by a man with ties to the Sovereign Citizen movement; and Jerad and Amanda Miller's Las Vegas rampage, which resulted in the deaths of three people, including two police officers.
It is an indisputable fact that homegrown anti-government wingnuts – many of whose actions are fused with some type of 'christian' belief system -- have unleashed more violent attacks in the United States than homegrown or foreign-born muslims. Nevertheless, almost every time a wingnut shoots up a neighborhood, attacks a government building, kills police officers, it is described as an act by a person who is/was "anti-government," and may have been mentally disturbed, but rarely is it seen as an act of terrorism.
It is interesting to note that, as Raw Story's Scott Kaufman reported, "White supremacists on the Stormfront forum are claiming that the Austin man who opened fired on a federal courthouse, a police headquarters, and the Mexican consulate last week is a 'false flag' designed to stir up hatred against anti-government wingnut Americans."
In a recent Foreign Policy piece titled Terrorists Among Us, Americans have good reason to be afraid of another attack on U.S. soil -- only it's not going to come from the islamic state. Micah Zenko pointed out that:
"As they have been intermittently since 9/11, Americans are again terrified about terrorism. Those who think a domestic terrorist attack is 'likely' in the next few months increased by 10 percentage points from March to September, while the percentage who think the country is 'less safe' than before 9/11 rose by 19 points over the past year. This change ... occurred precisely as the Islamic State intended with the dissemination of its horrific beheading videos of two U.S. citizens in late August and early September, which 94 percent of Americans saw or heard about -- the highest percentage of any news event in the last five years. Despite this spike in fear, as several U.S. officials declared soon after: 'We have no credible information that [the islamic state] is planning to attack the homeland of the United States.'"
Although Zenko's essay focuses on three disparate events that appear to have more to do with domestic violence, and mental health issues of the perpetrators than the making of a political statement, nevertheless, he is on the mark when he writes:
"It is a certainty that if any of these incidents were directly tied to the islamic state they would have resulted in an overwhelming national outcry to do something, including the still further expansion of military objectives abroad and constraints of civil liberties at home. However, we have become fairly inoculated to such horrors, even those identical to what terrorists groups aspire to accomplish. ... Bizarrely, we are less afraid of the devastation of terroristic acts than we are of the motivations of the people behind such acts."
In April 2013, Mother Jones reported that "Between September 11, 2001, and the end of 2012, there were no successful bomb plots by jihadist terrorists in the United States. Jihadists killed 17 people ... in four separate incidents during this time, according to data collected by journalist Peter Bergen and the New America Foundation. All four of these incidents involved guns, including Nidal Hassan's shooting rampage at Fort Hood, which killed 13 people. In contrast, wingnut extremists killed 29 people during those 11 years."
What will it take for the government and the media to recognize that threats and attacks by mostly white disgruntled well-armed wingnuts are acts of terrorism?

Wingnuts Have A Double Standard When It Comes To Use Of Police Force On Blacks

In the past few weeks, there has been an uprising of awareness of police brutality all over the U.S. yet it appears that wingnuts are countering the protests …
There is a double standard when it comes to use-of-force in the U.S. When the police use techniques that cause pain or death, the crowds come out of the woodwork and voice their opinion. In the past few weeks, there has been an uprising of awareness of police brutality all over the U.S. yet it appears that wingnuts are countering the protest with the justification that if you fail to submit to the police, you deserve what you get…that is until their own are brutalized.
After reading the rag, Wingnut Tribune, I visited their Facebook page and read about the Eric Garner Story. One comment that caught my attention was:
Rebecca ***** He didn’t die over a cigarette. He died because HE made a choice to be non-compliant. He was fully aware what he was doing was wrong. I guess in the future police officers should just walk away if someone doesn’t want to be arrested?
Lets say for argument sake Garner did not properly comply, (even though he did raise his hands up) then the justification to use the right amount of force necessary to make an arrest is then proper, right? Then Rebecca as well as the rest of the pro-police-pro-use-of-force wingnuts would agree then that any use of force used to make an arrest is justifiable…just like:
Back in June 1989, the LAPD used the nunchakus as a device to arrest non-compliant protesters like the folks from Operation Rescue, who refused to move from Planned Parenthood centers. The pro-lifers used petroleum jelly on their arms so that when officers would arrest them, the protesters can slip away. LAPD then decided to use the device to lock their arms behind their back, and the pain would force them to stand up.
When the anti-choicer refused to move, their arms were broken. This caused a lot of grief and forced the LAPD to ban this practice. Yet the same people who abhor this, have no issue of killing a black man either by shooting them or using a choke-hold, and that to them is OK, because, they failed to comply.
So the issue of use-of-force has become a racial and political issue and by political issue, I mean specifically for blacks, Hispanics and liberals who fail to comply, but when the same principles are applied to wingnut cabals, be it police shooting: Black Cop Cleared in Shooting of Unarmed White Man… Media Says NOTHING, the IRS or any other so-called “government overreach”, the wingnuts call it tyranny, fascism and ultimately blame President Obama.
There is no middle ground for wingnuts, because, they feel that their way is the only way with no compromising their values, even though back in 1989, pro-choice liberals and Operation Rescue were bringing up complaints to judges about the LAPD’s violent actions against O.R. I see no end in sight. As long as we have violence and the wingnuts, from the street thug to our elected official in Congress who say, “…if Eric Garner had been healthier, he would not have died after a police officer placed him in a choke-hold.”, I see no justice anywhere, just cities paying out families who are victims of brutality as well as blood in the streets.

The Deluded Mind Of A Wingnut

A look into the wingnut deluded mind

Boehner And repugicans Plan To Reverse Growth Numbers and Kill Jobs

Now that repugicans have stolen control of both houses of Congress, they will start, immediately, passing legislation to revert back to shrub-era voodoo-economics and undo economic progress …
Americans have had very little good news to celebrate over the past two years due to declining wages, unpunished racial killings, a rush toward theocracy, and most recently, the prospect of the most extremist wingnut Congress in the nation’s history. There has been steady good news on the economic front in consistent Wall Street gains, record corporate profits, world-leading oil exports, falling gas prices, and job growth numbers as a result of the Obama Administration’s rejection of repugican economic policies. However, now that repugicans have stolen control of both houses of Congress, they will start, immediately, passing legislation to revert back to shrub-era voodoo-economics and undo the economic progress of the past six years.
The repugicans campaigned on, and have lied perpetually about their storied “40 bills” on job creation such as opening up our world leading oil production for American jobs, building Canadian corporation TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline, reducing tax rates for the rich and corporations, balancing the budget, and abolishing environmental regulations. Boehner and Paul Ryan have complained bitterly “that all 40 jobs bills are dying over there in the United States Senate.”  The problem for Americans is that beginning in January the 40 jobs bills, all gifts to corporations, will be brought to life and instead of creating jobs, will create more wealth for the one-percent at the expense of the poor, the middle class, Americans’ health, and of course jobs; typical repugican voodoo-economics.
None of the House jobs bills were designed to create even one job. It is difficult, indeed, to imagine any American believes that abolishing overtime pay, giving tax breaks and credits to corporations outsourcing Americans’ jobs, or providing tax incentives for the rich and corporations to conceal their wealth offshore will create jobs; but many are stupid enough to believe lying repugicans and probably think they did pass 46 jobs bills. But for any American capable of a 6-year old’s cognitive ability, or noted economic experts, the repugican cabal’s jobs bills are a joke.
According to five noted economists who reviewed the storied jobs bills, three decades of trickle-down economics, current economic disasters in repugican states, and current economic successes in blue Democratic states, not one of the repugicans’ so-called “jobs bills” will have any measurable impact on job growth. In fact, as history proves, and repugicans intend, the bills serve to kill jobs and economic growth while promoting the Koch, Wall Street, and repugicans’ agenda; enrich the oil industry and corporations at the middle class and poor’s expense.
Some of the more absurd “jobs bills” are worth noting including four of Boehner’s so-called education bills purported to be monumental job creators. According to Cecilia Rouse, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, “not one of them would affect job growth like repugicans claim.” Two of the bills require colleges to offer loan counseling and push the Department of Education to provide information for potential college attendees. Rouse said all colleges already have dedicated loan or financial aid counselors, and like the second bill, will not create any jobs.
The other two education “job creation” bills “seize control of primary education from the federal government by allowing states to transfer public school funding to under-performing private and religious charter schools; something the  Obama Education Department champions as part of its (not so stealthy) anti-union school privatization crusade. Much more on this in another article.
The repugicans claim that cutting social programs is a sure-fire job creator, and they cite two special bills they claim boosts economic growth and creates an explosion of new jobs. One is Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget that every economist not with the Heritage Foundation said would “not only harm poor Americans, but also hinder job creation by depressing demand in the economy.”  The other proposal is a harsh work requirement to qualify for food stamps that will not create jobs for the majority of recipients who already work; including active-duty service members.
An economist at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Strain, questioned exactly how imposing work requirements will create employment opportunities in a slow economy; particularly for the elderly and children who make up a substantial number of food stamp recipients. Strain said, “The problem with talking about these things is in a depressed economy, the jobs need to be there. If the jobs aren’t there, you can’t impose work requirements.” A Brookings economist, Gary Burtless, said that “pulling people’s fingernails out in order to get them to take a job does not add to the total stock of jobs in the economy.” It is important to note that Republicans are not interested in adding jobs, just cutting food stamp funding to give the wealthy tax cuts.
The largest number of bills are aimed at deregulating the dirty energy sector (oil, coal, and mining) that repugicans claim will create jobs by “saving companies a lot of money.” But according to University of Michigan public policy professor specializing in environmental policy, Barry Rabe, “It’s sort of a classic argument”  from repugicans to claim that any these bills would help Americans who are looking for more jobs.  Rabe said that the bills are a response to Obama’s environmental goals that will put a damper on the repugican goal of “saving energy companies a lot of money.” For example, one “jobs” bill bans the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing emissions standards, and another “job creation bill” requires the EPA to give its authority to repugicans in Congress.  The total number of jobs created from both bills is absolutely zero, but the total profit for the Kochs to decimate the environment, like the other bills enriching corporations, is immeasurable; but that is the whole point of every one of the repugicans’ so-called jobs bills.
The only reason there has been consistent job and economic growth since repugicans crashed the economy during the shrub era is because President Obama has rejected their disastrous economic policies. In fact, the Obama Administration has presided over the best job creation streak since 1939, and so far 2014 has been the strongest year for job growth since 1999; all in spite of  repugicans’ Herculean attempts to kill jobs, thwart economic growth, and basically do nothing but bitch and moan about immigration, Obamacare, Ebola, Benghazi, and something about a WTF war on religion.
The President is certainly going to be busy using his veto over the next two years, because as is their wont, repugicans will do everything in their power to decimate the economic gains in jobs, GDP growth, revenue, and  debt reduction as a result of a Democrat in the White House. It too bad the Americans who voted for repugicans according to their promise of enacting the 46 jobs bills that do not create jobs were too racist, too religious, and too incredibly stupid to notice that the only reason there has been record job growth is because repugicans did not control Congress. Next month that changes and for the next two years they will do everything in their power to reverse the past few years impressive job growth numbers, give the rich more tax breaks, kill regulations, and keep Americans’ wages from growing.

The repugicans Say Obama Should Be Stripped Of Right To Use Air Force One

by Jameson Parker
The repugicans hate Obama. They hate him so much that they've lost all perspective. In the red mist that falls over their eyes when thinking about the President of the United States, they are now advocating the near-total destruction of the executive branch if it means Barack Obama may be inconvenienced for the next two years - and hinder the government's functionality for the rest of time. They think that's a fair trade.
In the screeching hissy fit the repugican cabal is throwing over Obama's actions on immigration - just the latest in a long line of mis-perceived slights that wingnuts have responded to with characteristically overblown emotional reactions - the party has made it clear that the next two years will be extremely personal. A vendetta that has been simmering for six years will finally be enacted with the new found strength in numbers after a strong midterm showing.
If you voted for repugicans in your state and assumed that when they took the House and Senate they would get down to business and start legislating, consider this: rather than writing up bills or discussing pending legislation, the idea of cutting funding to Air Force One so President Obama can't use it is being seriously considered by repugicans in Washington.
In fact, the number of ways to personally attack Obama reads like a sadist's guide to Medieval torture devices. Each politician has his or her preferred method.
The Washington Post reports:
Late Tuesday, Paul C. Broun (r-Ga.) called for Boehner to not invite Obama to deliver the State of the Union address next year. Tim Huelskamp (r-Kan.) suggested that the budgets for White House operations, including for Air Force One, should be decreased. Other wingnuts have mentioned censuring the president, impeaching him or suing the administration over its immigration actions.
"I'd rather defund Air Force One," Huelskamp said. "Congress took a 19 percent cut on its budgets - we should do the same for the White House." On the State of the Union, he added: "In the spirit of George Washington, he could send it to us in writing. It'd save some time."

Lush Dimbulb Falls Apart On Faux News After Being Confronted With Reality

Lush Dimbulb showed the cowardly conspiracy-laden core beneath the lunatic fringe-wingnut hero facade during a meltdown on Faux News Sunday.

Faux News Sunday host Chris Wallace confronted Limbaugh about his calls for a new government shutdown.
Wallace triggered a meltdown from Dimbulb by pointing out that repugicans stole the election in 2014 despite shutting down the government. Dimbulb quickly went from anger at being challenged to full blown conspiracy theorist.
Dimbulb said,
rush limbaugh fox news sundayDoes that not matter? You keep talking polls to me, and I’ve got the. The essence of a poll is an election, and I’ve got two of them. And we would have won the White House in 2012 if four million repugicans hadn’t have stayed home.

What does it matter? They stole it. The point is that this is a trick. I think the shutdown is a trick. Here is what it really means, Chris. The repugicans want what Obama wants on immigration, and they are using the government shutdown as an excuse to not stop him. Because the truth of the matter is they agree with it. Romney agrees with it. Jeb Bush agrees with it. Chamber of Commerce agrees with it. Obviously, the repugican establishment doesn’t want to stop Obama on comprehensive immigration reform…. And very conveniently, here’s this government shutdown. Oh, we can’t act. We can’t act because they’ll blame us for shutting down the government. They’ll blame us for shutting down the government.

I think it’s absurd. I think it’s ridiculous, and the American people are being let down here. They’re voting. They’re expressing their desires. They want this stuff stopped, and the repugican cabal’s not listening.
The Faux News interview, which was as gentle as it gets, revealed why Dimbulb doesn’t do television interviews outside of the wingnut bubble. The moron can’t handle reality in any way, shape or form. He went on a conspiracy bender as soon as Chris Wallace pointed out that last year’s repugican caused government shutdown was a bad thing.
Dimbulb has taken the Faux News brand of paranoia and unleashed on the repugican cabal. In Lush Dimbulb’s warped view, the repugican cabal is working with Obama.
To anyone outside of the repugican media bubble, Lush Dimbulb sounded crazy. The only factual statement in the entire segment was that repugicans stole the 2014 election. Everything else that came out of Dimbulb’s mouth was combination of borderline mental illness and fantasy.
Lush Dimbulb couldn’t handle the softballs that Faux News tossed to him without falling apart. Lush Dimbulb isn’t strong icon. He is the dying voice of an aging white male wingnut movement that is fading away.

Obama Shames Greedy Corporations By Giving Federal Workers The Day After Xmas Off

President Obama showed greedy corporations how workers should be treated by responding to a We The People petition by federal employees with an executive order giving workers the day after xmas off.
President Obama showed greedy corporations how workers should be treated by responding to a We The People petition by federal employees with an executive order giving workers the day after xmas off.
The federal workers argued that they have dealt with three years of pay freezes and furloughs due to the sequesters, so they would like the day after xmas off, so that they can have a four day weekend.
The petition stated,
Federal Employees have dealt with pay freezes and furloughs over the past few years. Giving federal employees an extra holiday on Dec. 26th, 2014 would be a good gesture to improve morale of the federal workforce. Some bases are forcing their employees to take leave or LWOP because of base shut-downs on this day. This is also consistent with past practice. President Obama provided a full-day Monday Dec. 24, 2012 and a half-day off on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009. President George W. Bush provided a half-day holiday on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2002, as well as several full days off the day before or after xmas: Tuesday, December 24, 2001, Thursday, December 26, 2003, Tuesday, December 24, 2007, and Thursday, December 26, 2008. We urge President Obama to issue an executive order.
The president responded by issuing an executive order giving federal workers the day after xmas off. It was a nice gesture for workers who have been yanked around for years by the sequester and government shutdown.
This executive order doesn’t help the 25% of American workers who will have to go to work on xmas and the day after. With income inequality at a historic high, the concept of holidays off has vanished for millions of workers. Millions of workers aren’t given the option to work or spend the day with their families.
It was nice that the president was able to do make sure that federal workers get a few family days over xmas. What would be even better is if more companies put aside their greed for a day, and followed the president’s lead.
Workers are devalued in American culture. People tout the value of hard work without ever acknowledging the plight of those who are working hard, but barely getting by.
Our culture must change. If the nation values families and communities it collectively must stop rewarding greedy corporate behavior that puts profit ahead of families. Workers deserve a living wage and a chance at a decent life. The United States has returned to a Gilded Age level of income inequality and poverty.
In order for change to come the American people must stop accepting the unacceptable, and stop rewarding the greed of the few at the top that has fostered a family destroying epidemic of inequality and poverty.

More Corporations Flee as ALEC Rolls Out Its Legislative Agenda

by Lisa Grave
(Photo: David J)Only nine funders of the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual winter meeting in Washington, DC, are listed on ALEC's conference brochure this year.
The small number comes at a time when ALEC is crowing about the November 4 elections, which swept in more Republican legislators and potential recruits for ALEC's operations--where elected lawmakers vote as equals with corporations behind closed doors on "model' bills to change Americans' rights.
The way ALEC works has been called a "corporate dating service" by U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who has observed ALEC's closed-door votes of corporate lobbyists and state legislators. But with nearly 100 private sector funders having left ALEC since CMD launched ALECexposed.org in 2011 and citizens across the country began learning about how special interests wine and dine lawmakers through ALEC to push controversial bills into law, ALEC brochures listing corporate sponsors are not as full as they used to be.
Read the rest here.

The Truth Be Told


Pirate map in a bottle found in Panama 22 years after it was dropped into the sea in Sweden

A pirate map in a bottle has been found in Panama - 22 years after it was posted in Sweden. In 1992 brother and sister Erik and Lina Runestam, with their friend Christoffer Hogstrom dropped a letter in the sea in Hunnebostrand. It was found in November by Leonard Pearson, who lives in Panama.
He said he used Google Translate to help him read the message and sent a reply, hoping it would reach the kids who wrote the message in a bottle. Erik said: "My memory is a bit blurry because I just turned six that summer. We wanted to make it look old school so we burned the edges of the paper and we wrote a message saying we were in desperate need of help, saying we were stranded on a desert island."
Erik remembers being excited about sending the message in the bottle. He added: "Our dad told us we should wait until the wind was blowing off land because it might go as far as England, so we were a bit excited about that. It would have traveled north of Denmark, through the English Channel to cross the Atlantic. Our hopes weren't that high to even get to England." Erik had lost touch with his childhood friend Christoffer - they hadn't spoken for 10 years.

So Erik was very surprised when Christoffer sent a photo of the letter with a reply from Panama. The letter, dated 6 November 2014, reads: "Bueno dias. I have found this message in a bottle at Playa del Dragos, Bocas del Toro. I used Google Translate, and it seems the message is in Swedish? I hope that the address is correct and that this letter reaches the kids who sent the message." Erik said: "I really want to tell Leonard that it has reached us and we're no longer kids but he didn't post a return address so we're trying to find him."

Serbian minister hit on head by giant ice chunk during interview

Serbia's energy minister escaped serious injury on Thursday when he was hit on the head by a heavy chunk of ice.
Aleksandar Antic was touring an eastern area hit by a recent cold snap when the block of ice fell from an overhead power line.
He was saved by his helmet, which was flung from his head and was revealed to have split open.

Power was restored to some 5,000 people in the municipality of Majdanpek later in the day.

Buy your own TSA-surplus pornoscanner for $8K

Remember when the TSA spent $113K on Rapiscan pornoscanners that turned out not to work? Now they're selling them off for $8,000.
It turns out that these things are pretty interesting from a research perspective. As Michigan University J Alex Halderman and team discovered, pornoscanners have laughably terrible information security with a wide variety of exploits.
US prisons are now using these things, because subjecting prisoners to an unknown radiation exposure is apparently fair play in the US conception of penal justice.
Comprehensive Threat Detection
The Secure 1000 SP combines unparalleled threat detection with optimized throughput.
The Secure 1000 SP uses backscatter technology as well as Rapiscan proprietary image processing software and an operator-friendly interface to rapidly and comprehensively screen passengers for a wide range of potential threats including liquids, contraband, ceramics, explosives, narcotics, concealed currency and weapons.

Less Left

The differences in brain wiring could make lefties vulnerable to some learning disabilities.

A Pop-Up Cafe Caters To Hikers Along The Pacific Crest Trail

by Lisa Morehouse
Hank Magnuski (left) feeds hikers at his pop-up Sonora Pass Cafe. Some of his diners also took the opportunity to use his wi-fi.
Hank Magnuski (left) feeds hikers at his pop-up Sonora Pass Cafe. Some of his diners also took the opportunity to use his wi-fi.
Hikers who complete the whole 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail say the only thing they talk about more than their aching feet is food. They have to carry it all, except when they get surprised by a little trail magic – like what happens near California's Sonora Pass.
The Pacific Crest Trail gets a starring role in Wild, the new movie that's based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir about the trek. But hikers like Shannon Pepper don't need to hit the cinemax to know what it's like. She's from Missoula, Mont., and when we encountered her this summer, she had been hiking for more than two months.
We met Pepper — a slight blond woman in a cowboy hat carrying a huge backpack — along a really beautiful but tough patch of the trail near Sonora Pass. It's deep wilderness. Pepper says hikers typically leave the trail every five days or so to shower and restock their food – it's mostly dried and dehydrated to keep their packs light.
"When you're on the trail and you're carrying all your own meals, it can get really scary when you are close to being out," Pepper says. "I feel like I have a little better perspective on what it really means to be hungry. We live in a society of plenty, and there isn't plenty when you have to carry all of it."
But plenty is what Pepper finds when she walks into a picnic area where Hank Magnuski has set up the Sonora Pass Cafe. Magnuski is actually a Silicon Valley engineer, but he greets hikers by his trail name, The Owl, and smiles as he brews up gourmet coffee on a portable stove.
"The Pacific Crest Trail folks are doing 25 miles a day," Magnuski says. "It's like a marathon every single day for six months, and trail magic helps alleviate the pain."
Trail magic — that's any serendipitous help offered to hikers: water, or free rides, or hiker-friendly food, like what Magnuski serves at the Sonora Pass Cafe. He considers it an honor to be out here. He discovered the Sierras nearly 20 years ago, chaperoning his son's Boy Scout trips.
"I grew to love the mountains — it's really my cathedral out here," says Magnuski. He's volunteered on a trail crew at the Sonora Pass for years, and realized how barren it is, even this picnic area.

Chocolate cake, fresh fruit and other goodies greet weary hikers at the Sonora Pass Cafe.
Chocolate cake, fresh fruit and other goodies greet weary hikers at the Sonora Pass Cafe.
"There's nothing here but trees and a privy. The thought of a full-blown cafe in the middle of the wilderness seemed like a neat idea," he says with a laugh.
So about a decade ago, he started setting up the Sonora Pass Cafe a few weekends each season. Magnuski brings china, camping chairs and newspapers. On a nearby tree, he hangs a dartboard he calls Hikers Revenge, with a picture of a mosquito in the center.
Today, Pepper and other hikers with trail names like Gotta Walk, Pesky and Laugh Track gather around, oohing and ahhing over the fresh fruit, decadent chocolate cake and craft beer. Pepper laughs in disbelief at the temporary wi-fi Magnuski rigged up.
Cat Addison, trail name Cat Dog, looks visibly relieved as she bites into a cookie covered in whipped cream. She's from Bend, Ore., and hasn't come down off the trail to rest or replenish her pack in nine days.
"When I got to the trail head and saw this little sign that there was trail magic, I started to cry, because I was so tired," she says. "I'm so glad to be here."
Addison's 62, and though she hiked the Appalachian Trail a decade ago, she's thru-hiking this one for the first time.
"The Sierras have kicked me around a little bit ... I mean I've had a couple melt-downs, a couple of face plants, that didn't feel too good," she laughs. "People say the trail provides, and sometimes it does."
Hikers, now with color in their cheeks and light in their eyes, all cheer Magnuski with one last cookie. Then, they throw on their packs, and head out for a few more hours on the trail.

Detoxing is bullshit

It's true that people with substance abuse problems can "detox" when they get clean, but the kind of "detoxing" offered by stuff in the grocery store or pharmacy has no basis in science and is just a scammy way to scare you into opening your wallet (the companies that sell "detox" can't even say what "toxins" they're getting rid of).
Worst of all are the dietary supplements that make your poo into a kind of plastic in order to trick you into thinking that your colon has been "cleansed," as well as potentially dangerous enemas, and foot-baths that do a simple chemistry trick to make the water turn brown as though some kind of gunk has been sucked out of the soles of your feet.
If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”
Much of the sales patter revolves around “toxins”: poisonous substances that you ingest or inhale. But it’s not clear exactly what these toxins are. If they were named they could be measured before and after treatment to test effectiveness. Yet, much like floaters in your eye, try to focus on these toxins and they scamper from view. In 2009, a network of scientists assembled by the UK charity Sense about Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 products sold in pharmacies and supermarkets that claimed to detoxify. The products ranged from dietary supplements to smoothies and shampoos. When the scientists asked for evidence behind the claims, not one of the manufacturers could define what they meant by detoxification, let alone name the toxins.

Wooden spoon rebel prepared to go to prison for her sins

The owner of a health food shop in Graz, Austria, who is refusing to comply with health and safety guidelines and stop using wooden spoons and chopping boards has said that she is willing to spend two and a half days in prison rather than pay a €550 (£435, £$675) fine.
Ushij Matzer (59), owner of the first and oldest organic shop in Austria, also cooks daily meals for 70 children who attend local kindergartens. She and her husband Rupert opened their shop in 1979. She has said that she only cooks lacto-vegetarian food (including dairy but no eggs), which contains less potentially harmful bacteria.
She also said that it was wrong that the Graz health department had classified her business as having a large kitchen, as it is only a two-person operation. She added that a fine of €550 was ridiculous, as she only makes €1,400 (£1,100, $1,720) a month. According to EU health legislation she should be using plastic utensils, as they are easier to clean and disinfect.
However, Matzer refuses to use plastics as she believes they cause health problems. “I can’t serve the children food which might contain traces of plastic,” she said. Josef Herk, the president of the Styrian Chamber of Commerce, said that local businesses increasingly face bureaucratic problems and that “with all due respect for health and safety… I would willingly spend two days with Mrs Matzer in prison as a symbolic gesture”.

Random Celebrity Photos


Barbara Eden
Barbara Eden

No charges for Seattle cop who punched unarmed handcuffed woman, broke her eye socket

141202_spd_bigIn Washington state, a King County prosecutor says his office will not seek state felony charges against a 9-year department veteran for punching Miyekko Durden-Bosley in the face so hard he broke her eye socket.
At the time, she was handcuffed in the back of his police cruiser. Durden-Bosley, 23, was intoxicated, and arrested outside the home of a Seattle man whose mom had called the police. The police officer suffered no injuries, according to court documents.
From the Seattle Times:
Federal prosecutors say they will review an incident in which a Seattle police officer punched and seriously injured a handcuffed, intoxicated woman, after King County prosecutors said Friday they won’t charge the officer.
Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes, said her office will look at the June 22 incident involving Officer Adley Shepherd for a possible federal criminal civil-rights violation.
“You punched me in my face for no reason,” she says on the in-car police video. “You punched me in my eye.”
Officer Shepherd has been on paid administrative leave since the incident.
Earlier this year, a State Patrol use of force investigation stated the officer used force that caused “unnecessary and foreseeable injury” to Durden-Bosley.

Small blast in North Carolina hotel injures six police, one suspect

An explosion in a North Carolina hotel room injured six police officers and one man who was arrested on drug and identity theft charges, law enforcement officials said Saturday.
Police had gone to a Motel Six in Burlington, about 110 miles northeast of Charlotte, to serve an arrest warrant late Friday, a Burlington Police Department official said.
Officers entered the room and were testing paraphernalia believed to be used for drug activity when the small blast occurred, the official said.
The officer conducting the test sustained eye injuries and another five officers and the suspect were transferred to a hospital for treatment and decontamination, police said.
The motel was evacuated by the Burlington Fire Department after the blast.
It was unclear what caused the explosion.
Local broadcaster WFMY reported that the Greensboro Hazardous Device Team and Hazardous Materials Unit, which also responded to the scene, confirmed there were explosive materials in the room.
The suspect, identified as Don Hershel Winstead, was taken into custody and charged with multiple counts of identity theft, possession of stolen goods and possession of marijuana, police said.
The FBI was assisting in the investigation, authorities said.

Repentant burglar arrested after being caught returning laptop he'd stolen from wrong house

A repentant burglar who stole a laptop from the wrong house was caught after he returned it, a court has heard. Gareth James, 41, broke into a house in Brecon, Powys, Wales, believing it was the home of someone who owed him £400. But when he opened the laptop he stole, he saw the wrong name on the screen, Merthyr Crown Court was told. James, of Llanfaes, near Brecon, admitted burglary and was jailed for four months, suspended for a year. Prosecutor Rachel Knight told how James confessed to a barmaid at the Boar's Head pub about his crime.
Miss Knight said: "He told her he had done something stupid. He felt embarrassed he had gone into the wrong house." James told her he had gone into the house thinking that the occupier owed him £400 for building work but his only intention was to keep the laptop until he paid up.
But when he saw the wrong name he realized he had gone into the wrong house. He was caught and arrested when he went back to return the laptop, letting himself in through an open door. Sentencing him, Judge Richard Twomlow jailed James for four months suspended for 12 months with supervision and ordered him to complete the thinking skills program.

Man accused of swapping furniture with his neighbors' while they were away

A man from Lakewood in Pierce County, Washington, is accused of drunkenly swapping furniture with his neighbors while they were away. The man and his friend pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to residential burglary. The Lakewood couple, who had gone away for the weekend, returned on Monday to their apartment and found a recliner and TV stand that didn’t belong to them, as well as empty beer bottles and pizza boxes.
Missing was their love seat, matching chair and ottoman, a cushion for a papasan-style chair, a king-sized mattress from the bedroom and a carpet-cleaning machine. Also missing were pots and pans, dishes, food and military-issued equipment. Tracking the thieves seemed pretty straightforward for police: One left behind a traffic citation stating his name and address; the other left a pizza receipt that had his information. Police spoke with both men, one of whom lived in a neighboring apartment.
The first man said he’d entered his neighbors apartment because the door was open. He said the neighbor had mentioned the couple might be moving, so he figured they’d abandoned their furniture. He said he drunkenly decided to switch it with his own, calling his friend for help. He showed officers where the property was, and police found the living room set, four pillows, two floor lamps, two end tables, a TV stand and an inflatable couch with an air pump.
There also were three blankets, an iron, a large picture with an ornamental frame, a floor fan, the military equipment, a black stand with four shelves and a plastic container with three drawers and various items inside. Finally was the papasan chair, a rectangular wall mirror, an ironing board and a box of women’s shoes. The first man’s friend, whose name was on the pizza receipt, admitted ordering the food, but denied taking stuff from the apartment. Police found a cover to a crawl space in the apartment was completely off, leading them to believe that’s how the thieves got in.

Woman banned from bingo club for erratic driving is desperate to be allowed back

A 70-year-old woman from Alamogordo, New Mexico, is banned from her local bingo hall, and she’s been fighting it for nearly two years. “I enjoy playing bingo, what is there else to do?” Evangeline Shelland said she’s played bingo at the Fraternal Order of Eagles club since 1985. But in January 2013, a supervisor called her into the office. “It’s indefinite, I cannot attend Eagles bingo,” Shelland said. She said management told her they’d received letters from people stating she’d been driving erratically in the parking lot.
Shelland denies the accusation, and claims she’s never been shown any evidence of wrong-doing. “I was hurt of course, you know, I was hurt and I’m still hurt, because I don’t think it’s right,” Shelland explained. Since the ban, she’s written letters in an attempt to get answers both to the club, and to the Attorney General’s Office. A representative from the Attorney General’s Office responded, saying “while we sympathize with your desire to play bingo, we do not have any jurisdiction over this issue and are unable to force them to allow you on their premises.”
Shelland said the supervisor that kicked her out no longer works at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and she doesn’t understand why nearly two years later, she’s still not allowed back in. A supervisor at the club wouldn’t comment, saying it’s a private matter. The only correspondence Shelland received from the Eagles is a letter dated June 2013, stating “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” and the decision stands.

The club is private, but they allow the public to play bingo. “What am I? Am I not public?” Shelland exclaimed. Since she’s retired, Shelland says bingo has been a social outlet. She feels her rights are being violated. “I mean we’re retirees, we don’t have nothing to do but go to the bingo,” Shelland said. “If somebody’s got something against me, tell me to my face.” Shelland maintains the club never showed her proof she did anything wrong. The club say there’s more to the story, but they refuse to elaborate.

Random Photos

Khoisan Genome Reveals Populous Past

The genomes of five Khoisan study participants living in different tribes in Namibia were compared with the genomes of 1,462 people from 48 ethnic groups from around the world. The analysis suggests that the Khoisan population may have comprised the majority of living humans during most of the past 150,000 years, while remaining physically isolated and genetically distinct from Europeans, Asians, and all other Africans. “Khoisan hunter-gatherers in Southern Africa always have perceived themselves as the oldest people,” Stephan Schuster, formerly of Penn State University and currently at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, told Phys.org. The genomes of two of the Khoisan individuals of the Ju/’hoansi tribe showed no signs of genetic material from other ethnic groups. “This and previous studies show that the Khoisan peoples and the rest of modern humanity shared their most recent common ancestor approximately 150,000 years ago, so it was entirely unexpected to find that this group apparently did not intermarry with non-Khoisan neighbors for many thousand years,” added Webb Miller of Penn State. These individuals also allowed the team to compare the effective population size of the Khoisan with other human groups, which declined about 20,000 years ago. “This decline did not affect the Khoisan population to the same degree as the remainder of humankind, because they did not share the same habitats and environments,” he said. It is thought that the Khoisan inhabited parts of Southern Africa that experienced wetter, more favorable conditions. To read more about genome studies in Africa, see "DNA From Marine Forager Sheds Light on Human Origins."

Goodbye Big Bang, Hello Black Hole?

A New Theory Of The Universe’s Creation
by Elizabeth Howell
Artist's conception of the event horizon of a black hole. Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library
Artist’s conception of the event horizon of a black hole.  
Library Could the famed “Big Bang” theory need a revision? A group of theoretical physicists suppose the birth of the universe could have happened after a four-dimensional star collapsed into a black hole and ejected debris.
Before getting into their findings, let’s just preface this by saying nobody knows anything for sure. Humans obviously weren’t around at the time the universe began. The standard theory is that the universe grew from an infinitely dense point or singularity, but who knows what was there before?
“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” stated Niayesh Afshordi, an astrophysicist with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada who co-authored the new study.
So what are the limitations of the Big Bang theory? The singularity is one of them. Also, it’s hard to predict why it would have produced a universe that has an almost uniform temperature, because the age of our universe (about 13.8 billion years) does not give enough time — as far as we can tell — to reach a temperature equilibrium.
Most cosmologists say the universe must have been expanding faster than the speed of light for this to happen, but Ashford says even that theory has problems: “The Big Bang was so chaotic, it’s not clear there would have been even a small homogenous patch for inflation to start working on.”
Representation of the timeline of the universe over 13.7 billion years, from the Big Bang, through the cosmic dark ages and formation of the first stars, to the expansion in the universe that followed. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team.
Representation of the timeline of the universe over 13.7 billion years, from the Big Bang, through the cosmic dark ages and formation of the first stars, to the expansion in the universe that followed.
This is what the physicists propose:
  • The model they constructed has the three-dimensional universe floating as a membrane (or brane) in a “bulk universe” that has four dimensions. (Yes, this is making our heads hurt as well, so it might be easier to temporarily think of the brane as two-dimensional and the “bulk universe” as three-dimensional when trying to picture it.) You can read the more technical details in this 2000 paper on which the new theory is based.
  • So if this “bulk universe” has four-dimensional stars, these stars could go through the same life cycles as the three-dimensional ones we are familiar with. The most massive ones would explode as supernovae, shed their skin and have the innermost parts collapse as a black hole.
  • The 4-D black hole would have an “event horizon” just like the 3-D ones we are familiar with. The event horizon is the boundary between the inside and the outside of a black hole. There are a lot of theories of what goes on inside a black hole, although nothing has ever been observed.
  • In a 3-D universe, the event horizon appears as a two-dimensional surface. So in a 4-D universe, the event horizon would be a 3-D object called a hypersphere.
  • So basically, what the model says is when the 4-D star blows apart, the leftover material would create a 3-D brane surrounding a 3-D event horizon, and then expand.
The long and the short of it? To bring this back to things that we can see, it is clear from observations that the universe is expanding (and indeed is getting faster as it expands, possibly due to the mysterious dark energy). The new theory says that the expansion comes from this 3-D brane’s growth. But there  is at least one limitation.
This artist’s impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). New observations using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have revealed not only the torus of hot dust around the black hole but also a wind of cool material in the polar regions. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser
This artist’s impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). 
New observations using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have revealed not only the torus of hot dust around the black hole but also a wind of cool material in the polar regions.
While the model does explain why the universe has nearly uniform temperature (the 4-D universe preceding it would have existed it for much longer), a European Space Agency telescope called Planck recently mapped small temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background, which is believed to be leftovers of the universe’s beginnings. (Read more about the CMB here.)
The new model differs from these CMB readings by about four percent, so the researchers are looking to refine the model. They still feel the model has worth, however. Planck shows that inflation is happening, but doesn’t show why the inflation is happening.
“The study could help to show how inflation is triggered by the motion of the universe through a higher-dimensional reality,” the researchers stated.
You can read more about their research on this prepublished Arxiv paper. The Arxiv entry does not specify if the paper has been submitted to any peer-reviewed scientific journals for publication.