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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we're talking about you ...!
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Today in History

457   A Thracian officer by the name of Leo is proclaimed as emperor of the East by the army general, Aspar, on the death of the Emperor Marcian.
1668   The Netherlands, England and Sweden conclude an alliance directed against Louis XIV of France.  
1783   The Siege of Gibraltar, which was pursued by the Spanish and the French since July 24, 1779, is finally lifted.  
1818   The first successful U.S. educational magazine, Academician, begins publication in New York City.  
1882   American pugilist John L. Sullivan becomes the last of the bare-knuckle world heavyweight champions with his defeat of Patty Ryan in Mississippi City.  
1913   The Turks lose 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.  
1915   Fieldmarshal Paul von Hindenburg moves on Russians at Masurian Lakes.  
1917   The British steamer California is sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat.
1926   Negro History Week, originated by Carter G. Woodson, is observed for the first time.  
1928   The United States signs an arbitration treaty with France.  
1931   Amelia Earhart weds George Putnam in Connecticut.  
1944   The Germans launch a second attack against the Allied beachead at Anzio, Italy. They hoped to push the Allies back into the sea.  
1950   The United States recognizes Vietnam under the leadership of Emperor Bao Dai, not Ho Chi Minh who is recognized by the Soviets.  
1963   The Mona Lisa is put on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
1964   The British band The Beatles are greeted by 25,000 fans upon their arrival in the United States at JFK Airport.  
1965   U.S. jets hit Don Hoi guerrilla base in reprisal for the Viet Cong raids.  
1968   North Vietnamese use 11 Soviet-built light tanks to overrun the U.S. Special Forces camp at Lang Vei at the end of an 18-hour long siege.
1978   Ethiopia mounts a counter attack against Somalia.
1983  Iran opens an invasion in the southeast of Iraq.

Obama condemns those who seek to ‘hijack religion’

Obama prayer breakfast 2015
President Barack Obama condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that “no god condones terror.”
“We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends,” Obama said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a “death cult,” as well as those responsible for last month’s terror attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan.
Obama offered a special welcome to a “good friend,” the Dalia Lama, seated at a table in front of the dais among the audience of 3,600. Earlier Obama, seated at the head table, pressed his hands together in a prayer-like position and bowed his head toward the Dalai Lama, then gave him a wave and a broad smile.
It was the first time the president and the Tibetan Buddhist leader attended the same public event, with China objecting to foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama because of his quest for greater Tibetan autonomy from Beijing. Obama’s three previous meetings with the Dalai Lama have been private because of the sensitivity of the situation.
But in a show of White House support for the Dalai Lama, he was seated at a table with top Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Actor Richard Gere, a friend and follower of the Dalai Lama, was also nearby. Meanwhile, outside, hundreds of demonstrators banged drums and waved Tibetan flags under heavy police presence.
The Dalai Lama fled to exile in India after a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. Obama on Thursday called him “a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion and who inspires us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings.”
The president joked that it’s a rare event that can bring together the Dalai Lama and NASCAR, after retired driver and commentator Darrell Waltrip gave the keynote address. Waltrip told how he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savoir after a 1993 crash left him wondering what would happen if he died.
“If you’ve never gotten on your knees and asked him to forgive you of your sins, you’re just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal? You’re going to go to hell,” Waltrip said.
Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.”
“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of christ.
“So it is not unique to one group or one religion,” Obama said. “There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”
Obama called for all people of faiths to show humility about their beliefs and reject the idea that “God speaks only to us and doesn’t speak to others.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II canceled plans to attend the breakfast after Islamic State militants released a video this week showing a captured Jordanian pilot being burned to death. In his place, Roger Wicker, r-Wisc., offered prayers for Jordan and read the new testament parable of the Good Samaritan who saved a stranger who had been beaten and left for dead.

Democrats Won’t Back Down As They Block 3rd Attempt To Overturn Obama Immigration Action

For the third straight day, Senate Democrats have refused to give in to repugican hostage-taking tactics by blocking a repugican attempt to use Homeland Security funding to overturn President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
The House-passed bill that would fund Homeland Security failed to get the votes needed to advance. The Senate vote was 52-47 in favor of moving the bill forward, but repugicans remain eight votes short of the number required for advancement.
Senate Minority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) made it clear that Democrats will not support a Homeland Security funding bill that contains immigration provisions, “We would love to debate immigration. We’ve done it here on the Senate floor before. It was a wonderful bipartisan debate, and we’re willing to do it again but the American people are crying out that we defend our homeland. They’re doing it around the rest of the world. Why shouldn’t we? That is what this is all about. If repugicans want to debate immigration we can go right ahead and do that. But not on the back of homeland security.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) summed up the Democratic position by saying, “We are not into hostage-taking.”
Mitch McConnell (r-KY) is desperately trying to spin the Democratic filibuster as opposition to Homeland Security funding, “Why would Democrats go to the mat to protect the political class from the consequences of overreach President Obama has referred to as ‘ignoring the law’? Well, here’s the good news. There’s a way forward. There’s a way to end this Democrat filibuster. All it requires is a little common sense and a little Democrat courage. Remember: Several Democrats previously indicated unease with the idea of politicians overreaching in ways President Obama has seemed to imply would ‘violate the law.’ So now is the time to back those words up. Now is the time for Democrats of good conscience to vote with us to break their party’s filibuster of Homeland Security funding and help us protect American democracy.”
McConnell’s questioning of Democratic courage is the biggest sign yet that he’s got nothing.
The repugicans know that the only Homeland Security funding bill that they are going to get through the Senate is a clean bill with no immigration provisions. McConnell’s problem is that house repugicans are unlikely to pass a clean funding bill until they absolutely have to. If Homeland Security is forced to shut down, repugicans will be blamed.
The repugican congressional majority is getting nothing done, and the extremists in the house repugican caucus are poised to drag down Mitch McConnell’s failing Senate majority.

Democrats In Full Revolt As repugican Netanyahu Speech Scheme Completely Backfires

The repugicans and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are facing potential humiliation as congressional Democrats are in full revolt and refusing to attend the Israeli leader’s planned speech before Congress.
Politico reported that a meeting to try to end the Democratic revolt has only served to make things worse:
Netanyahu-boehner-obamaIsraeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein rushed to meetings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday trying to calm a furor created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month and quell a Democratic revolt that has dozens threatening a boycott.
It didn’t work.
If anything, Democrats finished the day more frustrated. According to a source in the room, one Jewish Democratic member of Congress even accused Dermer of being insincere when he claimed not to have anticipated the partisan uproar he’d ignite when he skirted protocol and went around the White House and scheduled the speech only with John Boehner.
The White House isn’t providing any guidance to congressional Democrats, but the reports that Vice President Biden may skip Netanyahu’s speech are a powerful non-verbal signal. Anyone with an ounce of political sense understands that Boehner and Netanyahu cooked up this scheme in order to humiliate the president and pressure him to drop the nuclear talks with Iran. the repugicans misread the political landscape. Boehner assumed that his Netanyahu invitation would divide Democrats and split what he presumed was a weakened Democratic Party.
The exact opposite has happened. The Democrats have emerged from the 2014 midterm as a revived party. Their resurgence has been powered by President Obama. The president has seen his poll numbers steadily increase as he has chosen to take on repugicans on a number of issues. Democrats have formed a unified front with their president that has led to repugicans struggling to get their agenda off of the ground.
Boehner and Netanyahu have entered damage control mode. They can’t cancel Netanyahu’s address, so the wingnuts are trying to get Democrats on board. The prospect of Netanyahu addressing Congress and looking out upon dozens to hundreds of empty seats is becoming very real. Democrats are rebelling against the speech in order to expose it as the partisan stunt that it is.
The entire fiasco could have been avoided if Netanyahu and Boehner had followed protocol instead of attempting to humiliate the President Of The United States.
Boehner and Netanyahu’s scheme to humiliate Obama has backfired into an embarrassing public disaster for the wingnuts.

Paul Ryan Proposes Massive Tax Cut For the Rich That Adds $100 Billion To Deficit

In his first proposed tax reform legislation as chairwimp of the House Ways and Means Committee, deficit hawk Paul Ryan's tax plan benefiting big business and the wealthy…
paul ryan
Prior to January 21 2009, repugicans believed that “deficits don’t matter” and giving away unfunded tax cuts to businesses and the rich was economically prudent. The day Barack Obama was first inaugurated as President, repugicans changed their tune and screamed that not only do deficits matter, but they would in no way allow any government expense to go unfunded; particularly if they could cut spending elsewhere. However, now that the Kochs stole repugicans control of Congress, they are reverting back to their ‘unfunded tax cutting’ scheme and increase the nation’s deficit.
When repugicans took control of the House in 2011, Boehner professed that any federal expenses had to be matched with dollar for dollar spending cuts to prevent adding to the deficit. A deficit, by the way, that repugicans increased during the shrub junta by giving the richest one-percent of income earners unfunded tax cuts. Unlike paying for disaster relief after President Obama was inaugurated, tax cuts for the wealthy never included savings from other portions of the budget to be considered revenue neutral because ‘deficits don’t matter” according to repugicans because the deficits benefit the wealthy.
In his first proposed tax reform legislation as chairwimp of the House Ways and Means Committee, deficit hawk Paul Ryan’s tax plan benefitting big business and the wealthy will increase the deficit by $100 billion over ten years. To make matters worse, Ryan and his repugican cohorts are pushing the tax cuts without any “pay-for” as a permanent part of the tax code that no future tax reform can ever alter; because where tax cuts for the rich are concerned, deficits still “don’t matter.”
It has to be noted right away that the tax cuts Ryan will blow up the deficit with, without being paid for, will not benefit anyone outside of the rich and big business, but that is what Americans should expect from repugican ‘deficit hawks because something about the storied ‘job creators.’ However, there is nothing in Ryan’s plan that creates jobs.  But then again, repugicans are not in Congress to create jobs because they just create more wealth for the rich.
Ryan’s tax cuts for the rich and corporations (H.R. 644) is actually a package of seven permanent changes to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to benefit the wealthiest Americans, big business, and corporations. The largest, and costliest, measure allows big businesses to write off expenses faster and adds $77 billion to the deficit that does not matter because it affects the rich. The other parts of the tax cut package allow the wealthy and corporations to write off donations that no regular American will benefit from. The tax right-offs for the rich and corporations include allowing large companies to ‘inflate’ the value of food donations such as “old Twinkies,” make it easier for incredibly wealthy Americans to donate part of their retirement savings and conserve land. All areas that are unique to the wealthy elite and corporations; something Democrats took exception to.
Democrats are concerned that, for one thing, enacting Ryan’s gifts to the rich permanently without funding them will not only perpetually add to the deficit, but they will be permanent loopholes that cannot be negotiated to achieve tax cuts for the middle class in any “future reform efforts.” Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said “If we’re going to have any hope of a comprehensive tax reform, we’re not going to be able to because it (Ryan’s plan) narrows the range of what we’re going to have going forward.” He also said that since Ryan is “jettisoning deficit concerns” for tax breaks for the rich and corporations, “I’m willing to drop a hand grenade or two in the conversation if you’re going to go down this path. Because I’ve got some things I’m working on that would be extraordinarily popular if we don’t have to worry about fiscal discipline.”
Blumenauer and other Democrats noted that regardless how popular helping the charities and businesses is with the wealthy elite, the tax cuts will only help the richest Americans, large well-off companies holding onto expired but edible food they cannot sell, and the wealthiest Americans with huge retirement incomes. Democrats also complained that the tax breaks for the rich come at the expense of tax breaks that could help the middle class; the kind of tax cuts that Republicans oppose out of hand. Another Democrat, Xavier Becerra (CA) said “it causes a great deal of uncertainty for other Americans who don’t have the benefit of being able to give away their overabundance of retirement money to charitable causes,” and that “this repugican ploy selects almost $100 billion of favored tax provisions to benefit a small wealthy portion of taxpayers by borrowing more money from abroad.” Remember, repugicans oppose any measure that increases the deficit they claim is an abomination to future generations who will be “saddled with debt” to China.
Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Texas put Ryan’s typical repugican unfunded tax cuts for the rich and corporations in another perspective. He said, “Their package eliminates enough revenue ($100 billion) to fund life-saving medical research through the National Institutes for Health for more than two years. Instead of a bipartisan commitment to comprehensive tax reform, they continue on a partisan path to promote the privileged,” or in repugican-speak; the storied “job creator” class.
Despite Democrat’s opposition to the unfunded tax gifts to the rich and corporations, Ayn Rand devotee Ryan said, “These (tax breaks) are consistent with tax reform and are a move in the right direction” because they eliminate important and popular bargaining points from Democrats when tax reform comes up in the near future. Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) said, “Some of us really would like to have a tax reform compromise come out of here, and we hate to see pieces that could be negotiable given away before there is any final decision making.” It is too bad because repugicans will not negotiate anything away that will benefit anyone other than their wealthy donors and corporations.
This first strike against the middle class to increase the wealth of the rich and corporations by house repugicans is a portent of their idea of ‘tax reform’ based on similar legislation they passed during the last session of Congress. The previous tax legislation would have added more than $800 billion to the deficit because “deficits don’t matter” if corporations and the wealthy benefit. The tax breaks did not get past the Democratically-controlled Senate, but now that the Kochs own the Senate, it is highly likely that tax cuts for the rich will easily pass both chambers and the deficit be damned; so long as it increases without helping anyone but the rich and their corporations.

The repugicans Unveil Bill That Would Take Health Care Away From 22.5 Million Americans

A group of senate and house repugicans have revealed the repugican cabal’s replacement plan for the ACA that contains no healthcare and would take away coverage from 22.5 million Americans.
Orrin Hatch (r-UT), Richard Burr (r-NC), and Fred Upton (r-MI) introduced their answer to the ACA, which they have named the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act.
According to repugicans the “CARE Act” would:
Establish sustainable, patient-focused reforms:
Adopt common-sense consumer protections;
Create a new protection to help Americans with pre-existing conditions;
Empower small businesses and individuals with purchasing power;
Empower states with more tools to help provide coverage while reducing costs; and
Strengthen consumer directed health care and allow Americans to buy coverage across state lines.
Modernize Medicaid to provide better coverage and care to patients:
Transition to capped allotment to provide states with predictable funding and flexibility.
Reduce defensive medicine and rein in frivolous lawsuits:
Medical Malpractice reforms.
Increase health care price transparency to empower consumers and patients:
Require basic health care transparency to inform and empower patients.
Reduce distortions in the tax code that drive up health care costs:
Cap the exclusion of an employee’s employer-provided health coverage.
Empower Small Businesses and Individuals with Purchasing Power:
Targeted tax credit to help buy health care
What the CARE Act doesn’t contain is health care. At the very bottom of the list of what the bill does, you will see that the legislation will provide tax credits for people to buy health care. The problem for tens of millions of Americans will be that they will first have to buy the policy in order to qualify for the tax credit. If a person or family can’t afford the policy, they won’t have insurance.
The CARE Act also does not contain any mechanism for transferring people who are currently enrolled in health care exchanges to new subsidized coverage. Instead of expanding Medicaid, the Republican plan caps funding. This means that all of the people who have gotten health care through the Medicaid will be thrown off of their insurance.
The repugicans have introduced a health care plan that doesn’t contain any health care. These are the same old ideas that repugicans have been trying to dress up as health care reform for decades. The repugican plan will drive up health care costs, and throw millions of people off of their current coverage. It will allow insurance companies to discriminate and price gouge. It will drive up the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. The repugican plan would also toss 3 million children off of their parents’ health insurance.
The repugicans have unveiled a plan that would take away health care from at least 22.5 million Americans. (19.5 million Americans have gotten coverage under the ACA through the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, another 3 million are on their parents’ health insurance.) The repugican plan replaces the ACA with nothing.
A better name for this bill would be the (Don’t) CARE Act because the message from repugicans is that they don’t care if the American people can’t afford health care.

Supreme Court lets stand ruling that firing woman for breastfeeding not sexist since men can lactate

The Supreme Court has declined to overturn a lower court's ruling that an insurance company was within bounds when it fired a breastfeeding mother. The woman's suit was dismissed by the Eighth Circuit Court on the grounds that firing a woman for breastfeeding isn't sexist because men can lactate, too.
The ACLU's Galen Sherwin wrote Monday that former Nationwide Insurance Company employee Angela Ames sued her employer when she returned from maternity leave to find that no allowances had been made to enable her to pump breast milk for her baby during the day.
When Ames asked her supervisor for accommodations that would enable her to express milk and store it for her child, the supervisor reportedly responded that Ames should "go home and be with your babies" instead. That supervisor went on to dictate a letter of resignation to Ames that day, effectively forcing her to resign.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Nationwide and the Eighth Circuit Court, denying Ames' petition for a review of her case's dismissal. The trial court's decision - which the Circuit Court upheld - said that for Nationwide's firing of Ames for taking time to express milk at work could not have been sexist because under certain circumstances, some men can lactate, too.

Golfer hit unusual albatross hole-in-one

Richard Green’s albatross hole-in-one on the par-four 15th at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Australia, on Wednesday will be one the 43-year-old will remember for years to come.
Playing in the pro-am event ahead of Thursday’s start of the Victorian Open, Green found the hole off the tee via an unusual route.
After landing in a greenside bunker, the ball then seemingly defied the laws of physics by jumping out of the sand and rolling straight into the hole. Green assumed his tee shot had remained in the bunker.

"I haven't had anything like that happen before, I have had hole in ones during tournaments but they have been shots that have landed by the hole and found their way in," he said.

For the Best-Dressed at Mardi Gras

OppoSuits, the company that brought us the hilarious Ugly Christmas Sweater Suits, is ready to dress you up for Mardi Gras! This suit is called Harleking. In it, you’ll be king of the harlequins.
If we could make a suit from ‘party', it would probably look like this. Back in the days a harlequin was the life of the party and that is exactly what the Harleking will do for you.
Perfect for a parade, a party, or a drunken revelry. Who knows- if you are the right type of guy, you may even want to wear this to work! Beads not included. 

3 Year-Old Rocks Wonder Woman Costume on Her Last Day of Chemo

Sophia Sandoval says of chemotherapy “It was tough, but I was tougher.” She’s made it through treatments for a brain tumor. Lynda Carter, the actress who played Wonder Woman on the 1970s television series, calls Sophia “A real-life WW!!”

Man Too Busy Texting to Notice Whale Surfacing Right Next to Him

Photographer Eric J. Smith snapped this shot near Redondo Beach, California. A man on a sailboat was texting while a humpback whale surfaced. He never noticed. ABC News (warning: auto-start video) quotes him:
"A small private sailboat maneuvered really close to the whales, and this guy on it was literally sitting in that position and never moved," Smith said. "He could have been texting his mom in the hospital for all I know, but I thought it sucked that he missed such a wonderful moment happening just two feet in front of him."

The Truth Be Told


Celebrities Accused of Being Bad Neighbors

A bad neighbor can make everyday life extremely difficult. It's easy to take your goofy, bathrobe-and-curlers-in-the-front-yard neighbor for granted until you have another who seems truly malicious. The referring article briefly tells the stories of celebrities accused of being bad neighbors. Some tales are much worse than others. For instance, one is a complaint that Robert Downey Jr. passed out in their home. To me, that's more like a daydream neighbor than a nightmare one. But to each their own.
One celebrity neighbor with a (non) shockingly bad rep is Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose. When a neighbor in a condo unit near his went to him with her complaint of his music being too loud, Axl grabbed her car keys, threw them out a sliding glass door to the ground below, then took a wine bottle out of her hands, poured out its contents and hit her over the head. Appetite for Destruction indeed!
Read the remaining 26 celebrity bad neighbor stories here.  

Eight Mysterious Disappearances

One story on this list of eight disappearances may correspond with the chilling photo above left. Tara Calico (shown above right in a photo from a police handout, and below in a comparison photo with the one above) disappeared in 1988 while on a bike ride near her New Mexico home. She was a 19-year-old college student at the time.
Bicycle tracks and pieces of a Sony Walkman believed to be Tara's were found on the route she would have been biking, but aside from that, no trace of her turned up during countless hours of searches by area volunteers and her family.
In June of 1989, a woman who had been shopping for groceries found the Polaroid photo at top left in the grocery store parking lot. According to authorities, the photo seems to be taken in the back of a van. The woman who found the photo described a white van leaving the parking lot when she looked up after finding it. The picture gave Tara's parents and others renewed hope that it was Tara in the photo and that she was still alive. Tara's friends said that V.C. Andrews was a favorite author of hers, and the book seen next to her in the photo is by Andrews.
It was further speculated at the time that the boy shown with the girl in the photo could be a missing 9-year-old New Mexico boy named Michael Henley. He disappeared in April 1988 while hunting turkeys in New Mexico's Zuni mountains with his father.
Yet Henley's remains were later found several years after his disappearance in a location near where he was last seen, a fact that weakened the theory that he was the boy in the photo. Tara's parents, who have since died, went to their graves believing that it was Tara bound and gagged in the Polaroid. The mystery has never been solved.
Learn more about Tara's story at Crime Library and read the seven other mysterious disappearances here. 

Nigeria-based writer trolls 'measles-ravaged country America' on Twitter

A  writer living in Nigeria turned the tables on American's overreaction and fear that travelers from African nations might bring Ebola into the United States, expressing his concern for "the measles-ravaged country America" on Twitter.Elnathan John, a writer and lawyer living in Abuja, Nigeria, wrote: "Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa."
Concerns about citizens of African nations  bringing Ebola to America reached epidemic proportions of its own last year, with members of the public signing a Whitehouse.gov petition stating, "The Ebola virus has reached unprecedented epidemic proportions in West Africa. The citizens of the U.S. are scared. We do not want any more Ebola-infected individuals bringing the epidemic to our shores."
Faux News coverage of the Ebola epidemic was considered so over-the-top that a PBS science writer chided the network's coverage for its "ignorance."
"It borders on irresponsibility when people get on television and start talking that way when they should know better," Miles O'Brien of PBS explained. "They should do their homework and they should report in a responsible manner."

Rapping father-to-be hit with tricycle in dreadlock stramash

A pregnant Florida woman accused of pulling the dreadlocks of the father of her child-to-be and hitting him with a tricycle ended up behind bars. Clinda Josaphat, 20, told Fort Pierce police she was doing her child-to-be’s father’s hair on January 19 while he was rapping.
Josaphat said the child-to be’s father, identified by police as the victim, said that since she was not being intimate with him, he was “getting it” elsewhere. Josaphat said she told him she could not have sex on doctor’s orders. She said he picked her up and threw her on a trashcan.
The victim said Josaphat was doing his hair as they talked about their unborn child. He said the altercation started when he said he didn’t want to be in her life but did want to be in his child’s life. Josaphat “kept twisting his dreads tighter and tighter,” eventually hitting him with a tricycle.
A witness said Josaphat “was all over (the victim) pulling his dreads and biting him.” The witness said Josaphat tried to hit him with a tricycle and a rake. The victim had welts on his head from the hair pulling and a bite mark on the back. Josaphat, of Fort Pierce, was arrested on a battery charge.

Three men arrested for stealing empty safe

In the early hours of Monday morning, police in Kingsport, Tennessee, received an anonymous tip that three men were flipping a safe across the parking lot of Model City Apartments. The tipster informed the officers the three men dragged the safe into apartment D-9. Officers responded and talked to Willard Harmon, 41, of apartment D-9. At the apartment the officers also spoke with Harmon's son, Dustin Hickman, 27, and another man, Dustin E. Stacy, 26, both from Kingsport.
Harmon reportedly invited officers inside his apartment where a large safe was observed to be sitting in the kitchen, in plain view. When asked about the safe, the three reportedly claimed they found the safe in an alleyway in downtown Kingsport. Further investigation revealed that the safe had allegedly been stolen from a warehouse. An inspection of the warehouse by KPD officers showed damage to a chain link fence, a window and some locks.
A trail of scratch marks showed officers where the safe had been dragged across the floor. The safe had allegedly been loaded onto the rear trunk lid of a vehicle, where it was transported back to Model City Apartments. At some point, the safe shattered the rear window of the vehicle and reportedly fell on Stacy's foot. Though the safe itself was valued at more than $500, when opened by the police, it turned out to be empty.

If things were not bad enough, while officers were inside the apartment, a live military smoke grenade was observed. After some questioning, Hickman stated the grenade was his because he liked to collect war memorabilia. When asked where he had obtained it, he reportedly told officers he got if from "some kid" at the Kingsport Skate Park. The grenade was taken by a member of the KPD explosive Ordanance Disposal Unit and transported to a safe storage facility. Harmon and Hickman were both arrested and charged with burglary, theft over $500 and possession of a prohibited weapon. Stacy was arrested and charged with burglary and theft over $500.

Police followed trail of coins to find Peppa Pig piggy bank thief

A burglar stole a child's piggy bank and was jailed after police followed a trail of coins leading to him. Jamie Norton, 35, broke into a sleeping family's home and snatched the Peppa Pig money box. A court heard how he dropped the money box in the street, spilling the children's pocket money. And police were able to follow coins all the way to the doorstep of the house where he was trying to hide out.
Norton was arrested and hauled in front of a court where he admitted burglary and was jailed for 18 months. His victim, mother-of-three Leanne Barratt, told the court she wanted to move because she no longer felt "secure" in her home. In a statement she told the court: "He has violated not just me but my whole family. I don't feel that I can sleep because I need to protect my family." Leanne, her husband Lee and their three children, the youngest just nine months old, slept through the burglary in January this year.
Norton stole handbags, credit cards, phones, a tablet, and even two children's money boxes from the house in Tonypandy near Pontypridd, Wales. Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard how he drove off from the scene in the family's car. Officers tracked him to his girlfriend's house where he had taken the stolen goods and found coins in the street outside. Police officers looked through the window and spotted the money box sat on the table and Norton was then arrested.
Norton, of Pontypridd, also admitted driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and taking a vehicle without consent. He was banned from the roads for six months. Judge Thomas Crowther QC told him: "Burglary is a crime against people not just property. Parents have been left with the worry of trying to reassure their children and their own security. It has changed their attitude towards their home."

Cannabis grower jailed despite claiming he was exercising his rights under 800-year-old law

A man caught twice growing cannabis at his home told police and a judge he was a freeman of the land not bound by common law. Portsmouth Crown Court heard the home of Niall Dixon in Southsea, Hampshire, was raided by police who found 65 plants growing in 2013. The court heard that during a second raid in January last year officers found two plants in a growing tent, one in his conservatory and some dried cannabis.
Prosecutor Nicholas Hall said Dixon had told police that through Magna Carta he was exercising "his right granted by god to consume any plants that he chose to do and therefore the inapplication to him of this legislation". The court heard Dixon, 43, used the cannabis in juice form for medical conditions he suffered, including anxiety. Judge Peter Dixon Crabtree sentenced Dixon to eight months in prison for the first offense and one month concurrent for the second. He gave no extra punishment for the possession charge.
Judge Crabtree said: ‘You profess to be a freeman of the land not bound by common law. I’ve no doubt that you hold the beliefs you espouse and do so genuinely. In court that’s not led to any difficulties. You have conducted yourself well." But Judge Crabtree added Dixon committed the second offense while on bail. He said: "It’s shows a disregard for the law." The court also heard Dixon shared the drug with friends, but only when they asked him to do so. Judge Crabtree added: "He provided his friends with cannabis if they visited and wanted to use that drug but not on a commercial basis.
"It’s accepted by the crown that the cannabis found was for personal use." Unemployed Dixon admitted one count of cultivation of a Class B drug in relation to the first raid, another count of the same charge and one of possession. The court heard he spent around £1,000 setting up his growing operation and officers had found the plants on the ground floor and basement in the first raid. He had grown tomatoes and other plants alongside the cannabis in a growing tent, Judge Crabtree added. Hannah Evans, defending, said Dixon told her his drug use had significantly reduced. She added: "Niall has very firm views as to what his rights are and his position on what the role of the law is."

Big Trilobites in the Sky

These holes look like big trilobites in the sky, or maybe they could be called “skylobites.” This picture of failstreak holes over Florida was posted by redditor deadhalo. They are sometimes attributed to UFOs, but there’s a perfectly logical explanation from meteorology.
Failstreak holes are the beginning of ice formations in clouds. The temperature can be very cold before water vapor turns to ice. When ice crystals begin to form, the crystallization spreads outward in a domino effect. Meanwhile, water surrounding the ice crystals evaporates, leaving a big hole.

Man attacked by hawk that followed him into his house

Police have captured a bird of prey which flew into a house in Preston. Lancashire police’s wildlife officers were called after the bird, a harris hawk, swooped into the property in Ingol on Tuesday and attacked a man.
A police spokesman said: “The caller reported that they had been attacked in their house by an eagle. On our arrival the householder had managed to get hold of the bird, sustaining only very minor injuries in the process, and we quickly identified it as being a harris hawk rather than an eagle.
“It appears to have followed him into the house as he returned home. Harris hawks are not native to the UK but are one of the most common hawks kept by falconers here. They occur naturally in central and South America but are bred here in captivity. This one was wearing jesses (leather foot straps) which a falconer would put on the bird to handle it.
“It is likely to have flown off from its owner having either been blown off course by wind, distracted by prey or was full (they are usually trained to return to the glove for a food reward, which they won’t do if they’ve just eaten.” Police cared for the bird overnight before transferring it to a specialist centre. They are trying to trace the owner.

Chimps Can Learn 'Dialects'

Chimpanzee calls for banana, mango, apple and bread differ between groups, but research shows they can learn each others' dialects. 

Bumblebee's Brain Impaired

A class of insecticide called neonicotinoids puts the bee's learning ability at risk and inhibits colony growth. 

Endangered Species Protection

A killer whale in a Miami aquarium that has spent more than four decades in a tank will be granted the same protected status as her wild relatives. 

Sea Slug

A research team confirms the presence of key algal genes on the chromosome of the emerald sea slug.

Buffalo-Sized Rodent

A rodent closely related to guinea pigs used its powerful incisors to do more than just bite things.

The Earliest Dogs

A pointer named 'Major' is identified as being the first known modern breed of dog. See photos of other early dog breeds.

Oldest Dog

Some of the oldest known 'dogs' have just been determined to be wolves -- so who were the first actual dogs?

Animal Pictures