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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1478   George, the Duke of Clarence, who had opposed his brother Edward IV, is murdered in the Tower of London.  
1688   Quakers in Germantown, Pa. adopt the fist formal antislavery resolution in America.  
1813   Czar Alexander enters Warsaw at the head of his Army.  
1861   Victor Emmanuel II becomes the first King of Italy.  
1861   Jefferson F. Davis is inaugurated as the Confederacy's provisional president at a ceremony held in Montgomery, Ala.  
1865   Union troops force the Confederates to abandon Fort Anderson, N.C.  
1878   The bitter and bloody Lincoln County War begins with the murder of Billy the Kid's mentor, Englishman rancher John Tunstall.  
1885   The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is published in New York.  
1907   600,000 tons of grain are sent to Russia to relieve the famine there.  
1920   Vuillemin and Chalus complete their first flight over the Sahara Desert.  
1932   Manchurian independence is formally declared.  
1935   Rome reports sending troops to Italian Somalia.  
1939   The Golden Gate Exposition opens in San Francisco.  
1943   German General Erwin Rommel takes three towns in Tunisia, North Africa.  
1944   The U.S. Army and Marines invade Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.  
1945   U.S. Marines storm ashore at Iwo Jima.  
1954   East and West Berlin drop thousands of propaganda leaflets on each other after the end of a month long truce.  
1962   Robert F. Kennedy says that U.S. troops will stay in Vietnam until Communism is defeated.  
1964   The United States cuts military aid to five nations in reprisal for having trade relations with Cuba.  
1967   The National Art Gallery in Washington agrees to buy a Da Vinci for a record $5 million.
1968   Three U.S. pilots that were held by the Vietnamese arrive in Washington.  
1972   The California Supreme Court voids the death penalty.  
1974   Randolph Hearst is to give $2 million in free food for the poor in order to open talks for his daughter Patty.  
1982   Mexico devalues the peso by 30 percent to fight an economic slide.

Fifty Shades of Capitalism: Pain and Bondage in the American Workplace

The symbol of capitalism was lately a vampire. 
Enter the CEO with nipple clamps.
If the ghost of Ayn Rand were to suddenly manifest in your local bookstore, the Dominatrix of Capitalism would certainly get a thrill thumbing through the pages of E.L. James’ blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey. Rand, whose own novels bristle with sadomasochist sexy-time and praise for the male hero’s pursuit of domination, would instantly approve of Christian Grey, the handsome young billionaire CEO who bends the universe to his will.
Ingénue Anastasia Steele stumbles into his world -- literally -- when she trips into his sleek Seattle office for an interview for the college paper. When she calls him a “control freak,” the god-like tycoon purrs as if he has received a compliment.
“’Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele,’ he says without a trace of humor in his smile. ‘I employ over forty thousand people…That gives me a certain responsibility – power, if you will.’”
She will. Quivering with trepidation, Anastasia decides to become Christian’s submissive sex partner. Reeled in by his fantastic wealth, panty-sopping charm, and less-than-convincing promise that the exchange will be to her ultimate benefit, she surrenders herself to his arbitrary rules on what to eat, what to wear, and above all, how to please him sexually. Which frequently involves getting handcuffed and spanked. “Discipline,” as Christian likes to say.
Quoting industrial tycoon Andrew Carnegie, Christian justifies his proclivities like an acolyte of Randian Superman ideology: “A man who acquires the ability to take possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.” (Rand’s worship of the Superman obliged to nothing but his intellect is well-known and imbued with dark passions; she once expressed her admiration for a child murderer’s credo, "What is good for me is right," as "the best and strongest expression of a real man's psychology I have heard” in a 1928 diary.)
Christian Grey, our kinky CEO, started his literary life as a vampire when Erika Leonard, the woman behind the pseudonym “E.L. James,” published the first version of her novel episodically on a Twilight fan site, basing the story on the relationship between Stephenie Meyers’ love couple Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. The tale was later reworked and released in its current form. Gone was Edward the vampire, replaced by Christian the corporate slave-master.
Drunk on the intoxicants of wealth and power, Fifty Shades of Grey hints at a sinister cultural shift that is unfolding in its pages before our eyes. The innocent Anastasias will no longer merely have their lifeblood slowly drained by capitalist predators. They’re going to be whipped, humiliated and forced to wear a butt-plug. The vampire in the night has given way to the dominating overlord of a hierarchical, sadomasochistic world in which everybody without money is a helpless submissive.
Welcome to late-stage capitalism.
Invisible Handcuffs
This has been coming for some time. Ever since the raygun junta, from the factory to the office tower, the American workplace has been morphing for many into a tightly-managed torture chamber of exploitation and domination. Bosses strut about making stupid commands. Employees trapped by ridiculous bureaucratic procedures censor themselves for fear of getting a pink slip. Inefficiencies are everywhere. Bad management and draconian policies prop up the system of command and control where the boss is God and the workers are so many expendable units in the great capitalist machine. The iron handmaidens of high unemployment and economic inequality keep the show going.
How did this happen? Economists known as “free-market fundamentalists” who claim Adam Smith as their forefather like to paint a picture of the economy as a voluntary system magically guided by an “invisible hand” toward outcomes that are good for most people. They tell us that our economy is a system of equal exchanges between workers and employers in which everybody who does her part is respected and comes out ahead.
Something has obviously gone horribly wrong with the contract. Thieving CEOs get mega-yachts while hard-working Americans get stagnant wages, crappy healthcare, climate change, and unrelenting insecurity. Human potential is wasted, initiative punished and creativity starved.
Much of the evil stems from the fact that free-market economists who still dominate the Ivy League and the policy circles have focused on markets at the expense of those inconvenient encumbrances known as "people." Their fancy mathematical models make calculations about buying and selling, but they tend to leave out one important thing: production. In other words, they don't give a hoot about the labor of those who sustain the economy. Their perverted religion may have something to say about unemployment or wages – keeping the former high and the latter low -- but the conditions workers face receive nary a footnote.
Michael Perelman, one of a small group of heretical economists that questions this anti-human regime, draws attention to the neglect, abuse and domination of workers in his aptly named book, The Invisible Handcuffs: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers. He reveals that instead of a system of fair exchanges, we have “one in which the interests of employees and employers are sharply at odds.” This creates conditions of festering conflict and employers who have to take ever-stronger measures to exert control. Hostility among workers thrives, which results in more punishment. Respect, the free flow of information, inclusive decision-making – all the things that would make for a productive work environment -- fly out the window. The word of the manager is the law, and endless time and energy is expended rationalizing its essential goodness.
Americans are supposed to be people who love freedom above everything else. But where is the citizen less free than in the typical workplace? Workers are denied bathroom breaks. They cannot leave to care for a sick child. Downtime and vacations are a joke. Some – just ask who picked your tomatoes – have been reduced to slave-like conditions. In the current climate of more than three years of unemployment over 8 percent, the longest stretch since the Great Depression, the worker has little choice but to submit. And pretend to like it.
A medieval peasant had plenty of things to worry about, but the year-round control of daily life was not one of them.  Perelman points out that in pre-capitalist societies, people toiled relatively few hours over the course of a year compared to what Americans work now. They labored like dogs during the harvest, but there was ample free time during the off-seasons. Holidays were abundant – as many as 200 per year. It was Karl Marx, in his Theory of Alienation, who saw that modern industrial production under capitalist conditions would rob workers of control of their lives as they lost control of their work. Unlike the blacksmith or the shoemaker who owned his shop, decided on his own working conditions, shaped his product, and had a say in how his goods were bartered or sold, the modern worker would have little autonomy. His relationships with the people at work would become impersonal and hollow.
Clearly, the technological wonders of our capitalist system have not released human beings from the burden of work. They have brought us more work. They have not brought most of us more freedom, but less.
Naked domination was not always the law of the land. In the early 1960s, when unions were stronger and the New Deal’s commitment to full employment still meant something, a worker subjected to abuse could bargain with his employer or simply walk. Not so today. The high unemployment sustained by the Federal Reserve’s corporate-focused obsession with “fighting inflation” (code for "keeping down wages") works out well for the sado-capitalist. The unrelenting attack on government blocks large-scale public works programs that might re-balance the scale by putting people back on the job. The assault on collective bargaining robs the worker of any recourse to unfair conditions. Meanwhile, the tsunami of money in politics drowns the democratic system of rule by the people. And the redistribution of wealth toward the top ensures that most of us are scrapping too hard for our daily bread to fight for anything better. The corporate media cheer.
Turning the Tables
In the early '70s, the S&M counterculture scene followed the rise of anti-authoritarian punk rock, providing a form of transgressive release for people enduring too much control in their daily lives. Bondage-influenced images hit the mainstream in 1980 -- the year the union-busting ronny raygun stole the pretendership -- in the form of a workplace comedy, 9 to 5, which became one of the highest grossing comedies of all time. 9 to 5 struck a chord with millions of Americans toiling in dead-end jobs ruled by authoritarian bosses. Audiences howled with joy to see three working women act out their fantasies of revenge on a workplace tyrant by suspending him in chains and shutting his mouth with a ball-gag.
More recently, the 2011 film Horrible Bosses follows the plot of three friends who decide to murder their respective domineering, abusive bosses. The film exceeded financial expectations, raking in over $28 million in the first three days. It went on to become the highest grossing black comedy film of all time.
The fantasy of turning the tables on the boss speaks to the deep-seated outrage that trickle-down policies and the war on workers has wrought. People naturally want to work in a rational, healthy system that offers them dignity and a chance to increase their standard of living and develop their potential. When this doesn’t happen, the social and economic losses are profound. Today’s workers are caught in Perelman’s “invisible handcuffs” – both trapped and blinded by the extent to which capitalism restricts their lives.
The market has become a monster, demanding that we fit its constraints. As long as we ignore this, the strength of the U.S. economy will continue to erode. Freedom and equality, those cornerstones of democracy, will diminish. For now, many working people have unconsciously accepted the conditions that exist as somehow natural, unaware of how the machine is constructed and manipulated to favor elites. Fear and frustration can even make us crave authority. We collaborate in our own oppression.
Just ask Anastasia Steele, whose slave contract spells out her duties with business-like efficiency:
Does the submissive consent to:

-Bondage with rope
-Bondage with leather cuffs
-Bondage with handcuffs/shackles/manacles
-Bondage with tape
-Bondage with other
Yes! She consents. The hypnotic consumption Christian offers in a world replete with fancy dinners and helicopter rides – goodies that will be revoked if she fails to obey -- overturns her natural desire for free will. Once Anastasia has signed on the dotted line, her master rewards her with a telling gift that is often the first “present” an office employee receives: “I need to be able to contact you at all times…I figured you needed a BlackBerry.”
Her first note to him on her new gadget asks a question: “Why do you do this?”
“I do this,” Christian answers, “because I can.”
Until we can link ourselves together to change this oppressive system, the Christian Greys will remain fully in control.

Avoid a Bad Hire

New study shows how a minor change to a job ad can increase the size and quality of an applicant pool Bad hiring decisions cost employers millions of dollars, damage […]

A repugican wet dream ...


Child labor… a young mine worker in West Virginia, 1908
... a return to child labor (circa 1908)

Racism, Ignorance and Hypocrisy: My Confrontation With an Open Carry Agitator

by Allen Clifton
Yesterday I decided I’d engage in a debate with a family member who supports the right for Americans to openly carry their firearms. Normally I wouldn’t do such a thing, but to be honest I had no choice but to be around them for a couple of hours and they were annoying me.
They were going on and on about the “rights of Americans to carry guns!” How it’s “unconstitutional” to deny Americans these rights and anyone who opposes the right to open carry hates freedom.
At first I didn’t say much – their ignorance is so embedded within them that no fact I would present was going to change their mind. But after listening to them blather on and on for a few minutes, they finally decided to ask me what I thought about it as a “fancy politics writer.”
I paused for a moment, looked at them and asked one simple question, “What if you saw various groups of 100 or so African-Americans, Mexicans or Muslims gathered on the side of roads all over Dallas-Fort Worth with loaded AK-47′s, AR-15′s and a whole host of other semi-automatic weapon they could get their hands on, can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t feel threatened or alarmed?”
They stammered for a few seconds into a mumbling, “Uh, um…well, you know. That’s, uh…” followed by, “Well that’s different.”
“How?” I asked.
What followed was some drivel about how open carry activists aren’t racist and the gatherings you see are composed of people of all races and genders. Never really answering my question, I pressed it again.
“If you saw a group of 100 African-Americans standing on a street corner, all openly carrying some form of semi-automatic weapon, would you not feel threatened? What if 1,000 Muslims gathered in “stereotypical Muslim garb” near a government building that you worked in (they don’t work in a government building, it was just a hypothetical situation) would you feel completely safe?”
Still, no real answer. Just more of the same, “Typical liberal, trying to make it about race.” Which is usually what someone says when they’re busted for being racist.
And while it’s true there are other races of people seen at these open carry rallies, the vast majority of those in attendance are your typical white male lunatic fringe wingnut gun nuts.
It’s the same pattern you see with wingnuts on a lot of issues pertaining to “rights.” They love going on and on about “freedoms” and “Constitutional rights,” but what they really mean is that they’re fighting for these rights for only those who they feel should have them.
When they talk about religious rights, they mean christian. When they talk about protecting equal rights, they mean heterosexuals. When they talk about shrinking government, they only mean laws that are preventing them from getting away with what they want to get away with.
So when they talk about “open carry rights” they’re really only talking about those people who they feel safe around. Because I really can’t imagine a group of rural country folk sitting in their local diner feeling at ease with a group of 30 openly armed African-Americans strolling in.
And what about our rights as Americans to feel safe when we’re out in public? I’m sorry, but someone feeling the need to strap an AK-47 to their back to attend a Little League baseball game isn’t someone I think is mentally stable.
What the hell kind of society do these people want to create? One where everyone’s armed, guns strapped to their backs or holstered on their hips, strolling around Pop Warner football games or local restaurants ready for a good ol’ fashion shootout if the situation calls for it?
Yeah, I don’t see any potential problems there. None at all. I’m sure untrained civilians would act perfectly calm and precise if some armed gunman unexpectedly happens upon whatever establishment they happen to be attending.
There’s a reason why the wild west died – society evolved.
Why not just say we should be allowed to carry grenades with us everywhere? Wouldn’t that be an effective way to take out a “bad guy with a gun”?
But don’t tell me for a second that race still doesn’t play a huge part in all of this. I live here. I talk to these people. Those who say racism isn’t an issue are either lying, gullible or don’t talk to anyone – ever.
Living in Texas I constantly see racism. And you can’t tell me for one minute that these racist wingnuts who seem so proud of their desire to openly carry firearms would feel safe with a large group of “stereotypical urban African-Americans” walking into one of their local establishments armed to the teeth with semi-automatic weapons.
It just all goes back to a question I’ve asked before, “What is it about the gun debate that seems to render people incapable of using common sense?”
Because these open carry activists clearly aren’t using it.

Oklahoma repugicans Vote Overwhelmingly To Ban Advanced Placement U.S. History

by Judd Legum
Students protest proposed changes to U.S. history curriculum in Colorado
An Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly voted to ban Advanced Placement U.S. History class, persuaded by the argument that it only teaches students “what is bad about America.” Other lawmakers are seeking a court ruling that would effectively prohibit the teaching of all AP courses in public schools.
Dan Fisher (r) has introduced “emergency” legislation “prohibiting the expenditure of funds on the Advanced Placement United States History course.” Fisher is part of a covev called the “Black Robe Regiment” which argues “the cult and dog himself has been under assault, marginalized, and diminished by the progressives and secularists.” The coven attacks the “false wall of separation of cult and state.” The Black Robe Regiment claims that a “growing tide of special interest groups indoctrinating our youth at the exclusion of the christian perspective.”
Fisher said the Advanced Placement history class fails to teach “American exceptionalism.” The bill passed the Oklahoma House Education committee on Monday on a vote of 11-4. You can read the actual course description for the course here.
For other repugicans, however, Fisher is thinking too small. Sally Kern (r) claims that all “AP courses violate the legislation approved last year that repealed Common Core.” She has asked the Oklahoma Attorney General to issue a ruling. Kern argues that “AP courses are similar to Common Core, in that they could be construed as an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools.”
Advanced Placement courses are actually developed by a private group, the College Board, and are not required of any student or high school. They are the primary way that student can earn college credit in high school. Taking advanced placement course can save students money and are generally seen as a prerequisite to admission to elite colleges. A representative from the College Board called the claims by Fisher and others “mythology and not true.”
In August last year, the repugican national cabal blasted the Advanced Placement U.S. History test, claiming it “deliberately distorts and/or edits out important historical events.” The rnc said a new framework for the exam “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.” The College Board countered that the framework had not been changed since 2012.
Efforts by conservative school board members in Colorado to make the Advanced Placement U.S. History course “more patriotic,” prompted a walk-out by students. Under the changes proposed in Colorado “students would only be taught lessons depicting American heritage in a positive light, and effectively ban any material that could lead to dissent.” In South Carolina wingnuts asked the College Board to exclude any material with an “ideological bias,” including evolution. Similar efforts are underway in Georgia and North Carolina.

Idiot repugican Doesn’t Want To Fund Schools Because Blacks Get “Welfare Crazy Checks”

by Steve Benen
Mississippi’s public education system has struggled of late with reforms pushed by governor Phil Bryant (r), and at the end of the school year, more than 28% of the state’s third graders will likely have to repeat the grade. Some school districts are scrambling to hire more educators in the hopes of giving the kids a boost, but by all accounts, it’s an uphill battle.
It’s against this backdrop that one repugican offered a unique take on investments in education.
Gene Alday, R-Walls, listens to a collegue during a hearing  in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 2, 2012. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP)A Mississippi state lawmaker is now admitting he opposed putting more money into elementary schools because he came from a town where “all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work.”
In an interview with The Clarion-Ledger, repugican Gene Alday says he doesn’t see the value in increasing funding to improve elementary school reading scores. Alday implied that increasing education funding for children in black families would be an exercise in futility.
According to the Clarion-Ledger piece, Alday, a former mayor of a small Mississippi town and a former police chief, added, “I don’t see any schools hurting.”
As for his views on race, Alday went on to share an anecdote about his trip to a local emergency room. The local newspaper quoted him saying, “I liked to died. I laid in there for hours because they (blacks) were in there being treated for gunshots.”
This appears to have caused a bit of a stir in the Magnolia State.
The Clarion-Ledger’s Sam R. Hall published an opinion piece this morning arguing that Alday should either retire or be thrown out of office by his constituents. The lawmaker’s comments “simply aren’t acceptable by any standard, but they are especially worrisome coming from an elected official,” Hall wrote.
As for Alday himself, the repugican has come up with a defense.
“It was late at night and he called me,” Alday said of his earlier interview with Clarion-Ledger investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell. “He asked me a question back to when I was in law enforcement … I have a way of talking and saying, ‘take this off the record.’”
Instead, Alday said, Mitchell used his casual, off-the-cuff comments as an official statement without providing the full context of his feelings on the matter.
Mitchell said he contacted Alday about education funding last week and that the legislator steered the discussion toward race. The comments appeared as they were given and within the context of the discussion, Mitchell said.
I’m trying to think of a forgiving context for “all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work.” Nothing comes to mind.

The repugicans seek to use voter suppression tactics to keep people hungry

The repugicans have come up with another exciting new way to make it difficult for people to use food stamps. Matt Salmon of Arizona and David Vitter of Louisiana are pushing similar bills that would require people to produce photo identification to get their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
The ID requirement is supposedly going to combat fraud-all 1.3 percent of it. But while there's not much fraud to combat, making people show ID could have a huge effect on those who should be getting the food aid. For one thing, take every story you've ever heard or witnessed in which someone gets all judgey in a grocery line when they see the person in front of them paying for food with an Electronic Benefit Transfer card and multiply that by the extra time it takes for an ID check. In fact, given how rarely grocery stores ask people paying by credit card to show identification, a person in line showing ID would pretty much have a flashing arrow over their head saying "government assistance." So count this as yet another effort to stigmatize aid recipients.
Additionally, while the Salmon and Vitter proposals involve separate identification, a USDA objection to states putting photos on EBT cards themselves highlights another problem: SNAP benefits typically go not to individuals but to households. What if people in the household have different last names and a photo ID of someone legitimately in the household and entitled to use the benefits is refused or even taken as a sign of attempted fraud?
Even more seriously, lots of people don't have government-issued photo identification, and as we've seen with voter ID laws, that's particularly true in vulnerable groups: low-income people, women, Latinos, and young adults and elderly people are all substantially less likely to have photo identification. So to get food stamps, you'd have to have something that people who need food stamps are less likely to have. The repugican logic, repugican morality.

Daughters of Jihad

The German Women of Islamic State
by Jörg Diehl, Hubert Gude, Barbara Schmid and Fidelius Schmid
Daughters of Jihad: The German Women of Islamic State
Much is known about men leaving Germany to take up arms on behalf of Islamic State. Less has been reported about the flocks of women traveling to Syria to join the jihad. Experts view them as a growing terrorist threat.  More

Access to Guns Reportedly Leading Cause of Death Among Children and Teens

Across the US, children are being shot to death - in their homes, in their cribs, in playgrounds, and in supermarkets - essentially anywhere they have unsafe access to guns. And 48 children are now being wounded or killed in the US per day, a gun control group has said.Recently released Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data indicates that child deaths in preventable gun accidents are on the increase, and that gun-related deaths are now the second most common cause of child and teen deaths, with only cars killing more kids than guns in 2013. Typically, the guns involved in these incidents belong to a relative or parent, according to The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which campaigns to prevent gun violence, and released an analysis of the CDC statistics this week.
"Millions of Americans have a gun in their homes thinking that it makes their family safer, but every day in our nation, dozens of these families learn just how dangerous and tragic that miscalculation can be," Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center, said in a statement. "The bottom line is, having a gun in the home dramatically increases the danger that a child will be shot and killed."
Rebecca Adeskavitz, a researcher at the Brady Center who conducted the analysis, told VICE News that despite a lag in the data, the numbers are grim.
"One of the other things that people have been focusing on this year is that 2015 is that firearm fatalities are predicted to surpass motor vehicle deaths," she said. "Because of the data is about two years behind, we won't know that for a while, but even from the 2013 data, and currently in some states there are already more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths."

Random Celebrity Photos


Marilyn Monroe in Banff, Canada for the filming of River of No Return, 1953. Photo by John Vachon.
Marilyn Monroe

Dead mother lost custody fight to ex-husband

An English mother has a lost a battle from beyond the grave to stop her two children from living with her ex-husband in Australia. The woman wrote in her will that "under no circumstances" should her daughter, eight, and son, seven, return to their Australian father. But a judge ruled in favor of the woman's ex-husband at a hearing in the Family Division of London's High Court. The dispute with her ex-husband began after she died in 2014. Mr Justice Wood was told the couple had married a decade ago and lived in Darwin, Australia. The woman, who had cancer, traveled to England two years ago with their children. Her husband agreed to the trip on the basis that she was going for medical treatment and that it was a holiday for the children. But, without his knowledge, she had taken legal advice and decided that she wanted stay in England with the children.
Mr Justice Wood said in her will she "made it clear" that she wanted her son and daughter to "have little or nothing to do with their father". She had written that it would be "extremely detrimental to their lives" if they returned to their father, and said she wanted a friend or a relative in England to bring them up. The father said they should return to him under the terms of the international Hague Convention.
He said they had been born and had grown up in Australia and it was their habitual residence, and he had never consented to them moving to England to live. The judge agreed and said the man had been misled by his ex-wife and the children had been wrongfully retained by her. Neither child objected to returning to their father in Australia, he added. "The children left Australia in July 2013 for a holiday," the judge said. "They did not say goodbye to their friends, school or neighbors. They left many favored objects behind them, fully intending to return."

Three-year-old boy escaped with just scratches after falling from third floor of building onto car

A three-year-old boy was relatively unscathed after falling from a building's third floor and hitting a parked car in Kunming City, southwest China's Yunnan Province on Thursday.
The boy first fell onto the car and then hit the ground. He then stood up and started walking. Liang, owner of the car and living on the second floor, heard a noise and looked out from the window.
He then checked surveillance video footage and saw the boy living on the third floor fall and hit his car. He went up to the boy's home and checked on him.

The boy's grandparents who were at home said they were busy with household work and did not see the boy fall. After the parents arrived home later that day, they took the boy to hospital, finding only a few scratches and no serious injury.

Mother surprised to find $800 worth of marijuana in Angry Birds toy

A police investigation is underway after a mother from Ontario, Canada, claimed she found drugs inside the box of a toy she purchased for her son at a Target store.

Men who disguised themselves with camouflage pattern underpants arrested for robbery

Two men who wore camouflage pattern boxer-briefs over their faces during a robbery in southern Oregon have been apprehended on the Oregon Coast, state police said.
An Oregon State Police trooper received an anonymous tip that one of two suspects involved in the September 19, 2014, robbery of an AM/PM Mini-Mart in Eagle Point were in the Florence area.
The trooper identified the suspect as Gage Miller, 21, of Florence. Miller was in custody on unrelated charges in the Florence Police Department Jail. Police interviewed Miller and developed information that led them to a second suspect, Timothy D. Raybould, 22, of Florence.
Troopers arrested Raybould and Miller and took them to the Jackson County Jail pending charges for Robbery in the first degree and Robbery in the second degree. Police said the hoods worn by the robbers during the crime were actually camouflage pattern boxer-brief style underwear.

Woman tried to kill men in dispute over beer

A Florida woman is accused of trying to kill two men over beer. Police said Mitzi Martinez, 50, and the victims were drinking at her home in Palm Bay, Brevard County, on Thursday.
Barry Allen and David Smith were handed money by Martinez and instructed to buy more beer, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police said Martinez got into an argument with one of the men, and Allen and Smith left taking the beer with them to a tent they were living in. Five hours later, police said Smith and Allen woke up to find their tent on fire.
Martinez admitted to lighting a piece of material on fire inside a coke bottle and rolled it to their tent. She told police she knew the victim's were living in it. Martinez is charged with attempted murder.

Man posed as fictitious blind twin brother in attempt to avoid traffic tickets

Olawale Agoro told court officials in New Jersey they had the wrong man. His name was “Tony,” and it was his twin brother who had racked up several traffic tickets. He used that excuse repeatedly - with a municipal court judge and several court clerks - until police discovered that “Tony” didn’t exist. “This is just another example of the extremes people will go to escape justice,” Rochelle Park Police Chief Robert Flannelly said on Friday. The chief said the court has seen family members of those with summonses coming in on their relative’s behalf to try to get new court dates. “This guy was actually coming in on his own” to have his court date postponed, Flannelly said.
Agoro, of Hackensack, now faces charges of hindering apprehension, false swearing and resisting arrest. The alleged rouse started on July 31, when Maywood Police Officer Matthew Parodi pulled over the 58-year-old Agoro and issued him five motor vehicle summonses, Maywood Police Chief David Pegg said. When he appeared in Maywood Municipal Court on Sept. 19, he identified himself as “Tony,” and said that he was legally blind, Pegg said. But Parodi was in the courtroom. “He knew that that was the same individual that he stopped,” said Pegg, who added that the officer also observed Agoro walking around and passing papers back and forth with courtroom officials without difficulty. After court, Parodi was told that Agoro was asking strangers in the parking lot to drive his car around the corner.
Parodi then saw a good Samaritan drive Agoro and his car around the block and Agoro then take over as driver, Pegg said. Parodi pulled Agoro over again, issuing three more traffic tickets, Pegg said. The car also was impounded that afternoon. Agoro admitted that he was not blind so he could retrieve his vehicle, but Maywood police have asked the Motor Vehicle Commission to evaluate Agoro’s claim, Pegg said. At first, Agoro went to Rochelle Park Municipal Court and requested a later court date, which he missed. He then went to the court clerks on two later occasions, again pretending he was “Tony” and begging the clerks to grant adjournments for his twin brother, Flannelly said. “Tony” claimed that Agoro was in Nigeria mourning the death of their father.
The clerks granted the two adjournments. But after Agoro missed a court date again on Wednesday, the township’s municipal court judge issued warrants for his arrest, Flannelly said. Agoro appeared in court the next day, but once again claimed he was “Tony.” That’s when the clerks called township police, Flannelly said. Detective James DePreta and Officer Ken Stapleton questioned Agoro about “Tony.” But the Hackensack man was unable to produce identification. Police then matched a birth mark under his lip on his driver’s licence photo of Agoro to the man who was claiming to be “Tony,” and a fingerprint scan proved that “Tony” did not exist. The officers arrested Agoro, who at first resisted, Flannelly said. He was sent to Bergen County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, with no option to pay 10 percent of that to secure his release.

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