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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Daily Drift

Now, THAT is a wet Dream ...!
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Today in History

216 BC Hannibal Barca wins his greatest victory over the Romans at Cannae. After avidly studying the tactics of Hannibal, Scipio Africanus eventually bested his Carthaginian adversary.
47 BC Caesar defeats Pharnaces at Zela in Syria and declares, "veni, vidi, vici," (I came, I saw, I conquered).
1552 The treaty of Passau gives religious freedom to Protestants living in Germany.
1553 An invading French army is destroyed at the Battle of Marciano in Italy by an imperial army.
1589 During France’s religious war, a fanatical monk stabs King Henry II to death.
1776 The Continental Congress, having decided unanimously to make the Declaration of Independence, affixes the signatures of the other delegates to the document.
1790 The first US census begins enumerating the population.
1802 Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed "Consul for Life" by the French Senate after a plebiscite from the French people.
1819 The first parachute jump from a balloon is made by Charles Guille in New York City.
1832 Troops under General Henry Atkinson massacre Sauk Indian men, women and children who are followers of Black Hawk at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin. Black Hawk himself finally surrenders three weeks later, bringing the Black Hawk War to an end.
1847 William A. Leidesdorff launches the first steam boat in San Francisco Bay.
1862 Union General John Pope captures Orange Court House, Virginia.
1862 The Army Ambulance Corps is established by Maj. Gen. George McClellan.
1876 Wild Bill Hickok is shot while playing poker.
1914 Germany invades Luxembourg.
1918 A British force lands in Archangel, Russia, to support White Russian opposition to the Bolsheviks.
1923 Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes president upon the death of Warren G. Harding.
1934 German President Paul von Hindenburg dies and Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor.
1943 Lt. John F. Kennedy, towing an injured sailor, swims to a small island in the Solomon Islands. The night before, his boat, PT-109, had been split in half by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri.
1950 The U.S. First Provisional Marine Brigade arrives in Korea from the United States.
1964 U.S. destroyer Maddoxis reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats.
1965 Newsman Morley Safer films the destruction of a Vietnamese village by U.S. Marines.
1990 Iraqi forces invade neighboring Kuwait.
1997 Author William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), considered the godfather of the "Beat Generation" in American literature, dies at age 83.

Millennials Love Life, But They're Broke and Living at Home

New research by the Pew Center indicates that things aren't getting any better for the most talked-about generation.
by Stephen Marche

A little more than three years ago, I argued that the war against youth was not an economic accident but the conscious result of American policy over the course of 50 years — policy that included divestment from university education, the creation of massive entitlements for senior citizens, and a permissiveness towards the exploitation of the young by corporations. If you follow the money rather than the blather, it's clear that the American system is a bipartisan fusion of economic models broken down along generational lines: unaffordable Greek-style socialism for the old, virulently purified capitalism for the young. Both political parties have agreed to this arrangement: The Boomers and older will be taken care of. Everybody younger will be on their own. The German philosopher Hermann Lotze wrote in the 1870s: "One of the most remarkable characteristics of human nature is, alongside so much selfishness in specific instances, the freedom from envy which the present displays toward the future." It is exactly that envy toward the future that is new in our own time. These policy decisions eventually have wide-reaching consequences. But I wrote that in the heart of a recession, when it was possible to argue that the problem with the growing gap between poor youth and rich old was simply timing: The young entered the marketplace at the worst possible moment and thus were hapless victims of the cycles of the economy—it sucked, but nobody was to blame. Unfortunately, new research from St. Louis Fed's Center for Household Financial Stability and the Pew Research Center extinguishes that last glimmer of counter-argument.
From the Pew Center report:
In terms of sheer numbers, there are more young adults today than there were when the recession hit – the 18- to 34-year-old population has grown by nearly 3 million since 2007. But the number heading their own households has not increased. In the first third of 2015 about 42.2 million 18- to 34-year-olds lived independently of their families. In 2007, before the recession began, about 42.7 million adults in that age group lived independently.
The St. Louis Fed Paper explains exactly why millennials, despite improving job prospects and a slight increase in real wages, are not moving out of their homes. They are still broke. Young people, for obvious reasons, have always been poorer than older people. But after rooting out idiosyncratic variations and compensating for other variables, the St. Louis researchers came to the following, bleak conclusion:
Beginning with the 1950 cohort (i.e., families headed by someone born between 1948 and 1952), successive cohorts through 1970 (born between 1968 and 1972) had statistically significantly lower incomes than those of the 1940 cohort. Moreover, the estimated magnitudes are economically significant: between 13 and 25 percent lower than the 1940 cohort. Finally, all five-year cohorts that began in 1975 or later had estimated income shortfalls of 12 to 18 percent.
Those shortened incomes mean that the wealth gap is only set to increase. Cohorts with lower incomes obviously cannot save as much and therefore cannot accumulate as much capital over the course of their lives. Which means that the problem is accelerating quite outside the minor turbulence of the rise and fall of recession and growth.
The new research shows that the problem of the growing gap between the young and the old is not the economy but policy.  The Federal Government spends 2.4 dollars on every citizen over 65 for every dollar spent on a child. That makes a difference. Unfortunately, that difference is only set to grow.  

Anti-Choice cabal calls Sarah Silverman a Nazi because she mocks their Planned Parenthood 'sting'

Sarah Silverman (Screen capture)
An organization dedicated to producing anti-Planned Parenthood propaganda has accused Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman of being a Nazi sympathizer because Silverman supports the women’s healthcare provider.

Starvation For Generations

nematodes_smallStarvation Effects Handed Down for Generations

Starvation early in life can alter an organism for generations to come, according to a new study in roundworms. The effects are what Duke University biologist Ryan Baugh terms a […]

Compulsive Drinking Gene

Carrying a gene variant that affects the release of a specific brain protein may put one at greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, according to the results of […]

Archaeology News

Four lost leaders of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas have been identified, thanks to chemical analysis of their skeletons.
The volunteer archaeologist's find is being hailed as a major discovery.

Bison Bone Mystery

by Eric A. Powell 
Trenches Buffalo Bone Structure
Bison bone structure, Alberta, Canada 

 In southern Alberta, University of Lethbridge archaeologist Shawn Bubel and her team were excavating a bison kill site dating to 500 B.C. when they encountered something bizarre. Beneath the remains of at least 68 butchered bison, prehistoric hunters had pressed collections of bison bones deep into the earth. “I had my students dig below the bone bed, not expecting to find anything,” says Bubel. “Then we started to see bones shoved down into clay.” Eventually the team unearthed eight of these enigmatic bone structures, which dated to the same time as the bone bed above them. Bubel says that while prehistoric Native Americans were known to use upright bison bones as anvils or to tie down tepees, none of these bones bore the telltale marks of those activities. “It’s a cliché for archaeologists to call things ceremonial when they don’t understand them, but I think in this case that’s really what we have,” says Bubel.

Quick Hits

Accused Russian spy loses bid to have U.S. charges dismissed
Turkish deputy prime minister shouts at lawmaker: 'You as a woman, be quiet!'
Hillary Clinton to call for lifting Cuban embargo
Santa Fe Republican cabal ousts Latino treasurer over Donald Trump piñata
Boehner brushes off call for his ouster
Cops must stop lying to protect other cops, says attorney for Sam Dubose's family
Ex-State Department counter-terrorism official pleads guilty to voyeurism
Omaha party DJ arrested for barging into club restroom to attack trans woman

Pinochet-era Crime Comes Back To Haunt Chile

Not content with robbing bank 'brazen bandit' also helped himself to a complimentary lollipop

A Florida man dubbed as a "brazen bandit" by deputies is accused of robbing a bank, and before walking out, taking one of the bank's complimentary lollipops with him.
Deputies said Jonathan Boston, 30, robbed two banks, one on Saturday and one Monday. Security cameras spotted Boston parking his truck outside the bank to make a quick getaway.
His first robbery was at the TD Bank in West Palm Beach. He passed a note demanding cash, took his bounty - and a lollipop - then left, according to deputies. Less than 48 hours later, he robbed the TD Bank in suburban West Palm Beach.
He parked in front of the bank, passed a note to the teller and demanded money, deputies said. But deputies said he didn't get very far. They were able to track him down shortly after the robbery in his truck. All of the cash was recovered. He is charged with bank robbery and is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail.

Policemen given bravery award for initiating 70mph head-on crash to stop dementia sufferer

Two police officers, who risked a head-on collision to prevent an elderly dementia sufferer from crashing into oncoming cars as he drove the wrong way on the motorway, have been honored. PCs Craig Graves and Steven Hudson have received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for bravery after safely stopping the man’s Honda Jazz as it traveled at 70mph towards them in August 2014, ensuring both the 77-year-old and other road users remained uninjured.
The elderly man had been reported missing and police had received numerous calls after his car was spotted traveling southwards on the northbound carriageway of the M6 Toll, near Sutton Coldfield. Traffic officers PCs Graves and Hudson were asked to put on a rolling road block to slow down vehicles coming towards the Honda and create space for motorway police to catch up with the car. However, the Honda outran the officers and continued to travel at speed towards the road block.
Dashcam footage shows how the pair, on spotting the Honda approaching, positioned their car to prevent it reaching the cars behind them, forcing the Honda into the central reservation. PC Hudson suffered with bruising and whiplash for more than a week after the collision. Chief Constable Chris Sims presented PCs Graves and Hudson with their commendations at an awards ceremony. They were nominated by their sergeant, Paul Talbot, for their “outstanding display of serving the public and protecting them from harm”.

On receiving his award, PC Graves said: “I thought the driver of the Honda would see our lights and slow to a stop, but he didn’t and just kept coming towards us. I turned slightly to the left in order to make contact while lessening the sudden impact, forcing the vehicle into the central reservation. Fortunately this worked but contrary to what I said on the in-car video, there was considerable damage to our vehicle. The vehicle directly behind us, which would have been in the path of the Honda, contained a dad and his three young children, so it was very fortunate the end result was successful and nobody was seriously injured. I believe we were just doing our job.”

Man faces charges after low-speed mobility scooter chase

A man riding a motorized wheelchair was apprehended following a low-speed police chase in Elyria, Ohio, on Monday.
Complaints had trickled in over the last few days after a man was spotted riding his mobility scooter on roads and into traffic, even keying vehicles as he went by.
On Monday, Elyria police attempted to take action and pull the man over, but the man, later identified as 31-year-old Graham L. Ley, evaded the officers by cutting across four lanes of traffic. A low-speed chase ensued as Ley rode onto a sidewalk, refusing to pull over.

A second patrol car was deployed, stopping Ley and his scooter. After a short struggle, officers placed Ley under arrest and took him to the Lorain County Jail where he's being charged with resisting arrest, obstructing official business, disorderly conduct, criminal damage, and failure to comply. His chair was later picked up by LifeCare Ambulance.

Man arrested after stand-off involving banjo

A man from Vancouver, Washington, was taken into police custody after a stand-off that involved the suspect serenading officers with a banjo.

Police seek man who made off with $140,000 accidentally left behind by ATM employee

Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who took a bag containing $141,000 accidentally left behind by an employee of an ATM company. Surveillance video shows the costly mistake made by the employees of ATMForUs.com in Mahwah. It shows a worker leaving his office on his way to replenish ATMs.
He was carrying the large sum of cash in a small, unmarked bag, police said. The video shows him setting down the satchel, walking around to the back of the car and then getting in and taking off without the bag, which was filled with $10 and $20 bills. “At some point, the person who was supposed to have the bag realized that it wasn’t in the car with him
"But at that point, he was seven miles away so he called back to the office to see if it was still at the kerbside where he had left it,” said Mahwah police Officer William Hunt. The video then shows the passenger of a white GMC Savana work van picking up the bag full of money up and driving away. Surveillance video shows that the van was picking up discarded tires from another nearby business just minutes before, police said.

“It was really just a stroke of luck, or misfortune, for them that this van happened to be driving by shortly after the money was left at the curb,” Hunt said. Police say once the worker who left the money behind returned back to the building and realized what had happened, they needed to call an ambulance for him. Police are hoping whoever took the bag will return it. “Anytime you find property that’s discarded on the side of the road, it’s not just fair game for you to pick it up and say, ‘Well, you left it, I found it,'” Hunt said.

Laughing fire extinguisher driver jailed

Footage has been released of a man driving a car after his passenger deliberately set off a fire extinguisher, filling the vehicle with vapor.
Charlie Jones, 21, of Peacehaven, East Sussex, was jailed for dangerous driving after a video he uploaded onto Facebook was reported to Sussex Police.
The video, which Jones entitled "classic nearly died twice", was recorded in August 2014. In the footage, he is heard to shout: "I can't see, I can't see."

Appearing at Lewes Crown Court, Jones was jailed for 10 weeks for dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. He will be required to sit an extended driving test before being allowed to return behind the wheel.

English drug dealer refused to appear in Welsh court because he can't understand the accent

A drug dealer from the West Midlands has refused to appear in court in Wales because he can’t understand what anyone says.
Dwaine Campbell, 25, was arrested in Aberystwyth delivering 51 wraps of heroin. Campbell, from Wolverhampton, was kept in custody in Wales for seven days before being transferred to a prison near his home.
His barrister, Janet Gedrych, said he complained that he couldn’t understand what anyone in Aberystwyth said and they struggled to understand his accent. “He is worried that if he is sentenced here he will end up in a jail in Wales and have the same difficulties,” she said.
Campbell has admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply. He was due to be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court but refused to leave his prison cell. Judge Heywood said he would sentence Campbell via a video link “so he can stay in the West Midlands.” Campbell will now be sentenced next month.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Police Brutality Is A Problem For Everyone

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Police Brutality Is A Problem For Everyone
The argument over police brutality sometimes misses the proverbial forest for the proverbial trees.

Bad Cops

Police officer aiming gun at car (Shutterstock)
Emmanuel Stephens and his wife, Jasmine Whitley, had just picked up their 7-year-old daughter from school when Officer Alexander Keller began following them.
Video shows Officer Ryan Hall slamming 69-year-old Dhoruba Bin-Wahad to the ground (screen grab)

Off-duty NJ trooper opens fire on teens who mistakenly knocked on his door

An off-duty New Jersey state trooper is accused of opening fire on three teenagers who mistakenly knocked on his door and then ran away.

Why aren’t we as universally outraged over Sandra Bland’s death as we are over Cecil the lion?

Sandra Bland (Facebook)
It is a credit to humanity that we can be unified in outrage at the death of an innocent creature like Cecil the lion, the 13-year-old protected Zimbabwean lion who was illegally poached by wealthy midwestern dentist Walter Palmer last week.

Walter Palmer — the dentist who killed Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion — faces calls for prosecution

Dentist Walter Palmer (AJ+)
There are mounting calls for the prosecution of an American dentist who shot dead one of Africa’s most famous lions, as two other men involved in the hunt prepare to appear in court in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Lion-killing dentist Walter Palmer also preyed on women

Cecil the lion (Screenshot/YouTube)
Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist who sparked an angry firestorm by killing Cecil, a famous and protected lion on a big game hunt in Zimbabwe, settled a sexual harassment claim against him in 2009 for $127,500.

Switzerland Apologizes To France After Taking Water For Thirsty Cows

Stoat took on three rooks to protect young kits

A stoat has been caught on camera taking on three rooks in a fight at a wildlife center near Plymouth, Devon. The tiny mammal was seen repeatedly fighting off the huge, bemused birds at Wembury Marine Center.
It bravely confronted them time and again, even leaping from the ground at points in a bid to get to the much larger animals. Although it looks like the stoat is attacking the birds experts say it most probably displaying defensive behavior. A spokesman for Devon Wildlife Trust said: "Stoats on the south Devon coast will prey on small mammals mostly, rabbits and smaller rodent species.
"Although they do also sometimes prey on birds it's unlikely a stoat would go for a rook, never mind three of them. Stoats tend to use areas of thick vegetation as cover for hunting too, rather than the open area of this road. So it looks like this is defensive behavior. Those areas covered in thick vegetation are ideal habitat for small mammals and probably contain this stoat's den.

"As it takes up to 10 months following mating in early summer for stoat kits to be born, then up to 12 weeks when the young are fed by their mother, the timing of this video is the sort of time the young stoats will be ready to go out hunting with the adults for the first time. This stoat is probably trying to chase the rooks away from the area where its young are about to emerge from their den."

Campers forced to flee up trees to escape from rampaging bull at RV park

A bull "acting aggressively" caused campers to climb up trees to seek safety as it rampaged through a caravan park in Australia's Northern Territory before being shot by police.
Police said the long-horned bull charged through the McArthur River campground in Borroloola, about 720 kilometers from Darwin, at around 6:00pm on Monday. "It was a bit of a danger to people at the caravan park," Duty Superintendent Brendan Muldoon said.
"I know there were 50 people at the park at this time, quite a few obviously saw it and called police to assist. Some people had to escape from the bull and hide up trees." Colin Coutts, the manager at the park, said when he learned of a commotion in the campground he went to investigate. "I jumped in the ute and went to try and hunt him out," he said. "He's gone over near a caravan and I've pulled up and got out.
"I went to shoo him and he turned around and had a go at me and put me up on the back of the ute." Mr Coutts said police were called and were trying to coax the bull back to where it came from when things turned for the worse. "It turned around and tried to attack the police car so they shot him," he said. Superintendent Muldoon said the animal was a "local bull" and owned by someone in the community.
There's an audio interview with Colin Coutts here.

Orphaned pine marten entered house through cat flap helped himself to food and had a nap

An orphaned pine marten is being cared for after taking refuge through a cat flap, helping himself to food and settling down for a nap.
Anne Paterson, from Gartness in Stirling, Scotland, watched as the surprise visitor sneaked in from the garden and made himself at home. The little pine marten, who has been named Edan, is being cared for at the Scottish SPCA rescue center in Fishcross.
Ms Paterson said: "I had spotted the pine marten in the garden a few times but I didn't think anything of it. "Then one day my daughter and I watched him go into the house through the cat flap.

"Our cats weren't around at the time and he started munching away on their food before curling up in one of their beds. I'm glad to hear Edan is doing well after being rescued." It is hoped Edan can be set free in the next four to six weeks.

Man accused of trying to use rattlesnake as deadly weapon

An Arizona man allegedly tried to kill another man with a rattlesnake, but the snake would not bite. Nathaniel Buck Harrison, 38, of Oracle, entered a person's home on July 23 and accused a man of being a "rat" and for sending his friend to prison, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. He then allegedly hit the 53-year-old victim over the head with a board, breaking it in two pieces, and said he was going to kill him.
Sheriff's officials said that Harrison handled the snake with his bare hands trying to push the snake towards the man. When the snake wouldn't bite, PCSO says, Harrison forced the victim to the ground and then used a handgun to fire a bullet into a speaker box close to the victim's foot. By this time, 911 had been called and deputies were on their way. The sirens spooked Harrison who allegedly hid the handgun within a couch located in the kitchen, said PCSO.
Harrison refused to come out of the home at first, but was eventually taken into custody. He was booked into jail under suspicion of endangerment, aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct with a weapon, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony offense, unlawful discharge of a firearm and threatening and intimidating. PCSO says Harrison has an "extensive criminal history" and is being held on $50,000 bond.

Neighbors say Harrison had been in and out of the mobile home park often. Manager Suzie Riddell said that several months ago he tried to throw a hornet's nest inside another resident's home. Riddell said she believes Harrison has mental problems. "I hope they get him help this time," she said. "Just throwing him in jail isn't going to help." "This is the first case I have heard where a victim attempted to use a venomous snake to kill or injure his victim," said Sheriff Paul Babeu. The snake was caught by deputies and released into the wild.

Lions Aren’t The Only Big Cats Disappearing From The World

The inspiration of William Blake's famous poem is in more danger than ever of dying out.

Animal Pictures