Saturday, June 20, 2009

Orwell would have shook his head and said: I told you so!

U.S. military teaches 'protesters' are 'low-level terrorists'
Become 'dangerous citizen' by 'repeating the very phrases Founding Fathers used'


By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Just weeks after a scandal erupted over a Department of Homeland Security report that described as "right-wing extremists" those who oppose abortion and support secure national borders, another report is revealing that the Department of Defense is teaching that protesters are "low-level terrorists."

The newest action to define those who disagree with positions adopted by the government or administration of the United States was revealed by blogger Dennis Loo at

He cited a complaint filed by the northern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union demanding that the Department of Defense change its instructions and those who have been given the training be told of the modifications by "sending out corrective materials."

According to the ACLU letter, the DoD's "Annual Level 1 Antiterrorism (AT) Awareness Training for 2009" tells department personnel "that certain First Amendment-protected activity may amount to 'low-level terrorism.'"

Specifically the training "Knowledge Check 1" asks, "Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism activity?"

Click here to read the rest.

From the Robot Gallery: Directory - Hall of Fame

   Conky is a small, plastic, wind-up toy robot based on the character from the Pee-Wee Herman television show of the late 1980s.

This image shows the packaged box. Click on the image for a larger view.

Click here for the sounds of CONKY (voice by actor Gregory Harrison).

Other images:
Conky, front view
Conky, large front view
Pee-Wee Herman


 To see and read all about more Robots from the Good Old Days till present

click here.

Image and text via

Dancing around the world strengthens social bonds...

We humans are natural dancers. Dances can be celebrations, or for praise, or for an audience - or just a simple act of letting the rhythm move your body. Dancers can communicate ideas, preserve cultural identities, strengthen social bonds, or just have a lot of fun. Collected here are recent photographs of us, human beings around the world, professional and amateur, in motion for all of the reasons above and more. (39 photos total)

photo via The Big Picture

Friday, June 19, 2009

U.S. Destroyer braces for first test stop of North Korean Ship

Navy Positions Destroyer For Possible Intercept of North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

The USS John McCain, a Navy destroyer, is preparing in case of orders to intercept a North Korean when it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official.

According to Fox News this afternoon...

The U.S. military is preparing for a possible intercept of a North Korean flagged ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The USS John McCain, a Navy destroyer, is positioning itself in case it gets orders to intercept the ship Kang Nam (pictured here) as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The order to inderdict has not been given yet, but the ship is moving into the area.

"Permission has not been requested. Nor is it clear it will be," a military source told FOX News. "This is a very delicate situation and no one is interested in precipitating a confrontation."

The ship left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang.

The USS McCain was involved in an incident with a Chinese sub last Friday - near Subic Bay off the Philippines. The Chinese sub was shadowing the destroyer when it hit the underwater sonar array that the USS McCain was towing behind it.

This is the first suspected "proliferator" that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world's navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

Click here to read the whole story.

photo via Fox News

Ten most ridiculous lawsuits featured...

I'm always looking for stories regarding wacky lawsuits and this one fit's that bill nicely. Enjoy:

From The Independent World..

By John Costello

Blame Stella Liebeck. It was her ridiculous lawsuit against McDonald's that started the avalanche. Back in 1992, 79-year-old Stella spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee on her lap and burned herself. Everyone laughed when she declared she was suing McDonald's, until a jury awarded her $2.9m.

Now outrageous lawsuits are a fact of life no matter how farcical.

The latest involves ex-con Dawud Yaduallah, who is suing a prison nurse in the US after she sent him to his cell even though medication had given him a painful 55-hour erection that wouldn't go away.

It seems that particular dose of "hard" time was just too much for Yaduallah. But even his legal action isn't so harebrained when compared to the Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits Of All Time.

                    10. The sound of silence

Music publishers for the late avant-garde composer John Cage sued Mike Batt for plagiarism in 2002. They claimed Batt's song, 'A Minute's Silence,' ripped off Cage's '4'33,' which also contained absolutely no music or vocals.

Even though copyrighting silence would seem to be impossible, Batt agreed to settle the case out of court by paying a six-figure amount.

Silence, it seems, is not only golden but it is also potentially worth millions.

 Click here to see the other nine lawsuits.

Wait till you see number one!

 photo via The Independent World

Ahmadinejad Rally Photoshopped to Appear Larger

See the circles showing where crowd images have been copied and repeated to add volume to the crowd that did not truly exist.

From the Daily Kos...
by thereisnospoon

Via the twitter feeds at #iranelection and #gr88 comes this interesting tidbit: yesterday's rally for Ahmadinejad's supporters was photoshopped to appear larger than it really was.

(N.B.: the original image comes from a website with a .ir extension: I'm not providing a direct link lest the domain be taken down)

Of course, the only way the regime thought it could get away with such a blatant maneuver was through the ban on media coverage of all rallies and protests--a ban being ignored by regular Iranians on the street, but which is severely hampering media estimations of crowd sizes, as well as decent shots of crowd sizes.

When a thuggish government is so desperate that it has to photoshop pictures of its own rallies to give them more credibility vs. the opposition rallies, it's in some serious trouble.

Here's hoping the real rallies can effectuate real change in Iran.  The regime has moved from simply thuggish to pathetically so.

Update: Several commentators have reminded me that this would not the first time the Iranian regime has doctored photos for propaganda purposes.  Remember the faked missile launch photos as well.  Potemkin missiles, Potemkin rallies.

image and text from the Daily Kos

H.L. Mencken: a great newspaperman, book reviewer, political commentator

by Gibbons Burke

The most prominent newspaperman, book reviewer, and political commentator of his day, Henry Louis Mencken was a libertarian before the word came into usage. His prose is as clear as an azure sky, and his rhetoric as deadly as a rifle shot. Frequent targets of his lance were Franklin Roosevelt and New Deal politics, Comstocks, hygenists, "uplifters", social reformers of any stripe, boobs & quacks, and the insatiable American appetite for nonsense and gaudy sham. But his life was not defined by negativity. He was positively enthusiastic about to the writings of Twain and Conrad, the music of Brahms, Beethoven and Bach, and the victuals offered up by Chesapeake Bay.

Mencken's writing is endearing because of its wit, its crisp style, and the obvious delight he takes in it. The Introduction to The Impossible H.L. Mencken: A Collection of His Best Newspaper Stories, edited by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers which relates Mencken's manner while reporting on the presidential conventions:

Click here to read the rest.

image and text via the H.L.Mencken Page

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A curious bird is caught looking at timed web cam...

A webcam in Szentgotthárd, Hungary captured this curious bird looking into the camera. The webcam is set to shoot only one frame in every minute, so what are the chances?

photo via city noise

The strange case of Miriam Sakewitz, the rabbit hoarder!


By Staff

TIGARD, Ore. - Here we go again.

A woman court-ordered to stay away from animals was found Tuesday in a Tigard extended-stay hotel with rabbits, authorities said.

It was just the latest problem for 47-year-old Miriam Sakewitz, who has served jail time in the past over a sometimes bizarre case of animal abuse and hoarding.

Back in 2006, police found nearly 250 rabbits at her Hillsboro home, 88 of which were dead and in freezers. After the animals were confiscated, she broke into a police facility and took back more than 140 of them.

She was eventually convicted of animal neglect and tampering with physical evidence, among other charges. She received probation and was ordered to refrain from owning any domestic animals. But in 2007, she served three days in jail for violating her probation when she was discovered raising rabbits again.

In 2008, police found a dog and rabbit in her garage when they went to her home to check a report she was suicidal, another violation of her probation. The outcome of that case was not immediately clear.

Click here to read the rest.

photos via KATU

Patient charts often come with cryptic notes from Doctors

                                  Doctors' Comments On Patient Charts:
  • "Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year."
  • "On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely."
  • "The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993."
  • "Discharge status: Alive but without permission."
  • "Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful."
  • "The patient refused an autopsy."
  • "The patient has no past history of suicides."
  • "Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital."
  • "Patient's past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days."
  • "Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch."
  • "She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night."
  • "She is numb from her toes down."
  • "While in the ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home."
  • To read more comments click here.
  • From "Things People Say" at rinkworks

Here's some people who are a little different but interesting


Click here to see more. Photos thanks to

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Neat Street-Art in Bristol, or how the locals love color!

I think you'll be surprised how innovative the local street art is. Walls in these neighborhoods vibrate with a zest for life that we can all appreciate. Image via For more wonderful walls click here.

Feeling kinda lazy and tired? So are these guys...


Click here to see more exhausted animals in interesting positions. 

images via desicolours

Nevada senator apologizes for affair with former staffer

 Senator Ensign is the latest poster boy for hypocrisy among the Republican Party. I can clearly remember him leading the charge against Bill Clinton for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. He's also a member of "Promise Keepers" - a Christian group that prides themselves on promoting all aspects of marriage.

But do you think that's going to slow him down in his bid for the presidency in 2012? Not even. He has enough gall for a water buffalo and isn't going to be shaken from his dreams of imperial power by a little old affair! I mean c'mon...does this guy look and sound like presidential material to you?

Apparently pundits in the GOP don't think this nasty little affair is going to have any bearing on his run for the top office in the land. Maybe they're hoping people will forget by then. I won't, and I'll be prepared to bring it up if he does run. Face it're busted!

From the LA Times today...

By Ashley Powers

Reporting from Las Vegas -- Nevada Sen. John Ensign, an emerging Republican leader who has been mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential candidate, apologized Tuesday for an extramarital affair with a former staff member but indicated that he had no plans to resign.

"It's absolutely the worst thing I have ever done in my life," he said at a televised news conference. "If there was ever anything that I could take back in my life, this would be it." Click here for the rest of the story.

GOP committee paid son of Ensign's mistress during affair

By Ashley Powers and Richard Simon

The 19-year-old was paid $5,400 between March 2008 and August 2008 for 'research policy consulting.' The payments ended the same month the Nevada senator says the relationship did. Click here to read the rest of the story.

photo via LA/Times

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Did political correctness cause this crime? Boy Scout forced to drink urine for alleged racial slur!

Is this a case of political correctness crossing over into crime? Have we come to that point now? Or was this a case of some bullies just having fun with this kid? It's something to think about.

From The Smoking Gun this morning...

Florida boy attending Boy Scout camp was forced to drink urine after he was accused of using a racial slur, according to police. The boy, 12, was accosted Friday by a quartet of attackers who pushed him to the ground and placed duct tape over his mouth.

According to the below Putnam County Sheriff's Office report, the child told cops that he was "blamed for calling a black boy a nigger," which the boy denied.

The attack, which occurred at Camp Shands in Hawthorne, resulted in the arrest of three minors and Joseph Reid, a 21-year-old volunteer. The victim told investigators that he was lured into the woods, where he was set upon by the quartet. The child's attackers said that "they were going to teach him a lesson and he was either going to drink a bottle of urine, or they were going to beat him up," according to the report (which was prepared by an officer unable to spell "lie" or "hairdo"). One assailant took the tape off the Boy Scout's mouth "and poured urine down his throat." Police recovered two bottles of urine and pieces of duct tape that were apparently used during the attack. Reid and the three minors were charged with kidnapping and aggravated child abuse, both felonies.

image via The Smoking Gun

Tired off the same old food? Try some of these goodies!


To see more scrumptious foods click here.

images via

Monday, June 15, 2009

Joe Blow (conspiracy) Report staff bawl like babies!

Well readers, this is what I have to contend with sometimes. Extremists tend to attack anything that doesn't fit their world view. There's a group at the Joe Blow Report blog that decided to attack me on May 31st and who posted a hate-filled rant about a column I did on trolls (of all the ironies!) This is a group that has the mind-set of a steel trap.

Now they have their crying towels (it took them two weeks to think of a reply) out and are blubbering to all that will read their raving. I'm not going to be intimidated by a bunch of cowards who are whining about a conspiracy between me and the Times-Standard to attack trolls! Good grief! Get a life you blowhards.

I don't know who you think you are, but I do know that you seek to impose your will upon others by reading your past posts. Now you think you can silence me by making outrageous accusations and trying to get the newspaper to drop my column. Guess again gang. You'll never be able to silence me. You best bet is to change your soiled diapers and to find someone else to pick on!

image via Google Images

Gas prices keep climbing as a meek public pays the piper!

                              By Dave Stancliff    
       Did you happen to notice that gas prices rose again today?
That’s 48 straight days of getting gouged which matches a record for this decade. We keep getting ripped off despite the fact that the demand for gas is weak.
       Crude oils upward swing has been mirrored by the declining value of the dollar. That's because crude futures are bought and sold in U.S. currency, meaning that crude gets cheaper for many buyers as the dollar falls.
      Prices at the pump rose 0.6 cents to $2.669 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Services. Prices are a nickel above where they were a week ago and 30.8 cents above month-ago levels, but remain $1.408 below year ago levels.
       Consumers are now paying about $1 billion a day for gasoline compared with about $600 million a day over New Year's weekend and $1.5 billion a day or more a year ago, according to Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service.
       The more than 60 percent increase in prices so far this year exceeds anything going as far back as the 1970s, Kloza recently told the press. With all of this in mind, my next question is why haven’t these rising oil prices made front page headlines? Have we already forgotten about last year’s high point in ripping us off at the pump?
       Worse yet, are we just so blown away by this bad economy that we are now accepting whatever hits us like a bunch of sheep? I’m not sure what to make of this. Some experts are saying the good news is that prices look like they may be peaking.
       I wouldn’t bet on that however. It’s rapidly becoming clear to me that we’re going to be back at $4 plus per gallon by Christmas! That should really help stimulate the economy. People are struggling to have the very basics in life right now.
       It seems to me that something is fundamentally wrong with a system of speculators that can make life hell for the majority of Americans by driving up the price of gas whenever they feel like it. I’d call it un-American, but we are a capitalist society, and this is one of the scummy by-products that result.
        I’m trying to think of some upside to all of this. The best I can do is note that fuel-efficient cars will become more prevalent in the future. That is, of course, assuming that we just don’t go back
to walking and riding bicycles like many third world nations today!
       As It Stands, we’ll never be free until fossil fuel is no longer part of our economy.

image via Seeds of Doubt    

Did you remember to get a digital converter box?

Cartoon via Rob Rogers @ Yahoo News

GOP activist DePass compares First Lady Michelle Obama to a Gorilla

 It's comments like Depass's, that make the Republicans look like asses!

From The Raw Story...

By Daniel Tencer

A high-ranking South Carolina Republican activist has issued an apology after comparing First Lady Michelle Obama to a gorilla.

Rusty DePass, a former chairman of the Richland County Republican Party, made the comments in a friend’s Facebook status update line after a gorilla was reported to have escaped from Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo.

According to FitsNews, the status line read: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.”

DePass told the Associated Press that he made the comment in reference to President Barack Obama’s views on evolution.

From FitsNews:

"We’re all for First Amendment freedoms and politically incorrect remarks around here, but this strikes even our most indelicate of sensibilities as out of bounds.

And while we will defend DePass’ right to make such a comment, it’s insanely racist - sort of like the anti-Obama flyer found on S.C. Rep. Bill Sandifer’s desk last year."

That was in reference to a controversy last year in which a South Carolina state House Representative was caught with a flyer claiming that Obama had promised a job to all black Americans, but that those black Americans were too lazy to actually want the jobs.

photo via The Raw Story

Lakers close out Magic and earn 15th NBA title banner!

It's been a great series. The Lakers had to fight hard to win the Western Conference, and when it came time for the whole ball of wax, they shut the Magic down 4 games to 1. Read more here.

Photo via Wally Skalij /LA Times

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Clean energy bill should have 100 percent auction of carbon emission permits

Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 06/14/2009 01:27:09 AM PDT

Congress is debating a comprehensive energy bill, known for short as “ACES,” that will be a winning hand for pollution-generating corporations, or for the American public. It's that simple.

The bill, HR 2453 -- The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 -- was introduced by Congressmen Waxman and Markley. It needs to be modified, but it's a step in the right direction. Everyone agrees something has to be done and it's important that we do it soon.

However, as currently worded, the bill allocates most of the revenue generated from new carbon emission permits to major corporations. Chesapeake Climate Action Network's (CCAN) Policy Director Ted Glick recently went to Washington, D.C., to deliver a sign-on letter to Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and other members of the House Ways and Means Committee, addressing the issue of carbon credits in the new legislation.

Click here for the rest of the column.

image via Google Images

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...