Saturday, March 5, 2011

Public shaming: taking disipline to the streets when all else fails

Evelyn Border holding a sign in front of the Bedford County courthouse in Bedford, Pa. (© Bedford County District Attorney's Office/AP)

I’d love to see this trend extend to politicians who lie, cheat, and otherwise discredit public service. I would make one a modification for their punishment; going “old school” with the stocks. Remember them?

“Time-outs, groundings and confiscated toys are so old-school.

Today's parents are getting more creative with their punishments. When their kids misbehave, some moms and dads are taking their discipline to the streets. Though public shaming of criminals has fallen out of fashion elsewhere in the world, it's still popular in the United States for misdeeds like reckless driving and shoplifting. See which kids — and a few adults — learned their lesson the public way.”

Full Story

The “Duh” for the day: car theft suspect asks officer for ride

“A car theft suspect who took off on foot in Salem was able to flag down a motorist for a ride. The only problem: the helpful driver was an undercover police officer.

The Statesman Journal reports the officer had been looking for the suspect Thursday and recognized the 31-year-old from previous contacts for other crimes.

When the suspect knocked on the window of the unmarked car and asked for a lift, he got one — straight to jail.”

Story Source      Image source

Pot dispensaries turn against L.A.'s marijuana tax proposal


Measure M on Tuesday's ballot would add a 5% marijuana tax to sales at pot dispensaries. Owners of the collectives once supported the idea but are now angry about the upcoming lottery to decide which ones can remain open.

“In Los Angeles, where voters decide Tuesday whether to create a pot tax, medical marijuana activists who once urged City Hall to tax and regulate them are hoping to defeat the proposal, angered by the council's decision to limit the number of dispensaries to 100 and choose them by lottery.”                                                 FULL STORY

Friday, March 4, 2011

Scientists: Magnetic Polar Reversal May Have Started

Changing Magnetics

Concern has been mounting for almost a decade as scientists hunched over their instruments and double-checked new data concerning the status of the Earth's crucial magnetic field.

The magnetic field protects all life from damaging solar radiation. Exposure to such radiation can cause cancer and mutate DNA. Some researchers believe evolution has been driven in part by epochs marked by a failing or weak magnetic field that allowed the surface of the world to be bathed with intense ultra-violet and other deadly forms of life-changing radiation.

Now new evidence has emerged leading some scientists to believe that the magnetic pole shift—an ongoing phenomenon that has been happening for decades—has reached a tipping point.

According to a report issued by the prestigious British Geological Survey (BGS), evidence suggests the magnetic reversal has begun.

The BGS has taken this position based on careful analysis of a region of the Earth known as the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). It's an area where the magnetic field is in a state of flux and has weakened noticeably. The data shows the anomaly is growing rapidly and spreading west from South Africa.

All of this indicates the Earth's liquid core is changing.

"This may be early evidence of a forthcoming reversal in the direction of the Earth’s internal magnetic field," states the article on the BGS website.


Doctor’ Seuss’s thought on Love – ‘it’s Mutual Weirdness’

dr. seuss quote about love Dr. Seuss Quote About Love


Today marks the 150th anniversary of the First National Flag of the Confederate States of America

The first national flag of the Confederate States of America, also known as the Stars & Bars (© Bob Jordan/AP)

Some argue the flag is a symbol of racism. Others say it's just Southern pride. (Which state was marred in controversy for flying the flag at its state house?)

Let’s take a look at the flag's history and its influence in pop culture. Photo of South’s first flag by Bob Jordon/AP

The Confederacy's first national flag ended its reign in May 1863, when the secession government adopted the second national flag (scroll through photos). The Stainless Banner covered the casket of a famous Civil War general

(From top) The second national flag of the Confederate States of America, also known as the Stainless Banner & the third national flag of the Confederate States of America (Photos courtesy of the Museum of the Confederacy)

The president of the Confederacy

The man who designed the flag

The flag's other name

The states that seceded from the Union

Latest about the 150th anniversary

Information via Popular Searches

I was born in Ohio, and most of my direct line fought for the North. There was one relative (who lived in Ohio) who fought for the South. That was a common theme that made the whole war even more heart-breaking. Brother against brother.

Here’s a list of inventors killed by their own inventions

This is a list of inventors whose deaths were in some manner caused by or related to a product, process, procedure, or other innovation that they invented or designed.


  • Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari (died ca. 1003–1010), a Muslim Kazakh Turkic scholar from Farab, attempted to fly using two wooden wings and a rope. He leapt from the roof of a mosque in Nijabur and fell to his death.
  • Otto Lilienthal (1848–1896) died the day after crashing one of his hang gliders.
  • Franz Reichelt (1879–1912), a tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute and he had told the authorities in advance he would test it first with a dummy.
  • Henry Smolinski (died 1973) was killed during a test flight of the AVE Mizar, a flying car based on the Ford Pinto and the sole product of the company he founded.
  • Aurel Vlaicu (1882–1913) died when his self-constructed airplane, Vlaicu II, failed him during an attempt to cross the Carpathian Mountains by air.
  • Michael Dacre (died 2009, age 53) died after testing his flying taxi device designed to accommodate fast and affordable travel among nearby cities.
  • Read More Here

PHOTO - Franz Reichelt (d. 1912) attempted to use this contraption as a parachute. Reichelt died after he jumped off the Eiffel Tower wearing his invention, which failed to operate properly as a parachute.

Combating Crime? Brain Scans Reveal the Criminal Mind

Image: brain scan

Have you ever heard the phrase, “What were they thinking?”

The latest neuroscience research is presenting intriguing evidence that the brains of certain kinds of criminals are different from those of the rest of the population.

While these findings could improve our understanding of criminal behavior, they also raise moral quandaries about whether and how society should use this knowledge to combat crime. FULL STORY

Thursday, March 3, 2011

As Union Membership Has Declined, Income Inequality Has Skyrocketed In The United States

Across the country, right-wing legislators continue their attack on labor unions, claiming that they are saving their states money.

Yet in waging these anti-labor campaigns, these politicians are ignoring one very simple fact: unions were a major force in building and sustaining the great American middle class, and as they declined, so has the middle class. As CAP’s Karla Waters and David Madland showed in a report they first published this past January, as union membership has steadily declined since 1967, so too has the middle class’s share of national income, as the super-rich have taken a larger share of national income than any time since the 1920s

This is not to say that declining union membership is the only factor that led to the growth of income inequality over the past 35 years. Yet, the correlation does show that the presence of strong labor unions tends to co-exist with a strong and vibrant middle class. That is why a Main Street Movement all over the country is fighting to protect collective bargaining and the middle class wages, benefits, and protections it promotes.

Article Source

Recycling Wonder: Buddhist Temple Made from Bottles

It’s the ultimate reclaimed glass bottle project: not a solar hot water heater, not even a house but an entire Buddhist temple.
Monks in Thailand’s Sisaket province collected over a million green Heineken bottles and brown bottles of local Chang beer to create a complex of 20 buildings including the main temple, halls, prayer rooms, water tower, sleeping quarters and even a crematorium.
Even the roofs are made from bottles. And if you’re wondering, no, the caps weren’t wasted – the monks used them to make mosaic murals.

(images via: treehugger)

Here’s a sprinkling of humor on a rainy day…


Berner’s Street Hoax was one of the greatest practical jokes of the 19th Century

The year was 1809. Famed English author, Theodore Hook, made a bet with one of his close friends that within a week he could make any house in London the most talked about place in the city!

GO HERE to read the rest of this story.

U.S. will do anything for oil,including making alliances with dicators

Mike Keefe / Denver Post,

Warning: This story may prove frustrating for illiterates

Image: Car with sun shade

A look at some of the dumbest labels telling consumers how not to hurt themselves

“Our society doesn't think much of the average consumer.

To wit: Only a moron would try to wash her daughter in a washing machine; or shake hands with the business end of a chainsaw; or light a match to check the contents of a gas tank.

And yet manufacturers still go to laughable lengths to protect their customers from harm, bombarding them with ridiculous warning labels or stunningly obvious explanations of how their products work. Why else would a carton of eggs actually say that the product may contain eggs?”

PHOTO: The label on the inside of reflective car sun shades advises that you shouldn't drive with them in place. How could you?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2nd is the Day to Pay Homage to Banana Cream Pie…

 Remember good old Soupy Sales? He was the King of Pie Throwing in his day. And speaking of pies…

Today is Banana Cream Pie Day so go to the nearest bakery or supermarket and buy one in order to properly celebrate.

I know…it’s kinda late to be posting this but I just couldn’t let such a noteworthy day pass by without commenting.

Good night…

Guest Op-Ed: Meghan Daum describes ‘A Feeding frenzy’

It's natural to resist change, but the astonishingly ugly attacks from the GOP and the 'tea party' on Michelle Obama's anti-obesity effort lack any logic, reflecting our deeply divisive political times.


“Certain members of the GOP — and, from the looks of it, the entire "tea party" — have decided that the first lady's Let's Move campaign, which seeks to fight obesity by improving school lunch programs, increasing focus on physical education and giving poor people better access to healthful foods, is an example of government intrusion and even a socialist plot.

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann accused

Obama of trying to implement a "nanny state." Sarah Palin gave her a ribbing on her reality show when, while searching for s'mores ingredients for a camping trip, she said, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who the other day said we shouldn't have dessert."
Oh, and then there's that paragon of physical fitness,
Rush Limbaugh, who suggested last week that the first lady "does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue."

What's going on here (besides the last gasps of an increasingly irrelevant radio blowhard) obviously has nothing to do with keeping kids from being obese. Surely even the most obtuse tea partyers know deep down that Michelle Obama is not planning to force-feed you vegetables and hijack your desserts any more than
Laura Bush, who advocated for reading, was interested in foisting books on people and carting away their televisions. Instead, Republicans are turning a patently apolitical issue into an opportunity to bash the president, suggesting that the first lady has wasted tax dollars with her campaign and that the president's budget proposal, which includes adding $1 billion a year for the next 10 years to fund children's nutrition programs, will ruin the nation because it caters to her elitist whims. (Does anyone remember that Nancy Reagan's anti-drug campaign "Just Say No" coincided with $1.7 billion in funding to fight the growing drug problem?)”Meghan Daum                                             Read the Whole Column

After 7 month investigation Manning faces 22 new charges, possible the death penalty

Image: Bradley Manning

All I can say is GOOD. I’ve heard a number of lame arguments why he shouldn’t be tried and NOT ONE makes sense. This clown stole military information and should pay the price!

As for him directly giving it to WikiLeaks, that’s neither here nor there. The fact is those military secrets wouldn’t have become public if he wouldn’t have stole them and gave them to whomever.

I don’t think the death penalty is the answer however. Just lock the sorry bastard up for life. He’ll probably pen a best seller for anarchists, but that money will be needed to keep his fellow prisoners from putting him in the “barrel” every day!


Following an intensive seven-month investigation, the Army on Wednesday filed 22 additional charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of illegally downloading tens of thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents that were then publicly released by WikiLeaks, military officials tell NBC News.

The most serious of the new charges is "aiding the enemy," a capital offense which carries a potential death sentence. Pentagon and military officials say some of the classified information released by WikiLeaks contained the names of informants and others who had cooperated with U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, endangering their lives. 

According to the officials, the U.S. military rounded up many of those named and brought them into their bases for protection. But, according to one military official, "We didn't get them all."  Military officials tell NBC News a small number of them still have not been found.” FULL STORY

Assault rifle used in U.S. agent's killing in Mexico traced to Texas


Once again, there’s proof that cartels are buying AK-47s in the states, but does the NRA admit this?

Right now, thanks to the NRA, a person can walk into a gun shop and buy two semi-automatic rifles a month, until the cows (lobbyists) come home!

What kind of person needs to purchase 24 semi-automatic rifles every year? I’ll tell you; someone who is selling those rifles to the first bidder (and they don’t care who the bidder is). Until weapons become really difficult for the cartels to get, they will continue to come across the border and buy weapons wherever they feel like it. For those of you who have never heard of “straw dogs” they are people who are legitimate buying weapons for people who aren’t. Simple. happens every damn day thanks to the NRA!

“U.S. authorities say one of three men they arrested this week purchased an AK-47 at a Texas gun shop that was used in the attack last month that killed a Border Patrol agent and wounded his partner.” FULL STORY

Pallbearers carry the casket of ICE agent Jaime Jorge Zapata, who was shot and killed in Mexico on Feb. 15. (Delcia Lopez / Associated Press / February 22, 2011 

I can’t believe the Supreme Court ruled Anti-gay funeral protests OK

Image: Members of the Westboro Baptist Church picket in front of the Supreme Court on Oct. 6, 2010.

What would happen if American al Qaeda followers were demonstrating against the Pentagon’s tactics against them worldwide?

Would that be okay? I’m thoroughly disgusted with our Supreme Court. I thought it hit an all-time low when the justices declared corporations had the same rights as individual citizens.

But, Hell No! Where has common sense gone? When is enough…enough? This decision allows a hate group to threaten gay and lesbian’s very existence in this country… while they advocate DEATH for them!

I know many journalists in America were concerned about First Amendment Rights being watered down if the judges ruled against Phelps and his crazed family and followers. However, these great legal minds that are supposed to be interrupting cases that challenge the Constitution don’t seem to have a lick of sense. There could have been a better outcome than this. Forget about trying to get money from the Phelps psychos and look at the real-world effect they are having on innocent Americans who can’t bury their war dead in peace.

Yes, I’m a veteran, and that makes me somewhat bias. That’s why I’m blowing off steam here. That doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court did the right thing. I honestly feel they dropped the ball again. The Phelps Hate Club isn’t demonstrating for the right to vote, or over some human rights violations committed against them. They are taking advantage of a system that can be exploited by legal minds who have no idea what it’s like living in the real world – instead of their Ivory Towers.

What a sad day this is. 

“The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.”

Full Story

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why do we believe in electrons, but not in fairies?

By Benjamin Kuipers

“No one has directly observed either electrons or fairies. Both of them are theoretical constructs, useful to explain observations that might be difficult to explain otherwise. The "theory of fairies" can actually explain more things than the "theory of electrons". So why do we believe in electrons, but not in fairies?

Is the issue a political one, where the "electron" fans got the upper hand in the nineteenth century, so by the twentieth century the "fairy" fans were a scorned and persecuted minority? Or, have we proved for sure that fairies don't exist?

No, to both. The real difference is that for electrons, we have accumulated a set of quite narrow and specific rules about how electrons will behave under various circumstances. Those rules let us make very specific predictions about electron behavior, and about the observations that will result. If those predictions don't come true, we know that either we didn't set up the circumstances correctly, or there is something wrong with the rules. But over many decades, we have repeatedly fixed problems with the rules, so we can now make really good predictions about electrons, especially in certain highly contrived circumstances (i.e., circuits).

Fairies are much more free. A fairy does what it decides to do. We haven't been able to find any useful rules for predicting how a fairy will behave under particular circumstances, or even for telling when a fairy has been involved in a particular observation. (At least I don't know of any such rules. I stand ready for correction on this.) Over many, many decades, it has not been possible for people to try out pretty-good sets of fairy-prediction rules, find out where they make mistakes, and replace them with better sets of rules.”

Read The Rest here

Health Alert: E. coli found on 50 percent of shopping carts

Image: shopping carts

This is one of those things that I almost wish I didn’t know about; shopping carts carrying infectious bacteria. Yuck! The researchers said that the carts were worst than the bathrooms in the supermarkets! Now, that’s bad.

Apparently no one routinely cleans and disinfects shopping carts. Now I have to worry about salmonella and campylobacter bacteria attacking my grandchildren when I take them to the market or other type of store with shopping carts.


 “Every day, parents blithely drop their toddlers into the baskets of shopping carts, never giving a moment’s thought to who might have had their hands on the handle last. Preliminary results from a new study show that may be a mistake.

Researchers from the University of Arizona swabbed shopping cart handles in four states looking for bacterial contamination. Of the 85 carts examined, 72 percent turned out to have a marker for fecal bacteria.”  Full Story

Monday, February 28, 2011

Parting shot…where the heck was this photo taken?


I was Stumbling around the web and found this stunning shot. Problem is, there was NO information about it. Do you have any idea where it was taken? Please share if you do.

Guest Opinion: Ted McLaughlin, ‘The (Un) Fairness of Income Tax’

Does this seem fair to you? Is there any justification for someone making over a million dollars a year to pay a smaller tax rate than those making less than $170,00 a year (many of them making far less than that)?


Statistics are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Internal Revenue Service.


The richest Americans make most (or all) of their income from interest income or stock gains.

That means they pay the Capital Gains Tax (15%) instead of Income Tax (about 35% in their bracket).

This must be changed. The Capital Gains Tax should be raised to equal the Income Tax, or eliminated and the rich forced to pay their tax in the Income Tax system. Continuing this system of taxation is unfair to most Americans.”                                                                                           Link to original post

Check out this interesting mobile homeless shelter…

Design enthusiast, paul elkins, develops mobile units, and other small scale vehicles.
He previously designed the burning man bicycle camper and his latest development
is a mobile homeless shelter which he designed as part of a competition asking individuals
to meet the demands of the rapidly growing homeless society - a kind of substitute for the
grocery cart situation. Elkins wanted his design construction to be a simple, lightweight,
watertight insulated box on wheels, built with an area for displaying and selling handmade wares.


(Photo right) toilet seat storage and bucket. the mid section of the floor is movable which allows for ample room for use of the bucket.

(Photo Left) the shelter includes a sleeping / resting area, a kitchen and makeshift washroom

GO HERE to see all possible views.

 I want to let the viewer know that this interesting mobile homeless shelter is being sold for profit.

I’m only sharing it because I find it fascinating, and not because I’m promoting it for the company involved.

If you want to know more GO HERE

Awesome Human Rights Ad Campaign - Dictators Afraid of White Mice

Dictators Afraid of White Mouse Dictators Afraid of White Mouse

GO HERE to see a couple of more terrified dictators. How do you like the mouse they’re afraid of?

Carl’s Corner: Documenting 2011 Snow in Fortuna

20110226_39617 20110226_39589

My friend Carl Young, who lives in Fortuna, can be seen wandering around on any given day taking photos. These two pics were taken at his place when it snowed the other day.

Frank Buckles: America's last World War I veteran dies

Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110.

Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World Wa

The roll call has be called up yonder–all present and accounted for!
r II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. Buckles turned 110 on Feb. 1 and had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of World War I in Washington, D.C.

Buckles lied about his age to join the army at age 16.The Missouri native was among nearly 5 million Americans who served in World War I in 1917 and 1918.

"I knew there'd be only one (survivor) someday. I didn't think it would be me," he was quoted as saying in recent years. Full story

Sunday, February 27, 2011

As It Stands: Can you name all the dictators America does business with?

Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 02/27/2011 01:30:34 AM PST

Hello, America, and welcome to “Name That Dictator.” I'm your host today and with that, let's get started:

1. Name seven of America's Favorite Dictators worldwide. Remember the amount of money we pour into their economies is a big measuring stick.

U.S. Taxpayer: “I'd have to say King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia; Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan; Paul Biya of Cameroon; Teodoro Obiange Nguema of Equatorial Guinea; Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia; Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov (or Berdymukhamedov) of Turkmenistan; and Idriss Derby of Chad.”

Fantastic! You got them all. You correctly named the countries we're happily sinking billions of dollars into regardless of their stance on freedom or human rights. You guessed right that democracy is secondary to getting what we want from dictators whose countries are strategic to us.

2. Name five of the World's Worst Dictators. Take a moment because you have about 50 (give or take) to choose from. We do business with most of them.

U.S. Taxpayer: “I'm going with Hu Jintao of China; Kim Jong-Il of North Korea; Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya; Hosni Murbarak of Egypt; and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, whose nasty little pastime of boiling his political opponents to death makes him a must pick.”

I'm sorry! Looks like you are not keeping up with world events. Hosni Murbarak was recently hounded out of power by the Egyptian people, and Muammar Qaddafi is on borrowed time after declaring war upon the people of Libya.

3. Here comes another tough question, so pay attention: Of the African dictators, whose life seems a parody of the dictator genre? Hint, Peter Maas said this about him.

U.S. Taxpayer: “I'm leaning toward Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, but my gut instinct says Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.”

Is that your final pick?

U.S. Taxpayer: (pause) “Yes ... I'm going with Teodoro.”

Even more dramatic pause. You're correct! Congratulations! That was a secret bonus question and you're getting double points! Are you ready for the next question?

U.S. Taxpayer: “Sure, let's roll. It's only my money we're talking about.”

4. Name the dictators who rule the following countries: Belarus, Swaziland, and Syria.

U.S. Taxpayer: “OK ... I know the answers. Aleksandr Lukashenka for Belarus, King Mswati III rules Swaziland, and Sayyid Ali Khamenei for Syria. Wait a moment! I'd like to change Syria to Bashar al-Assad in charge.”

The clock stops ticking and the bell goes off! You did it again! You're correct-a-mondo. Let's wrap this game up with the final question of the day: How many countries practice capitalism? This is a tricky question so think before you answer.

U.S. Taxpayer: Let's see ... 15, no 52, no ... 189?

Is that your final answer?

U.S. Taxpayer: Yes it is ... 189.

Buzzers blare! I'm sorry, but that's wrong. Capitalism is an economic policy. It's not a political system and it relies on little government control. Just about every country in the world practices a version of capitalism.

This game show host is still amazed to find any taxpayer who knows as much as you've answered today. Thank you for participating. America has looked the other way for decades as these dictators looted their countries, and it's important the public should know that.

Most Americans probably couldn't name three dictators we do business with on a regular basis. You know why? Because the corporate media doesn't talk about dictators unless world events force them to. Like Egypt, for example. How many Americans were aware it was ruled by an oppressive dictatorship? Look at Libya's mad dictator Qaddafi slaughtering his own people because they want freedom.

“Capitalism is freedom -- and freedom leads to prosperity,” according to Capitalism Magazine. The idea being you can determine levels of capitalism by looking at a country and the rights its citizens enjoy.

It's inescapable; the dictators we do business with are not “good” capitalists by that standard. Does it matter? We need to get that straight if we expect the rest of the world to believe our message of democracy and freedom for all.

As It Stands, if we don't want to appear hypocritical we should re-examine our relationships with the world's dictators.

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...