Saturday, July 23, 2011

Parting Shots: Neanderthals had sex with humans, says DNA

Photo illustration of red haired neanderthal and modern man

At last, a scientific explanation for the existence of Creationists, Tea Baggers and Rush Limbaugh!

“Many modern-day humans may be carrying around a fragment of Neanderthal DNA on one of their sex chromosomes, a new study finds.”                             

The funniest part is that Neanderthal blood apparently isn't in Africans. I'm sure that will irk the northern Idaho types... Kinda screws their whole racial superiority thing.

The research adds a piece of corroborating evidence to the theory that Neanderthals and humans interbred sometime after humans migrated out of Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.”

Welcome folks: step right in, the Theatre of the Absurd is in progress

“The Theatre of the Absurd” is a term first used by the literary critic Martin Esslin for the work of a number of playwrights, mostly written in the 1950s and 1960s. The term is derived from an essay by the French philosopher Albert Camus. In his 'Myth of Sisyphus', written in 1942, he first defined the human situation as basically meaningless and absurd.

What we are witnessing in politics these days, is a politic Theatre of the Absurd, and the center stage is in Washington DC as both parties take the country to the brink of financial disaster.

The origins of the Theatre of the Absurd are rooted in the avant-garde experiments in art of the 1920s and 1930s. At the same time, it was undoubtedly strongly influenced by the traumatic experience of the horrors of the Second World War, which showed the total impermanence of any values, shook the validity of any conventions and highlighted the precariousness of human life and its fundamental meaninglessness and arbitrariness.

Our current Theatre of the Absurd has proved traumatic for hundreds of thousands military personnel who have come home from warrantless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fundamental flaws in their missions came from arbitrary politics.   

As a result, absurd plays assumed a highly unusual, innovative form, directly aiming to startle the viewer, shaking him out of this comfortable, conventional life of everyday concerns. The Theatre of the Absurd openly rebelled against conventional theatre. Indeed, it was anti-theatre. It was surreal, illogical, with no conflicts or plots. The dialogue seemed total gobbledygook.

In the 21st century version of the Theatre of the Absurd our polarized politicians seek to scare the public into accepting their surreal and illogical arguments. Bits and pieces of the Constitution are thrown around like alms for the poor, but little seems to apply to today’s reality. 

One of the most important aspects of absurd drama was its distrust of language as a means of communication. Language had become a vehicle of conventionalized, stereotyped, meaningless exchanges. Absurd drama uses conventionalized speech, clichés, slogans and technical jargon, which it distorts, parodies and breaks down.

The way our government functions (?) politicians speak in cliches, spout slogans, and spew technical tidbits to the public about arcane laws few are interested in. All talk no substance. Our political system a parody of a democracy. A country in decline. 

In the realm of traditional verbal nonsense we have: François Rabelais, Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. Many serious poets occasionally wrote nonsense poetry (Johnson, Charles Lamb, Keats, Hugo, Byron, Thomas Hood).

In the world we live in, all the verbal nonsense that comes from our politicians could fill encyclopedias and instructional manuals on the absurd. The players are all clowns. The current act: GOP presidential hopefuls are preparing for a beauty contest in Iowa where verbal nonsense is a must!

Saturday stuff: Hackers ‘not scared anymore’, Great White jumps in boat, and a motorcyclist ends up in the back seat of a van

Good Afternoon Humboldt County!

Seeing as it’s after 11:43 a.m. I can’t say good morning. For those of you who slept in (like me) let’s have a cup of coffee and see what’s interesting in the news today. Oh yeah, for whatever reason a column I wrote on January 23rd ( Meth Kills: So Why is it Still Scourging Our Society?) has been the Most Viewed on the T-S List since 6:00 a.m. I just checked and it’s still #2 on the list. What brought it up? I suspect some well-read Blog somewhere found it and gave a link to their readers. Onward:

Hacker arrests: Some were on Facebook, some blogged

Related stories:

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Going to need a bigger boat: Great white shark leaps aboard

In the words of "Jaws" scientist Matt Hooper, "This is not a boat accident!"

According to the Cape Times, six researchers from South Africa are reflecting on what they describe as the fright of their lives after their own close encounter with a great white shark. The research team from Oceans Research was working off Seal Island, near Mossel Bay, on South Africa's Cape coast, when the nearly 10-foot-long creature reportedly made its move. image source

Motorcyclist hurls through van window, lands in rear seat

A Southern California motorcyclist rear-ended a minivan and was thrown through a window into the back seat but escaped unscathed, police said.

After the incident on Thursday, the driver of the minivan continued driving and pulled into his own driveway nearby, unaware that he had a new backseat passenger, the Victorville Daily Press reported.

"We're calling this one a non-injury collision with a twist," Karen Hunt, spokeswoman for the Victorville Police Department, told the newspaper. Victorville is a town of 115,000 people on the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert.

The incident occurred when the motorcyclist failed to stop in time as the minivan slowed to make a turn, the newspaper reported. The motorcycle then crashed into the van, with the rider hurling through the minivan’s rear window and the motorcycle itself skidding beneath the larger vehicle.

The minivan driver then turned into his driveway, less than half a block away, and was preparing to return to the scene when he realized the stunned motorcyclist was in his backseat, the paper reported.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Random thought: Stop calling Social Security an entitlement …

I don’t know about you, but I paid into Social Security throughout my career. I invested in a program that promised to help me out when I needed it in my “Golden” years.

So, I’m sick and tired of those asshats, on either side of the aisle, who call Social Security an entitlement program (like it’s somehow a tax payer giveaway).

The morons currently steering the Good Ship America are about to run it aground because they think Social Security is a give-away program for bums and old people. It’s one of many reasons they cite. Calling it an entitlement is a slap in the face of every American who has ever paid into the program. It’s been automatic all of our working years. The administration gathers up those revenues for future payouts to retirees, and the disabled.

Holding the nation hostage (debt crisis) to fill an agenda meant to strip away parts of something all Americans earned is an act of domestic terrorism!

Social Security does need reforms like any government entity that becomes stagnant and doesn’t pursue people who scam the system. I’ve heard the old refrain again and again : “There’s not enough money to chase the culprits who rip the system off.” It’s the same thing other government agencies say, such as the FDA. There’s something to that argument. But it’s still a situation that can be solved. And the billions recovered will help keep it solvent for the future.

My main gripe, is politicians who portray Social Security as something akin to a handout! That’s bullshit and the result of extreme conservatives trying to demonize the whole program. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out – are you ready for some prime irony? – wealthy elderly tea baggers are leading the charge!

As It Stands, the tea bag party negative influence in the House of Representatives is one reason the nation is on the brink of financial disaster right now…and their response? Let America default on loans and obligations to the American people – to them it’s all about ideology not reality.

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Wine shipment worth $1 million dropped, 5 U.S. theme parks under $50, and a fake Apple store even fools staff!

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Glad you could join me this morning for a virtual cup of coffee or tea. It’s finally Friday, and a lot of people may wonder where they can find the best deal on an amusement park this weekend. I’ve got them for you here today.

Whatever you do today, do it with gusto. Life is too short not to! 

Oops! $1 million of wine lost after forklift drops it

More than $1 million of high-quality Australian wine destined for the United States was lost when a forklift dropped the consignment, according to a report Friday.Some 462 cases of 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove shiraz — worth 185 Australian dollars per bottle (nearly $200) — was lost when they were dropped about 20 feet while being loaded for export in the southern city of Adelaide, the Herald Sun newspaper reported.

"We just couldn't believe it. This wine is our pride and joy, so to see it accidentally destroyed, and not consumed, has left us all a bit numb," winemaker Sparky Marquis told the paper. He added that the lost wine represented a third of his yearly production, and the paper said he was "working with" insurance companies in an attempt to cover the cost. graphic source

Here’s 5 U.S. theme parks under $50

With Disney parks recently raising their ticket prices to $85 for a single–park one day ticket — Universal Studios is just as bad — now is the perfect time to start thinking about smaller, regional theme parks where you can get your adrenaline fix for less. Here are five theme parks around the country where the daily price of adult admission is under $50.

                            The WindSeeker at Cedar Point spins riders nearly 30 stories above the Lake Erie shoreline.

To match Reuters Life! CHINA-APPLE/FAKE


Fake Apple Store even fools staff

Chinese counterfeiters have had a field-day pumping out knockoffs of Apple Inc's best-selling iPhones and iPads but one appears to have gone a step further -- a near flawless fake Apple Store that even employees believe is the real deal.

The store in Kunming was stumbled upon by a 27-year-old American blogger living in the city, the capital of China's mountainous southwestern Yunnan province.

Complete with the white Apple logo, wooden tables and cheery staff claiming they work for the iPhone maker, the store looks every bit like Apple Stores found all over the world, according to the blogger, who goes by the name "BirdAbroad."

"This was a total Apple store rip-off. A beautiful rip-off - a brilliant one - the best rip-off store we had ever seen," the anonymous blogger posted Wednesday. "Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple."

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I’m too poor to be a ‘greedy geezer’ but is it true a lot of my fellow Baby Boomers are setting up America for failure?

Baby boomers are greedy. It seems to be all I hear anymore. And what's worse, the wealthiest among them are reluctant to leave an inheritance to their children. Some of those polled say it's for fear that their adult children will squander the money it took a lifetime to earn. But in real life, the reason I've heard most often is "hey, you can't take it with you." The "it" being money.

    left image source –    right image source

To be clear: I don't object to consumer spending, especially when it's done offline and in the real world. These days, spending money is good for the economy -- and a way we can all do our part to contribute to the recovery. What troubles me is the selfish and shortsighted mentality about not leaving any money behind. What happened to taking care of your children, to leaving a legacy?

To read Thomas L. Friedman's most recent column in the New York Times, the "greedy geezer" isn't just a way to describe a select few. It's an ethos that's infected our political culture and will quite possibly change the future of the U.S. In comparing our country to Greece, Freidman says:

Indeed, if there is one sentiment that unites the crises in Europe and America it is a powerful sense of "baby boomers behaving badly" -- a powerful sense that the generation that came of age in the last 50 years, my generation, will be remembered most for the incredible bounty and freedom it received from its parents and the incredible debt burden and constraints it left on its kids. […] There are Eric Cantors everywhere -- reckless baby boomer politicians for whom no crisis is too serious to set aside political ambition and ideology.

This corrosive mentality, combined with a punishing economic reality, can make it really hard for this 30-year-old to breathe sometimes. And no wonder. Friedman continues:

What happens is that both the American and European dreams hang in the balance. Either we both put our nations on more sustainable growth paths -- which requires cutting, taxing and investing for the future -- or we're looking at a world in which democracies are going to turn on themselves and fight over shrinking pies, with China having a growing say over how big the slices will be. Photo source

Is it only a matter of time until  European-style riots erupt in the U.S.?

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Meet the Bachmanns' "Ex-Lesbian" Friend and Gay Hating Ministry

Janet Boynes.

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age, people are so ignorant about homosexuality. Or is it something worse?

They’ll say and do anything to discredit a all homosexuals, regardless of the facts involved. All we’re really talking about is intolerance here: 

Janet Boynes discusses her 14 "miserable" years as a lesbian

and her ministry to those who want to "leave the homosexual lifestyle."

You can change from gay to straight—I'm a living example of that," Boynes, 53, said. Having renounced lesbianism 13 years ago, she now runs a Maple Grove, Minn. organization called Janet Boynes Ministries that proclaims to minister to those who don't want to be gay anymore. Over the course of our conversation, Boynes likened homosexuality to drug addiction and pointed to a variety of causes for it, from domineering mothers to hanging around too much with gay people. She voiced her fear that half the nation's families might one day be helmed by same-sex couples.

On her website, she boasts an old endorsement from the then-state senator ("Janet's life is a powerful testimony of the Janet Boynes' book "Called Out."changes that Christ can bring"). In 2005, Marcus Bachmann gave a talk called "The Truth to the Homosexual Lifestyle" at the Minnesota Pastors' Summit, and, according to attendee Curt Prins, Boynes was part of the presentation.

Prins, a gay tech marketer who attended the conference to gather intelligence on "the other side," recalls Boynes, a long-haired woman with striking features, putting up a "before" photo of herself as a lesbian, with short hair and mannish clothes.

The contrast prompted gasps and laughter from the audience. More recently, in her 2008 memoir, Called Out: A Former Lesbian's Discovery of Freedom, Boynes thanked "Marcus and Michele," saying "you never left my side when things got tough."

For his part, Marcus Bachmann has since been selling the book in the lobby of his clinic alongside a typed placard saying "Janet is a friend," according to this photograph taken by an undercover gay activist.”

Justice Department caught in growing gun scandal, Nazi shrine is no more, and ‘Snore patrols’ assure a good night’s sleep


Good Morning Humboldt County!

Pull up a chair and tilt a cup of Java with me this morning as we take a look at what’s happening in this crazy world around us:

Justice Department trying to shield officials in guns scandal, ATF chief says

Kenneth Melson (left), the ATF's acting director, claims Justice Department officials refuse to release a telling internal report on the Fast and Furious operation.


Look for my column in the Times-Standard this Sunday dealing with this Justice Department scandal.


The Justice Department is trying to protect its political appointees from the Fast and Furious scandal by concealing an internal "smoking gun" report and other documents that acknowledge the role top officials played in the program that allowed firearms to flow illegally into Mexico, according to the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Image: Grave site of Rudolf Hess

Shrine no more: Bones of Hitler aide exhumed

The remains of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess have been exhumed from a grave in Bavaria after it became a pilgrimage for thousands of right-wing extremists.

A church official in the southern town of Wunsiedel said Thursday the tomb had been razed and its headstone removed after consulting with Hess's family over how to handle the grave site.

"The bones were removed and brought to the crematorium, and the ashes are to be scattered at sea," Peter Seisser said.

An early, fervent member of the Nazi party, Hess spent time in prison with Hitler in the early 1920s and helped edit Mein Kampf -- the book in which the dictator outlined plans to destroy European Jewry and murder other groups he considered undesirable.

Extremist groups often portray him as a martyr figure, and some from as far away as Oregon and California have organized memorials for him in the past, including a number of outdoor 'white power' rock concerts.

The annual pilgrimage of neo-Nazis in Wunsiedel peaked in 2004, when authorities say some 5,000 people came from across Europe, including left-wing counter protesters.

"Now, hopefully we can put it all behind us," deputy mayor Roland Schoeffel said. "We hope the phantom has left."


Light sleepers rejoice: Hotel chain drafts 'snore patrols' as shuteye sentries

Guests at an international hotel chain may sleep more soundly after the introduction of "snore patrols" and "snore absorption rooms" at a number of sites worldwide.

Crowne Plaza is testing the first "snore absorption" rooms at 10 hotels in Europe and the Middle East, whilst six branches in Britain have implemented "snore patrols" this month in a bid to combat noisy sleepers.

"Snore monitors" patrol corridors in the designated quiet zones of Crowne Plaza hotels in the cities of London, Leeds and Manchester. Their job is to listen out for offensive noises and knock on the door of guests who snore too loudly.

"We have quiet zones on two floors of the hotel. As Snore Monitor, I conduct floor walks to check for noise disruptions, paying particular attention to the quiet zone rooms," said Laura Simpson, Snore Monitor at Leeds Crowne Plaza hotel in northern England.

"Guests can ask to stay our quiet zone rooms if they are particularly light sleepers."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Look, Enough With The 'Shared Sacrifice' Talk. We've Already Had More Than Our Share, Time For The Wealthy To Feel The Pain

Guest Opinion:


                         By Susie Madrak

I've been looking over the Gang of Six's bipartisan class war manifesto. Uh, politicians? Although it's unlikely, you may successfully shove these radical and undemocratic changes down our collective throat (if the House progressives let you), but you can't make us go along with your pretense. You all keep talking about "shared sacrifice" and "belt-tightening" when there's an 16% or so effective unemployment rate, wages are continuing their 30-year decline, jobs are non-existent and millions have lost their homes. For far too many of us, if we tighten our belts any more, we'll break our backs!

Meanwhile, Wall Street is doing better than ever.

In what universe is this "shared" sacrifice?

So here's my question to the gentlemen millionaires of the Senate, and their dear friend in the White House: When is it your turn? Where's your pain? We already had our turn. No more.

Economist Dean Baker says it's "striking" that the Gang of Six chose to respond to the crisis created by the collapse of the housing bubble by developing a plan that will give even more money to top Wall Street executives and traders - by taking it from little old ladies' Social Security.

And just to add insult to injury, there's an upcoming series of trade deal votes that amount to a series of setbacks for American workers and taxpayers, unions and public interest groups. But hey, it makes it easier for the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers to offshore jobs -- and to keep their corporate tax havens.

Just a little historical deja vu....

It just makes me long for the days when we had actual, ass-kicking Democrats.”

Perverted Justice:NM state judge accused of sex assault on prostitute

A state judge in New Mexico is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a prostitute in his home, a crime that police say was videotaped by the victim out of concern for her safety.

State District Judge Albert S. “Pat” Murdoch, 59, was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness, NBC affiliate KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported Wednesday. He was released on a $50,000 bond overnight, it said.

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Sleepy people seek revenge, dog bites shark, and it’s not a good idea to throw doughnuts at a cop!

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Thanks for stopping by. Still kinda sleepy? Have a cup of coffee or tea with me while we search the headlines. Don’t start yawning now…it’s catchy!

Sleepy people blame others for everything

A new study shows that when people, in this case college students, are sleepy they are more likely to think about how events could have turned out differently and ponder how situations could have been better. Depending on the outcome, they may blame others and even seek revenge. Researchers call this sleepy thinking ‘counterfactual.’

Other cultures, such as Latin cultures, seem to understand what Americans don’t: Getting enough sleep is vital for a quality life. “They have siesta periods; in our culture we almost regard taking naps as childish,” David Mastin, associate professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said. “As psychologists, we want to understand the human condition, and we should know what’s going on when people are sleepy.”

Dog bites shark and goes viral

It's got a big yellow dog, sharks, a dead dugong, attracted millions of viewers on YouTube and you couldn't make it up.

Video footage of a dog attacking a shark under water on the Australian coast has "gone viral," becoming a top Internet hit. The footage shows two dogs swimming in the ocean near the West Australian town of Broome, about 1,650 km (1,025 miles) northeast of Perth.The dogs appear to be herding several sharks towards shore, when one suddenly ducks under the water and attacks a shark.

"The dog is biting the shark," said Russell Hood-Penn in the voice-over as he video-taped the incident. "That is unbelievable. I've seen it all now." Hood-Penn placed the footage on video-sharing website YouTube where it has been viewed more than 27 million times.

No, Taunting Cops By Throwing A Box Of Doughnuts At Them Is Never A Good Idea

Angered that police were investigating an assault that reportedly occurred inside his home Saturday night, a South Carolina man tossed a box of doughnuts at the cops and announced, “I brought you some fucking donuts, don’t y’all like donuts.”

Not surprisingly, an irate Timothy Everhart--who repeatedly cursed out cops and slammed his front door on them--was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct. Cops noted that Everhart, 30, appeared intoxicated when he “threw a box of donuts on the front porch area” as Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office deputies approached his door. Everhart was released early this morning from the county jail after posting $262 bond.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Internet hacking group busted: FBI files major cyber crimes charges on 16 Anonymous group members

U.S. authorities today arrested 16 people on charges they were involved in major cyber attacks including attacks on eBay's PayPal website as retribution for dropping WikiLeaks' donation account.

The FBI arrests were made as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the Internet vigilante hacking group Anonymous, both the FBI and Department of Justice said, and followed claims by the group that it broke into Apple servers and launched attacks last year that shut down sites of MasterCard and Visa.

Anonymous, which law enforcement authorities believe is mostly made up of hackers believed to be in their teens and early 20s, also has released scores of private e-mails and other data from an Arizona police website. Those named in the indictment Today ranged in age from 20 to 42. The DOJ noted that "one individual’s name has been withheld by the court," possibly because he or she is a minor.The 20-year-old, Mercedes Renee Haefer, is a university student, and has a lawyer, Stanley L. Cohen of New York.

Fourteen arrests were made in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. The FBI executed more than 35 search warrants. An indictment charging those arrested was unsealed Tuesday in the Northern District of California in San Jose.

In June, the Hacker group LulzSec said it was done and was “sailing off into the horizon.” The group's disbandment came unexpectedly, and could have been a sign of nerves in the face of law enforcement investigations like the one that lead to today’s arrests. It would come as no surprise to me if some of the members were in both groups.

File under, ‘I’ll be Damned, who’d of Guessed?’ Man pays $16 to take over $330,000 House

Waterford Drive, Flower Mound, Texas (© 2011 Microsoft Corporation/Pictometry Bird's Eye)

The neighbors are outraged, but the Texas resident says his takeover is legal and will eventually give him title to the suburban Dallas home.

We all dream of scoring a great deal on a house.

But a $330,000 house for $16? (address: Waterford Drive, Flower Mound, TX - photo on right)

Kenneth Robinson of the Dallas suburb of Flower Mound, Texas, says he sealed just such a deal, taking over a vacant house by simply moving in and paying $16 to file documents with the court claiming ownership.

"This is not a normal process, but it is not a process that is not known," he told WFAA-TV in Dallas. "It's just not known to everybody."

Robinson said he invested months in research to find the house. The property had been in foreclosure for more than a year, and the owner walked away. In the meantime, the lender that held the mortgage went out of business.

Robinson says he can take legal title to the house after he lives there for three years through a provision in the law called "adverse possession." Exactly how that works varies state to state.

This is how WFAA explains the situation:

… Robinson said just by setting up camp in the living room, Texas law gives him exclusive negotiating rights with the original owner. If the owner wants him out, he would have to pay off his massive mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a complicated lawsuit.
Robinson believes because of the cost, neither is likely. The law says if he stays in the house, after three years he can ask the court for the title.

The neighbors are outraged that Robinson got a house on their suburban street for $16 and have tried to get the police to arrest him for trespassing or breaking and entering. But Robinson says he had a key to the house, and the police say it's a civil matter, not a criminal case

Candy Evans of the Dallas real-estate blog Candy's Dirt called a title attorney to ask if Robinson had a chance of holding on to the house. She wrote:

… he told me he seriously doubted that Robinson will get ownership of this home, but he may get a free place to live for several months. The owner of the home will be whoever acquires the assets of the defunct mortgage company, but that company will have to regroup and take legal action against Robinson. And that could take months.

Robinson isn't the first person who has tried to take over an abandoned home by just moving in and claiming adverse possession.

E-Mails from readers regarding the debt ceiling crisis in Congress

I’m going to share five interesting emails with you. I’ve agreed not to reveal the writers names and am assigning each a first name. They all responded to my “Random Thought: Fire everyone in Congress and start over” post on July 18th.  

Lee – “So who ARE the Republicans working for, if it's not the American people? Who is pulling their strings? Does Murdoch have that much power? Is it a foreign country? When a group of people strives this hard to bring down the greatest country in history, you have to wonder why. It doesn't seem possible that they're all just that stupid in Congress.”

cartoon source

Mary “Political gamesmanship is all that Cantor is doing and personally I am sick to death of a congress that is all about games and not about results. Tea Party folks need not apply! Just when I thought Congress couldn't get worse, here comes the Tea Party to prove me wrong.”

Paul - “Can you please explain to the American public how much money was spent on creating this “Cut, Cap and Balance Act,”  bill that they are submitting for a vote whilst knowing it will not make it? This is exactly the kind of ridiculous spending that needs to be done with.  
People spend time on creating something only for political gain as the American Public continuously fund politicians political games. If they truly want to live to the standards they have set-out for all Americans and in accordance with their pledge, then please do us all a favor and stop this utter nonsense.”

Joan – “The Republicans are working for the Koch Bros, bankers,GE, Chrysler, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, GM, etc, etc, etc. It's large corporations that want their profits to increase without having to be responsible for the ruin perpetrated by their activities or maintain adequate worker pay and benefits. The Koch Bros. have contributed extraordinarily exorbitant amounts of money to the Tea Party (since Citizen United) than any other group under their many PAC's.” 

Frank -“The irresponsible right is destroying the American economy by engaging in thug tactics and ensuring that millions are tossed out of jobs with increased poverty for all - except of course - bloated plutocrats.”

Tar, Feathers,Rail,Politician graphic source

Pakistani gives illegal contributions to politicians – Republicans are main recipients according to FBI records

Pakistani accused of masking contributions to US politicians

The FBI has arrested a man investigators say was an agent of Pakistan's official state intelligence service, accusing him of making roughly $2 million in political contributions in the United States without disclosing his connections to the Pakistani government.

Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai will appear in federal court this afternoon in Alexandria, Va. He's not charged with being a spy. But he is charged with being an unregistered agent or lobbyist of the Pakistani government.

He's the executive director of a group called the Kashmiri American Council. Political contribution records show he has given tens of thousands of dollars to congressional candidates and party organizations. The FBI said in court documents released Tuesday that the council is effectively run by the Pakistani government.

According to the records, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., head of the Pakistani caucus within the House, Burton received more than $10,000, including $2,000 each, the maximum allowable under U.S. law, in the 2004, 2008 and 2010 congressional campaigns.

In addition, Fai gave the National Republican Senatorial Committee $3,500 in 2004, $5,000 in 2006 and $1,000 in 2008. Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Pa., also received $2,000 in 2004. The only Democrat to receive a significant amount of money was Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who received $2,000 in 1998.

graphic source

Some things you should be aware of about Social Security

Image: Social Security card © Comstock

Andy Landis, a principal with Thinking Retirement and the author of "Social Security: The Inside Story."  advises against buying into any media-created Social Security "crisis.

" "Social Security is solvent for decades to come, and the glass is three-quarters full even after that," Landis said. "How many programs, public or private, can say that with confidence? Can you name one private company that can say the same?" Story

WalMart receipt with Jesus’s face on it, Grandma neck deep in mud for 3 days, and Michigan bride arrested after wedding ceremony

Who would have guessed Jesus would show up on a WalMart receipt?

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Have you got your cup of Joe and ready to go? This morning we’re looking at a WalMart receipt with Jesus Christ’s face on it.

Here in Humboldt WalMart is in the news, but nothing supernatural about that. A lot of folks think the devil is moving in to the Mall…maybe they’ll change their mind if they get a holy receipt like this couple did?

Missing Grandma found neck deep in mud!

I’ll bet this woman never goes for a stroll in the middle of the night again. She ended up stuck in the mud up to her neck for three days!

When someone finally heard her faint calls for help they called 911 and said someone was stuck in the swamp and they knew for sure a big alligator lived there.

Asked what went through her mind afterwards, she laughed and said,”Imagine, people actually pay for mud baths in spas!” You go Grandma! You’re my hero!

Michigan bride arrested on felony warrant after taking vows

A Michigan bride still wearing her wedding dress was arrested on a felony warrant and briefly jailed after exchanging vows at a Jackson-area church, police said.

The 53-year-old woman, whose name wasn't immediately released, was wanted on a 3-year-old warrant for identity theft, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported.

Police believed the woman had moved to Florida, and they got two tips that she would be back in town for Saturday's wedding. She was arrested at City of Zion Ministries just after the ceremony, Blackman-Leoni Township Public Safety Officer Rick Gillespie said.

The woman was held for less than about 30 minutes before being booked, released on bond and picked up by her husband, Gillespie said. Officers gave her the chance to change clothes before she was taken to jail, but she declined, Gillespie said.

Officers had discussed whether to arrest her on her wedding day, and decided to do that because they had no other information about her whereabouts, Gillespie said. They let her pose for last-minute photographs before taking her to jail, he said.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Random Thought: fire everyone in Congress and start over

Random thought: The term "Congress" has several meanings, but first among them is "the act of coming together and meeting."

We have representatives who meet, but refuse to come together for reasons of perceived political gain. Since they are not doing what we elected them to do, that is be a "Congress", why can't we just fire them all?

I’ve heard the argument that the longer you're in Congress, the more effective you are.

Given the results of that effectiveness (as in current Congressional gridlock), wouldn't it be better to fire them all and start over in 2012?

The only people who seem to think that Congressman should have no term limits are Congressman and the people with their hands in their Congressman’s pockets. How the hell can we expect change when we have 85-year old Congressmen who have spent a major portion of their life holding down a Congressional seat? They cling to their old ways of thinking and resist any change that will dilute their power, or the power of their cronies.

 cartoon source for Senators running down steps -  cartoon source for Pig on Capitol Building

3-D printer makes anything real, BP Pipeline leak in Alaska, and a 77-year-old Congressman fights off intruder who broke into his home

This is definitely the most revolutionary video I have ever seen - it is sure to alter the way you think. The parameters of possibility have just overstepped the mark. This is literally amazing but they do not say anything about what it cost. It seems to me it would be quite useful for making parts for autos, boats, planes, space ships. What next?

Good Morning Humboldt County!

I’ve got a pot of virtual coffee on and your welcome to a cup.

A new week begins with some real Star Trek stuff as things are scanned and then replicated in a 3-D form.

This technology amazes me because I’ve never heard of it before. Have you?

 I must be more out-of-touch on modern technology than I expected.

BP pipeline leaks oily mixture onto Alaskan tundra

BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant's attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP said on today that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra.

Image: Leonard Boswell

Congressman, grandson fight off armed intruder

An eight-term congressman from Iowa helped fight off an armed man who invaded his farm house in Decatur County and attacked his daughter on Saturday night, according to a statement from his office.

The attack occurred around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday at a farm in Lamoni, where Rep. Leonard Boswell, a 77-year-old Democrat who represents Iowa's third congressional district, was spending the weekend with his wife, daughter and grandson.

"The intruder entered the front door of the farm house and physically assaulted Cindy while demanding money at gunpoint," read the statement from Boswell's office.

After hearing his daughter's screams, the congressman "entered the walkway of their house and immediately went for the guy's gun and was wrestling with him. They were both on the ground," Boswell's chief of staff Grant Woodard told local news station KCCI.While the two scuffled, Boswell's 22-year-old grandson Mitchell Brown grabbed a shotgun from a nearby room and confronted the intruder, who then fled into the surrounding field.

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, July 17, 2011

As It Stands: Counting the many ways crime does pay

             By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
   Let’s get rid
of that silly hackneyed phrase “crime doesn’t pay.” It’s not true.
I’m not sure if it ever was, but if it was, it must have been a long time ago in a long-forgotten land.

  Today, being notorious for committing a crime means people will offer money in the form of book deals, interviews, and movies. Maybe even a reality show for someone the public thinks got away with murder, like Casey Anthony.
  As odd as it sounds, crime is the basis of a legitimate industry that brings in billions of tourist dollars every year. True crime travel destinations vie with Caribbean cruises and trips to Disneyland.

    In Boston, where reputed crime boss and 16-year fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger is back in federal custody, tourists find mob-related tours an “offer they can’t refuse.”
“We’re definitely seeing more interest in our tours,” said David Aspro, who leads the Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour for New York-based On Location Tours.
   “We’ve sold out both the tours we’ve done since he was captured, and I think we’re on pace to do that again this upcoming weekend,” he told the Associated Press.
    The tour takes visitors to different locations ranging from Louisburg Square, the Beacon Hill park seen in “The Boston Strangler,” to the flower shop/headquarters of gang boss Fergus Colm (Pete Postelthwaite) in “The Town.”

     Not your cup of tea? Try a trip to “Sin City’s” Mob Experience Museum where criminal memorabilia from Nevada gangsters like Bugsy Seigel and Meyer Lansky is on display. They also have a new interactive  exhibit that takes visitors on a one-of-a-kind journey into Las Vegas’ crime riddled past. Amid extravagant realistic settings, the visitor becomes part of the exhibit. They’re given a name and a character of their choice to lead them on the historic virtual tour.
     Not interested in going to Las Vegas? No problem. Try the “Weird Chicago” tour.
You get to see the ghosts, gangsters, and the ghouls of the Windy City.
     Join Weird Chicago for a walk on the dark side of the city during this grisly and chilling tour. This is not an ordinary crime tour but a look at the most depraved murders in the city's history - and some of the darkest crimes ever committed. It’s a trip back in time to revisit some of the bloodiest crimes of Chicago's past.

 The tour includes death sites, crime scenes and haunts of Chicago's most notorious killers. Coming up soon; the Dillinger Death Anniversary Weekend on July 22 and 23rd.
    We must not forget Washington D.C. and the National Museum of Crime & Punishment. If you’re a serious crime fan, be prepared to roam three floors totaling 25,000 square feet and featuring over 100 interactive exhibits.
    This tour is a “Must See for CSI fans,” according to the Today Show. They now offer a history of the Casey Anthony case, along with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, the controversial  O.J. Simpson case (once considered the crime of the century) and an exhibit on the “Freeway Sniper.”
    Fans of crime dramas like CSI are offered a new tour in Los Angeles that will surely appeal to their investigatory instincts. "Crime Scene Tours" will allow visitors to explore some of the city's most famous crime scenes. Organized by Starline Tours, the operator claims the tour will be "perfect for amateur sleuths and drama junkies who enjoy television's most popular crime shows," according to a recent LA Times article.
    At each stop, tourists will hear a re-telling of the infamous crime that occurred there. Crime scenes include the North Hollywood bank robbery, which resulted in a spectacular shootout between the robbers and the LAPD.
   Also covered is the Black Dahlia murder - the crime scene and circumstances surrounding the murder of 22-year-old waitress Elizabeth Short, dubbed the “Black Dahlia by the press.”
    Without a doubt, crime pays. I’ve offered some examples, and there are plenty more out there if you want to add to this list. I make no moral judgment about those who follow crime stories, serial killers, etc. Heck, I have to count myself in that group.
     No. I simply point out that crime does pay. Every day. Still, the irony of rewarding the bad men and women in our society and those who seek to profit from their crimes makes me uneasy. I realize I’m complicit when I buy a book like “The Green River Killer,” or “In Cold Blood.”
      As It Stands, the answer is to not buy, read, or listen to, any true stories about killers in our society. Not a likely scenario for most of us.

Websites that have picked up this column:

God's Vacation and Other Matters – 7/17 metaphysics, spirituality,kundalini, synchronicity, mystical experiences, personal para-normal experiences, politics, comparative religions, global warming, the future, you name it

 Las Vegas Crime 7/17 Crime, law and justice, and police blotter near Las Vegas, NV or anywhere in the US.

Interceder – 7/17 James Whitey Bulger - Interceder – 7/17 Suddenlink

Squidoo – 7/17 Under Google News Board

DAHLIA JAMES BLOG – 7/17 #2 item

Famous People – 7/17 from Nevada News

Los Angeles Crime – 7/17 Crime, law and justice and police blotter, or Los Angeles, CA.

Topic Hawk – 7/17 What people are saying…

Famous Serial Killers – 7/17 under “Recent Posts”

Green River Yellow Pages 7/17


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...