Archive for May, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Best wishes to all on this Memorial Day. We are camping today in the Shenandoah but my thoughts will be with my late father, Jack Turley, who served in the Pacific with the Navy and all of the others who served and continue to serve this country.
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An arrest in New Hampshire has revealed a shocking story of a 15-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by a leading church member at the Trinity Baptist Church in 1997. She was allegedly forced by the church to stand before the congregation and apologize before being taken out of state — and out of the reach of police investigating the rape.
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Hollywood stars appear to be yearning for some authoritarian relief. This week, Oliver Stone proclaimed his deep admiration of Hugo Chavez, who has stifled dissent and cracked down on journalists in his country. In the meantime, Woody Allen stated that Obama should be given dictatorial powers.
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New Zealand’s new Animal Welfare (Commercial Slaughter) Code has banned kosher slaughtering by requiring that all animals slaughtered commercially be stunned prior to killing. The law still allows kosher meat to be imported from other countries.
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Dog and a Stick

This is why men identify with dogs. It just does not make sense. How does this stick do it?

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We have been following how police in the United States and abroad have started to arrest people filming them in public, including today’s story out of California (here). Maryland police continue (in my view wrongly) to claim that recording them in public is a crime in that state as shown in this video from the Preakness.

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Man Versus Dog

The eternal dance between man and dog continues . . .

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When Michael Clauer went to Iraq as a captain commanding over 100 soldiers in Iraq, he was likely contemplating many potential dire consequences, but he probably was not thinking about the threat posed by his homeowners’ association. Because Clauer’s wife did not pay the homeowners’ fees, the association foreclosed on his $300,000 house and sold it for $3,500. They owed only $800. The story reveals the gross abuse allowed under a Texas law which gives such associations the right to foreclose on homes for failure to pay ANY amount — and to foreclose without a court order. Select Management Co., which runs the development, has refused any comment.

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This video reportedly shows Los Angeles police menacing riders in a “critical mass” bike protest against British Petroleum by sticking out their feet. According to the cyclists, when one person filming the scene objected, he was arrested.

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Big Fella’s Baxter Ward is this week’s Pet of the Week.

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After months of evading questions, the White House appears to have confirmed that it did play a leading role in trying to get Rep. Joe Sestak to drop out of the race against now defeated Sen. Arlen Specter. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly asked former President Bill Clinton to offer an unpaid position on an intelligence board in exchange for Sestak pulling out.
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In Camden, New Jersey, a 17-year-old high school student has pleaded guilty to defecating in a classmate’s soda during an auto-shop class.
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In a little reported story, scientists have made a breakthrough in the fight against Ebola — the often fatal “bleeding disease.” Thomas Geisbert of Boston University and a team of researchers have developed an experimental drug that appears to protect monkeys from the most lethal strain of Ebola.
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According to Bill O’Reilly, Columbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill looks like a cocaine dealer. The answer appears to be that all cocaine dealers wear straight dress shirt collars.

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Kim Flemming thought that losing Jake, her 12-year-old yellow Labrador, in Aurora, Ontario was bad enough. That was until she received a letter from State Farm Insurance demanding that she pay for the dented bumper on the car that killed Jake.

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While the Catholic Church may be criticized for covering up crimes by priests and resisting efforts to discipline offenders, it seems to waste to time with errant nuns. Sister Margaret McBride has been excommunicated for the offense of approving an abortion to protect the life of a mother as a senior administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. There does not even appear to be any room for mitigating circumstances in such a case. Bishop Thomas Olmstead (left) immediately excommunicated McBride.

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Pakistani fertilizer dealer Malik Mohammad Iqbal, 42, and his eunuch partner “Rani” Kashif, 19, are at the center of a controversy over whether they were throwing a party with other “eunuchs” or throwing a wedding party. They have been charged with trying to wed and unnatural acts under a Sharia-based law.

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Two Israeli activists were arrested for shouting insults at White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in Israel this week. The activists spotted Emanuel in Jerusalem’s Old City with his family and shouted “Jerusalem is not for sale.” Heck, Rahm Emanuel is known to say worse stuff in a shower, here. That would be protected speech in the United States, but it appears that you can be arrested for shouting at celebrities and high-ranking officials in Israel.
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Long Beach police are investigating a beach tragedy after one of its officers rushed to help a drowning man — only to run over a sunbather and crush his spine.
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Not Another Fish Story

Please tell me that the father was near the shore still trying to catch even a minnow after hours of fruitless casting.
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There was a time when we got things like the Beatles and Monty Python from our British cousins. The most recent import from England, however, is far less redeeming: vodka eyeballing. Upset that vodka shots took too long to be absorbed into their blood streams, British drinkers have discovered that pouring vodka directly into your eye socket results in a faster avenue to inebriation.
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The legal situation over the Deepwater Horizon explosion appears to be getting more serious as accounts emerged that there was a serious argument between Transocean and BP officials shortly before the blast — with references to the possible use of the blowout preventer. One BP official, Robert Kaluza, has become the first known person associated with the blast to invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to refuse to answer questions.

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It appears 0888 888 888 is the cellphone version of the monkey’s paw — bringing disaster to all those who acquire it. The Bulgarian mobile phone company has removed the number from circulation after all of its previous owners died within the last ten years.

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A Beer With a High Ball

Once again, I will simply note that Cubs fans are the greatest fans in the world.

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Amnesty International (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) has issued a 430-page report accusing both Israel and Hamas of war crimes. While few have any illusions about Hamas and its violation of international law, the accusations against Israel are quite damaging and join those of the United Nations investigation by the Goldstone Commission.

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Answer: A truck carrying 17 million bees.

A truck hauling 7,000 hives was involved in a four-car accident in Minnesota. A report says that “rescue crews were using fire hoses to douse an angry swarm of bees.” That does not seem like a good way of calming irate bees.

In my younger days, I worked as an assistant to a bee researcher at the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Research in Maryland. We would use smoke to quiet the bees, but that might not appeal to firefighters.

For the full story, click here.

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Bank robbers in Germany went a bit overboard with the explosives in trying to break open a cash machine in Malliss. They destroyed the bank. The only thing remaining intact was the bank’s cash machine.
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While Congress continues to gush money in Iraq and Afghanistan (and offers to pay for an over $200 million missile system for Israel), U.S. debt is now over $13,000,000,000,000. That is roughly $118,000 per taxpayer.
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A 58-year-old British transsexual identified only as “C” lost a unique claim in England when Judge David Bean ruled that the state-funded health service’s refusal to pay for a breast enlargement was not a violation of her human rights.
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AFP is reporting that Sharia police in Indonesia’s Aceh province have been armed with 20,000 skirts in its battle against unIslamic figure-hugging or short outfits on women. Women will be told to put on the skirts to adhere to Islamic values.

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The United States Senate yielded again to demands from the powerful pharmaceutical lobby and killed two separate proposals that would have allowed citizens to obtain cheaper drugs in the United States. Both the White House and Congress have been killing such proposals despite the fact that soaring drug costs are crippling many families. The vote was 51-48 on the first bill by Sen. Byron Dorgan (with 25 sponsors).
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Arizona Senatorial candidate and conservative commentator J.D. Hayworth may have some explaining to do to the “greatest generation” and his high school history professor. Hayworth has insisted that the United States never declared war on Germany in World War II — leading to this video. (I must say that with the Frog video on immigration (here), this Arizona election is becoming quite entertaining). As Thomas Jefferson said, “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”

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The Washington Post has an interesting article today on the stock trades of Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.). I have been a long critic of members playing the stock market (here) given the dangers posed by insider information and advantage. With considerable resources tied up in particular areas, members can influence the markets through legislation or anticipate market shifts due to forthcoming changes.

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Dean Rockmore, 48, has the distinction of serving life for the theft of socks. The Daytona Beach man received a mandatory life sentence as a repeat offender after he ran from a store with $4 of socks.

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Jason Robinson, 32, has been removed as head football coach for the Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Florida after allegedly sending inappropriate pictures to his 20-year-old girlfriend. The age of the girlfriend makes this story rather interesting since two adults sharing such pictures should not normally be a matter for discipline let alone removal.

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KyndraKayeRotundaWe have been following the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former George Mason Clinical professor Kyndra Rotunda (wife of constitutional law professor Ron Rotunda) against George Mason Law School and Dean Daniel Polsby (left). This week, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema not only dismissed the sexual harassment claims against Polsby and the school but barred Rotunda from amending her complaint.
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There is a growing controversy in Illinois where School District 113 has blocked the Township High School ‘s Girls Varsity Basketball Team from traveling to Arizona in December due to the passage of that state’s controversial immigration law. I was asked to consider the argument of the District that it was compelled to bar such travel as a constitutional matter. While I respect (and share) the concerns of the Board over this law, I do not believe the trip is barred as a matter of constitutional law. Given the hard work of these girls in achieving such a honor, I believe the board should reconsider its decision if they make the championship. While there remain legitimate objections to the law, I do not believe that this bar on travel is compelled as a legal matter.

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Kung Fu Bear

The man who shot this video at a Japanese Zoo insists that this is the original and was not altered in any way. You be the judge.
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It appears that officials will not allow free range chickens to roam on election day in Nevada. Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden has been ridiculed for her comment about how people used to barter for medical care. Critics have suggested that she was looking back fondly on the way “our grandparents would bring a chicken to the doctor.” Now, officials have banned chicken suits at polling places to stop critics from ridiculing Lowden.
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While religious police in Saudi Arabia are herding Emo girls (here), gunmen in the Gaza Strip have burned down a U.N.-run summer camp for children for educating girls and playing hip hop music.
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Hinds Community College in Mississippi is receiving some unwanted attention due to a controversy involving the discipline of Isaac Rosenbloom, 30, for using a single foul word in the presence of a teacher after a speech class.
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Just days after we discussed the low-lives who stole a wheelchair and dog from a disabled man in Philadelphia (here), it has happened again. An eight-year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy had his wheelchair stolen when he went into his home briefly with his nurse.
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Saudi religious police have declared war on the emo girls. Ten “emos” were rounded up at a coffee shop at the King Abdullah University.
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In Edmonds, Washington, Jose Lopez Madrigal is in jail for alleged rape. He is not unfamiliar with custody, however. Police have learned that Madrigal has been deported nine times.
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This guy appears to be working quite hard to remove his family from the gene pool.
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Ever wonder why bears steal picnic baskets? Because no one will serve them.
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Rape shield laws have always been controversial with defense counsel and some civil libertarians because they shield the identity of the alleged victim but not the alleged attacker. Now, the coalition government in England appears ready to address that controversy by banning the identification of both alleged victims and criminal defendants in rape cases.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has turned to humor and an amphibian advocate to make her case to Arizona voters — making fun at critics who have been denouncing the Arizona law without reading it. The video has become a hit and pushed Brewer ahead of her Democratic opponent in the race, Terry Goddard.

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The Obama Administration appears close to doing what many thought was unthinkable from a political standpoint: opposing the enforcement of federal law for any illegal immigrants caught in Arizona. That appears to be the suggestion of John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an interview this week.

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Now this would make for an interesting foreseeable misuse case. Federal authorities are reporting a toy pellet gun is being converted into a semi-automatic weapon for gang members.
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