It has been a virtual mantra of U.S. policy for decades that we do not negotiate with terrorists and never never pay ransoms. That is why a new report is so startling even though it has received relatively little attention. The Pentagon reportedly gave an unspecified but large amount of money to an Afghan for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and then found out the money and the Afghan disappeared without a trace. The Pentagon is denying that it tried to pay a ransom for Bergdahl.
Archive for the ‘Bizarre’ Category
We have previously discussed how filmmakers are releasing fake videos such as the recent profiling video out of New York — a practice that is not only dishonest but highly counterproductive for groups seeking to address such abuses. Now it appears that a moving video of a Syrian boy heroically rescuing a little girl under fire is a fake, but director Lars Klevberg, 34, is heralding his hoax as a wonderful success and is entirely unapologetic for misleading millions of people.
We have been discussing the ever-expanding copyright and trademarks claims on what seems every object and observation in modern life, including such things as pictures taken of public scenes in London and in New York. Now one of the most iconic public images is being claimed as protected: the Eiffel Tower at night. Under EU law, the tower light display constitutes an “art work” and is therefore copyrighted. Thus, you can take a picture during the day but at night the copyright lawyers come out and roam the streets to see if you are taking pictures of the lights of the city of the “City of Lights.” (To show my innate sense of legality, I took this cunning picture just before the lights came on at dusk in Paris a few years ago. Ha!)
There continues to be a national debate over how to handle “deadbeat dads” with some questioning whether jail time is useful as a punishment for non-payment since it often makes it harder for the fathers to hold jobs. Others say that deadbeat dads are often do not take civil penalties seriously and that only jail will motivate compliance to shoulder their responsibilities. There may be no greater case study to support criminal sanctions than Terry Turnage, who has fathered 26 children by 15-20 different women, though the precise number seems difficult to confirm. He has reportedly failed to pay virtually any support to any of the women while driving expensive cars and throwing lavish parties.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan appears to have the same fluid understanding of history as he does civil rights. Erdogan became the latest — and certainly highest ranking — person to proliferate the myth that Columbus not only found that Muslims had discovered the New World before him but that there was an actual mosque left on a mountain in Cuba to greet the explorer.
I have previously written about the array of added fees and costs associated with every aspect of air travel from seats with minimal leg room to meals to even bathrooms on some flights. One of the most profitable however is to charge for wifi. Like high-end hotels (another pet peeve of mine), airlines charge for this basic service. However, Jeremy Gutsche, a Canadian entrepreneur, never imagined how much when he received a $1,200 bill from Singapore Airlines for exceeding his wifi package. It appears that it does not simply cut off but continues to charge you — a useful glitch if you want to fleece customers.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
[E]xchange chief executive Richard Onizuka said in a new release. At 8 a.m. Sunday, the system was working properly.
“Consumers expect to be selecting and purchasing health coverage with the correct information,” Onizuka said. “While we recognize that this Saturday was an inconvenience, being able to provide correct information to our customers is paramount to what we do.”