Category: Bizarre

Dept. of Energy Official Passes Off Natural Gas as “Freedom Gas”

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Did Congress’ France disparagement campaign of renaming French Fries to Freedom Fries cause a butterfly effect that manifested sixteen years later? Apparently possibly.

The U.S. Department of Energy posted on May 28th an announcement of approving additional exports of domestically produced Liquid Natural Gas at the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver, BC. To spice up perhaps a rather bland news announcement, U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes decided to import some ill-considered political pontificating by renaming LNG as “Freedom Gas”.

Liberty and Freedom encompass many enlightened notions. But as a gas, that’s a new one for me.

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Age Of Rage: Tribe Calls McConnell “McTurtle” And A “Flagrant Di**head!”

President Donald Trump’s penchant for personal and derogatory remarks about his critics and opponents is well known. Many of us have objected to how Trump’s tweets and attacks have tarnished the Office of Presidency. He has already given insulting labels to various candidates in the Democratic primary. However, such attacks are not just confined to Trump. Yet, as academics, such incivility runs against our tradition of civility in discourse. It often can take no small amount of restraint, but name calling and ad hominem attacks achieve little beyond joining a race to the bottom. That level of restraint was lost this week by Laurence Tribe, a renowned academic and the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard University. While name calling is now routine, this instance is notable, and alarming, from one of the nation’s leading academics.

Tribe went after Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week after McConnell promised to fill any Supreme Court vacancy in 2020. McConnell had led the blocking of the confirmation of Merrick Garland in 2016 by citing that fact that it was an election year. When asked what would happen if Republicans faced a vacancy in 2020, McConnell was adamant: “Oh, we’d fill it.” That was too much for Tribe who attacked McConnell in what many would view Trump-like postings.

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Trump Staff Demanded Removal Of Warship Bearing John McCain’s Name Before Japan Visit

The White House reportedly told the Defense Department that it needed to send away the the USS John McCain so that it was not around when President Donald Trump visited Japan. Named after Trump’s Republican critic, the ship had to be “out of sight” by the time Trump arrived for a visit to the Yokosuka base. Trump has denied knowing about the order, but did not say that he would find out who issued the order and fire them. The idea of White House staff dictating the movement of warships is extremely serious and the Navy should have refused. These warships have missions and are not props. Moreover, the people serving on these ships are not some collective pariah due to petty politics.

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Poll: Only 18 Percent Of Germans Feel Free To Voice Views In Public

For years, we have discussed the unrelenting attacks on free speech in Europe with the expansion of hate speech laws and the general criminalization of speech, including international speech crimes. Some in the United States would like to follow down that dangerous path (and universities are reinforcing the view of the need to regulate speech). The implications of such anti-speech policies are evident in Germany where a survey, conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach(and published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) found that only 18 percent of Germans feel free to express their views in public. It is the most vivid example of how Europeans are learning to live without free speech. Undeterred, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the successor to Angela Merkel, is now calling on greater limits on free speech during election periods — a concept that would normally be viewed as counterintuitive outside of the new European model.

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Study: Umpires Wrong In 20 Percent Of Plate Calls

In 2018, Cubs player Ben Zobrist was thrown out in the ninth inning of a 2018 game against the Milwaukee Brewers after telling plate umpire Phil Cuzzi  “That’s why we want an electronic strike zone.” I have long agreed with Zobrist that it is insane that we continue to rely on umpires rather than electronic strike zones. Indeed, we watched games where an electronic strike zone is used to determine if an umpire was right. Instead of using that system, however, we use the less reliable human umpire at home plate. Now  a new study  of some four millions pitches found that umpires were wrong an astonishing 20 percent of the time. That is one out of five pitches in games that often turn on a handful of calls. It is insane to use the least accurate means for calling strikes and balls when so much depends not just for these games but for the players who deserve to be measured accurately on their performance.

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Trump Again Calls For Changing Libel Laws After NYU Professor’s Faked Quote [Updated]

President Donald Trump has previously — and unwisely — called for changing libel laws to combat what he calls “fake news.” I have previously criticized  Trump for his calls for greater liability of the media for its coverage of the controversies surrounding his Administration, including his desire to sue Saturday Night Live.  Now, due to the publication of a false quote from Trump by New York University Professor Ian Bremmer, Trump is again calling for a change in the law and ignoring that our defamation standard is anchored in the first amendment. Ironically, Trump himself was recently accused of posting a doctored clip of Nancy Pelosi and has repeatedly retweeted false or defamatory statements.

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Most Hapless Felon Ever

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Every year in reading of the human experience, individuals continue to reinforce the notion that while intelligence has its limits, stupidity knows no bounds. But today’s case-study  imports an existential question into the latter element: Stupidity can be so self-actualized, that it succeeds in preventing procreation, thus constraining the bounds of inheritable haplessness.

It all began simply enough–a felon reportedly stuffed a pistol into the front pocket of his pants and shot himself in the testicles. And yes, the story does get worse for him.

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Juncker: Nationalists and Populists Are “Stupid” And “Are In Love With Their Own Countries”

We have previously discussed President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and his controversial statements. Juncker for many is the face of the detached and arrogant bureaucracy that dictates policies and practices in various nations. While the EU has long tried to assure people that it is not replacing their national identity or self-determination, Juncker has always been dismissive of such concerns, even with growing anti-EU movements. That dismissive attitude was evident this week when Juncker said on CNN “These populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own countries.”

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Virginia Dog Euthanized Pursuant To The Will Of Its Deceased Owner

Emma, a Shih Tzu mix, was a much loved pet . . . and that apparently proved her demise. Her owner passed about on March 8th in Virginia and Emma was brought to the Chesterfield Animal Shelter. The shelter was then surprised on March 22 when the executor of the estate informed it that the dog was to be handed over because the owner wanted her pet to be euthanized upon her death. The shelter pleaded that it could find many new families for Emma but the dog was taken away to be killed per the request of its owner.

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A-Lean Cuisines: Source of Alien Signals Confirmed At Australian Radio Telescope After 17 Years

For 17 years, astronomers at a massive radio telescope in Australia at the Parkes Observatory have been searching for the source of an alien signal of “perytons.” With a new retrofit, they finally were able to isolate the source: their microwave in the kitchen.

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Trump Attacks GOP Rep As “Loser” For Supporting Impeachment

Rep. Justin Amash (R., Mich.) became the first Republican to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump this weekend. There are ample grounds to questioning the existence of impeachable offenses. Yet, Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) called Amash’s stand courageous. I agree that breaking from one’s party on an issue of conscience is worthy of respect even if one does not see the merits in the same fashion. However, President Trump stuck with his signature personal insults in calling Amash a “loser” who was motivated by a desire for attention. Once again, I fail to see why Trump engages in such unpresidential, low-grade attacks. It is not only demeaning to his office but ultimately self-defeating to his claims of innocence.

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Navy Completes Investigation of “Sky Penis” Artists

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

With the litany of political investigations abound in Washington, DC, another of lesser consequence–and admittedly equal in relevance–involved errant U.S. Navy Aviators who drew a ginormous sky-borne phallus using contrails.

Surely, most everyone in Okanogan County probably found a good laugh, but someone just had to complain to a Spokane news medium and the controversy unfolded.

I am greatly relieved that our national security was assured as a result of this investigation.  Yet, unfortunately, the additional laughs garnered probably did not live up to the budget spent on their revelation.

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Nevada Woman Charged With Killing Elderly Man After He Asked Her “To Be Nice” To Bus Passengers

Cadesha Michelle Bishop may seriously want to explore a plea deal. According to the Associated Press, the 25-year-old woman has been charged with murder after an elderly man who she shoved off a Las Vegas bus after he told her to stop abusing other bus riders and to be civil. A videotape shows Bishop matter-of-factly pushing 74-year-old Serge Fournier out a door and head first into the pavement.

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