October 6th, 2010

run away

dangerous × incompetent = lucky

Sheriff's deputy mistakenly fires eight shots at robbery victim, misses

A sheriff's deputy fired eight shots at a man he believed to have just robbed a West Hollywood liquor store early Sunday, but his target turned out to be the just-robbed clerk, and the actual suspects got away.

The deputy-involved shooting occurred around 2 a.m. near Havenhurst Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard, said Deputy Lillian Peck of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

"Deputies responded to a robbery call of a liquor store in the 8200 block of Santa Monica Boulevard," Peck said. "The call indicated the suspects were armed with a handgun."

Peck said one of the deputies "saw a man matching one of the suspects' description run from the area of the liquor store, holding what he believed to be a gun, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred." The man was not hit.

"The man was detained by deputies and was determined not to be a suspect," Peck said.

Lt. Alicia Ault told the WeHo News website a single deputy fired eight rounds at the man, who turned out to be the store clerk.

"The deputy fired eight rounds and missed him," Ault told WeHo News. "Ultimately, deputies determined that the man the deputy fired upon was the store's clerk who was pointing to them trying to get their attention."

The two suspects were described only as a black man armed with a handgun and a black woman. Both suspects were last seen running southbound on Havenhurst Drive.

Windows at a store across the street from the robbery site were blown out by the gunfire.

Deputies urged anyone with information regarding the robbery or the suspects to contact the West Hollywood sheriff's station at (310) 855-8850.


Newflash: Lakes have pirates and gringos still crazy!

DENVER — The father of an American man who was allegedly killed by pirates in a lake on the Texas-Mexico border accused Mexican authorities of being corrupt and said Tuesday they're not doing enough to find his son's body.

Dennis Hartley of Milliken, Colo., was responding to statements by Mexican police in Tamaulipas State saying that they had not found evidence that the attack last week happened as it was described by Hartley's daughter-in-law, Tiffany Hartley.

Tiffany Hartley said she and her husband, David, were on Jet Skis on Falcon Lake on Thursday when men on three speedboats chased them, shooting her husband in the head. Authorities have not recovered his body, but Tiffany Hartley said she believes the gun shot was fatal.
Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, the Tamaulipas State Police commander overseeing the search for David Hartley, told the McAllen (Texas) Monitor on Monday that no one near the lake reported hearing gunshots or the sound of anyone on a Jet Ski.

The district attorney in charge of the case, Marco Antonio Guerrero Carrizales, also told the newspaper that authorities "are not certain that the incident happened the way that they are telling us."

This woman has both a suspicious story and a shifty mole.

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I think Tiffany Hartley killed her husband and she wants to create an international incident to cover it up. This is almost as bad as the deputy dipshit in Arizona who shot himself and then claimed he fought off a whole gang of thugs in the desert.


Pride & Prejudice

When the ship sinks, the elite grab all the lifeboats

Did you know? The UK chancellor, George Osborne, is a closet pacifist who would be happy to see the Taliban in charge of his Tatton constituency. The home secretary, Teresa May, is soft on paedophiles and comfortable with child molesters. The justice secretary, Ken Clarke, delights in setting raving criminals free. As for the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, when he hears the word art, he reaches for his axe.

Welcome to the crazy, hyperbolic world of cuts lobbying. It says the government must reduce public spending – in general – but not in particular, and certainly not my particular. Cut the other guy, the one who can't shout; but cut me, and civilisation as we know it is at an end. It will be all the government's fault.

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Next week they'll have a hard-hitting feature on Batboy

'Fox and Friends' falls for ruse alleging purchase of $1 billion of jetpacks for LAPD, Fire Department

It's a story that, by all accounts, shouldn't have flown.

Anchors at the Fox News national morning news show "Fox and Friends" reported Tuesday that the city of Los Angeles had ordered 10,000 jetpacks for its police and fire departments. The price tag: a whopping $100,000 per unit.

For those doing the math at home, the cash-strapped city of Los Angeles, which is regularly sending its police detectives home because it can't pay all their overtime, allegedly shelled out a billion dollars on space-age transportation that it has never used in an emergency situation, much less tested.

"We certainly haven't bought any jetpacks," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. "We haven't bought [squad] cars for two years."

As Gawker.com was the first to note, the "Fox and Friends" report appeared to contain material taken right out of a story from the Weekly World News tabloid, which bills itself as "The World's Only Reliable New Source."

Apparently taking that slogan -- and ruse -- to heart, "Fox and Friends" reported that the jetpacks can reach speeds of 63 miles an hour and reach an altitude of 8,000 feet. And then came the questions.

Co-host Gretchen Carlson said that while she was "all for buying stuff up and helping the capitalism and all that" she wondered whether the costs would be prohibitive in a bad economy.

Brian Kilmeade wondered about possible safety issues.

"You gotta make up some rules," Kilmeade said. "Because you’re going to have jetpacks flying into choppers!"

A short time later the hosts did an about-face, reporting that the LAPD was not buying the "Jetson's"-style transporters.

The media buzz around the jetpacks harkens back to the 1970s when then-chief Ed Davis caused a stir by declaring that he wanted the City Council to invest in submarines to track drug smugglers.

Source was promised jetpacks is all for buying stuff up and helping the capitalism and all that.

Obesity problem is bigger than we think, despite GDP benefits

From a more economic POV.

I have bad news and good about the O-word. Although there has been a suggestion in some quarters the media got over-excited about the ''obesity epidemic'', a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - unlikely to be a purveyor of faddish enthusiasms - has confirmed the seriousness of the problem.

The report says obesity is worsening throughout the developed world and becoming the top public health concern. One in two people is now overweight or obese in almost half the developed countries. In some, two out of three people will be in trouble within 10 years.

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mus | like a bird in a cage

Some badly needed happy news

Man builds cat-sized village for homeless cats

Craig Grant didn't like cats. But that changed when his son moved out, leaving his cat, Pepper, behind. And just when Craig was getting used to having one cat, he found out Pepper was pregnant.

Five kittens later, Craig was ready to adopt them out until his son said they must stay with their mother for 8 weeks. "It wasn't long before the kittens were swinging from my curtains," he notes on his website.

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once upon a time

Drop Joe, Bump up Clinton, Pass Go and Collect $200.

Obama-Clinton ticket in 2012? Why Democrats are talking about it now.

Working-class whites – a group that Hillary Clinton resonated with in the 2008 primaries – are rushing to the Republican camp.

Want to know why Democrats are once again chattering about Hillary Rodham Clinton replacing Joe Biden as the president's running mate for the 2012 election? Just look at the polls.

And by “look at the polls,” we don’t mean just take a quick glance at the top lines, which show Democrats unenthusiastic about politics and trailing Republicans on the generic ballot. We mean look at the demographic breakdowns to see where, in particular, the GOP has surged.

Working-class whites right now are rushing to the Republican camp. An Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday shows whites without four-year college degrees prefer the GOP over Democrats by 58 percent to 36 percent. And this is a constituency that in the 2008 primaries preferred Ms. Clinton to Barack Obama by a margin of about 2 to 1. The math is thus obvious: Dump Joe for Hillary. Turn her loose on the trail to do what she did so well the last time around: express empathy with the troubles of the lower middle class in small- and medium-town America.

In this scenario, working-class whites then come flocking back to the Democrats. Or, at least enough of them come back to hold the White House in 2012 and maybe to regain the House. Then Clinton herself is positioned to run in 2016 and extend the party’s grip on the executive-branch end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Problem solved!

“Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016 and be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected president,” über-reporter Bob Woodward told CNN’s John King Tuesday night.

Mr. Woodward, who is making the media rounds to promote his new book, “Obama’s Wars,” turned the volume way up on this particular rumor by openly talking about it on Mr. King’s show. People believe Mr. Obama is showing some political weakness, Woodward said, and in 2012 the president will have to win back the people whom Clinton did so well with – Latinos, retirees, working-class whites.

“It’s on the table,” said Woodward of the "dump Biden" movement. “And some of Hillary Clinton’s advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012.”

Worried Democrats may react to this suggestion as if they’re floating in the ocean, surrounded by sharks, and someone just threw them a life raft that gets Wi-Fi: We’re saved! What are they saying about this on Daily Kos?

More at source. Hey, what up, Christian Science Monitor?

Also, at MSNBC: "Hillary-Biden Swap Is Nothing New..." (Um, really? 'Cause it's news to me)
Anima ~ Raven
  • mzflux

Friday, October 1, 2010: REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER

Not a huge fan of Bill Maher, but this is actually really really good.

I laughed, I cried. I sat back, thought about the crap Obama's done and compared that to that to the accomplishments Maher listed off. The line that really rang true with me:

"When it comes to voting, when we only have two choices, you got to grow up and realize there's a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy."

More "Got mine, fuck the rest of you" talk from Newt Gingrich

GOP Closing Arguments: No More Food Stamps

Newt Gingrich tells candidates to highlight growth of the food assistance program as Democrats' fault.

Say what you will about Newt Gingrich, but the man’s record includes the Herculean comeback of Republicans in 1994, thanks partly to the "Contract With America." That's why leading Republicans and GOP candidates are looking to Gingrich as the quarterback for the 2010 campaign. So what’s he advising they do?

Vilify food stamps. Gingrich more than most people knows that Washington tends to lock itself in intensely wonkish policy squabbles--need one say more than "budget reconciliation"?--that simply don’t resonate with the rest of the country. So to make it simple, Gingrich and his political action committee are sending a "close the deal" memo to Republican candidates, spelling it out in über-simple terms. What do you want more of: paychecks or food stamps?

It’s a bit out of left field. Most of the election cycle has centered on rich people and their tax cuts rather than poor people and their food-assistance programs. But there’s a very obvious reason why Gingrich wants to frame the issue this way: food stamp usage has historically gone up with Democrats in office, and down when Republicans were in charge. Frame it like that, and it looks as though Dems are the welfare-state-loving socialists and Republicans are the patriotic capitalists.

Never mind that targeting food stamps is a tad insensitive. It's no real surprise that with the recession, food stamp usage has spiked since 2008. The program now feeds one in eight Americans, and one in four children. In about 800 counties, even more children receive government assistance. Trying to reduce the number of people who need to take advantage of the program is a valiant goal, one worthy of, say, a congressional investigation. But turning the issue into a political point at the height of election season seems to demean the seriousness and complexity of the problem. And, since lower-income Americans are the ones who rely upon the program, pitting paychecks against food stamps is not all that different from pitting rich against poor.

Republicans have long struggled to shake the image of the party of wealthy white folks, but belittling food stamps seems a curious strategy to regain the GOP’s identity. That kind of rhetoric might play well with those Tea Partiers who can afford to jet to Washington for a political rally to restore conservativism. But those of them who can’t–the ones who receive food stamps–probably won’t be flattered by the argument. 


Hey Newt?  As someone who grew up under the poverty line and remembers that my family needed food stamps just to get by......

Uncle V wants you

Village Voice writer thinks that a lot of white people have lost their minds

Village Voice: White America Has Lost Its Mind
The white brain, beset with worries, finally goes haywire in spectacular fashion
By Steven Thrasher Wednesday, Sep 29 2010

About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel.

It had been a pretty good run up to that point. The brains of white folks had been humming along cogently for near on 400 years on this continent, with little sign that any serious trouble was brewing. White people, after all, had managed to invent a spiffy new form of self-government so that all white men (and, eventually, women) could have a say in how white people were taxed and governed. White minds had also nearly universally occupied just about every branch of that government and, for more than two centuries, had kept sole possession of the leadership of its executive branch (whose parsonage, after all, is called the White House).

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Much more at the link to the source in the headline, including lots of examples supporting the thesis, including O'Keefe and Breitbart's dirty tricks involving ACORN and Shirly Sherrod, scapegoating of illegal immigrants and Muslims, Laura Schlesinger, Sarah Palin, Rick Santelli, the Tea Party, The Koch Brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Christine O'Donnell, and the poster child for "white folks who have lost their shit" Glenn Beck.

Also, if you have the time and the stomach, skim through the comments.  There are currently 1401 of them!
  • merig00

Criminal negligence inquiry into Hungary sludge spill

Police in Hungary have opened a criminal negligence inquiry after leaking chemical sludge caused the country's worst ecological disaster.

Hungary says it will take at least a year to clean up the red mud from an alumina plant reservoir in the western county of Veszprem.

Four people died and at least 120 needed medical treatment, while three are still missing.

The EU fears the sludge may seep across Hungary's borders via the Danube.

"We're concerned not just for the environment in Hungary but this potentially crosses borders," EU spokesman Joe Hennon said.

The Danube river flows through Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova before emptying into the Black Sea.

Hungary's disaster management agency regards the sludge - a mixture of water and mining waste containing heavy metals - as hazardous.

Its victims are believed to have drowned, with the depth of the fast-moving flood reaching 2m (6.5ft) in places, but many of those injured had suffered chemical burns.

The reservoir near the village of Kolontar was no longer leaking as of Wednesday.

'Polluted and destroyed'
Map and aerial image

Some 600,000-700,000 cubic metres (21m-24m cubic feet) of sludge gushed from the Ajkai Timfoldgyar plant in Ajka, 160km (100 miles) from Budapest, on Monday.

The muddy red sludge is waste from the early stages of aluminium production.

Aluminium-containing ore, bauxite, is washed at high temperatures in sodium hydroxide. This dissolves the aluminium, which can then be processed further, but the red sludge is left behind as a waste product. It is this which has leaked from the Hungarian storage reservoirs.

The sludge waste contains a mixture of metal oxides. According to MAL Hungarian Aluminium - the company which produced the waste - between 40% and 45% is iron oxide. This gives the mud its characteristic red colour. Between 10% and 15% is aluminium oxide, a further 10% to 15% silicon oxide and there are smaller quantities of calcium oxide, titanium dioxide and oxygen-bonded sodium oxide.

The sludge is a strong alkali, meaning it will cause burns when it comes into contact with the skin, and can damage lungs and the digestive system if it is ingested. This may cause death.

One of the rivers affected has been treated with chemicals - calcium and magnesium nitrates - to try to counter the alkaline effects.

It affected some 40 sq km (15.4 sq miles) of mainly agricultural land, engulfing several villages.

National Police Chief Jozsef Hatala said Hungary's national bureau of investigation (MNY) would lead the investigation "given the complexity and importance of the matter".

MAL Rt, the Hungarian company which owns the plant, said earlier there had been no sign of the impending disaster and the last examination of the reservoir pond on Monday had shown nothing untoward.

It also argued that, by EU standards, the sludge had not been considered hazardous.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was quoted by AP as saying the plant and reservoir had been inspected only two weeks earlier and no irregularities had been found.

Herwit Schuster, a spokesman for Greenpeace International, described the spill as "one of the top three environmental disasters in Europe in the last 20 or 30 years".

Land had been "polluted and destroyed for a long time", he told AP.

"If there are substances like arsenic and mercury, that would affect river systems and ground water on long-term basis," he added.

Horror flood

Janosne Stumpe, 76, suffered chemical burns to her legs.

She told AFP news agency of literally having to cling on for dear life when a 2m wave of sludge bore down on her home as she was tending her pigs in Kolontar.

"My son said the end was coming, and I thought it was too," she said.

"I quickly jumped on a case, but the flood washed it out from under me so I grabbed the roof beams [of the pigsty] and I was hanging there until the rush went away."

Her son, she added, was "still in hospital with very, very serious burns".

Janos Zlinszky, from Hungary's environmental watchdog, told BBC World Service the impact of the spill on the countryside was striking.

"It's like when you paint a landscape red," he said.

"It's really incredible. I mean, for kilometres wide, there is like a huge paintbrush. If you take a map and with a big paintbrush, just draw a zigzag line through it."


Religion And Spirituality Question Put Up For Discussion: "Are IVF Children An Abomination?"

'Test tube babies': God's work or human error?

by Cathy Lynn Grossman

Do you think a baby conceived in test tube is still a child in the eyes -- or mind or hands, depending on your theology/philosophy -- of God? Does the science behind this merit the Nobel Prize for Medicine or condemnation in the realm of faith and ethics?I'm starting out with the questions today because the impact of the Nobel Prize for Medicine going to the doctor who developed in vitro fertilization is still rumbling around the world.
The Vatican has already denounced the prize going to British scientist Robert Edwards, for work that led to the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, 32 years ago.
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So, back to our questions:
Do you think a baby conceived in test tube is still a child in the eyes of God? Does the science behind this merit a Nobel Prize, or ethical condemnation? And what about the parents? Is their IVF choice selfish or loving? Are they creators -- or merely shoppers?

Personally I think it's utterly sick that they've even decided to ask this question and the views expressed on IVF by the Vatican here are very saddening, not least because they are unsurprising.

The way this "pro-life" position seems to work is that if a woman doesn't feel ready to be a parent she should be forced to, even if the child is a product of being raped by their own father. Meanwhile if a couple chooses to use scientific progress to deal with issues like blocked fallopian tubes and the like and become parents, their offspring is not really a child "in the eyes of God" and is in fact an "error". Might I add that there are now millions of children (and adults) which are here being declared to be "errors".


Also there's some interesting opinion pieces from scientist PZ Myers on how stupid this all is:
here and here.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

AP-GfK Poll: Working-class whites shun Dems

AP-GfK Poll: Working-class whites shun Dems

Desperate for jobs and cool toward President Barack Obama, working-class whites are flocking to Republicans, turning a group long wary of Democrats into an even bigger impediment to the party's drive to keep control of Congress.

An Associated Press-GfK poll shows whites without four-year college degrees preferring GOP candidates by twice the margin of the last two elections, when Democrats made significant gains in the House and Senate. The poll, conducted last month, found this group favoring GOP hopefuls 58 percent to 36 percent — a whopping 22 percentage-point gap.

In 2008, when Obama won the presidency, they favored GOP congressional candidates by 11 percentage points, according to exit polls of voters. When Democrats won the House and Senate in 2006, the Republican edge was 9 percentage points.

Compared with better-educated whites, working-class whites tend to be older and more conservative — groups that traditionally lean Republican and are uneasy with the young president's activist governing. Their wariness is reinforced by a prolonged economic funk that has disproportionately hurt the working class and shown scant signs of improvement under Obama and Congress' majority Democrats.

Though accustomed to trailing among working-class whites, Democrats can hardly afford further erosion from a group that accounts for about 4 in 10 voters nationally. Their GOP preference is in contrast to whites with college degrees, who the AP-GfK Poll shows are split evenly between the two parties' candidates, and to minorities, who decisively back Democrats.

Many of these working-class voters were dubbed Reagan Democrats in the 1980s, when some in the North and Midwest who had previously preferred Democrats began supporting conservative Republicans. Many never warmed to Obama during the 2008 presidential race, when he said some bitter small-town residents cling to guns and religion for solace. They preferred Hillary Rodham Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination, by 2-1 and in the general election backed Republican nominee John McCain by 18 points.

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All I have to say to David Winston is, y'all gave Bush 8 years to turn the economy to shit, but 2 years is too long a time for Obama to fix it?

And man, people have short memories and sure are quick to vote against their own interests. Obama has been letting me down a lot ("activist governing," LOL, I wish), but it takes longer to fix things that it does to break them. More and more I think an article I read recently on how White America had lost its mind is on the money.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Tea party, religious right often overlap, poll shows

Tea party, religious right often overlap, poll shows

A new poll shows that half of those who consider themselves part of the tea party movement also identify as part of the religious right, reflecting the complex - and sometimes contradictory - blend of bedfellows in the American conservative movement.

The poll released Tuesday, by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute, comes as the tea party's composition and potential impact is still under hot debate. Experts disagreed about what the poll meant, with some saying it reveals serious fissures between social and fiscal conservatives and others saying the two movements can find common ground on subjects such as limiting public funding for abortion.

Institute chief executive Robert Jones said the poll, which was funded by the Ford Foundation, aimed to clarify the relationship between the two groups.

"The way the data looks, if this is a marriage of convenience, it's one that would be against the law. The relatives are too close," said Jones, a self-described progressive.

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I know, I know, "Water is wet" and all, but still.

Glenn Beck Mocks Fire Victims, Reaches New Depths of Awfulness

I've probably written and rewritten this opening paragraph about Glenn Beck and his morning zoo sycophantic sidekick Pat Gray four or five times with various sequences of compound obscenities and ad hominem insults. But I'm opting for more restraint at this point, even though neither of these jackals deserves it. Especially so, considering their latest hand-in-hand plunge into all new depths of awfulness.

By now, you've probably heard the news about Gene Cranick and his family, and how the South Fulton, Tennessee fire department stood by and allowed the Cranick house to burn to the ground, destroying everything and killing the family's dogs and cats. All because the Cranicks failed to pay a $75 fee. While a raging brush fire neared his home, Cranick begged the fire chief to stop the fire before it engulfed his house. He even offered to immediately pay the $75 fee, but the chief refused and the house burned to the ground.

As a survivor of two house fires (technically, one was a gas explosion) my heart goes out to the Cranicks and the nightmare they're enduring today. But my own experiences are incidental -- you don't have to have survived a pair of house fires to recognize the unapologetic callousness of Beck and his squishy Quatto-from-Total-Recall parasitic twin Pat Gray.


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I've watched Mr. Cranick the last couple of nights on Countdown, and he's a very plain-spoken working man who has lost everything he owns, including his family pets that perished in the fire.  He didn't protest the fee, or refuse to pay it....he simply forgot.  There's not enough contempt in the world for what Beck and his flunky truly deserve for mocking this man's terrible misfortune.  I wonder how well *that's* going to go over with the Tea Bagging crowd?  I'd be willing to bet not so much.

What’s The Difference Between A Tea Party And Oscar Night? You See Black People At Tea Parties


For an industry peopled by so-called progressive types who love to bash their ideological opposites as racist bigots who want to oppress anyone who doesn’t check the “Caucasian” box on those obnoxious affirmative action questionnaires on employment applications, it sure seems funny that …

…there’s a real possibility that for the first time since the 73rd Oscars 10 years ago, there will be no black nominees in any of the acting categories at the February ceremony. In fact, there are virtually no minorities in any of the major categories among the early lists of awards hopefuls.

I mean, we have the likes of Cher wondering why anyone who isn’t white, rich and Christian would want to be a Republican. Brilliant political mind John Cusack supports the idea of a “Satanic death cult center” outside of Fox News headquarters. Actor John Hamm agreed the Tea Party is a racist institution – on the show hosted by a guy who is upset that President Obama doesn’t act like a “real black president” with a “gun in his pants.” And white comedienne (?) Joy Behar says that only the majority (read: white people) can be racist. Well, I guess as a white chick, she should know. Plus, she studied sociology in college and everything!

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SOURCE is well known for failing at life

I'm leaving it up to you to figure out what's wrong here. While you do that, I'm going to find that Blacks Against Obama group mentioned in the pic. Also, can we have a big hollywood tag?