Friday, February 29, 2008

Hillary Scare Ad Takes Page from the GOP

Waitasec: isn't it the GOP who are supposed to try to scare us into voting for a particular candidate?

The ad says:
"It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing — something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.

Whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?"
The Obama campaign didn't waste time replying. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said:
"We don't think the ad is going to be effective at all. Senator Clinton already had her red phone moment -- to decide whether to allow George Bush to invade Iraq. She answered affirmatively. She did not read the National Intelligence Estimate. She still, curiously, tries to suggest that it wasn't a vote for war, but it most assuredly was...

This is about what you say when you answer that phone. What judgment you show...She, John McCain and George Bush gave the wrong answer."
I was expecting to see these scare ads in the general election, from the GOP vs. the Democrats. After all, we know if the Democrats win they'll welcome Al-Qaeda with open arms, right (insert sarcasm here)?

Watch the ad:

Mother Finds 14-Year-Old Daughter's Internet Boyfriend Hiding in Room

In Bedford, TX, a mother found Eric Gahagen, 27, of Central City, PA, hiding in her 14-year-old daughter's bed on Monday. Gahagen had arrived on Sunday night and was not discovered until late Monday evening.

He is being charged with having sex with a minor, which police say occurred Monday evening after the teen returned from school.

Gahagen and the 14-year-old apparently met in the chat room of pogo.com about eight months ago. Since then they have exchanged text messages and phone calls.

Gahagen said he believed the girl to be 20; police disagree, saying that she doesn't look 20, and her room resembles a teen's room, not a 20-year-old's. Gahagen remains in the Bedford Jail with bail set at $50,000.

Online Donations Fund Boob Jobs

Karla-Rae Morris is getting an $8,000 breast augmentation surgery ... OK, boob job ... for free. It's all thanks to the website MyFreeImplants.com – a California-based site that allows men to invest in breast augmentation surgery for women who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Speaking of boobs ... in exchange for donations, the women chat online with the charitable men and send them photos and videos of themselves. Wow, really worth it, right?

It took Morris over 2 years to reach her $8,000 goal. She's a 26-year-old stay-at-home mother from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. 5'6", 98 pounds, with a 32AA chest, she plans to ... er ... increase her bust size to 34C.

She actually holds a record for the site, though not one to be proud of: she took the longest amount of time to reach her goal of any woman on the site so far.

"It’s like donating to any charity. You feel like you’re doing good," Morris said of her benefactors. "When you’re donating to starving kids in Africa, you’re never going to see those kids eat and you’re never going to meet. Obviously, this is not as important as helping starving kids in Africa, but it’s the same basis. They (the men) want to help us out."

Okaaaay, if you say so.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Teenager Suffers from Water Allergy

It may be difficult to believe, but 19-year-old Ashleigh Morris, from Melbourne, Australia, is allergic to water. She's lived with the condition since she was 14, and it's so bad that even sweating will cause her to break out in a rash.

Morris suffers from an extremely rare skin disease called aquagenic urticaria. Contact with water of any temperature causes suffering. Morris can only take 1-minute showers, in fact.

As she told the Daily Mail,
"Although my rash is unsightly, and often looks like I'm diseased, the feeling is so much worse than it looks. I can't go anywhere for about two hours afterwards because it's so severe. There's been many occasions where I've been so itchy, I've made myself bleed from scratching."
She developed the condition after an acute case of tonsillitis, when she was prescribed a heavy dose of penicillin. Her dermatologist, Professor Rodney Sinclair, said the penicillin had changed the histamine levels in her body, causing the aquagenic urticaria. There is no cure and no successful treatment. It affects only the skin; she can drink water without any reaction.

While dermatologists agree there's an association with elevated blood histamine levels (such as those indicated in Morris' case), antihistamine drugs often provide no relief at all - so they also agree there must be some other causative effect.

Both her family and boyfriend of three years, Adam, 23, have been very supportive, but it must put a real damper on parts of her relationship. "We have to sleep with a sheet between us at night, and I can't go near him if he's sweaty," she said.

Soldier Has Himself Shot to Avoid Return to Iraq

Much has been made of the repeat Iraq and Afghanistan tours some soldiers have been forced to endure. One man did not want to return, and he decided he would do anything to prevent it. Including, Army Pfc. Matthew Myers, 20, of Apple Valley, California decided, having a friend shoot him in the leg.

He told police he had been attacked and robbed by an unknown assailant while walking along the Apple Valley Country Club golf course. Unfortunately, someone hadn't watch too many forensics shows, as police became suspicious when footprints near the spot where Myers was shot showed he and the shooter had been walking together prior to the incident.

After police interrogated him for some time (I'm assuming no waterboarding took place), Myers admitted it was all a ploy to avoid going back to Iraq, planned by Myers with his best friend, Daniel Dotterrer, 20, also of Apple Valley.

Charges may be filed, with Dotterrer facing conspiracy and assault with a deadly weapon and Myers facing conspiracy.

While a military spokesman said that a leg wound like Myers' would not normally be enough to cause a soldier to be discharged, it's obvious that it would have delayed his deployment.

Why would he do this? PTSD, perhaps? Unknown at this time, but the incidence of PTSD in veterans returning from Iraq has definitely been on the upswing.

9-Year-Old Sharapova-wanna-be Banned for Grunting

Break 'em of bad habits when they're young, that's the way to do it.

Maria Sharapova has been criticized over her extremely loud grunting during play, but you can bet they won't try this with a champion like her. A 9-year-old Australian girl has been banned from playing tennis at her local club over the grunting noises she makes during play.

Lauryn Edwards was told last weekend that she could no longer play after an opposing player complained about her grunting. This occurred in the middle of a match, and left Edwards crying, according to NPR.

Her father, Duncan Edwards said, "They told me to guarantee she won't grunt or she can't play. How can I guarantee that? She's been doing it since she was really little. She's her own person. What do they want me to do? Put Band-Aids over her mouth? They made her cry on the court when they told her. She was in such a state that I had to bring her home mid-match."

"It feels natural to do my noise. I'm not faking it," Lauren said. "It makes me play better. When I don't do it, I don't play my best tennis. And now people have told me I can't play if I do it."

I have to admit I find Sharapova's grunting distracting, and so do many opponents. It should be noted that Edwards' favorite player is - Sharapova, so though she says she plays better while grunting, it "sounds" more like hero worship than anything else.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Third-Graders Patted Down Over Missing $5

I hesitate to think what they might have done if $20 was missing. Perhaps a strip search?

Students at Martin Luther King Elementary in Hopkinsville, Kentucky were searched by a group of teachers after an envelope containing $5 disappeared. The students were even asked to remove their shoes and socks during the search.

The money was not found.

Parents were, unsurprisingly, angry.

Christian County Schools spokeswoman Regan Huneycutt said the search violated the school district's policy, since the teachers touched several of the 17 students, and patted some of them down. School employees can touch students only when the student poses a threat to another student or to themselves.

The school's principal has given written reprimands to the four teachers: Gwendolyn Parker, substitute Patricia Dawson, student teacher Cassandra Fann and kindergarten aide Chris Dudley.

The search was prompted by the disappearance of an envelope containing $5 for a school function. It had been on a teacher's desk. The four teachers went through desks, backpacks, etc. but did not find the money.

At that point Parker asked students to take off their socks and shoes and lined the children up at the front of the classroom, at which time the physical search began. Teachers patted down students and checked their pockets.

While I can see why parents might be angry, compare to what teachers used to do to students in say, our grandparents' time, this is nothing. That said, it definitely crossed a line.

What do you readers think?

McCain Denounces "Barack Hussein Obama" Remarks

Well, this certainly has won John McCain some respect in my eyes. As I've written before, many have tried to use Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein, as a weapon against him. Today, Bill Cunningham, who hosts "The Big Show" with Bill Cunningham, a nationally syndicated radio show, was one of those prepping the crowd prior to McCain's appearance in Cincinnati Wednesday.

Cunningham used Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times, while at the same time disparaging him. While McCain was in fact not present during those remarks, he still felt it necessary to make a statement.
"It’s my understanding that before I came in here a person who was on the program before I spoke made some disparaging remarks about my two colleagues in the Senate, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. I have repeatedly stated my respect for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, that I will treat them with respect. I will call them ‘Senator.’ We will have a respectful debate, as I have said on hundreds of occasions. I regret any comments that may have been made about these two individuals who are honorable Americans."
Interestingly, Cunningham shot back at McCain's remarks, saying:
"Only Democrats, Air America, New York Times, talk-show hosts and newspaper reporters have freedom of speech. I have the right to speak my mind any way that I would like. If I consider Obama to be a hack Chicago politician from the Daley political machine, taking money from this Tony Rezko dude under threat of federal indictment, can’t I speak truth to power?"
Sheesh. While McCain, at least for now (we'll see about during the "real" election) shows some honor, Cunningham is just ridiculous. Obama's middle name comes from his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. It's not because he's honoring Islam, and it's not because, as ridiculously posited, he's a "radical Muslim." Give it a rest.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yes, You,Too, Can Be Larry Craig's Intern

Some might call this an incredible opportunity. Certainly, Larry Craig does. Others might call it scary.

While I realize we're talking Larry Craig here, and not Mark Foley, that still doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Yes, Larry Craig is advertising for summer interns. His press release says:
"Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional office," said Craig. "They participate in the legislative process as well as ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho."
The press release says preference will be given to Idaho applicants attending Idaho schools who are in their junior or senior years of college. I wonder if there's any other way to get preferential treatment.

On this page, Craig indicates he got his start as an intern. Can you be more specific about what you got your start in, Larry?

BTW, he needs a new writer. Or perhaps my mind is just in the gutter. Some of the stuff in the press release is gold for those looking for a way to rib Larry Craig.
  • The application deadline is March 15, however if more time is needed for the application process, please contact Senator Craig's office for an extension.
  • ... it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions ...
  • Interns are paired with staff members based on experience and interests, in order to best utilize their talents.
Just stay out of the restrooms, and you'll be fine.

German Police Dogs to Get Shoes

Don't worry, there's a practical reason for this footwear. Dogs in Duesseldorf, Germany are being fitted with shoes - blue plastic fiber shoes - because of the high rate of paw injuries on the force.

"All 20 of our police dogs - German and Belgian shepherds - are currently being trained to walk in these shoes," police spokesman Andre Hartwich said to AP. "I'm not sure they like it, but they'll have to get used to it."

The problem is especially prevalent in the city's historical old town - famous for its pubs - where the dogs often step on broken beer bottles.

"Even the street-cleaning doesn't manage to remove all the glass pieces from between the streets' cobble stones," Hartwich said, adding that the dogs frequently get injured by little pieces sticking deep in their paws.

Hartwich joked that "Now we just have to teach the dogs how to tie their shoes."

Clinton Staffers Circulate Pic of Obama in Somali Garb: Report

For some, Barack Obama's "Hussein" middle name has been something worth picking on. For others, it has been pushing the unsubstantiated rumor (debunked by Snopes) that Obama is or was a "radical Muslim." But this - this is truly low.

According to the Drudge Report, Clinton staffers have begun circulating a picture of Obama dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya in 2006.

Of course, as the Drudge Report rightfully points out, other leaders have dressed in local garb when visiting other countries (as below), so it shouldn't be a big deal for voters ... but who wants to bet it will be? At any rate, in response to the report, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accused the Clinton campaign Monday of "shameful offensive fear-mongering."

And oh, yeah, it would be, playing on people's fears. As I've written many times, Americans are so easily cowed nowadays.

Plouffe said:
"On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world."
Meanwhile, Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement:
"If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely."
Well, why then is this photo being circulated by Clinton's camp, then? It just reeks of desperation. One good thing: it'll be one less thing the GOP can pull because it'll be out of the way by then.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Blind" Welfare Recipient Jailed After IDing Car That Hit Him

Ah, yes, makes you wonder how he could possibly have kept the scam going for so long since he's not the brightest person in the world. At least this didn't happen in the U.S.

In Japan, 50-year-old Shinichi Maruyama had been getting a larger welfare check for years because he had applied for special dispensation as being "nearly completely blind." Don't ask me how, but ccording to the Mainichi Daily News (Japanese) he apparently had a doctor's certificate.

The tip-off came last year when he filed a complaint with the police alleging that he had been the victim of a hit-and-run accident. In the statement he gave investigators, Maruyama said he had been struck by a red car.

Sharp as a tack, the police realized that he shouldn't be able to ID the car if he was blind. Of course, it should also have occurred to them that he shouldn't be driving, either.

It turns out that Maruyama had just passed the eye test when renewing his driver's license in Sapporo in October last year. That alone should have set off alarm bells, though not if the computer systems between the disability office and their version of the DMV weren't linked.

According to the police, Maruyama has received the extra payments for the past five years and allegedly received approximately 2 million yen more than he should have.

And they say Justice is blind.

Mike Huckabee on SNL: "I'm not a math guy, I'm more of a miracle guy"

Despite the fact I am not a Mike Huckabee supporter, I found his ability to make fun of himself engaging. He appeared on SNL this weekend, during the Weekend Update segment, to address just why he's still in the race when he's been mathematically eliminated.
Seth Meyers: So, Governor, You remain in the race despite the fact that it's a mathematical impossibility that you can win, and our question is, why?

Huckabee: Well, Seth, the media loves to throw around the term mathematical impossibility, but no one can ever explain exactly what that means to me.

Seth: Well, let me give it a shot. Basically it takes 1,191 delegates to win your party's nomination, and even if you won every unpledged delegate you would still fall 200 delegates short.

Huckabee: Wow, uh, Seth that was an excellent explanation. But I'm afraid that you overlook the all-important superdelegates. Don't forget about them.

Seth: Well, I won't forget about them. But the superdelegates are only in the Democratic primaries.

Huckabee: They can't vote in the Republican primary?

Seth: They cannot.

Huckabee: Uh, oh. That's not good news. You know, Seth, I was counting on those superdelegates.

Seth: Sorry to break that to you. Now, does this mean that now you know that you're going to drop out of the race?

Huckabee: Well, fortunately Seth, I'm not a math guy, I'm more of a miracle guy. So at this point I'm gonna focus on the miracle part. But if that miracle doesn't happen, let me assure the American people that Mike Huckabee doesn't overstay his welcome. When it's time for me to go, I'll know, and I'll exit out with class and grace.
At this point they try to get Huckabee to leave, but of course, he doesn't realize it's time for him to go and he doesn't exit with class and grace. Photobucket Hilarious.

Watch the video from SNL via Raw Story.

video

Alcohol in Chips Draws Muslims' Anger

Whoops! Considering the possible penalty (for example, hanging in this Iranian case) for drinking, I can see why they'd be upset.

Walkers Snack Food is the U.K,'s No.1 food brand and PepsiCo's fourth largest business unit. Unfortunately a tiny amount of alcohol is used in some products as a chemical agent and alcohol is forbidden by Islamic law.

The problem: the alcohol, trace amount though it may be, is not listed on the label.

Shuja Shafi, who chairs the food standards committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that he intended to investigate. “Certainly we would find it very offensive to have eaten food with alcohol.”

At the same time, Walkers said:
"We do not add alcohol to our products. However, ethyl alcohol may be present in trace amounts in a very small number of our flavours.

"It is used as a carrying agent for flavourings, and is found in many common food and drink products.

"In previous assessments by Muslim scholars, foods and drinks that contain trace amounts of ethyl alcohol have been confirmed as permissible for Muslim consumption because of both the fact that the ingredient does not bear its original qualities and does not change the taste, color or smell of the product, and its very low level."
If that's the case, perhaps this is much ado over nothing.

A possible boycott is planned with the following targeted snacks: Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli, Doritos Chilli Heat Wave and Quavers Cheese.

Head of Local Rehab Program Arrested for DUI

Do as I say, not as I do, right? The director of the Palm City, Florida, Comprehensive Offender Rehabilitation and Education (CORE) program has been arrested for DUI.

Margot "Peggy" Cioffi, 59, was arrested last week after a traffic accident. Her blood alcohol content was measured at .336, while Florida's legal limit is .08. Just a tad bit over the limit, eh?

Cioffi was charged with DUI with property damage, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly intoxication, a deputy's report says. She was released from the Martin County Jail on Tuesday on $2,000 bond. Lots of property damage, I see.

She's also been suspended from her post.

Suzanne Caudell, CORE's program manager, has been named acting director.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is Ralph Nader in Bed with the GOP?

While the title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, one has to wonder. Sunday on Meet the Press, Ralph Nader announced his candidacy for president.

It's interesting that one of the numbers he used to support his candidacy is a poll by Frank Luntz, a GOP pollster. He says that 80% of Americans would "consider" voting for an Independent candidate this year.

Why is he listening to a GOP pollster? Shouldn't he be listening to an Independent pollster? If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if the GOP put out that number to help Nader make his decision, knowing that Nader will pull voters from the Democrats.

Sure, a lot of what he says may make sense. But he can't win. There is no way he can win. Why waste time and money on this? And let's consider the natural resources he'll use use up in terms of energy and more in this "Green Party" run (and yes, I realize they are not solely about "green" in environmental terms).

I am a practical person. Looking at this bid in those terms, this bid makes absolutely no sense. So why bother?

Is Nader an impractical person? Or is he just in bed with the GOP?

In the 2000 election, when Nader took more than 97,000 votes in Florida. Bush won Florida by just 537 votes. Exit polls show that voters would have gone for Gore 2 - 1 if Nader was not on the ballot. Nader is why we have Bush in office.

Of course, it could also be said it had something to do with the Supreme Court, Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush and others - but without Nader we wouldn't have had to worry about any of that.

The video below shows Nader's announcement. What it doesn't show is what Russert said afterward:
RUSSERT: As you know, Ralph Nader, they'll be Democrats all across the country who are going to find this very disturbing news, and they'll point again to 2000. This was the vote count. Al Gore winning the popular vote, but you've got 2.7 percent, nearly three million votes, in 2000. Then Florida, Florida, Florida. As you remember, George Bush won Florida by 537 votes. You've got 97,488. Democrat after Democrat says to this day, Ralph Nader, if your name had not been on that ballot, Al Gore would've carried Florida. Exit polls show he would've carried Nader voters 2-to-1. Gore would've been president and not George Bush. You, Ralph Nader are responsible for what has happened the last seven years.

NADER: Not, not George Bush? Not the Democrats in Congress? Not the voters who voted for George Bush? But there were Democrats in Florida, 250,000 of them. You know, I wish we'd have Al Gore on this program someday Tim and ask him, "Why did you not become president in 2000?" And I think what he's going to tell you is he thought he did win Florida, but it was taken from him before, during and after the election from Tallahassee. Katherine Bush--you know the secretary of the state...

RUSSERT: Katherine Harris.

NADER: Harris, rather, and Jeb Bush, all the way to that terribly politicized Supreme Court decision.
Yeah, yeah, like I said, without Nader, no worries about the Supreme Court decision. Although Nader goes on to say if the Democrats can't take the election in a landslide, then they ought to fold up shop.
RUSSERT: How would you feel, however, if Ralph Nader's presence on the ballot tilted Florida or Ohio to John McCain and McCain became president, and Barack Obama, the first African-American who had been nominated by the Democratic Party--this is hypothetical--did not become a president and people turned to you and said, "Nader, you've done it again"?

NADER: Not a chance. If the Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form. You think the American people are going to vote for a pro-war John McCain who almost gives an indication that he's the candidate of perpetual war, perpetual intervention overseas?
What an idiot. I hate to diminish his past accomplishments but - what an idiot. The thing is the GOP plays the fear card and many Americans fall for it, as though the Democrats would say to terrorists "please come here and kill us." How many people have you heard say that security is their number one bullet point? And that only the GOP can give us security (a totally foolish statement).

While Nader is likely not in bed with the GOP, he might as well be. Since this announcement, forums and comments all over the web have been that Nader just gave the election to McCain. Many of those posts came from GOP voters. While that may be an exaggeration, I wish we didn't have to take that chance.

Watch his announcement:

Woman Says Dog Saved Her Life with "Heimlich Manuever"

A Dayton, Ohio woman says her life was saved by her 4-year-old Shih Tzu, Chewie when he "performed" the Heimlich manuever on her.

Mary Jo Heidenreich, 45, was eating when she felt something lodge in her throat. Choking, her dog came to her aid when Chewie jumped on her chest.

"He went to jump up in my lap, he hit right below my rib cage," she said. "He wanted to comfort me." Heidenreich said a small piece of tooth then popped of her throat.

Heidenreich is convinced Chewie saved her life by jumping on her chest, perhaps even inadvertently performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Dr. Robert Kahn, doubts it was a Heimlich manuever. While the Heimlich maneuver is used to dislodge a piece of food stuck in the esophagus, the piece of tooth might have been lodged in the back of Heidenreich's throat. The pressure of Chewie's paws, along with her reaction, may have been enough to dislodge it, he said.

On the other hand, Kahn said, "A 10-year-old kid can perform a Heimlich maneuver."

So why dispell the magic? Let us think it was a Heimlick manuever if we want to.

Besides, Chewie wouldn't be the first dog to pull it off. A Baltimore woman in March of 2007 said her Golden Retriever Toby jumped on her chest while she was choking, dislodging a piece of fruit and saving her life.

Florida Marlins Searching for a "Few Fat Men"

I'm sorry, why is it I think this won't be as interesting - at least to me - as the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, or any other cheerleaders for that matter? The Florida Marlins are searching for a few fat men - no, let's be honest, a few obese men - to be part of a 7-10 member cheerleading squad to be dubbed the Manatees.

Tryouts will be Feb. 24th at 1:00 PM at Dolphin Stadium.

No money - but free tickets to the Friday and Saturday games they perform at.

According to a flier, the Marlins want 'big bellies with the biggest jiggle, big feet with the best dance moves and enthusiasm that will rock Marlins fans out of their seats."

The Marlins already have a female cheerleader squad, the decidedly more attractive Mermaids (below).

Saudis Arrest 57 Men for Flirting with Women

On Saturday Saudi Arabian authorities began interrogating 57 men who were arrested for flirting with women at a shopping mall - in the holy city of Mecca, no less!

The men were also charged with various other "serious" crimes such as dancing to pop music, blaring music from their cars, and wearing improper clothing.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice runs the religious police, who are charged with enforcing Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic lifestyle. The police are known informally as the "muttawa," which translates literally to "enforcer." They don't wear uniforms, but they can be recognized by their long beards and their shorter-than-normal robes, and the lack of the black cord that sits atop the headdress worn by most Saudi men. An example is pictured above.

Hopefully none of these men will face sentences as severe as this man, who faces hanging for drinking, or these women who face stoning for adultery (though adultery for what they did is a stretch).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Too Pretty to Fly? Women Charge "Beauty Discrimination"

Southwest Airlines hits the news again, but this time not over a "dress code," but instead over "beauty discrimination." University of South Florida student Nisreen Swedberg and friend Sarah Williams, both 18, made this claim about a flight they took on - of all days - Valentine's Day.

The flight was from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles. Swedberg said they were treated unfairly from the moment they entered the plane.

She also said she asked a flight attendant for a bottle of water and was told she had to wait until the rest of the flight was served. "And I patiently waited and then when they came around with water, they skipped me," Swedberg said.

Later, Williams exchanged profanities with another passenger over the use the plane's bathroom. But she indicated that the attendants only questioned her.

"I think they were just discriminating against because we were young decent-looking girls. I mean, nobody else on the plane looked like us except us,” she said. “[The flight attendants] were like older ladies. We were younger. Who knows, they could have been just jealous of us because we were younger."

Southwest defends the incident, saying the women caused a disruption on the flight.

When the plane landed in LA, the women were met by four uniformed officers and later questioned by the FBI. The women were released nearly two hours later.

No charges were filed, but Williams and Swedberg say they were banned from all future Southwest Airlines flights, including their scheduled flight home to Tampa.

Swedberg said, "I don't know what happened on this flight; I didn't do anything wrong and I feel like I was just discriminated against based upon my looks."

Hate to say it, Nisreen, but although the above "semi-glamour" shot makes you two look good, this picture captured from a video report shows you just ain't that good-lookin'. I think you were treated as you were because you two were probably acting like b*tches.

Good luck finding flights - on other airlines.

Man and Wife Argue Over Who's Too Drunk to Drive; Argument Gets Settled the Hard Way

I believe the fact that the husband ran over his wife shows which on was too drunk, or rather, in this case, drunker.

Thursday, in Merritt Island, Florida, Richard Zubowicz, 45, thought his wife Becky, 44, was too drunk to drive. Never mind himself. So they pulled into a grocery store parking lot to argue. He allegedly pushed his wife to the ground, jumped in the SUV and circled the parking lot.

As his wife was still lying down, he ran over her when he returned to the spot of the argument.

Police later found Becky Zubowicz still pinned beneath the SUV. She remains in critical condition.

Richard Zubowicz remains jailed on charges of drunken driving and and domestic violence.

Glitch Changes "Tickle Me, Elmo" to "Threaten Me, Elmo"

Rather than "Tickle Me, Elmo," what we have here is "Threaten Me, Elmo." At least, according to a Tampa Bay, Florida mother.

Melissa Bowman says that since changing the batteries in the Elmo toy which is her 2-year-old son's favorite, the doll has been making death threats, saying "Kill James." James is her son's name, BTW.

Bowman says that not only does Elmo say "Kill James," her son is repeating the phrase.

I originally thought this was a load of cr*p, because the fact that it knows James' name made it seem like the Twilight Zone. But then I realized this is the "Elmo Knows Your Name" doll. That means that one of the first things you do is program in the name of your child.

Elmo is supposed to know over 100 phrases, but "Kill" doesn't seem like it should be one of them.

On the other hand, perhaps Elmo has met Chucky.

Fisher-Price has offered a voucher for a new doll if the doll is returned to them.

Watch the video:

Friday, February 22, 2008

McCain: "I’m the Only One the Special Interests Don’t Give Any Money To"

Oh, come on. I don't believe there is any candidate, at least at the national level, that doesn't get some money from special interest groups. And certainly someone as powerful as John McCain would.

Last November, at a townhall meeting in New Hampshire, McCain implied that he’s the only one who's never allowed himself to be corrupted by lobbyists:

Everybody says that they’re against the special interests. I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to.

But that doesn't jive with figures from the Center for Responsible Politics, which show him taking plenty of cash from various industry groups, and even from the vague "Lobbyists" category at #11.

Additionally, the Washington Post writes about just how many lobbyists are advising McCain in an article today:
But when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, co-founded a lobbying firm whose clients have included Verizon and SBC Telecommunications. His chief political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., is chairman of one of Washington's lobbying powerhouses, BKSH and Associates, which has represented AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan and U.S. Airways.

Senior advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon work for firms that have lobbied for Land O' Lakes, UST Public Affairs, Dell and Fannie Mae.
And let's not forget Vicki Iseman, who the New York Times says showed up enough at events that McCain staffers suspected, true or not, a romantic involvement. Who needs money in that case?

Seriously, though, the anti-lobbyist doesn't look all that anti.

Watch the video from last year's NH townhall:

Viva Obama! Barack Gets the Mariachi Treatment

Check it out! It's not the same as Obama Girl, but hey, Viva Obama! Less than two weeks before the Texas primary, a critical contest for both Obama and Clinton, Barack Obama has been given a boost in the form of a Mexican Mariachi band singing his praises on YouTube.

They've even got their own website, Amigos de Obama.

The two-minute clip features six musicians dressed in traditional sombreros and black suits, singing "Viva Obama!"

The site was started by Miguel Orozco, who says on the site:
My imagination was captured in Chicago by a self-described, “skinny dude with the funny name.” Before I knew it he was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 2004, I’m living in Southern Cal watching the Democratic National Convention and impacted by his speech. It wasn’t the same old politics – the audacity of it all. This year he announces that he’s running for President.

Amigos de Obama and the Como Se Dice? Como Se Llama? OBAMA! OBAMA! ‘08 outreach campaign was created to fill a void in media outreach to Latinos. Every election year, last minute, anemic voter registration drives yield little success. Media campaigns often consist of TV spots showing candidates speaking a few words of Spanish in an attempt to win Latino votes or attack ads about ‘illegal aliens’ to scare non-Latino voters.

We are desperately seeking a voice that speaks authentically. Race and politics aside, it’s leadership not sound bites that we need. If you claim to be compassionate, show it. If you preach unity, help us unify and heal our great divide. If you want our vote, earn it. Be real. Barack Obama represents a defining moment for our generation. We have an opportunity to be agents of change and bring awareness to the Latino community.

We all have a unique story. It doesn’t matter that I’m Mexican-American, born in East LA, raised in Utah, lived in DC and worked on the South-side of Chicago. What matters is what I’m doing now and how I’m helping my neighbor, my brother.
Watch the video:

Recent Earthquakes Due to Tolerance of Gays: Israeli MP

Ah, this must explain why California has so many earthquakes. San Francisco and all, right?

Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas Party, blamed tolerance for homosexuality at a parliamentary committee on the country's preparedness for earthquakes:
"We are looking for earthly solutions, how to prevent them. I have another way to prevent earthquakes. The Gemara says that one of the reasons earthquakes happen, which the Knesset legitimises, is homosexuality. God says you shake your genitals where you are not supposed to and I will shake my world in order to wake you up."
Okaaaay. I guess tectonic plates have nothing to do with it. And what about Nevada on Thursday? Perhaps because of all their legalized brothels?

Israel decriminalised homosexuality in 1988 and has since passed several laws recognizing gay rights, including, just last week, a ruling by Israel's attorney general that same-sex couples could adopt.

Two earthquakes shook the region last week and four in November and December. You can see it has them "all shook up."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

50th Anniversary of the Peace Symbol

Today, February 21st, is the 50th anniversary of the peace symbol. The iconic symbol was developed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist (as well as a graduate of the Royal College of Arts and conscientious objector) in Great Britain.

It was originally designed specifically for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Great Britain. In fact, the symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters "N" and "D" - standing for Nuclear Disarmament (as shown).

It was Feb. 21, 1958 when the symbol was accepted by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear war. While quickly being used in anti-nuclear protests across Great Britain, it soon spread worldwide, and has since become universally known to represent peace rather than simply nuclear disarmament.

On this 50th anniversary of its adoption, wouldn't it be wonderful to see 50 years of peace, rather than just a symbol?

Policeman Allegedly Tasers Cow

I've heard of cow-tipping, but cow-tasering? A Rogers, Arkansas police lieutenant is under investigation after allegedly using his taser to shock a cow. He also allegedly shared a videotape of the incident with other police employees.

Police Chief Steve Helms received a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Feb. 11th. The letter accused Rogers Police Department Lt. David Mitchell of using his Taser on a cow and video taping the incident.

"It is our understanding that the alleged incident occurred while Lt. Mitchell was off duty, that the Taser's darts were not removed from the cow's flesh afterward, and that Lt. Mitchell apparently found the incident so amusing that it was recently set to music and distributed as a joke among his friends and colleagues," wrote PETA representative Stephanie Bell.

However, since the alleged incident occurred 2 1/2 years ago, it would be past the statute of limitations for a misdemeanor. City Attorney Ben Lipscomb said Tuesday there would be no point in pursuing a criminal investigation.

I'd like to see this guy lose his job, however. The police department is still investigating.

Don't Call Me Ugly! Woman Stabs Man After Insult

Citizens of Yonkers, NY had better give Kyeisha Fuller compliments, not insults. The 23-year-old argued on Tuesday with a guest of her roommate, and after the "ugly" comment, she allegedly stabbed him in the shoulder with a kitchen knife.

When police arrived they found the man on the sidewalk - bleeding.

Yonkers Police Lt. Sean Mullins said officers saw Fuller coming out of the building while holding a knife, then ordered her to drop it and arrested her.

On Wednesday, Fuller was awaiting arraignment on charges of assault and weapon possession.

Now, what do you readers think? Although maybe you'd better not put your opinion of her in print in case she reads it and decides to come after you. Photobucket

When You Endorse a Candidate, Make Sure You Know Something About Them

It's usually good if you are supporting someone, to know something they might have done in the past. Texas State Senator Kirk Watson (D-TX) apparently didn't know that rule when he appeared on MSNBC Tuesday night. He also didn't seem to know much about his candidate, Barack Obama.

Watson was on to talk about his support of Senator Obama with Representative Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH), who backs Hillary Clinton.
Matthews: You're a big Barack supporter, right Senator?

Watson: I am, yes I am.

Matthews: Well name some of his legislative accomplishments.

Watson: We, uh, well.

Matthews: No, Senator, I want you to name some of Barack Obama's legislative accomplishments tonight if you can.

(Awkward pause.)

Watson: Well, I - you know, what I will talk about is more about he's offering the American people.

Matthews: No, no, what has he accomplished, sir. You say you support him, sir. You have to give me his accomplishments; you've supported him for President; you're on national television; name his legislative accomplishments, Barack Obama, sir.

Watson: Well, I'm not going to be able to name you specific items of legislative accomplishment.

Matthews: Can you name any? Can you anything he's accomplished as a Congressman?

Watson: No, I'm not going to be able to do that tonight.

Matthews: Well, that's a problem isn't it?

Watson: Well, I - I, well no, I don't think it is, because I think one of the things that Senator Obama does is that he inspires. He's able to lay out a vision; he's able to lay out solutions.
Whoo, Watson certainly didn't help Obama at all. Clinton and McCain are both picking on Obama's so-called lack of experience. I call it "lack of time to be corrupted."

Watch the video:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Portrait of Lincoln Made of Pennies

The penny has Lincoln on it, so this makes sense right? I guess, however, this father-and-son team didn't want to wait for their pennies to become worth over $10M.

Jeff Haber has collected pennies for 30 years. Not for numismatics purposes, though. When he saw portrait of Abraham Lincoln made entirely of pennies that he saw at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in Florida about eight years ago, he was inspired.

He and his son Danny (now a high school sophomore) decided to do their own. Not only that - they've now done it 3 times!

The first one hangs in their home. Ripley's bought the second one for $500. The third one is being donated to Danny's high school, New Rochelle (New York) High School.

Surprisingly (to me), the latest one took only $24 or 2400 pennies.

Hopefully copper thieves know that current pennies, since 1982, have 97.5% zinc and only 2.5% copper. The value of copper has made copper theft popular, even though electrocution is a possibility.

Deputy Tasers High School Student Despite Orders

A minor altercation after a Maryland high school basketball game led to a student being tasered by a Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Deputy, despite orders by a superior officer against it.

The fight began when Brandon Bennett, a sophomore and Kent Island High School basketball player, was slapped in the face by another student. The two were separated by officials and students without much problem.

However, at that point, according to Julius Bennett, the student's father, Deputy Anthony Lenzi fired a Taser at his son after being told twice by a senior officer it was not necessary.

"He left two puncture wounds just above his heart in his chest," says Bennett. "And [Brandon] said to me that he was in quite a bit of pain because he could feel electric shocks going throughout his whole body."

The father says he has written proof Sgt. Mathew Kempel twice ordered Lenzi to holster the weapon. The statement reads "I told Deputy Anthony Lenzi not to taze Brandon."

Lenzi has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Glenn Beck: "Nancy Pelosi Will End Up Killing Americans"

On CNN Headline News Monday night, Glenn Beck ratcheted up the fear-mongering over the Protect America Act, which Congress allowed to lapse over the weekend.
After 9/11, you remember we came up with all kinds of new aggressive new laws to combat a new kind of enemy. One of them was the Patriot Act. Another one was the Protection - Protect America Act. This was an extension of our eavesdropping. It helped our government listen in and find terrorists.

Well, over the weekend, the House failed to pass this Bill, which would have prevented the Protect America Act from lapsing, an extension requested by the president. It`s got a six-month sunset over and over again. He feels - and I happen to agree with him — that this congressional game-playing by Nancy Pelosi will end up killing Americans.

Now, what could be even more terrifying than that fact is that Congress may be acting with reelection in mind and not your safety. Critics are saying now that the House caved to special interest groups, mostly trial lawyers who want their rights to sue these big, huge phone companies that release sensitive information to the government.
Geez. How about our privacy or desire to live in a non-tyrannical state? The Bush administration has used fear to propel initiatives forward that have pushed America into the worst category in Privacy International's rankings. We are in the same category as Russia and China, if that gives you some perspective!

Sure, we need to be protected. But funny how the GOP is always talking about "small government" when this sort of thing increases government - government oversight of our activities. Why is it so important for the wiretapping to be warrantless? Did it really take that long to get a warrant in the past? The Bush administration just doesn't want to justify its activities to a judge, that's all.

And why is it they seem to always push the idea that the Democrats are soft on terror? Maybe they're high on Constitutional rights, instead. And does anyone seriously believe that if Gore had been in office instead of Bush the Taliban and Al-Qaeda would be have overrun our country? If you do, I'd be interested in what your IQ is (I'm in Mensa, BTW).

Let's face it, the odds of you dying via a lightning strike are higher than that of dying in a terrorist attack, according to the CDC, as Benjamin Friedman points out in this article (free registration required).

Yet we allow ourselves to be so easily cowed.

Watch the video from CNN Headline News:

video

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bush: "The Iraq War Has Nothing to Do With the Economy"

Some feel that the economic problems we are seeing today have something to do with the huge quantities of money we have spent - and are spending - on Iraq and Afghanistan. When confronted with this question on Monday's Today Show, Bush refused to consider it.
ANN CURRY: Some Americans believe that they feel they're carrying the burden because of this economy. The economy, they say, is suffering because of this war.

BUSH: I don't agree with that

CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing do with the economy, the war — the spending on the war?

BUSH: I don’t think so. I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs…because we’re buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses and the economy’s adjusting. (Extended HMMMMM at this point by Curry). On the other hand we're just about to kick out 157 billion dollars to out taxpayers and businesses and other families so we can get this economy going.
Boy, they sure gave him a pass. That "HMMMM" by Curry sure seemed silly.

Well, I can see it now. Our economy needs further stimulation. Here we come, Iran. Sure, jobs have been created - for the contractors who made a mint off Iraq and Afghanistan.

Watch the clip:

Buxom Tattoo Implants Go Wrong

Lane Jensen, an Edmonton tattoo artist, decided that in order to make his calf tattoo of a buxom woman more realistic, he would get silicone implants for it. You can guess for which part of the tattoo, I'm sure.

However, even in women, silicone implants don't always take. In this case, they didn't take either. His body rejected them.

According to Jensen, augmenting tattoos with implants is becoming more popular. As an artist, I'm sure he's always into the latest developments.

In this case 3-D might have been better achieved with 3-D glasses, I guess. You can see the tattoo above prior to the rejection. I'm sure you can make out the, er, shapeliness.

Woman Literally Dodges a Bullet

A woman in Longview, Texas dodged a bullet - literally. It happened during an attempted robbery at a convenience store last weekend.

Robin Adams was working behind the counter when a man walked in and pointed a gun at her face. Just as he pulled the trigger, she leaned to the right and ducked. That's not the end of it though. As he tried to cock the gun again, Adams pulled out her own gun from behind the counter and went toe to toe with him.

"He cocked the gun to shoot (at) me again, and then I went barrel to barrel with him," Adams told the Daily Sentinel. "This thing happened so fast that nothing was said about money. It was like he came in here to kill me."

No one was injured but the robber is still at large. Police hope surveillance photos will help them capture him.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grandfather High on Drugs Passes Out, Smothers Grandson

In Kentucky, David Cull, 50, passed out Wednesday night, apparently high on pharmaceutical drugs. When awakened on Thursday morning, they discovered he had been passed out on the chair where 2-month-old Xavien Cull had been laying.

Donna Cull, the grandmother, said "His lips were purple, and he had four purple stripes down the side of his face. I blew in his face and he wouldn't breathe. His hands were clenched, and he was cold."

David Cull was booked on a charge of reckless homicide. The Culls had originally had custody of both Xavien and his 5-year-old sister, but Child Protective Services came and took the granddaughter away and placed her in the custody of other relatives.

301 Pennies = $10.7 Million

A penny saved is a penny earned, and the older, the better. An auction of 301 pennies from the collection of Burbank resident Walter J. Husak, the owner of an aerospace-part manufacturing company, fetched $10.7 million.

Husak began collecting coins in 1955 at the age of 13 when he visited while his grandparents - who paid him in old coins for helping with chores.

One such penny was minted for two weeks in 1793 but was abandoned because Congress thought Lady Liberty looked frightened. That coin and a 1794 cent with tiny stars added (pictured) to prevent counterfeiters fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

"It was a fabulous night," Heritage Auction president Greg Rohan told AP. "Every major coin collector of American cents was either there in person, bidding online or on the telephone."

The auction house received 15% of the take.

Anti-Vandalism Protester Arrested - for Vandalism

In Poland, Janusz Nowak, 61, was going around innocently posting anti-vandalism notices in the Polish town of Sosnowiec. Unforunately, after he posted a notice on a bus stop he was arrested - for vandalism.

The notice read: "Dear Vandals - please stop destroying the bus-stop."

A police spokesman said: "Although the man had good intentions and wanted to express his indignation towards hooligans' behavior in the neighborhood he unfortunately broke the law himself."

Thanks to this week's NPR radio show Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me for this.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tom Jones Denies "Chest Hair Insurance" Rumor

It wouldn't be the first case of a celebrity insuring an iconic body part: let's not forget that Mary Hart of ET insured her legs for $1,000,000. In this case the celebrity in question flatly denies the assertion.

On Feb. 5th, the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, reported one time heartthrob (well, still for older women) Tom Jones went to Lloyd's of London with the request of insuring his chest hair and they agreed to write the policy - for $6.8 million.

A post on Jones' website disavows the claim, though, saying:
The story published in the Daily Mirror (UK) on Feb 5 is completely fabricated. No such insurance policy exists or has ever been considered. We assume this is just the Mirror having a bit of fun and hope no one takes this kind of 'reporting' seriously.
Well, Jones was never shy about showing off his chest hair, and he still isn't. While he denies the rumor, after all, this type of insurance .... well, "It's not unusual ..."

Iraqi Dog Reunites with Marine After 70-Mile Trek

This is one of those stories that shows how much a dog will do to stay with his master.

Maj. Brian Dennis took a liking to a shepherd-border collie dog that lived at one of the Iraqi border forts his unit patrolled. The dog appeared to have had its ears cut off as a puppy, so he named it "Nubs."

At first the dog would have nothing to do with the soldiers, but eventually he started to come around.

One day Dennis found Nubs with a puncture wound in his side. He nursed the dog back to health and later learned the injury had been inflicted by a screwdriver.

But finally Dennis' was going to move 70 miles away, to a new location. They couldn't take the dog with them; it was against the rules. That final day, Nubs trotted alongside the Humvees as they left camp, as he always did. Dennis thought it was the last he would see of the dog.

But two days later, Nubs showed up at their new camp.

"I won't even address the gauntlet he had to run of dog packs, wolves, and God knows what else to get here," Dennis wrote to his mother, ABC News reported. "When he arrived he looked like he'd just been through a war zone. Uh, wait a minute, he had.

"While he managed to keep the dog at his camp for a while, he and his fellow marines were eventually told by MPs the dog could not stay. But Dennis wasn't going to give up. He arranged to have the dog moved first to Jordan, where he will receive vaccinations. Eventually, Nubs will be flown to San Diego, where he will reunite with Dennis.

"He's always been a big dog lover," Dennis' mother, Marsha Congo told ABC News. "He's supposed to be this big, tough Marine, but he's really a softy."

Bill Maher: "Mitt, Your Sons Can Enlist Now!"

Oh it's been so long hasn't it? Bill Maher hasn't been able to do "New Rules" during the writers strike for obvious reasons. This week, on his February 15th show, Maher had some really great zingers. For one, does anyone remember Mitt Romney's justification for his sons not enlisting, despite his calls for a "surge of support" for the troops. Romney said:
"One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."
As Maher said:

Now that Mitt Romney is out of the race, his sons have to enlist and go to Iraq. You may recall, during the campaign, that Mitt said that even though none of his five sons chose to serve in the military, they were still showing support for our nation by helping him get elected. Well, looks like their calendar is free now. And I don’t have anything against Tag, or Bryce, or Elijah, whatever the hell their names are.. I just think if they go to war, we can settle one of the great theological questions of our time: Does magic underwear really work?

As far as Bush and his latest request for funds for Iraq:
President Bush has to stop coming back every few weeks to ask for yet another $70 billion for the war. Mr. President, you sound like a junkie. "Come on, baby! Come on, baby, one more time. Don’t cut me off. I’ll suck your d*ck." Just ask for the whole $2 trillion up front. It’s not like the Democrats won’t give it to you.
He's right there, about the Democrats. And here's a really good one, the final new rule:
Stop saying how amazing it is for Democratic voters to have a choice for president, between a man – a woman and a black man. It’s not amazing, it’s two centuries late. It’s 2008 – we’ve had 43 white guys in a row. Not to mention only one Catholic president, one bachelor president, and of course, one retarded president. If we really were an advanced society, Hillary and Barack could team up and become the Hilla-Barack. But that’ll never happen, because in America, the only time you see an interracial couple working together to push boundaries, is in pornography .
Watch the video. Welcome back, New Rules.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's the One Year Anniversary of the "Bald Britney"

Hard to believe it's been a year, but it was a year ago today that Britney Spears walked into Esther’s Haircutting Studio in the Tarzana district of Los Angeles and, after the owner refused to do it, shaved her own head.

Honestly, prior to this, although it seemed Spears was somewhat of a troubled diva in the Lindsay Lohan vein, after this incident, people started to question her mental health. And since then we've seen tons of incidents which seem to indicate she needs some serious psychiatric help.

I hesitate to use the term "Happy" in reference to the anniversary, but it's been a year. Hopefully the year to come does not give us an even worse series of events for Spears.

"Teddy Bear Muhammed" Teacher to Go to China

Remember Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who committed what was probably an honest mistake, naming a teddy bear used in a class exercise Muhammed (based on the students' votes, BTW!), and was convicted of inciting religious hatred? She was eventually pardoned, though Sudanese protesters called for her execution.

She's off to China. Start writing the headlines now.

Gibbons will start the 18-month posting, at an English-speaking school near Beijing, in two weeks.

According to a friend, Gill Langworthy, "Gillian is really excited, she's a bit nervous, but excited. She has not let things put her off." She also said Gibbons had not ruled out working in a Muslim country again.

Maybe, but most countries, hearing of the Sudan bruhaha, have probably ruled her out.

Deputy in "Wheelchair Dumping" Arrested

Recall the paralyzed man who was dumped on the floor by police after he tried - several times - to tell them he could not stand up at the booking table? Glad to see some people have a brain, as they have arrested the deputy who dumped him on the floor.

It apparently happened this morning, with the deputy turning herself in. Jail records show Charlette Marshall-Jones was booked into the Orient Road Jail early this morning.

Nice, as this is the same jail where the dumping took place. However, it would be nice if the other deputies, who stood idly by while this all happened, got some punishment as well (aside from their administrative leaves).

The deputy was charged with one count of felony abuse of a disabled person. She was released after posting $3,500 bail.

You can watch the video of the incident (no audio) here:

"Prove You Were Alive Last Year"

Proof of life. This actually happened to the uncle of someone I work with. He's Indian, and his uncle served in the Army. As such, he gets a pension. However, ever year, to continue receiving his pension, he has to submit paperwork proving that he's still living.

While that's one thing, last year he moved to a different area of India. At the beginning of this year, he goes to the proper office and submits his paperwork for this year. But since he moved, was asked to produce paperwork proving he was alive the previous years.

Basically, "prove to me you were alive last year." Of course, the fact that he was standing there ... you would seem to think it was obvious.

I guess to the Indian government it was not.

He had to jump through hoops to get the proper paperwork (hard for a dead person, frankly), but he finally got it all ironed out.