Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The More Candy, The More Violence: Study

A new study suggests a link between eating chocolate or candy as a child and violent behavior as an adult. Researchers from Cardiff University studied more than 17,500 children born in 1970 for nearly four decades. Children who by age 10 were eating candy daily were more likely to be arrested for a violent offense by the age of 34.

Simon Moore, the study’s lead researcher, said in a telephone interview yesterday,
“Persistently giving confectionary to children may teach them to be impulsive and to try and get what they want by using aggression.

“Our favored explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want. Not being able to defer gratification may push them toward more impulsive behavior, which is strongly associated with delinquency.”
Although she has not read the study, Dr. Dominika Osmolska, a clinical psychologist, agrees with Moore. She suggests the study demonstrates correlation, not causation. The candy consumption does not cause the violent behavior; rather it is a system of an impulse control issue, which is evidenced early in life.

The data collection of the study took place when the participants were aged 5, 10, 26, 30, 34 and 42. Of those who had eaten candy daily during childhood, 69% had been arrested for violent actions by the age of 34. Those who showed no violent behavior only ate sweets daily 42% of the time.

The researchers said that the study shows that more attention needs to be done. Why am I not surprised. The research will appear in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
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Rep. Grayson: "GOP Health Plan: Don't Get Sick. If You Get Sick, Die Quickly:"

On Tuesday night, Rep. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) took to the House floor to give his take on the GOP health care plan. His opinion: Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.

Grayson said he was inspired to read the GOP health care plan by the GOP lawmakers waving it around at Obama's recent health care reform address. He summarized the proposals of the GOP on posterboard.
"The Republicans' health care plan for America: don't get sick. That's right, don't get sick. If you have insurance, don't get sick. If you don't, don't get sick. If you're sick, don't get sick. Just don't get sick. That's what the Republicans have in mind for you, America. That's the Republicans' health care plan.

But I think that the Republicans understand that that plan isn't always going to work. It's not a fullproof plan. So the Republicans have a back up plan in case you do get sick, If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly! That's right, the Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.

Now the Democrats have a different plan. The Democrats say that if you have health insurance we're going to make it better. If you don't have health insurance we're going to provide it to you. If you can't afford health insurance, then we'll help to afford health insurance. So America gets to decide: Do you want the Democratic plan, or do you want the Republican plan? Remember, the Republican plan, don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly."
Alan Grayson didn't stop there, however. On Wednesday, he continued his assault on the Republicans.

House Republicans called on Alan Grayson to apologize. He refused. I say, if Joe Wilson didn't apologize to the House (he apologized to the President through Rahm Emanuel), why should Grayson?

Alan Grayson did apologize, of a sort. He said, “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America. “I think that the Democrats are sick and tired of being kicked around with death panels. We’re sick of it. They have nothing to offer (on health care) themselves.”

Watch the video:

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Newsmax Op-Ed Notes Military Coup May Be Necessary to Fix "Obama Problem"

Newsmax, a conservative "news site" that is probably more like "Faux News" (Fox News) than CNN or MSNBC, and definitely is not "fair and balanced," published a column by John L. Perry yesterday that stated there is a "gaining" possibility that the military will stage a coup to "resolve the 'Obama problem.'"

While it's been reported that the column has been removed, and references to it removed from Perry's author's page, as well. Additionally, the site noted that it removed the article after readers complained (which shows even among Newsmax readers there is some sanity).
Image from TPM article linked above.
The full text of the article can be found here. Part of the article is below:
Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.
The right-wing continues to use scare words such as Marxism, communism, fascism or socialism. The problem with those who accept their scare tactics is they have no idea what the words really mean. However, they do associate the words with Stalin and the U.S.S.R., or Hitler and Nazi Germany, without understanding how ludicrous such links are.

If nothing else, the protectionist stance of the administration with regards to the insurance industry shows that's not the case. They wouldn't be embracing capitalism, if so. Oh, and I love the logic: "our constitution is in jeopardy, so we'll form a new government with our military in charge." Yeah, that sounds really nice.
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Billionaire Clown Blasts Off for the ISS

It's hard to imagine a clown being a billionaire, but here he is. In reality he's far more, but a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Canadian Guy Laliberte and two crew mates lifted off on schedule Wednesday headed for the International Space Station, while his partner, former model Claudia Barilla, watched with tears streaming down her face.

While the headlines read "billionaire clown," Guy Laliberte, 50, is actually the founder of Cirque du Soleil. And while billed as a "circus" there are no animals and it's really about acrobats and clowns. The Soyuz craft, lifting off from the Kazakh steppe, also carried U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Surayev.

Friends and family cheered and sang Elton John's "Rocket Man" as the announcement came that the ship had reached orbit. Claudia Barilla said, "I'm very happy for him. It's amazing. Now we know he's up there."

Laliberte paid $35 million for his trip and plans to use it to help publicize the world's growing shortage of clean water. The Soyuz is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station, orbiting 220 miles above Earth, on Friday.

At first, Claudia Barilla told Guy Laliberte to "go for it," he reportedly said. However, you can imagine, as they have 5 children together, the stress and nervousness began to overtake her as the time of launch approached. Still, in his honor, Barilla wore a yellow clown nose as she watched the launch.

Laliberte will return to Earth after 12 days in space, to the welcome arms of Claudia Barilla and children, I'm sure. Williams and Surayev plan to stay in orbit for 169 days.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ensign: Exclude Gunshot Wounds from Lifespan Stats; We Love Our Guns

It's been tried before: those against the public option for Universal Health Care like to say that we should exclude deaths from guns from statistical evidence that the U.S. lags behind other nations. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) made not just that statement, but also that deaths from auto accidents should be excluded as well, as both are "cultural factors." Here's an exchange between him and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).
ENSIGN: The first one you said on preventative deaths — Are you aware on that if you take out gun accidents and auto accidents, the United States actually is better than those other countries?

CONRAD: You can rack and stack –

ENSIGN: Auto accidents don’t have anything to do with health care. I mean, we’re just a much more mobile society. On the preventative deaths, if you take out auto accidents — because we drive our cars a lot more, they do public transportation — and so you have to compare health care system with health care system.

If you compare cancer rates, survival rates after five years, cardiovascular disease after five years, the United States does better than Europe.

CONRAD: We do very well.

ENSIGN:
We do better than any of the countries that you pointed out.

CONRAD: Well, I can tell you this: I’d go back to the statistics that have been generated by lots of organizations on quality outcomes, and other countries that do have universal care and do a much better job of controlling costs than we do, on metric after metric, finish ahead of us. And I’d just direct you to the T.R. Reid book which is loaded with analysis from objective observers as to quality outcomes. And those countries, much lower costs than we do as a share of GDP, high quality outcomes — whether we’re first in a category or someone else is first — nonetheless, high quality outcomes in those countries, at much lower costs.
The problem with jobbing statistics as Ensign wants to do, is that we can't ignore those losses. It's not like you can say, OK, no auto accidents and no gunshot wounds in this hospital. I guess we need to stop having those whiny police officers complaining about gunshot wounds.

In reality, the United States currently ranks 50th out of 224 nations in life expectancy, with an average life span of 78.1 years, according to 2009 estimates from the CIA World Factbook.

We're the only industrialized nation without some sort of universal health care. A recent Harvard study said as many as 45,000 people die annually due to lack of insurance. How sad is that?

Update: the Senate Finance Committee has defeated the public option for health care.

Watch the video:

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Homeless "American Girl" Doll Causes Flap

In this time of recession, when something like this arises, the question becomes: is this a demonstration of insensitivity or of advocacy? Or just pure greed? A limited-edition "American Girls" doll is causing controversy. The doll, "Gwen," is a homeless version of the popular doll series.

Gwen is friends with another American Girl doll, Chrissa, who has a DVD, Chrissa Stands Strong. In that DVD, Gwen is portrayed as homeless.

CBS interviewed some homeless women, and they seemed to like the doll, at first. Then they were told that none of the proceeds for the doll go to the homeless. One said:
"I don't even see why you would make a homeless doll, anyway, unless it was being used to raise money to help charities aiding the homeless."
That's a very good point. Why are the manufacturers, American Girl, not doing so. Of course, it's easy to criticize these companies, but they are supposed to be making their shareholders money, after all.

On the other hand, Gwen costs $95. Rather a profligate toy for a child, at any rate. Additionally, there's no way a homeless child could afford one.
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Jon Puts the Gosselins' Divorce on Hold

OK, what just happened here? Earlier today TLC said it was dumping Jon Gosselin from the series "Jon and Kate Plus Eight," changing the title to "Kate Plus Eight," and focusing on Kate as a single mom.

Now, just hours after TLC made the announcement, comes the announcement that Jon Gosselin has filed paperwork to halt divorce proceedings. According to an exclusive In Touch Weekly story, "“I regret my conduct since Kate and I separated. I used poor judgment in publicly socializing with other women so soon.”

The fact that In Touch Weekly has the story in its magazine this week means the news actually came before the TLC announcement. It's hard to believe it, if for no other reason than the fact that Jon Gosselin has been cavorting with women like Hailey Glassman (among others).

While "Kate Plus Eight" is a snappy title, one has to wonder if Jon Gosselin knew anything about the TLC announcement. On the other hand, Jon added that the reason for halting his divorce for 90 days is "to regain control over the future of our family."

Readers, what do you think? Do you think Jon is seriously rethinking things? Is "Kate Plus Eight" going to become "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" again? Or do you evefn care?

"Jon and Kate" to Become "Kate"

It's official, though not unexpected. TLC is changing "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" to be a Kate-focused show. It will become "Kate Plus Eight," after the couple's split, and Jon's much-publicized, er, public escapades.

TLC announced the changes on Tuesday. The renamed “Kate Plus Eight” will begin on Nov. 2. It will continue to focus on the lives of the 8-year-old Gosselin twins and 5-year-old sextuplets but will focus onKate’s role as a single mother.

According to TLC, however, the cable network continues to have an exclusive arrangement with Jon Gosselin, so rumors of him starting a new reality show of his own appear to be false. He will apparently appear in "guest shots" as well.

Jon and Kate Gosselin made their separation official, and viewable to millions of viewers on a "Jon & Kate" episode that aired in June. That episode was a "hit" and was seen by 10.6 million viewers, but ratings have declined since then.

The split came amid rumors of infidelity by both Jon and Kate Gosselin, something both denied. Since the split announcement, Jon's behavior hasn't exactly pleased TLC, cavorting around Europe with Hailey Glassman, for aexample. The series airs Mondays at 9 PM EDT.
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It's National Coffee Day; Drink Up

Today is National Coffee Day (though most probably believe that day is every day). So how does Starbucks celebrate it? With a free cup of java? Nope. They launched their instant coffee today.

Seriously, though, it's nearly eight months after Starbucks began selling its Via instant coffee in Seattle and Chicago. On National Coffee Day, the company will begin offering it to nationally as well as in its Canadian stores.

Realistically, Starbucks is facing much competition as people turn to cheaper brews in this time of recession. After all, the name Starbucks, which used to draw people in for more price beverages, isn't enough when companies like McDonald's have their own coffee, which, to be honest, is quite good.

While Starbucks has seen its revenue slide for the last three consecutive quarters, McDonald's has even started serving espresso, cappuccino, and other drinks. Dunkin' Donuts has its fans as well. Starbucks may see 2009's National Coffee Day as a chance to intensify the battle.

In terms of National Coffee Day freebies, here are a few we know of:
  • At Panera Bread, buy any size of drip coffee, say “Pay it Forward” and you get a second cup for free to give to a friend.
  • Even better, in New England, McDonald's has been leading up to National Coffee Day by giving away free cups of their new regional coffee, Newman's Own Organics, for the last month. This will continue through the end of the month, and Nell Newman, president of Newman’s Own Organics: The Second Generation and daughter of late actor Paul Newman and actress Joanne Woodward will visit a restaurant in South Attleboro at 444 Washington St.
There are likely to be many local offers as well. Do any of you readers know of any? At any rate, drink up!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Three Arrested in Derrion Albert Beating Death

Three have been arrested in the case of Derrion Albert's beating death, which was caught on tape and which I wrote about earlier. The three have have been charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults.

Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, and Eric Carson, 16, have been charged in last Thursday's death of Derrion Albert, 16, an honor student at Fenger High School in Chicago. Although the incident is believed gang-related, Albert has no gang affiliations.

Some believe Derrion Albert was beaten on his way home from school for refusing to join a gang. However, some witnesses say he was just a bystander swept into a violent fight as collateral damage.

Derrion Albert's beating death with wooden boards is depicted in a video that has been circulating on the Internet; police had been using that video to gather evidence.

It is disturbing to note that the youngest of the three, Eric Carson, who was allegedly from the gang faction near Fenger, was the first to hit Derrion Albert with a railroad tie. As he then struggled to stand and escape, Riley also hit him with a railroad tie and Shannon repeatedly stomped on his head. Both Riley and Shannon allegedly belong to a separate gang faction that lived in or near Altgeld Gardens.

Records show that the youngest, Carson is on probation for a robbery conviction. Shannon and Riley have no criminal records. Well, they have no criminal records until the Derrion Albert murder. I hope they will be convicted and have a long stretch in prison.

Today was the first day Fenger High School has been open since Derrion Albert's murder. All Chicago public schools were closed Friday for a staff day. A march and vigil for Albert, organized by his family, was held at 1 PM outside Fenger. Originally, the vigil had been planned for Sunday, but Albert's family agreed to postpone it at the request of the Chicago Public Schools.
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Exelon Leaves U.S. Chamber of Commerce Over Climate Change Denial

Today, John Rowe, the CEO of Exelon, announced that his company, which is the largest electric utility company in the United States, would not renew its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of its opposition to global warming action. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims that a cap-and-trade program to limit global warming pollution would “strangle the economy” and has even called for a “Scopes monkey trial” on the science of global warming.

It's hard to understand the denials of the Chamber of Commerce, but the economy is a favored argument of those harping against climate change. The thing is, working on green technologies can only help the economy, and even if it did not, what good is an economy without a planet?

Cynic that I am, I have to wonder what's in it for Exelon. In the press release announcing their decision to leave the Chamber of Commerce, Rowe said:
“The carbon-based free lunch is over. But while we can’t fix our climate problems for free, the price signal sent through a cap-and-trade system will drive low-carbon investments in the most inexpensive and efficient way possible. Putting a price on carbon is essential, because it will force us to do the cheapest things, like energy efficiency, first.

“Inaction on climate is not an option. If Congress does not act, the EPA will, and the result will be more arbitrary, more expensive, and more uncertain for investors and the industry than a reasonable, market-based legislative solution.”
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Facebook Pulls "Obama Death Poll"

Facebook has pulled, for obvious reasons, a poll asking users to vote on the question "Should Obama be killed?"

The responses included:
  • yes
  • maybe
  • if he cuts my health care
  • no
You can see an image of the now-deleted poll above. You can bet there's going to be a secret service investigation on this one.

What has this country come to? Since when do Americans openly ask these sorts of questions, bring guns to events, and bet on a date for an assassination? You have to bet the rest of the world thinks we are insane.

As of noon EDT Monday, 90 percent of respondents had said “no.” Just over five percent said yes, 2.6 percent said maybe, and 1.9 percent said “if he cuts my health care.” It's horrific that even 10 percent would agree on any level.
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Lucy Vodden of "Lucy in the Sky" Fame, Dies

You might (rightly) ask who Lucy Vodden is, but you probably already know of her. Or at least, you know of her as portrayed in the Beatles tune "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." She has died after a long battle with lupus. She was 46.

The death of Lucy Vodden was announced on Monday by St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. She had been treated for lupus, a chronic disease, for more than five years.

Lucy Vodden connected with The Beatles in grade school, her grade school, that is. At that time, she befriended Julian Lennon, then 4 years old. After coming home from school one day, he showed a drawing to his father. He told John Lennon it was "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

John Lennon turned the image into a song, and because of references in the song to "newspaper taxis" and a "girl with kaleidoscope eyes," as well as the fact that you can find the initials LSD in the title, critics thought the song's title was a veiled reference to the drug. Lennon always maintained the phrase came from his son and thus, Lucy Vodden.

Ironically, because of that connection to LSD, true or not, Lucy Vodden never liked the song. Friends who were told of her connection to it brought up the LSD angle.

After losing touch with Lucy Vodden, Julian Lennon reconnected with her in recent years when he tried to help her cope with lupus. Farewell to the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Watch and listen to the song.
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Roman Polanski Will Fight Extradition: Lawyer

Roman Polanski will not go easily, to America, that is. As both France and Poland urged Switzerland to free the 76-year-old award-winning director on bail, his lawyer said he will fight extradition to the U.S.

Polanski was arrested by Swiss police on Saturday on an international warrant. He was arriving in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival.

Roman Polanski was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl he photographed during a modeling session at Jack Nicholson's home in Los Angeles in 1977. Samantha Geimer, the "victim," has previously (and repeatedly) asked that all charges be dropped against Roman Polanski, stating that the continued publicity over the decades-old event "causes harm to me, my husband and children".

At the same time, Polanski has maintained that the girl was sexually experienced and had consented. In a deal with prosecutors, Polanski pled guilty to one of six charges against him, unlawful sexual intercourse, and was sent to prison for 42 days for psychological evaluation. Lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain, as shown in the 2008 film, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

Aware the judge would sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation, Polanski fled to France on the day of his sentencing in 1978. Since then he has basically been a fugitive.

His Academy Award for best director, won for the 2002 film "The Pianist" was accepted by Harrison Ford, who had previously starred in Polanski's 1988 thriller, "Frantic."

It is notable that while the U.S. has had an outstanding warrant on Polanski since 1978, Swiss authorities said American authorities have only been seeking the arrest of the director (worldwide) since 2005.

Any extradition proceedings could be lengthy if Polanski chooses to fight it. THe U.S. request for his transfer must first be examined by the Swiss Justice Ministry, and even if approved it can be appealed at a number of different courts.
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Despite "F-bomb," SNL's Jenny Slate Will Not Be Fired

Those hoping that Casey Wilson and Michaela Watkins might be rehired if SNL newcomer Jenny Slate was fired after her SNL "FUBAR" on Saturday can stop hoping. NBC has announced that she's still got a job with Saturday Night Live.

The question, "Is Jenny Slate fired?" is an obvious one after the newbie uttered the "f-bomb" on her first show. Since the writers had foolishly chosen to use the term "fricking" umpteen-million times in the skit, they were playing with fire, anyway. Of course, only those on the East Coast were able to see the lapse on TV.

It was indeed a FUBAR for SNL, but it wasn't a first. The last time it happened was in 1981, when the late Charles Rocket, upset at being canned from the show, added an f-bomb as a parting gift to then Executive Producer Dick Ebersol.

Still, Lorne Michaels, the current executive producer, said no repercussions will befall Slate. In other words, Jenny Slate is not fired (at least for now; ask Wilson and Watkins about that). There will be, of course, likely FCC fines over the issue.

If nothing else, Jenny Slate, while not fired, has made a big name for herself on the first show. Typically, most people wouldn't even know who she was, but since videos of the expletive are going viral, that's not going to be the case here.

Watch it below. Oh, and Jenny, don't do it again.

Chicago Teenager's Beating Death Caught on Video

Another example of gang violence, but one horrifically caught on tape. Sadder, the beating victim had no gang affiliation.

High School students from Fenger High School have to take this to heart. Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death as a sort of "collateral damage" in an incident involving two rival gangs.

No knives and no guns were used in last Thursday's fight. Just fists, feet and boards, and Derrion Albert was struck in the head by one of those boards. He hit the pavement, and at that point, witnesses say gang members began stomping on and punching him.

Albert was an honor student and had no gang affiliation, as I said. Now, he is a sad statistic.

Police have video footage, but no faces are shown, and thus they have released the video in hopes someone can ID Derrion Albert's assailants, or rather, murderers. If you can identify any of the people allegedly involved in the death of Derrion Albert, please call Area Two of the Chicago Police Dept; the number is 312-747-8272.

Watch the video below.

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Fire Department Hunk Caught in "Wife Swap" Stabbing Scandal

Michael Biserta, a firefighter from Brooklyn's Ladder Co. 131 who already was involved in one scandal, one with a full-frontal nude video, has just joined up with another scandal. He's been named as the "other man" in the messy New Jersey divorce of Jamie Czerniawski, a former reality-show contestant who stabbed her husband.

Does anyone ever watch reality TV and wonder if these "contestants" are losers? Or perhaps rather than wondering, you simply think they are. Case in point: Jamie Czerniawski, 30, a New Jersey mother and former beauty queen featured on the reality show "Wife Swap" in 2006. In June she was accused of stabbing her husband, but claimed self-defense.

According to a Monmouth County Divorce Court complaint filed by Jamie Czerniawski's husband, Charles, the two were exchanging explicit Facebook messages just prior to the Memorial Day stabbing. On May 18th, Czerniawski, asked Biserta, 25, "I want to let you know just how f***ing bad I wanna f*** you right now!!!! Can you get out??"

Interestingly, in February, Biserta became engaged in to Danielle Cipriano and plans to marry her on Oct. 10, 2010, according to their wedding Web site. You can see from the above, and that's just the tip of the iceberg, that the engagement didn't put out his fire for Jamie Czerniawski.

Biserta's own scandal is that he had appeared in a 2004 video, "Guys Gone Wild." Yes, full frontal nudity, but Biserta wasn't disciplined because the video was made before he joined the FDNY in 2006. Beefcake calendars like the above featuring Biserta on the cover (top) were banned after the scandal emerged.
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

GOP Candidate Raffles Off AK-47 at "Machine Gun Social"

First of all, it's an assault rifle, not a machine gun. Secondly, while yes, we have Second Amendment rights, I fail to see why any private citizen would need an AK-47.

Dean Allen, a GOP candidate for South Carolina's Adjutant General (S.C. is the only state to elect that post), held a "machine gun social" on Saturday. Allen, 58, of Greenville, said the "machine gun social" was his way of celebrating the Second Amendment as well as showing solidarity against gun-rights opponents.

Approximately 500 people showed up Saturday at the Allen Arms Indoor Shooting Range (owned by Frank Allen, unrelated to the candidate). Some paid $25 for barbecued food and ammo to take target practice with the weapon of their choice. The sweepstakes was included at no extra charge.

Lisa Flaugher of Pickens said she came to the event at the Allen Arms Indoor Shooting Range to support Allen and try to win the AK-47, because "I want the gun for target practice."

These people know very little about the AK-47. While reliable and easy to manufacture because of its loose tolerances, that same fact also makes it a pretty inaccurate weapon.

At any rate, Dean Allen said, "I like to tell people I'm not the country club conservative, I'm the machine gun one."
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Coulter Thinks Obama - Hitler Posters Created by Liberals

You'll recall those posters of President Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache that appeared at Tea Party rallies and health insurance reform town halls? While appearing on Saturday's Geraldo at Large with Geraldo Rivera, Ann Coulter asserted those posters are the work of “liberal agitators.”
Coulter: “And we don’t know that the rare Hitler mustache you see at these Tea Parties was even [done by] a conservative. I suspect they were liberal agitators.

“Yeah, of course they do that. This obsession with the outliers at these things is just a way to shut down speech.”
Rare??? Truly, posters of Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache make absolutely no sense. That's why it can't be from liberals, as they have a tendency to have more common sense than the right.

For one, the right is somewhat hypocritical. They rant about "right to live," but discount those 45,000 who die annually, according to a very recent Harvard study.

What does Hitler have to do with Universal Health Care, as well? Where are the posters with images of leaders of all the other industrialized nations which have some form Universal Health Care? That's right, we're the outlier; everyone else knows that morally we should insure all.

Yes, this is truly a moral issue, and as many on the right portray themselves as Christian, the question arises: who would Jesus insure?

That's right, everyone.

Watch the video:

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SNL Newbie Jenny Slate Drops the F-Bomb on Air

Saturday Night Live (SNL) dropped Casey Wilson and Michaela Watkins during the offseason, adding Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate. Anyone besides me wondering if Jenny Slate will be around next week, after dropping the f-bomb on camera?

Realistically, Jenny Slate will probably be around next week, but NBC will be minus some cash from an FCC fine. Remember that the show is broadcast live, and during a skit (an unfunny one, no less), she did drop an f-bomb on camera. Yep, Jenny Slate said "f*cking."

I'll admit, it's easy to forgive Jenny Slate. Well, maybe not that easy, but the skit had her saying the word "fricking" quite a few times. One can see how easy it might be to remove the "ri" and replace it with "u."

It's pretty obvious that Jenny Slate knew she said the f-bomb, as well. Watch the video and you can see her puff out her cheeks right after saying it. While the skit continued, you know she was probably repeating the first four letters of her f-bomb over and over in her head.

Jenny Slate's fellow SNL newcomer Nasim Pedrad also debuted on SNL last night. Unlike Slate, however, she did not utter any expletives. For those interested in the more mundane details of the broadcast, the host was Megan Fox and U2 was the musical guest.

Watch the video (until NBC pulls it, anyway):

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After 33 Months, Michael Vick Plays Again

PETA is not pleased. Honestly, they have not been pleased since the Philadelphia Eagles signed Michael Vick, but as of today, he's back playing in the NFL.

The opening for Michael Vick came at the expense of Donovan McNabb, who was earlier injured. While the Eagles started Kevin Kolb in his second straight start, this was the first game Vick could play in.

Last week Kolb made his first NFL start, against the Saints, throwing for 391 yards, and two touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions, however.

Michael Vick isn't taking the starting QB job away from Kolb just yet, however. So far today, he's been a non-factor.

Michael Vick was inserted as a WR for the Eagles' second play from scrimmage. He had a handoff faked to him and then watched as RB LeSean McCoy lost a yard.

Michael Vick returned again in the Eagles' second offensive series. He ran the option, keeping the ball for a 7-yard gain. He also attempted his first pass from the Chiefs 5, but it fell incomplete. McCoy scored on the next play as the Eagles took a 7-0 lead.

The Eagles lead Kansas City 27-7 at the time of this writing, in the third quarter. Michael Vick is 0-2 passing.


You may recall the reason for Michael Vicks hiatus from pro football. He was convicted on dogfighting charges and spent 18 months in prison.
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Roman Polanski Arrested, to Be Extradited to the U.S.

Samantha Geimer pictured in 1977 on the left, and now on the right
Roman Polanski, set to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival on Sunday, has instead been arrested, and extradition proceedings are underway. The arrest stems from the well-known and three decades-old charges against Polanski for sex with a minor.

Polanski was arrested in the late 1970s and charged with giving drugs and alcohol to a 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer, and having unlawful sex with her at Jack Nicholson’s Hollywood home. He maintained that the girl was sexually experienced and had consented.

Samantha Geimer (pictured above) has previously (and repeatedly) asked that all charges be dropped against Roman Polanski, stating that the continued publicity over the decades-old event "causes harm to me, my husband and children".

Two months ago Roman Polanski asked a California appeals court to overturn a judge's refusal to consider his request to throw out the 1977 case in which he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Judge Peter Espinoza agreed there was misconduct by the original judge in the case, but said Polanski must return to the US to apply for dismissal.

The 2008 film, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, notes the judicial misconduct, purporting to show "a judge more interested in his image than his word or the law."

Roman Polanski now lives permanently in Paris, and is considered by some an international fugitive. It should be noted that the age of consent in Europe ranges from 13 - 17 (Spain is the lowest with 13). His Academy Award for best director, won for the 2002 film "The Pianist" was accepted by Harrison Ford, who had previously starred in Polanski's 1988 thriller, "Frantic."

Frederic Mitterrand, France's culture minister said he “strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them." He is, fo course, speaking of the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson Family, but also of the treatment of Polanski's family during the Holocaust during WWII.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Woman Mistakenly Implanted With Other Couple's Embyro Gives Birth

An Ohio woman, Carolyn Savage, 40, who was implanted with the wrong embryo, and her husband Sean, have given birth to a “healthy baby boy” and given him up to his biological parents, her family said in a statement.

The Savages offered their “heartfelt congratulations” to Paul and Shannon Morell, the the boy’s biological parents. The child was delivered at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio on Thursday.

It is unclear how the mix-up occurred, but two months after her pregnancy, the Savages were informed that Carolyn had been given three embryos that belonged to the Morells. Worse, the other three embryos that belonged to the Morells were misplaced, so they had no other chance that the baby that Carolyn Savage carried.

Frequently, in such cases, the pregnancy will be aborted, but in this case, Carolyn Savage fell back on her Catholic upbrining and decided to carry the baby to term, despite the obvious difficulties and discomforts faced with carrying any baby to term.

The Savages already have three children. They resorted to in vitro fertilization after reproductive problems and a series of miscarriages. The Morells had twin girls and now, a new baby boy.
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White House Announces Health Reform Video Challenge

Barack Obama and the Obama administration announced on Saturday America's Health Reform Video Challenge. The administration is seeking entries from the public to make an ad supporting health insurance reform.

There are plenty of folks out there capable of such stuff. After all, things like a young woman dying of swine flu because she didn't have health insurance, and a woman whose visit to the ER was not covered because a bleeding breast is not an emergency.

In reality, something like this could be a full-length movie, showing horror stories about insurance companies denying medical care, other countries with universal health care and how their lifespans are longer than ours, and insurance executives awash with money. Oh wait, it's been done already. It's "Sicko."

Don't expect a big prize: your only prize is that all or part of the winner's video may be used in a television advertisement associated with Sponsor's health reform campaign (approximate retail value: $0). Whoops.

This is what an email I received said:
This is your chance -- you ingenious, insightful, funny people out there -- to make a 30-second ad telling the story about why the status quo has got to go, or explaining how the Obama plan will ensure we get the secure, quality care we need without breaking the budget.
Here's what the site says you should focus on:
  • Personal stories: It’s hard to get more powerful than sharing a personal story about how the broken status quo has affected you and the ones you love.
  • The cost of inaction: There’s lots to cover about how spiraling costs are breaking the budgets of families, governments and businesses, and the high price we’ll all pay if we don’t act.
  • The opponents of reform: It’s amazing the levels some will stoop in order to score political points or protect their profits. This is your chance to call them out.
Thirty seconds? Maybe Michael Moore should enter the trailer for "Sicko."
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Uninsured Young Woman Delays Treatment, Dies From Swine Flu

Kimberly Young, 22, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Sadly, it has been reported that she delayed treatment due to a lack of health insurance. Although there's no guarantee that earlier treatment would have saved her life, it would be hard to find a more obvious example of the need to fix our broken health insurance system.

Kimberly Young was a previously healthy 2008 graduate of Miami University of Ohio. She was diagnosed with swine flu and pneumonia. However, she was reluctant to seek treatment because she had no insurance. Brent Mowery, her friend and former roommate said:
"That’s the most tragic part about it. If she had insurance, she would have gone to the doctor."
On Sept. 22, Kimberly Young’s condition suddenly worsened, and her roommate drove her to McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford. She was then flown in critical condition to University Hospital in Cincinnati, where she died.

Ironically, Young is a constituent of John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Minority Leader. Last week on "Meet the Press," he dismissing the public option as “big government” while defending a watered-down health reform plan.
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