Oct 28, 2011
Scott Ritter is headed to jail.
Ritter was once a member of a UN Inspection team looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In that capacity he was a media darling because he was controversial.
He openly blasted the UN and the US for not requiring Iraq to comply with inspection teams. At the same time, Ritter was against any military action against Iraq. (How Ritter wanted the UN and the US to “force” Iraq to comply with UN inspection teams was never quite clear.)
In 2001, Ritter joined with an Iraqi national named Shakir al Khafaji to produce the film “In Shifting Sands,” in which everything wrong with Iraq was blamed on the United States. The film was not only controversial for its anti-American content, but also for the fact some or all of al Khafaji’s financing came from illegally skimming profits from the “Oil for Food.” program.
In 2005, Ritter started writing for Al-Jazeera’s web site.
Offering no proof whatsoever, Mr. Ritter accuses the U.S. of conspiring with Iraqi assassination squads (search), and that, not foreign terrorists or former Saddam officials, is what started the post-war violence in Iraq: “Having started the game of politically motivated assassination, the U.S. has once again found itself trumped by forces inside Iraq it does not understand, and as such will never be able to defeat.”
As for the enemy, which he calls a “genuine grassroots national liberation movement,” Ritter is generous: “History will eventually depict as legitimate the efforts of the Iraqi resistance to destabilise and defeat the American occupation forces and their imposed Iraqi collaborationist government.”
In 2001, Ritter was arrested during an internet sex sting in which it appears he tried to have contact with under aged girls – girls who turned out to be undercover cops.
Oct 28, 2011
UPDATE: We originally attributed this incident happening in China. As an astute commenter pointed out, this actually happened in Cambodia. Our apologies for the mistake.
Image courtesy E.G., Scotland
You can’t make this stuff up.
A day after 136 students collapsed at a Kompong Cham high school while standing at attention as punishment for not showing deference to the national flag, the local police chief offered a unique explanation for the mass fainting – trees.
“According to the hospital’s analysis, the reason why the students fainted is [because of] the huge tree in the school compound and the farmland surrounding the school, which absorbed the oxygen,” said Heng Meng, police chief of Chamkar Leu district, adding that the punishment could not be blamed as one of the teachers “also [had difficulty breathing] and felt dizzy”.
Why yes, because we all know that trees rob the earth of oxygen.
They don’t? They produce oxygen?
Heng Phal Rith, school director of Bosknor high school in Chamkar Leu district, also cited the hospital’s report in blaming the incident on a lack of oxygen, adding that he “did not punish the students. It is just a rumour”.
Right. Because we all know that 130+ students standing in an area where there are trees and allegedly no oxygen happens every day. The students were just there having fun and didn’t want to leave, even as they felt faint from the so called “lack of oxygen.”
A doctor from the local hospital, Iv Then, said that based on his examination, the lack of oxygen was due to an abundance of trees, which trapped the oxygen, adding that the first four or five students fainted because they were standing under the school’s large medicinal oil tree.
Well, there ya go.
Not only do trees harm humans, but medicinal trees are particularly harmful.
This is one of those laughable instances where a government sends some flunky out to make a statement that flies in the face of reality.
(Almost like an Obama press conference.)
Oct 27, 2011
The New York Post is reporting the “Occupying Wall Street” protestors are themselves upset by the “freeloaders” and “professional homeless” that have come to Zucotti Park. Apparently the OWS folks are upset with having to feed people who may not be a part of the protest itself.
The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.
For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.
They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.
Oh the irony.
This is the same group that demands others be taxed more in order to achieve some sort of “economic fairness.”
Basically, that means “if someone has more than you do, you have a right to the ‘excess’ above and beyond what you have.”
Now the protestors are claiming “foul” when that standard is applied to them. They don’t want to share. They don’t want to help others.
Oct 27, 2011
Here we go again with another round of “Quick Hits” – interesting tidbits that deserve to be talked about.
The people at PETA have launched a lawsuit in San Diego against SeaWorld claiming the orcas SeaWorld has are in fact slaves and therefore a violation of the 13th Amendment.
Jeff Kerr, PETA’s general counsel, says his five-member legal team — which spent 18 months preparing the case — believes it’s the first federal court suit seeking constitutional rights for members of an animal species.
The plaintiffs are the five orcas, Tilikum and Katina based at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., and Corky, Kasatka and Ulises at SeaWorld San Diego.
This is obviously a publicity stunt, but what we can’t figure out is how it took PETA a year and a half to come up with this ridiculous argument.
We also are having trouble wondering how PETA plans on getting the whales to testify in court.
The country of Hungary is considering jumping on the bandwagon of taxing industries that are more successful in order to prop up less successful ventures.
According to Variety, Hungary is considering taxing porn in order to support so called “art house” films.
Oct 26, 2011
The Owasso School District near Tulsa, Oklahoma is the target of a lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of an elementary school club called “Kids for Christ.”
The school district allows groups to post flyers within schools on community bulletin boards as well as allowing the groups to send home flyers to parents informing them of upcoming events sponsored by the group.
However, this year the group “Kids for Christ” has been denied the ability to post flyers or send flyers home with kids. The school has allowed groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts. the Chamber of Commerce, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Rotary Club, Young Rembrandts and the YMCA to post on the community bulletin boards, send flyers home and even make announcements over the school’s public address system.
But not the “Kids for Christ” group.
The “Kids for Christ” group was denied use of the communication mediums other groups were able to use simply because of the religious nature of the group and the school makes no bones about it. The religious nature of the club is why they were banned from being able to access the same medium to communicate with parents and students as other groups.
The superintendent of the Owasso School District released a statement saying:
Oct 25, 2011
Behold the 1995 Ferrari F50 – fast, sleek and sexy. Only 349 of the F50 were produced in 1995, and unlike a GM Volt, the car had risen in value as time had progressed.
In 2003, one of these beasts was stolen from Algar Ferrari, a dealership in Pennsylvania. Motors Insurance Corporation (MIC) had insured the car and paid off the $650,000 claim. In doing so, MIC became the owner of the title to the car.
It was therefore a happy day when the FBI called MCI and told them they had found the car in Kentucky.
The FBI asked MIC to allow them to store the car while the investigation continued. MCI agreed.
On May 27, 2009, FBI Special Agent Frederick C. Kingston got behind the wheel of the Ferrari with by Assistant US Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson in the passenger seat.
Why these two men got into the car is a mystery.
What is not a mystery is while driving the car, the two men lost control, slid off the road and into a tree.
The F50 was totaled.
In the blink of an eye, the $650,000 rare automobile in the custody of the FBI was gone.
MIC went from having the car back in their possession to having a crumpled piece of red metal and rubber. Like anyone would do, they sued for the recovery of the amount they were out.
Oct 24, 2011
Midnight Sun: A natural phenomenon occurring in the summer months north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle where the sun never fully sets and remains visible 24 hours a day.
This short time lapse film was shot during the Icelandic Midnight Sun in June of 2011.
Iceland is a landscape photographers paradise and playground, and should be number 1 on every photographers must visit list. Iceland during the Midnight Sun is in sort of a permanent state of sunset. The sun never full sets and travels horizontally across the horizon throughout the night, as can be seen in the opening shot and at the :51 second mark in the video.
During the Arctic summer, sunset was at midnight and sunrise was at 3am. The Arctic summer sun provided 24 hours a day of light, with as much as 6 hours daily of “Golden light”. Once the sun had set it wouldn’t even get dark enough for the stars to come out, and they don’t start to reappear until August.
Oct 23, 2011
Since the late 17th Century, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has stood atop the London skyline as a beacon. From 1710 to 1962, St. Paul’s was the tallest building in the city and today remains the second largest cathedral in England.
It is hard to underestimate the value of St. Paul’s to the English people. St. Paul’s has served as a beacon to both the religious and the tourist.
In its 300 plus year history, the cathedral has been closed once, and that was due to the bombing of London during the blitzkrieg of World War II.
That was once before the “Occupy London” protestors took over the cathedral and the grounds.
Activists have been within its precincts since Sunday when the Rev Giles Fraser, its canon chancellor, spoke out in support of their right to protest. The cathedral and protesters worked together to set up lavatories and clean-up teams.
The protestors were initially given permission to camp on the grounds, but health, safety and sanitary conditions as cited by the City of London itself, plus the fact the church was no longer able to keep its cafe open during the protests, left the church with no other option but to ask the protestors to leave.
It seems a very long time since you arrived here last weekend. I am very grateful indeed to you for the peaceful nature of your protest. You know that many people around the world, including many Christians, identify with the injustices and inequalities which you believe our financial systems perpetuate and support. Your peaceful protests have been significant in voicing the problem.
With a heavy heart I have to tell you that St Paul’s Cathedral has to be closed today until further notice, because of the legal requirements placed upon us by fire, health and safety issues. I know you will appreciate that in taking on the burden of responsibility for the care and well being of people entering our building, we must also be able to ensure everyone’s safety and, according to those who are expert in this regard, we cannot do so at the moment. I wanted to inform you of this necessary decision before I announced it to the Press.
I am therefore appealing to you directly to recognise that a great deal had been achieved by your presence here outside St Paul’s but that, in order that we might re-open the Cathedral as speedily as possible, we ask you to withdraw peacefully. We are concerned about public safety in terms of evacuation and fire hazards and the consequent knock-on effects which this has with regards to visitors.
St Paul’s, through its Institute and place in the City, will continue to encourage debate on many of the issues you are concerned about. In the meantime, by withdrawing peacefully, you will enable us to re-open the Cathedral for people to use for prayer, worship and reflection as soon as we possibly can.
With my thanks,
[Dean of St Paul's Cathedral]
The protestors are now refusing to leave.