Oct 31, 2009

Blasphemes Last Minute Halloween Post

(Hmmm... I should be Frankenstein's monster. Dr. Frankenstein, while feared and revered him... ah screw it, it's pretty damn funny for those of you who believe Jesus is the most famous Zombie story in the history of mankind.)

Zombies in the Bible

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (New International Version)

The Valley of Dry Bones 1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."

4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath a]">[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

Footnotes:
  1. Ezekiel 37:5 The Hebrew for this word can also mean wind or spirit (see verses 6-14).

Saturday Morning Cartoons


Spooky Halloween -
The first of Disney's "Silly Symphony" cartoons, this 1929 gem "Skeleton Dance" will get you in the right mood to break the back of Halloween week. Who wouldn't want to dance in a graveyard after watching this?

Happy Autumn Equinox


Happy Autumn Equinox (Sept 20, this year), Harvest Moon, a good harvest, Halloween, 節氣, 春分, 秋分の日 Shūbun no hi, and Mabon.

Oct 30, 2009

Mail Bag: Book Burnin'

Mail Bag: All spelling is the submitter's fault. See you there!

"Cap: A local preacher is holding a bible burning on Halloween. They are going to be burning all non-king James versions of the Bible as well as works by "heretics" like Billy Graham and Mother Theresa. The burning was initially canceled when the local fire marshall pointed out that in North Carolina book burnings are illegal. However, the preacher called the burning back on.

A group of twenty some protestors announced they would be attending. This makes the number of protestors greater then the actual number of members of the church: 14.

Now they are announcing that this bible burning is an exclusive event meant only for members.

Jacob...K, Waynesville, NC"

Oct 29, 2009

Special Healthcare Retort

Pelosi dropped her 'plan' (that looks a little bit like Harry Reid's) next door today. Looks like she has been doing some copy'n'pasting over there?

So, all this talk that if you like what you have, you can keep it - that was just talk. You're going to be charged for the privilege to keep what you have.

There's no portability, and there's no new competition - meaning I can't buy my insurance out-of-state.

And where's the Tort reform? If we're going to contain costs, I don't care who's paying for it - if you don't reel in the cost of malpractice, fraud, and court costs - it does NOTHING to contain costs. Wasn't that one of the highly vaulted selling points? Well, costs will continue to raise over inflation without change in this area.

And they're still going to try to put a "Public Option" in there. But they're trying to trick everyone by eliminating Medicare and Medicaid - but it doesn't matter - the costs still are absorbed by the hospitals and the physicians who then pass it on to the paying customers -- those folks who actually have insurance.

So what's going to happen? This will pass - and very quickly everyone will drop or be dropped by their private insurers as everyone runs to the government 'option' which will be the only option at the end of the run. When that happens, the costs will be all over the place, and no one will be happy.

And right now, no one is happy. The folks who think health care is a natural right will be pissed that this bill doesn't go long enough. The Rush Limbaugh fans think the system is just super the way it is.

As for me, I think it's a START - there needs to be more talking and working together, which are two things that Nancy and Harry don't do well with anyone, including their own party. But this thing is a dud and should be swept out the door along with those two ding-a-lings.

Sixty - 60 - Counts of Federal Corruption

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama the court announced there will soon be a verdict in the Larry Langford public corruption trial.

Langford faces 60 charges from a federal indictment returned in June 2008 and unsealed 6 months later. He was arrested by the FBI on a 101-counts.

Among the sixty charges are bribery, money laundering, conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

Prosecutors claim Langford accepted $235,000 in cash, clothing and jewelry from investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre.

In exchange, prosecutors argue, Langford arranged lucrative bond swap deals for Blount and LaPierre while Langford served as President of the Jefferson County Commission.

Langford has pleaded not guilty to the charges. I wonder if he had to plead not guilty to all 101 charges, or just the 60 that he was just convicted of?

Blount has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery and LaPierre admitted guilt to conspiracy and filing a false tax return.

If Langford is convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum of 804 years in prison.

His office of the Mayor of Birmingham is also automatically vacated if Langford is convicted on any of the 60 charges.

City Council President Carole Smitherman takes over as Acting Mayor until a special election is held in early-mid December.

Great work. Now, please, please, please come to Chicago!

UPDATE: Larry Langford was found guilty Wednesday on all federal criminal counts against him, abruptly halting the 32-year career of a Jefferson County political fixture who had been Birmingham's mayor for just under two years.

Most Porn Users - Utah

The biggest consumers of online adult entertainment live in the great state of Utah. An average of 5.47 people per 1000 broadband subscribers pay for porn in Orrin Hatch's home state. (Utah also leads in porn consumption among the general population and dial-up users, in case you're wondering.)

Second on that list? Alaska.

Great story, take the time to check it out.

Governator Stikes Back

Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoes a bill, and adds an extra special message to the CA legislature


What are the odds that this is a coincidence? I asked a super math wizard for help.

The odds of a "f*ckyou" are less than 1 in 8 billion, but this is a perfect "F*ck You" whose odds are less than 1 in 60 trillion.

Ignoring uneven letter frequency and things, simple 26^7 for the first one, 53^8 for the second one, etc. Also, you could argue that any of a number of insults would have sufficed, but I think the number of possible insults is negligible compared to 8 billion random letter combinations.

Oct 28, 2009

Escape from NY

If you tax them, they will flee

New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in crazy numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars. Surprise, surprise.

More than 1.5 million state residents LEFT for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country. That even dwarfs the exodus from Detroit.

The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out. 1 of 7!

"The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource -- people," the report said.

And it should be no surprise at all that the city -- and Manhattan in particular -- suffered the biggest loss in terms of taxable income.

Great work NY. Now in song, "if you can tax it there, they'll go somewhere... else."

Vote with you feet. Good policy since 1492.

UK Gun Crime Doubles

What? UK? The Nanny State no-gun zone? How could your gun crime rate double in a decade?

Well, that's what the Telegraph is reporting today.

Offenses involving firearms have increased in all but four police areas in England and Wales since 1998, figures obtained by the Tories reveal.

One part of the country has seen the problem increase almost seven fold as the availability of guns, and criminals' willingness to use them rises.

The number of people injured or killed by a gun has also doubled under Labour.

It emerged last week that armed police are to carry out regular street patrols for the first time to help combat gun crime in London. This, is a big big deal.

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said: "These figures are all the more alarming given that it is only a week since the Metropolitan Police said it was increasing regular armed patrols in some areas of the capital.

"In areas dominated by gang culture, we're now seeing guns used to settle scores between rivals as well as turf wars between rival drug dealers. We need to redouble our efforts to deal with the challenge."

Redouble your crackdown on firearm sales and ownership, or crackdown on drug pushers that you're blaming this on isn't clear.

[The graph provided doesn't really relate to the story, but the UK is the most violent EU nation, per capita]

Scooby Doo Awesom- Hold it-

Just when I'm thinking - wow - awesome, now this is a Scooby Doo special I'd actually purchase. Scooby Doo and World War Z! But then, upon closer inspection, it's not nearly as awesome as I first gleaned.

It's not zombies, but vampires. Look at the big massive stick ontop of the tricked out Mystery Machine. And Velma has a wooden stake... and a fairly obvious Cross.

I like that Shaggs, Daph and Fred are dead and lovingly listed as such on the side... I think it's fun that Velma was the survivor. She even still has her glasses.

But dollar for dollar, the Venture Bros. did the best job working on the whole Scooby gang.

Oct 27, 2009

French Fry Scientology

Scientologists convicted of fraud in France

French judges fined the Church of Scientology almost a million dollars on Tuesday for fleecing vulnerable followers but stopped short of banning the group from operating in France.

Scientology's Celebrity Centre and its bookshop in Paris, the two branches of its French operations, were ordered to pay 600,000 euros (900,000 dollars) in fines for preying financially on several followers in the 1990s.

Alain Rosenberg, the French leader of a movement best known for its Hollywood followers Tom Cruise and John Travolta, was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined 30,000 euros on the same charge of fraud.

Five more Scientologists were give fines ranging from 1,000 to 20,000 euros for fraud or the illegal practice of pharmacy.

France regards Scientology as a cult, not a religion, and has prosecuted individual Scientologists before, but this case marks the first time the organization as a whole has been convicted. (MORE)

Damn fine work, in my estimation. Now don't stop with these guys, start looking into all those other cults all over the countryside.

Also, do you know that the symbol for Dianetics is a PYRAMID? Just sayin'?

Men Who Built The Railroads

Assignment: You are to assume the role of a Chinese immigrant in 1870...

My Translation: "Dear Mom and Dad, Got docked a day's work for "napping" on the job, when in fact, was exhausted and dehydrated while building the railroad to Rock Ridge.

I Hate this place."

One more time

I've been getting a lot of ironic church signs in the email - keep 'em coming gang!

PS - I especially like this one, Rex King is the Pastor. That's just super awesome.

Oct 26, 2009

A Sign of Respect for Neighbor's Beliefs

Eh, even if it's shopped, it's pretty funny. Mostly a dick move, but still, pretty damn funny.

Operation Snow White

"Operation Snow White": the largest incident of domestic espionage in United States history. Anarchists? Soviets? Nope. L. Ron Hubbard's wife and a crew of up to 5,000 Scientologists.

Operation Snow White was the Church of Scientology's name for a project during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records about Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard. This project included a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members, in more than 30 countries; the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history with up to 5,000 covert agents. This was also the operation that exposed 'Operation Freakout', because this was the case that brought the US government into investigation on the Church.

Under this program, Scientology operatives committed infiltration, wiretapping, and theft of documents in government offices, most notably those of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Eleven highly-placed Church executives, including Mary Sue Hubbard (wife of founder L. Ron Hubbard and second-in-command of the organization), pleaded guilty or were convicted in federal court of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. The case was United States vs. Mary Sue Hubbard et al.,(more)

Oct 24, 2009

Oct 23, 2009

Flowchart to Help Pick A Religion


I love that, and it's shamelessly hotlinked so you can read it.

Polls

Barack Obama sees worst poll rating drop in 50 years

The decline in Barack Obama's popularity since July has been the steepest of any president at the same stage of his first term for more than 50 years.

Gallup recorded an average daily approval rating of 53 per cent for Mr Obama for the third quarter of the year, a sharp drop from the 62 per cent he recorded from April.

His current approval rating – hovering just above the level that would make re-election an uphill struggle – is close to the bottom for newly-elected president. Mr Obama entered the White House with a soaring 78 per cent approval rating. (MORE)

But here's another poll...

Obama leads Mike Huckabee 47-43,
Mitt Romney 48-40,
Sarah Palin 52-40,
and Tim Pawlenty 50-30.

You know, in case you were wondering.

Meanwhile, taking a poll and reporting it as news isn't news. Even though, it most certainly is on a slow news day on Friday.

Oct 21, 2009

Bush Gets a Classy New Jerb

Classy Gig For Ex-President

Former President George W. Bush has signed up to be the "special guest speaker" for one of those traveling arena-size motivational speaker extravaganzas:

image content

Bush's first "Get Motivated!" gig is next Monday in Fort Worth. He does a second one in December in San Antonio.

This is the same "business seminar" series that signed up Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes. Laura Bush is also a speaker. The promoters promise:

Our world-renowned speakers appear LIVE ON-STAGE to provide you a full day of hundreds of proven ideas, formulas and success keys. GET MOTIVATED! is guaranteed to help you and your organization reach new heights of success. You'll be inspired, enlightened, motivated, trained and entertained by America's foremost success experts!

George W. Bush, one of "America's foremost success experts."

Apparently, W. isn't alone among his predecessors:

Past speakers have included Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Gerald Ford. (Bill Clinton does gigs for Tony Robbins's competing organization at $300,000 a pop--but only in Canada.)

Truth In Advertising


This gem was found on Fark.com Photoshop contest. Created and or submitted by ScubaDude1960

Oct 20, 2009

Flashback

Here's a neat picture found on the Internet, kiddies - Ronald Reagan meeting with the Taliban circa 1985.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

But, after ten seconds of fact checking, they're not the Taliban... They're Afghan Mujahideen.

And the quote was in reference to the Contras.

But who cares about those pesky little 'facts' that pop up when you're making a funny picture to put on the internet, right?

Heheh heh

Public Support For Marijuana Legalization Reaches All Time High

A new Gallup Poll shows that public support for legalizing marijuana is at a higher level than ever before:

Interesting trend. At this rate, maybe it'll be legal by 2012?

Barackula

Whether you're Republican or Democrat, anyone can have fun with this fanged latex version of Barack Obama! "Barackula" will be available after October 10th, so pre-order now to make sure you get yours in time for Halloween!

Order Here

Oct 19, 2009

Dirty Delay Tactics

Bankruptcy move delays abuse case

A Catholic diocese based in the state of Delaware has filed for US bankruptcy protection on the eve of a civil trial involving high-profile sex abuse. (more)

The move automatically delays the case, the seventh of its kind in the US since a scandal in Boston seven years ago.

The bishop of the diocese said the move offered the best chance for victims of sexual abuse to be treated fairly.

But an attorney for the victims said the action was a desperate attempt to hide the truth from the public.

The case, due to be heard on Monday, would have been the first to go to trial under a state law creating a two-year window allowing claims to be brought even if the statute of limitations had expired.

Yes, bankrupt. Morally, that is.

Found

Oct 18, 2009

President Lincoln at Gettysburg

This is the only confirmed photo of Abe Lincoln at Gettysburg, taken about three hours before he gave his address.

Here's the best part... not everyone loved the speech:
  • Chicago Times: “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”

  • Harrisburg Patriot and Union: “We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of.”

  • London Times: “Anything more dull and commonplace it would not be easy to produce.”

Lincoln delivered the 10-sentence, 3-minute speech only after a 2-hour, 13,607-word oration by former secretary of state Edward Everett. When Everett sent Lincoln his compliments the next day, the president replied, “I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure.”

Simpsons Presents: You Make It Up

'Simpsons' contest lets fans create new characterPoochy

Fox is launching a contest where for the first time ever fans can design a new "Simpsons" character that will appear on the show.

Between now and Oct. 24, fans can submit their character’s traits -- including name/nickname, age, appearance, occupation and catchphrases -- to the thesimpsons.com. (No, you don't have to draw the character, the experts will do that, just describe it).

The winning entry, selected by "Simpsons" producers, will be animated into a January episode of the show. The contest is part of Fox's “Best. 20 Years. Ever.” celebration for the series, which is on its record-setting 21st season as the longest-running scripted primetime series.

Poochie.

Not So Fair Use, Fairey

Obama poster artist Shepard Fairey paints himself into a corner.

After he admitted that he was lying about which Associated Press photo he used for his 'Hope' poster, his lawyers say they're withdrawing from his copyright case over fair use. Dang.

This has been an important case about fair use, based on artist Shepard Fairey's claim that he had the right to use a news photo to create his Barack Obama "Hope" poster - but he lied, and now his Hopes have collapsed.

His attorneys -- led by Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University -- said that they would withdraw from the case and that the artist had misled them by fabricating information and destroying other material. Oh, was that wrong?

Fairey, 39, a Los Angeles-based street artist with a long, often proud history of breaking rules, admitted that he didn't use the Associated Press photo of Obama seated next to actor George Clooney he originally said his work was based on -- which he contended would have been covered under "fair use," the legal claim that allows exceptions to using copyrighted work without having to pay for it.

Instead he used a picture the AP has maintained was his source -- a solo photo of the future president that is seemingly closer to Fairey's red, white and blue image of Obama, with the caption "HOPE."

Fairey said he first made an error, then tried to cover it up by submitting false images and deleting others.

The distinction over which photo he used is crucial because fair use can sometimes be determined by how much a new work altered the original.

Fairey sued the not-for-profit news cooperative in February, after it said that it owned the copyright and demanded credit and compensation. He said he didn't violate the copyright because he dramatically changed the image.

The AP countersued in March, saying uncredited, uncompensated use of an AP photo violated copyright laws and threatened journalism.

"Shepard Fairey has now been forced to admit that he sued the AP under false pretenses by lying about which AP photograph he used," said Srinandan R. Kasi, AP vice president and general counsel. "Mr. Fairey has also now admitted to the AP that he fabricated and attempted to destroy other evidence in an effort to bolster his fair-use case and cover up his previous lies and omissions."

Kasi said Fairey's admission struck "at the heart" of the artist's defense that he was protected by fair use. Kasi added that the AP would continue to pursue its countersuit alleging that Fairey willfully infringed the AP's copyright.

It was not immediately clear from the statements issued and from Fairey’s lawyers’ motion to amend whether Fairey would continue with his case, but a person close to Fairey said that the artist would. The person was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Falzone said in a statement that the legal team's decision to withdraw had nothing to do with the "underlying merits" of Fairey's case.

"We believe as strongly as ever in the fair-use and free- expression issues at the center of this case, and believe Shepard will prevail on those issues," Falzone said.

Laurence Pulgram, an intellectual property lawyer who represented the online music-sharing service Napster in a copyright fight with the band Metallica, said Saturday that Fairey's case was in trouble.

"This was a brain-dead move by Mr. Fairey, and it could be the turning point. His lawyers will still be able to argue that he made a 'fair use' under copyright law, but it's a whole lot less likely that the court or jury will think that what he did was actually 'fair' if he has lied and tried to mislead the entire world about what use he made," Pulgram said.

Fairey said in a statement Friday that he was wrong about which photo he used and that he tried to hide his error.

"In an attempt to conceal my mistake, I submitted false images and deleted other images," Fairey said. "I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment, and I take full responsibility for my actions, which were mine alone."

He said he was taking steps to correct the information and regretted that he hadn't come forward sooner.

Although he said he was "very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family," Fairey said that the real issue was "the right to fair use" so artists can create freely.

Most of this article, it should be noted, has been cut'n'pasted without any permission.

Freedom Haters

They hate our Freedom? Wait, wasn't that something that George Bush kept saying over and over again?

Oct 17, 2009

Pratfalls in Idiocy

Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan put up a post about an extremely brutal hate-crime attack on an openly gay man in Queens. At the end of the interview, one of the attackers’ friends proudly displayed this tattoo:

The tattoo reads “[Thou] shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22″. lol! Oh, sorry, you don't get it.

Leviticus also forbids tattooing. In the very next chapter.

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28

Atheists Have to Pay

Spoiler Alert


Hmmm... new vandalism? Spoilers on bus stops?

Saturday Morning Cartoons


From 1951, it's Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in Drip Along Daffy.

Oct 16, 2009

Mormon Civil-Rights Analogy

In a stunning move, apostle of the Church of Later Day Saints Dallin H. Oaks likened the backlash of Mormon support and funding of Proposition 8 to the persecution that African Americans endured during the civil-rights struggle.

No, really.

Oaks, in a strongly worded defense of the church's efforts opposing same-sex marriage, told students at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg that Latter-day Saints "must not be deterred or coerced into silence" by advocates for "alleged civil rights."

Last year, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged its followers to donate money and time to pass Prop 8, the successful ballot measure that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to wed in California. Afterward, protests, including several near LDS temples, erupted along with boycotts of business owners who donated to Prop 8 and even some vandalism of LDS meetinghouses.

Just so we're on the same page, Mr. Oaks is comparing his backlash to the 'struggle?' Amazingly, there's no mention of GAY CIVIL RIGHTS in the discussion.

And there also seems to be a lack of understanding that Mormons are spectacular racists. In fact, racism is in their bible:
1 Nephi 12:23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.

(Joseph Smith calls dark skinned people ugly, filthy, lazy, and perverts.)
Don't worry, Oaks faces a backlash himself.

"Were four little Mormon girls blown up in the church at Sunday school? Were there burning crosses planted on local bishops' lawns? Were people lynched and their genitals stuffed in their mouths?" asked University of Utah historian Colleen McDannell. "By comparing these two things, it diminishes the real violence that African-Americans experienced in the '60s, when they were struggling for equal rights. There is no equivalence between the two."

In the meantime, Mr. Oaks? You're in line for...

BLASPHEMES HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK!

Oct 15, 2009

Believe

Safety In Today's Modern World

Safety Advice With Today's Technology-interesting.

Food for thought, some safety advice for all loyal Blasphemes readers. Seems like common sense, but it's always good to stay alert.

GPS

A couple of weeks ago a friend told me that someone she knew had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.

When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.

The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

MOBILE PHONES

I never thought of this.......
This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet... etc...was stolen.

20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text asking about our PIN number and I've replied a little while ago.'

When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the lesson:
Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list.

Avoid using name like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Booty Call, Mom, etc....

And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.

Also:
When you're being text by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them.

If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.

Officer Frank Czajka
Skokie Police Department

Oct 14, 2009

A Tale of Two Countries

UK is the violent crime capital of Europe

Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offenses in the UK since the Labour Party came to power.

The total number of violent offenses recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

The UK had a greater number of murders in 2007 than any other EU country – 927 – and at a relative rate higher than most western European neighbors, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

US Violent Crime Rates Lowest Recorded

The violent crime rate peaked in 1991 at 758.2 crimes per 100,000 population. Violent crimes include homicide, aggravated assaults, and forcible rapes. In 2008, the violent crime rate dropped to its lowest recorded level of 454.5 per 100,000 people. In addition, the property crime rate has also fallen from its 1991 peak of 5,140.2 per 100,000 to its lowest recorded rate of 3,212.5 per 100,000 in 2008.

For complete FBI crime rate tabulations go here.

Abundant Hops Harvest is Bittersweet

Attention craft beer habitués:
The good news is, the Hops crisis is over.
Bad news is, that's not entirely good news.


An overabundant crop and poor economy causing beer drinkers to go on a budget have produced a bittersweet hop harvest.

Growers were optimistic heading into the late-August harvest. The crop looked healthy and vines were stacked with cones.

But as August turned into September, the demand for hops cooled. Once quotas were met and contracts were satisfied, no spot market existed for the remainder of the crop.

Hopes were left on the vine.

"It's just an interesting harvest," said Stacy Puterbaugh of Puterbaugh Farms in Mabton. "We had great expectations when we started out and halfway through you find out there's too many."

Puterbaugh wouldn't say how many acres of hops he left in the field, but said, "Anything is significant when you can't harvest it. That's just how it goes."

Early this summer, the Washington Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service expected more than 29,900 acres of hops to be harvested in Washington. The state produces about 75 percent of the nation's hops, primarily in Yakima and Benton counties.

The statistics service projected 102 million bushels would be harvested, up from 96.3 million bushels last year. An official with the statistics service said it's too early to tell if that projection was met.

Ann George, Washington Hop Commission administrator, attributes the hefty crop to an excessive amount of acres that were planted in response to the hop shortage in 2007. Thousands of additional acres were planted as brewers and dealers expected the hop-growing industry to continue expanding.

With contracts in place and additional hops in the field, the recession made itself known about a year ago. George said the economic downturn caused a dip in beer consumption, reducing the amount of hops brewers needed.

"They overshot the market and didn't need as many hops," she said.

Brenton Roy, president of Oasis Farms northeast of Prosser, said this year's crop was "100 percent contract," which meant any surplus hops would be left in the field. Roy estimated he left about 4 percent of his crop on the vine.

"For us it's not going to have a large impact, but I'm sure for some growers it will," he said.

Roy expects this year's overabundant crop to enlarge the hops surplus, which he said will lead to a decrease in contracts.

"(This) will oversupply the market, so acres that have expiring contracts will undoubtedly not be contracted" in the future, he said.

Puterbaugh disagreed. He attributed the overabundance to the recession causing a decrease in demand.

He said contracts likely will stay in place because once the recession passes, the demand for hops will grow again.

"It's all part of farming," he said.

Roy said he thinks Washington's hops acreage will have to decrease by about 5,000 acres for supply and demand to balance, which is why he expects to see unrenewed contracts.

"The market will control that," he said.

George also said contracts may not be renewed and some existing contracts may be bought out.

Hops harvest ended for many farmers in late September, but George said some will be pushing into the second week of October before calling it quits.

submitted by Drew Foster: 585-7207; dfoster@tricityherald.com

Military Fills the Ranks

For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals, as hundreds of thousands of young people have enlisted despite the near-certainty that they will go to war.

The Pentagon, which made the announcement Tuesday, said the economic downturn and rising joblessness, as well as bonuses and other factors, had led more qualified youths to enlist.

The military has not seen such across-the-board successes since the all-volunteer force was established in 1973, after Congress ended the draft following the Vietnam War. In recent years, the military has often fallen short of some of its recruiting targets. The Army, in particular, has struggled to fill its ranks, admitting more high school dropouts, overweight youths and even felons.

BUT during the current budget year, which ended Sept. 30, recruiters met their targets in both numbers and quality for all components of active-duty and reserve forces.

"We delivered beyond anything the framers of the all-volunteer force would have anticipated," Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said at a Pentagon news conference. (MORE: Washington Post)

Now, here's a question... what will we do with all these good folks who are ready to serve?

Oct 13, 2009

1976 Electoral Map

Food for thought...


"In the United States, the political system is a very marginal affair. There are two parties, so-called, but they're really factions of the same party, the Business Party. Both represent some range of business interests. In fact, they can change their positions 180 degrees, and nobody even notices. In the 1984 election, for example, there was actually an issue, which often there isn't. The issue was Keynesian growth versus fiscal conservatism. The Republicans were the party of Keynesian growth: big spending, deficits, and so on. The Democrats were the party of fiscal conservatism: watch the money supply, worry about the deficits, et cetera. Now, I didn't see a single comment pointing out that the two parties had completely reversed their traditional positions. Traditionally, the Democrats are the party of Keynesian growth, and the Republicans the party of fiscal conservatism. So doesn't it strike you that something must have happened? Well, actually, it makes sense. Both parties are essentially the same party. The only question is how coalitions of investors have shifted around on tactical issues now and then. As they do, the parties shift to opposite positions, within a narrow spectrum."
- Noam Chomsky, 1990.

Oct 12, 2009

Awesome

Retaliation

The first official response to the recent bombing of the moon has been discovered. It isn't pretty folks-

Oct 11, 2009

Tale of Two Paintings...

Okay, first we start with this...

Wow, creepy right? Well, hang on, true believers...

Here's what inspired the gorefest above us. Here's the original 'One Nation Under God' - and (if you dare to follow the link) you can move your mouse over each person to see 'their symbolic' purpose in the painting. It's not symbolic - it's a literal interpretation... but I really don't want to get into a pissing match about the Thomas Kincaidyness of 'Under God.' I'll just quote George Carlin, "Symbols are for symbol people."

For me, the crying Supreme Court justice, the Hollywood Exec and the 'liberal reporter' are the icing on this turd cake.

Oct 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons


Man, did I love MTV's Liquid Television.

It aired in-between actual videos. This was pre- hell, it INTRODUCED Bevis and Butthead, and also Mike Judge to the world.
So awesome.

Please feel free to tell me your favorites...

Oct 9, 2009

Al Qaeda is Trying to Blow Up the World!

Police has arrested a 32-yo physicist at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, linking him to an Al Qaeda terrorist group. Just great. As if we didn't have enough with the morons predicting Apocalypse and the thing failing on its own.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro, judicial sources point that the man—who has been working as a particle physics contractor since 2003—has links to Al Qaeda groups in the Islamic Maghreb. Le Figaro said that he had suggested terrorist targets in French soil. There's word if the target list also included the LHC, however.

In a public statement, CERN was quick to remember that the LHC is peaceful, and no gain can be obtained from it by any terrorist:

None of our research has potential for military application, and all our results are published openly in the public domain.

Indeed. Let CERN work alone in peace and fix the LHC while the rest of us don't do our homework.