Saturday, December 29, 2007

Carenero Island: The Beach At Surf Point

Hotel Vista Mar: Alex the Bartender

Holiday Humor: Part 7

Killing The Christmas Goose

A retired businessman is believed to have killed his wife and left her body under the Christmas tree before driving his car off the road and fatally injuring himself.

Susan Goswell, 63, a retired teacher, may have been battered to death with one of her husband’s golf clubs. Roger Goswell, 66, a prominent amateur golfer, then apparently killed himself by driving his car into a tree. The car failed to hit the tree with sufficient impact to kill him instantly and he was found dying behind the wheel. He was cut from the wreckage and was taken to Worthing Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1am on Christmas Eve.

Villagers in the South Downs reacted with disbelief to the tale emerging from the country home of the peacefully retired couple from West Chiltington, in West Sussex.

Police were led to Mrs Goswell’s body after her husband drove into the tree half a mile from their home. Officers went to his address and became suspicious when nobody answered the door. They forced their way into the house and discovered the former teacher’s body among the tinsel, presents and decorations.

A source close to the investigation said: “We are working on the assumption that the husband killed his wife and then killed himself by driving his car into a tree.

On Christmas Day, a single floral tribute lay at the entrance. A card attached read: “To a loving and devoted mother from all your children. We love you mum”.

A neighbor told reporters, “It is terrible to think that this has happened just before Christmas. Susan was lovely. I didn’t know Roger very well, but Susan was great fun. I can’t believe it really. To have such a horrible thing happen on your doorstep is truly numbing. I can’t enjoy Christmas knowing what has happened to that poor woman.”

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bocas Del Toro: Red Frog Beach

Bocas Del Toro: Dolphin Bay

Holiday Humor: Part 6

Naughty-- But Nice!

A hefty old man wearing a red Santa hat and purple G-string in Los Angeles this holiday season was caught being a little naughty, when he failed a Breathalyzer.

Rick Carroll, 53, of Long Beach, Calif., who also sported a blond wig, black leg warmers and red, lace camisole, allegedly registered just over the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08 percent when officers tested him after he pulled up in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Carroll was booked on a misdemeanor DUI charge and released on $5,000 bail, the newspaper said. His car was impounded. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Chief Ken Garner said officers were pretty sure he was not Santa Claus. "There was no Mel Gibson treatment for him," Garner added, referring to the help the actor received from deputies after his drunken driving arrest last year. "He had to sober up and find his own reindeer."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bocas Del Toro: Flaming Sambuca Shots

Bocas del Toro: Playa el Drago

Holiday Humor: Part 5

Under My Thumb

If you're caught speeding or playing your music too loud in Wisconsin, Green Bay police officers will ask for your drivers license and your finger. You'll be fingerprinted right there on the spot, with the print appearing right next to the amount of the fine.

Police say it's meant to protect you -- in case the person they're citing isn't who they claim to be. But not everyone is sold on that explanation. "What we've seen happen for the last couple of years [is] increasing use of false or fraudulent identification documents," Captain Greg Urban said. Police say they want to prevent the identity theft problem that Milwaukee has, where 13 percent of all violators give a false name.

But in Green Bay, where police say they only average about five cases in a year, drivers think the new policy is extreme. "That's going too far," Ken Scherer from Oconto said. "You look at the ID, that's what they're there for. Either it's you or it's not. I don't think that's a valid excuse."

What isn't being publicized is that citizens have the right to say no. "They could say no and not have to worry about getting arrested," defense attorney Jackson Main said. "On the other hand, I'm like everybody else. When a police officer tells me to do something, I'm going to do it whether I have the right to say no or not."

That's exactly why many drivers are uneasy about the fine print in this fingerprinting policy. Police stress that the prints are just to make sure you are who you claim to be and do not go into any kind of database; they simply stay on the ticket for future reference if the identity is challenged.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Arrived in Panama City Safe and Sound

Can't We All Just Get Along?

A curfew has been imposed in parts of the eastern Indian state of Orissa after Hindu hardliners attacked up to a dozen Christian churches, according to police reports. One person was killed and more than 25 injured in the violence in the Kandhamal area on Christmas day.

Christians said it was sparked by Hindus objecting to a performance they were staging to celebrate Christmas. But a Hindu group said it began when Christians tried to attack a local Hindu leader on Christmas Eve.

It said a group of people surrounded the vehicle carrying Swami Laxamananda Saraswati as he was on his way to the area. He was taken to hospital but was not seriously hurt. However it started, the violence appeared to culminate in the attacks on churches on Christmas Day.

Christians were chased out of several churches - in many case just mud huts with thatched roofs - before they were set alight, according to reports. One person was reported killed in the violence, but it was unclear whether that was a Hindu or a Christian.

Hundreds of police were deployed following the violence, which had largely died down by Wednesday, a local government official said. "The situation is tense but under control," said BB Mishra, a state inspector-general of police.

Orissa, which is mainly Hindu and has a tiny Christian minority, has seen violence between the two communities in the past. The state has a law obliging people to ask for police permission before changing religion - thought to be a measure aimed at Christian missionaries. Hindus have accused Christian groups of forcing low-caste people to convert. Christians say they often convert willingly because of their treatment as outcasts.

Holiday Humor: Part 4

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Jolly (Dead) St. Nick

Chet Fitch, known for his sense of humor, died in October at age 88 but gave his friends and family a shock this Christmas season: greeting cards that began arriving just last week, written in his own hand with a return address of "Heaven."

The greeting read: "I asked Big Guy if I could sneak back and send some cards. At first he said no; but at my insistence he finally said, 'Oh well, what the heaven, go ahead but don't (tarry) there.' Wish I could tell you about things here but words cannot explain. Better get back as Big Guy said he stretched a point to let me in the first time, so I had better not press my luck. I'll probably be seeing you (some sooner than you think). Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Chet Fitch"

A friend for nearly 25 years, Debbie Hansen Bernard said, "All I could think was, 'You little stinker. Just so Chet, always wanting to get the last laugh." The mailing was a joke Fitch worked on for two decades with his barber, Patty Dean, 57. She told reporters this week that he kept updating the mailing list and giving her extra money when postal rates went up. This fall, she said, Fitch looked up to her from the chair. "You must be getting tired of waiting to mail those cards," he told her. "I think you'll probably be able to mail them this year."

He died a week later.

Holiday Humor: Part 3

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holy Shit

India's eastern state of Orissa has lodged a protest with the US government seeking action against a California-based website for hurting religious sentiments of people by selling undergarments with images of Hindu gods, a newspaper has reported. Hindu priests and religious groups had slammed the website,, for selling undergarments embellished with faces of several gods and goddesses, including the presiding deities of Jagannath temple, considered among the most sacred Hindu temples in India.

Besides writing to the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, the state authorities also wrote to the federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil urging him to take up the issue with the US government, the Times of India daily reported. Harichandan wrote that Orissa was "deeply shocked and concerned over the unscrupulous means of advertisement" for commercial gains and demanded that the website apologize immediately.

The Orissa police has also registered a case of hurting religious sentiments after a Hindu organization lodged a complaint in the temple city of Puri where the Jagannath temple is situated. The newspaper also quoted lawyers saying that the website tried to insult India as a nation by displaying the Indian flag, and Indian leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru on underwear.

Holiday Humor: Part 2

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Roast Pig For Christmas, Anyone?

French police have riddled a wild boar with bullets after it got into a clothes shop in the city of Poitiers, forcing customers to flee. The boar, weighing 200 pounds, was shot after it began charging at police, the BBC reported.

The incident happened yesterday near a busy hypermarket on the edge of the city, in central France. Fifteen people were evacuated and the shop reopened two hours later. Two other boars were seen in the area.

The boars are believed to be part of a larger group that forestry workers are trying to relocate. Local police said the officers who opened fire were not used to dealing with such incidents.

Holiday Humor: Part 1

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pope Benny Bags A Big One

Former British prime minister Tony Blair has left the Anglican church to become a Roman Catholic. His wife and children are already Catholic and there had been speculation he would convert after leaving office.

According to the BBC report, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor-- who led the service to welcome Blair-- said he was "very glad" to do so. Last year, Blair said he had prayed to God when deciding whether or not to send U.K. troops into Iraq. One of Mr Blair's final official trips while prime minister was a visit to the Vatican in June where he met Pope Benedict XVI.

Former Conservative government minister, Ann Widdicombe, who became a Catholic in 1993, told the BBC Blair's move raised some questions. "If you look at Tony Blair's voting record in the House of Commons, he's gone against Church teaching on more than one occasion. On things, for example, like abortion," she said. "My question would be, 'has he changed his mind on that?'"

Blair's ex-spokesman, Alastair Campbell, once famously told reporters "We don't do God." Since leaving the government,Campbell has admitted that his former boss "does do God-- in quite a big way". Earlier this year, Blair told the BBC that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for fear of being labelled "a nutter".

Praise The Lord And Pass The Diapers

Police investigated a Christian youth group after the mother of one of its members complained about an activity during which her 14-year-old son wore a diaper and bonnet while sitting on a girl's lap.

No crime occurred, police said, but they forwarded the complaint to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. because of "the nature of the allegations, and the attention that the incident has garnered," said Mt. Lebanon police Lt. Kenneth M. Truver. "We cannot find anything that would constitute a crime," Zappala spokesman Mike Manko said.

The mother sent an e-mail to police alleging inappropriate conduct occurred at an event the day before at the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center sponsored by Young Life, a national youth group.

The mother brought her son to the police station, where he proceeded to describe the activity as a "contest" where he and two other boys wore bonnets, diapers over their clothing and bibs. They sat "on the laps of female participants while being fed baby food and soda" from a baby bottle, police said.

The team that finished the food and drink first won, according to police. The boy told police he wasn't forced to take part in the contest. Raeder, who was not present during the event, noted that it was the boy's mother -- not the boy -- who complained. "I think he actually had a great time."

Merry Fucking Christmas

A woman stabbed her husband with a kitchen knife following an argument that began when she accused him of opening a Christmas present early, Wyoming authorities said. Misty Johnson, 34, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and battery, a felony, and misdemeanor domestic battery. Her husband, Shawn Fay Johnson, 34, was treated at a hospital for a wound to the chest, police said.

Misty Johnson made an initial court appearance Thursday in which she requested a court-appointed attorney, authorities said. She was released after posting bail, which was set at $7,500. Authorities said Shawn Johnson called 911 just before 1 a.m. Wednesday to report that his wife had stabbed him. He told police that his wife started arguing with him over his opening a Christmas present, according to reports.

As the argument escalated, Misty Johnson accused her husband of having an affair, authorities said. Police found a marriage license in the couple's apartment stating they were married in late September. Police Detective David Thompson said he didn't know what the present was, or if it was intended for the husband.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Casa D'Ice: R.I.P.

Bill Balsamico, owner of the Casa D'Ice restaurant and lounge, doesn't have a whole lot of respect for the dead (as you can tell)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jingle Balls

A Connecticut shopper has definitely landed on Santa's naughty list. 33-year-old Sandrama Lamy didn't wait around for any mistletoe when her turn came to meet Santa at the Danbury Fair mall last weekend--- she plopped down in his lap and groped his naughty bits.

Police said the 5-foot-4 Connecticut woman took the spirit of Christmas too far when "she had contact with his genitals through his Santa suit". "This is according to Santa," Police Capt. Bob Myles said. "She approached his chair, sat on his lap and apparently groped him." Santa's full name has not been released because he is an alleged sex-crime victim.

Lamy claims nothing happened. "I went to the mall to get my picture taken with Santa. I didn't do anything to him," she told reporters. "He's crazy. I did nothing wrong!" She told local press that she didn't even sit in Santa's lap.

Lamy said that after the photo was snapped, a woman dressed as Mrs. Claus told her to "Be careful, that's my husband." I said, 'What does that have to do with the picture?' That's all I said and I left."

Lamy said she didn't think anything more about it until a few hours later, when she was stopped by cops in the mall and issued a summons for sexual assault and breach of the peace. Monday, the assaulted Santa was back on the job but refused to talk about the encounter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You're Cheatin' Heart

This week the CBS Evening News continues its series 'Primary Questions' where Katie Couric asks the presidential candidates what makes them tick. Wednesday's topic is the issue of infidelity. In each interview, Couric asked the following: Some voters say they don't feel comfortable supporting someone who's not remained faithful to his or her spouse. Can you understand or appreciate their point of view? Their answers are as follows:

HILLARY CLINTON: I think there's more to someone's honor and integrity, and to their public service. I think sometimes we confuse the private and the public in ways that are not necessarily-- useful. On the public stage-- there are a number of people who have accomplished great achievements on behalf of our country who might have some challenges in their personal life, but have made a great contribution.

JOHN EDWARDS: I think the most important qualities in a president in today's world are trustworthiness-- sincerity, honesty, strength of leadership. And certainly that goes to a part of that. It's not the whole thing. But it goes to a part of it.

RUDY GIULIANI: Sure, I can. The only thing I can say to people is I'm not perfect, you know? And I've made mistakes in my life. And-- and that-- not-- not just in that area. In other areas and I try to learn from them so I don't repeat them. I mean, it comes from growing up as a Catholic. I mean, we're all sinners. We're all struggling. We're all trying hard. We ask for forgiveness, and then we try to improve ourselves again. And I've-- relate to other people that way. Relate to the world that way.

MIKE HUCKABEE: I can. If-- if you violate the promise that you made to the one person on earth to whom you're supposed to be closest to, and this vow was made in front of your families, your closest friends, and God, and you don't keep that, then can we trust you to keep a promise that you made to people you don't even know? I don't think it means that a person can't be a good president. Nobody's perfect. Nobody. Me-- anybody else. We all have flaws.

JOHN McCAIN: That's an area that I never get into. Because I think that people make judgments, and I'm not very good at that. And so, I think it's up to each person's personal view of the individual, and-- and everybody has a different view.

BARACK OBAMA: Public morality and private morality are not equivalent. And I think that there has to be some space for privacy [in the private lives of public officials]. I'm very cautious about applying strict moral rules to people. What I'm always hopeful of is that people judge our public servants based on their passion, their commitment, their public integrity, how they operate with that public trust. And if we start getting too sanctimonious about some of these issues then there aren't going to be that many people who are able or willing to serve.

BILL RICHARDSON: If you're not faithful to your wife, you're not faithful to the country, to your ideals. You're not faithful to the spirit in which Americans trust their political leaders. And they expect them to have a sense of honor. But, you know, everybody sins. And-- and it's whether you're forgiven, whether you forgive yourself, whether you have faith in God. You know, perfection is-- is something that politicians, they should not stand themselves for perfection. Nobody's perfect.

MITT ROMNEY: I'm not gonna give advice to the American people in which aspects of a person's life they look at. After all, the president of the United States is gonna be under a microscope. He will be. The first lady will be. The whole family will be. Every mistake will be open to the world. In some respects you represent an example to the children of America. So we're gonna get looked at in all sorts of ways. And I'm not gonna try and counsel the American people as to what to look at.

FRED THOMPSON: Everybody's gotta make up their own mind about that. I think that you can evaluate a candidate any way you want to. So, nobody's perfect. Everybody has weaknesses and has made mistakes one time or another in life. But everybody's gotta decide for themselves what they want to consider that go into making up. The leader is going to have to deal with these problems of the country.

JOE BIDEN: Look, this is really dicey territory. Let me say it this way. I think that one's character, one's honesty, one's integrity-- is a habit of the mind. I don't think people can be-- dishonest in one aspect of their life, and compartmentalize it and be viewed as being honest in other parts of life. If the tendency is not to tell the truth, the probability is, that in a moment of crisis, where that person's interests are at stake, they're likely revert to the bad tendencies.

Tiger Behavior Can Be Disarming

A man who stuck his arm into the tiger enclosure at a zoo in northeast India bled to death after two big cats tore off his limb as his family and dozens of visitors watched, a zoo official said. The man, identified as 50-year-old Jayaprakash Bezbaruah, avoided zoo safety precautions in an apparent attempt to photograph the two adult Bengal tigers up close, said Gauhati zoo warden Narayan Mahanta.

"The man ignored warnings from keepers, crossed the first barrier and stretched his hand into the enclosure that housed a male and a female tiger," he said. "The animals grabbed his limb and tore it apart at the shoulder."

Bezbaruah, who had been visiting the zoo with his wife and two children, was rushed to a local hospital but died of blood loss, said Mahanta. "I have never encountered such a bizarre incident in my 11 years as a wildlife official. It was shocking," Mahanta said.

Gent Vents, Dents

A pedestrian has been charged with damaging property after walking over a car that was parked illegally on the sidewalk in Greece's congested capital. "I could not get past the vehicle, a four-wheel drive, which had been parked right on the pavement so I got angry and just walked over it, slightly denting its hood," Tasos Pouliasis told state television.

Greeks are notoriously unruly drivers leaving their cars on sidewalks, wheelchair ramps and even hospital entrances. The owner of the vehicle in Athen's Exarhia neighborhood saw him and called police who arrested Pouliasis and his girlfriend and briefly detained them in a police cell.

"Now I will be tried for property damage but police did not even bother giving the car owner a parking ticket," Pouliasis said.

Cheney Avoids Death In Office Fire; The Nation Mourns

Thick black smoke billowed from a fire Wednesday in Vice President Dick Cheney's suite of offices in the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. Cheney's office was damaged by smoke and water from fire hoses, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. The vice president was not in the building at the time; he was in the West Wing of the White House with President Bush.

More than 1,000 people who work in the building were evacuated. The fire broke out on the second floor of the building around about 9:15 a.m. and was under control within a half hour, District of Columbia fire department spokesman Alan Etter said. Investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze; the smoke appeared to come from an electrical closet on the building's second floor. Afterward, Bush and Cheney appeared on West Executive Avenue, between the White House and the damaged building, to thank District of Columbia firefighters.

The blaze was located in Cheney's suite of ceremonial offices. His working office is in the West Wing. There were no reports of serious injuries, Etter said. A U.S. Marine stationed at the building smashed a fifth-floor window to escape from the smoke and had to be rescued from the ledge, he said. The man suffered a minor cut to his hand. The building remained evacuated while firefighters ventilated the smoke, Etter said. The displaced employees were sent to other offices or went home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Guiness A Day Keeps The Heart Attacks Away

For the upcoming holidays, the Daily Dude wanted to remind you that drinking a pint of Guinness every day has been proven to be healthy for you. According to researchers, a pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks. Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, according to experts from the University of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin team tested the health-giving properties of stout against lager by giving it to dogs who had narrowed arteries similar to those in heart disease. They found that those given the Guinness had reduced clotting activity in their blood, but not those given lager.

A heart attack is triggered when a clot lodges in one of these arteries supplying the heart. Many patients are prescribed low-dose aspirin as this cuts the ability of the blood to form these dangerous clots.

The researchers said that the most benefit they saw was from 24 fluid ounces of Guinness - just over a pint - taken at mealtimes. They believe that "antioxidant compounds" in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.

Drink up, everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2007

In Memoriam

One of the Daily Dude's first music idols, singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg, is dead at the age of 56.

Fogelberg first hit the top-40 with "Part of the Plan", off his 1974 "Souvenirs" album. He achieved successively greater popularity among fans with 1975's "Captured Angel", 1977's "Nether Lands" and 1978's "Twin Sons of Different Mothers".

The peak of his commercial career began in 1979 when he released "Phoenix", producing two top-ten singles ("Longer" and "Heart Hotels"). He followed that in 1981 with "The Innocent Age", which earned him four more hit singles. Fogelberg's last album was 2003's Full Circle, his first disc of original material in a decade.

In 2004, Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He achieved a partial remission in late 2005 after undergoing hormonal therapy-- but later suffered a recurrence and finally died over the weekend at his Maine home with his wife Jean at his side.

"His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration," his website reads.

White Fright

Tanzania's Albino Society (TAS) has accused the government of turning a blind eye to the killing of albinos, after four deaths in the past three months.

In Tanzania, it is widely believed that being albino is the result of a curse put on the family. At the same time, the body parts of albino people are coveted by witch doctors, who believe their body parts (when used in a potion) can make people rich.

Among the recent string of albino deaths, a teacher in the northern town of Arusha has been arrested for killing his own child, who was albino. In addition to the four killings, the body of an albino has also been exhumed-- it was found with its limbs cut off. Old women with red eyes have been killed in parts of Tanzania in the past (after being accused of witchcraft) but according to the BBC report, this is the first time that albinos have been targeted in ritual killings.

With fear in the albino community on the rise, TAS' Christopher Dadenekeye says that witch-doctors must also be arrested. "We need to clear out all these beliefs," Dadenekeye said. There are some 270,000 albinos among Tanzania's population of some 35 million.

Gee Thanks-- I'll Try Not To Be A Victim Ever Again

Saudi King Abdullah has pardoned a rape victim who had been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison in a case that sparked international attention, the Al-Jazirah newspaper has reported.

A Saudi court ruled the 19-year-old had an "illegitimate relationship" with a man who was not her husband, and that the rape occurred after she and the man were discovered in a "compromising situation, her clothes on the ground." The attacks took place in Qatif in March 2006 when the woman was engaged to be married.

The woman was meeting with a man -- described by the woman's attorney as a former friend from whom she was retrieving a photograph -- when they both were abducted last March. Seven men were convicted in their abduction and her rape and received sentences ranging from 10 months to five years in jail.

The Saudi lawyer who represented the woman faced a disciplinary hearing for "insulting the Supreme Judicial Council and disobeying the rules and regulations" of the judiciary. The hearing has been postponed.
Abdul Rahman al-Lahem said the rape case had elicited a fierce response, including calls for his beheading.

Under Saudi law, women are subject to numerous restrictions, including a strict dress code, a prohibition against driving and a requirement that they get a man's permission to travel or have surgery.

Christmas Wish Gone Up In Smoke

After catching his 15-year-old smoking pot, a father sold the hard-to-get "Guitar Hero III" video game he bought his son for 90 dollars for Christmas at an online auction, fetching 9,000 dollars.

The sale took place after the father spent two weeks searching for the video game for the Nintendo Wii game system. "I was so relieved in that I had finally got the Holy Grail of Christmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time. I couldn't wait to spread the jubilance to my son," the father wrote on the eBay website.

"Then, yesterday, I came home from work early and what do I find? My innocent little boy smoking pot in the back yard with two of his delinquent friends." The man, a school teacher, who kept his identity private, said he sold the coveted video game to punish his son and discourage him from smoking dope.

The sale was a boon for the family's bank account, since the game the father purchased for 90 dollars (US) was finally sold to an Australian who plunked down 9,100 dollars for it.

The naughty son, however, will not go without a present on Christmas. "I am still considering getting him a game for his Nintendo. Maybe something like Barbie as the Island Princess or Dancing with the Stars ... I know he will just love them," the father said.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Toad-ally Awesome

Law enforcement authorities have discovered that people are willing to go to greater lengths to get high. "Toad smoking," which is a substitute for "toad licking," is done by extracting venom from the Sonoran Desert toad of the Colorado River. The toad's venom — which is secreted when the toad gets angry or scared — contains a hallucinogen called bufotenine. A person heats up the frog's venom to break down its toxins and preserve the hallucinogen, which is dried and then smoked to produce a buzz.

A Kansas City man was recently charged with possessing a controlled substance after Clay County authorities determined he possessed a toad with the intent to use its venom to get high. Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White said possessing the toad is not illegal, but using it to get high off its venom is.

"It is easier to get it, and law enforcement might not immediately know you use it to get high," White said. "It's sort of a New Age way to get high. You convince yourself it is OK because it is something you get naturally from our environment. There are a lot of things that are created naturally but they are still not legal," he said. According to White, various Internet sites feature instructions on how to extract the toad's venom. (Note from Daily Dude: see here and here.)

Holy Smokes!

A Greek Orthodox nunnery was turned into a marijuana plantation by two men posing as gardeners for elderly nuns, according to Athens police.

Acting on an anonymous tip, officers raided the convent in the village of Filiro, near the northern port city of Thessaloniki, and found more than 30 large cannabis plants in the enclosed garden.

"Two unknown men had told the two elderly nuns they would like to help them with the garden and then proceeded to plant the cannabis," a police official told Reuters.

"The nuns did not know what they were and assumed they were large decorative plants," he said. Police did not arrest the nuns and have launched a hunt for the culprits.

Getting High On Jesus

An Alabama church group got the shock of their lives when they found marijuana in their pizza. It happened at a youth outing in Florence the day before Thanksgiving, and police still aren't sure where the pot came from.

The pizza came from a Papa John's restaurant in Florence, who issued a statement to a local TV station saying, "We have investigated [this matter] internally and have no reason to believe that the product tampering occurred at our restaurant or by any of our employees. We are cooperating with the police in their processes to get to the bottom of this claim."

Authorities did say an off duty Florence Police Officer ordered the pizza. "I don't believe at this time they knew it was a police officer who ordered it," said Sgt. Rolando Bogran, of the Florence Police Department.

According to the FPD, it was not until the pizza was already eaten that someone realized there was something in it. "Whatever the outcome of the investigation, it will be bad-- it hurts the community, hurts everyone, but most of all some people could have been hurt in the incident," said Sgt. Brogan.

Several of the youth who ate the pizza were taken to the hospital to be checked out. None were found to have ill effects of eating the pizza.

Chilly Reception For Icelander

Iceland's government has protested the treatment of an Icelandic tourist who says she was held in chains and shackles before being deported from the United States.

The woman, Erla Osk Arnardottir Lillendahl, 33, was arrested when she arrived at JFK airport in New York because she had overstayed a U.S. visa more than 10 years earlier. Lillendahl, 33, had planned to shop and sightsee with friends, but endured instead what she has claimed was the most humiliating experience of her life.

Lillendahl says she was interrogated at JFK airport for two days, during which she was not allowed to call relatives. She said she was denied food and drink for part of the time, and was photographed and fingerprinted.

On the second day, her hands and feet were chained and she was moved to a prison in New Jersey, where she was kept in a cell, interrogated further and denied access to a phone. She was deported on the third day, she told reporters and wrote on her Internet blog.

Icelandic foreign minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir told U.S. Ambassador Carol van Voorst that the treatment of Lillendahl was unacceptable. "In a case such as this, there can be no reason to use shackles" Gisladottir was quoted as saying in an MSNBC report. "If a government makes a mistake, I think it is reasonable for it to apologize, like anyone else."

Yankee travelers beware-- what goes around, comes around. When U.S. border personnel treat foreigners badly, they create a climate in which Americans meet similar treatment abroad.

Señor Stingy

Spaniards still have not fully got to grips with the value of the euro and often tip too much, according to Economy Minister Pedro Solbes. Over-tipping had added to the sense among Spanish consumers that the cost of living is higher since the euro's introduction in 2002, he said.

"People haven't taken on board the value of a euro," Mr Solbes told a political rally in Madrid. Spain's inflation is higher than other eurozone states - at 4.1% last month. "I see people having a couple of coffees and calmly leaving a euro tip," Solbes told a Socialist Party economic forum in the Spanish capital. "That's 50% of the value of the product."

Before the euro hit the streets five years ago, leaving a 25 peseta tip was the norm. One euro was then worth 166 pesetas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why Men Are Never Depressed

Men are just happier people-- What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress: $500-- Tux rental: $100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time!

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes-- one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes. No wonder men are happier.

Naughty Santa

Canada Post has shut down its "Write To Santa" program while police try to hunt down a "rogue elf" worker that sent bawdy letters to children requesting letters to Santa. "Everybody here is so shocked," said Canada Post spokeswoman Cindy Daoust. "Disappointed doesn't begin to describe how we feel."

The situation came to light when Ottowa resident Rosalyn Da Costa opened letters that Santa had sent to her two children. Each Santa letter delivered by Canada Post contains the same main message with a hand-written personal postscript. 2-year-old Maya's personal "P.S." said: "This letter is too long, you dumb shit."

At the suggestion of a supervisor at Canada Post, Da Costa opened the other letter sent to her 10-year-old son, Colton. The personal P.S. to Colton's letter read: "Your mom sucks dick and your Dad is gay." "We were both going: 'My god, I can't believe it,' " Da Costa said. The Canada Post supervisor remarked, "That's like dirt in my mouth. I can't even say it."

Canada Post put out an immediate alert for letter carriers to not deliver any Santa letters, and to intercept any others in the system and to send them back. "We will check every one," said Daoust. "And we will make sure we have enough volunteers to send out new messages from Santa."

In 1999, a seven-year-old received a Santa message from Canada Post that called him "one greedy little boy!" But the latest letters are far more inappropriate and the first incident of their kind in the program's history, according to Canada Post president and CEO Moya Greene. "We deeply apologize to any families affected by this. We are shocked and heartbroken," she said. "We firmly believe there is just one rogue elf out there."

What's The Old Saying? Big Feet, Big . . .

This ad from a Brazilian shoe designer might raise some eyebrows here in the States . . .

Thursday, December 13, 2007

India Police "Stumped" By Case Of Man "Pegged" By Bandits

Police in southern India are hunting for two men who attacked a Hindu holy man, cut off his right leg and then made off with it. The 80-year-old holy man, Yanadi Kondaiah, claimed to have healing powers in the leg. He is now recovering from his ordeal in hospital in the city of Tirupati in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Police say the incident happened 550 km north of the state capital, Hyderabad.

According to the BBC report, police say that the self-styled 'Godman' was approached a few days ago by two strangers who came to seek his advice over a medical problem. The pair returned to the old man ostensibly to thank him for his help. "As the old man had the weakness of drinking, he accepted their invitation to have drinks with them," said local police Sub-Inspector Pendakanti Dastgiri. "They took him to a deserted spot in the outskirts of the village. After the old man had passed out under the influence of liquor, they cut off his right leg from the knee," he said.

Dastgiri said that the amputation was carried out in a very "brutal manner" and that police are still looking for the leg and the men who so cruelly took it. He said that the assailants used a sharp hunting knife, and left the old man alone and bleeding slowly to death. Local people who found him unconscious alerted the police, who rushed him to hospital in Tirupati.

After regaining consciousness Kondaiah said that he had no idea why he was targeted in such a manner, and did not understand the motive of the miscreants in taking away his leg. "I have always been good to others and helped who ever came to me. Then why has this been done to me?" he asked amid his tears.

Police say the reason for the attack could be because Kondaiah told too many people of the alleged magical powers of his right leg.

Oh, The Christianity: Colorado Shooter Turns Against Church That Turned Against Him

Fox News has reported that Matthew Murray, the deeply troubled young man who shot and killed himself and members of Ted Haggard's New Life Church was gay.

Blogger Richard Rothstein has interestingly speculated that Murray may in fact have been the victim of the church's "ex-gay reparative therapy" program (where gay youths are "de-programmed" into being straight). According to Rothstein, Murray-- having failed to find heterosexuality through Jesus-- was booted out of the youth program and out of the church. Crushed by this rejection and overwhelmed by rage and despair thanks to the curse of homosexuality, Murray went on a killing spree that ended with himself.

Murray himself maintained a blog complaining how the Church had forgiven Haggard, but not him:

Murray wrote that he told his mom, "Using drugs, alcohol and having gay sex, I'm just trying to do what any Christian pastor would do. At least I'm not doing meth like Ted Haggard."

Murray also noted that the Church forgave Haggard. He posted, "I want to know where was all the love, mercy and compassion for my supposed imperfections?"

Rothstein concludes his post with "At least in Iran, the executions of gay men are swift. In the United States we prefer to slowly drive our gay children insane so that they grow up to be monsters."

Major League Baseball: Dropping The Ball

George Mitchell's report on steroid use in baseball came out this afternoon. Here's the first reported list of names I could find:

A. The following players were cited as either using or possessing steroids:

Lenny Dykstra
David Segui
Larry Bigbie
Brian Roberts
Jack Cust
Tim Laker
Josias Manzanillo
Todd Hundley
Mark Carreon
Hal Morris
Matt Franco
Rondell White
Andy Pettitte
Roger Clemens
Chuck Knoblauch
Jason Grimsley
Gregg Zaun
David Justice
F.P. Santangelo
Glenallen Hill
Mo Vaughn
Denny Neagle
Ron Villone
Ryan Franklin
Chris Donnels
Todd Williams
Phil Hiatt
Todd Pratt
Kevin Young
Mike Lansing
Cody McKay
Kent Mercker
Adam Piatt
Miguel Tejada
Jason Christiansen
Mike Stanton
Stephen Randolph
Jerry Hairston
Paul Lo Duca
Adam Riggs
Bart Miadich
Fernando Vina
Kevin Brown
Eric Gagne
Mike Bell
Matt Herges
Gary Bennett
Jim Parque
Brendan Donnelly
Chad Allen
Jeff Williams
Exavier "Nook" Logan
Howie Clark
Paxton Crawford
Ken Caminiti
Rafael Palmeiro
Luis Perez
Derrick Turnbow
Ricky Bones
Ricky Stone

B. The following players were alleged to have bought "performance enhancing substances" over the internet:

Rick Ankiel
David Bell
Paul Byrd
Jose Canseco
Jay Gibbons
Troy Glaus
Jason Grimsley
Jose Guillen
Darren Holmes
Gary Matthews Jr.
John Rocker
Scott Schoeneweis
Ismael Valdez
Matt Williams
Steve Woodard

C. The following players were linked to the purchase and use of steroids through BALCO:

Benito Santiago
Gary Sheffield
Randy Velarde
Jason Giambi
Jeremy Giambi
Bobby Estalella
Barry Bonds
Marvin Benard

Is it any wonder football has now taken over as America's national sport?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Reports Of The Clinton Dynasty May Be A Bit Premature

It's nice to know that sometimes even Chelsea can't find a chair at Starbucks . . .

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

President Bush vetoed legislation that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.

In an effort to avoid drawing attention, Bush waited until the deadline for acting on the bill and even then vetoed the bill in private.

In his veto statement, Bush said: "The leadership in the Congress has refused to meet with my administration." Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid quickly corrected the President by reminding reporters that Reid approached Bush to ask for negotiations during a ceremony for the Dalai Lama in mid-October (when the bill was first vetoed), and Bush declined, saying "I'm not moving [on this]-- go meet with my staff."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

"Door" Man or "Odor" Man?

A Manhattan doorman has been suspended for having bad breath. Jonah Seeman, who has been ushering tenants into a four-building complex on East 89th Street for 40 years, was told not to come to work Friday because of halitosis.

Seeman said he has stopped eating garlic, uses mouthwash and takes breath mints on the job. The Brooklyn resident, who supports his 81-year-old mother, has been suspended twice before for bad breath-- one day in May and then again in July.

Apartment dwellers at the Gracie Gardens complex expressed surprise over Seeman's suspension and came to his defense. "His job, which he does well, is opening the door — not to be opening his mouth," said Adam Reingold.

Officials with Cooper Square Realty, the management company that oversees the property, did not return calls from reporters seeking comment. But the company sent the doorman a letter dated Nov. 21, stating: "We can no longer tolerate the fact that you have severe breath odor while on duty." The union that represents Seeman, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, has filed a grievance in the case.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Grammy Noms: Amy Winehouse Comes Out Big

Kanye West earned eight Grammy nominations today, including Album of the Year and Rap Album of the Year for his "Graduation," leading the competition for the 50th annual Grammy Awards. British retro soul singer Amy Winehouse also made out well (as predicted by the Daily Dude), earning six nods, including nominations in all the major categories-- Album of the Year ("Back to Black"), Song of the Year and Record of the Year ("Rehab") and Best New Artist.

Winehouse has struggled personally since breaking into the big time in the U.S. this year. "Rehab" was no joke; the singer has coped with drug abuse allegations and ended up canceling weeks of concert dates because of "intense emotional strain," according to a statement from her promoter. Her last U.S. performance was at Baltimore's Virgin Festival in August.

Kanye West has had both success and tragedy this year -- "Graduation" sold almost 1 million copies its first week, beating out 50 Cent in a well-publicized duel. But in November, his mother died suddenly after plastic surgery at age 58.

In a surprise, Bruce Springsteen's critically praised "Magic" didn't get an album of the year nomination. Springsteen, who earned four nods, was nominated for best solo rock vocal and best rock album, among other awards.

Paul McCartney, whose album "Memory Almost Full" received good reviews, earned nominations for best pop vocal and best solo rock vocal.

The 50th annual Grammys are scheduled for February 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The nominations in the major categories are listed below:

Record of the Year: "Irreplaceable," Beyonce; "The Pretender," Foo Fighters; "Umbrella," Rihanna featuring Jay-Z; "What Goes Around ... Comes Around," Justin Timberlake; "Rehab," Amy Winehouse.

Album of the Year: "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," Foo Fighters; "These Days," Vince Gill; "River: The Joni Letters," Herbie Hancock; "Graduation," Kanye West; "Back to Black," Amy Winehouse.

Song of the Year (songwriter's award): "Before He Cheats," Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins (Carrie Underwood); "Hey There Delilah," Tom Higgenson (Plain White T's); "Like a Star," Corinne Bailey Rae (Corinne Bailey Rae); "Rehab," Amy Winehouse (Amy Winehouse); "Umbrella," Shawn Carter, Kuk Harrell, Terius "Dream" Nash & Christopher Stewart (Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z).

New Artist: Feist; Ledisi; Paramore; Taylor Swift; Amy Winehouse.

Pop Vocal Album: "Lost Highway," Bon Jovi; "The Reminder," Feist; "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," Maroon 5; "Memory Almost Full," Paul McCartney; "Back to Black," Amy Winehouse.

Rock Album: "Daughtry," Daughtry; "Revival," John Fogerty; "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," Foo Fighters; "Magic," Bruce Springsteen; "Sky Blue Sky," Wilco.

R&B Album: "Funk This," Chaka Khan; "Lost & Found," Ledisi; "Luvanmusiq," Musiq Soulchild; "The Real Thing," Jill Scott; "Sex, Love & Pain," Tank.

Rap Album: "Finding Forever," Common; "Kingdom Come," Jay-Z, "Hip Hop Is Dead," Nas; "T.I. vs T.I.P.," T.I.; "Graduation," Kanye West.

Indulge Me For A Moment

Pope Benedict XVI has authorized special "indulgences" to mark the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary's reputed appearance at Lourdes. According to the decree released by the Vatican, Catholics visiting the site within a year of December 8 will be able to receive an indulgence, which the Church teaches can reduce time in purgatory.

Lourdes has drawn pilgrims since Mary was said to have appeared in 1858 to shepherdess Bernadette Soubirous. The waters of the French shrine are said to have miraculous healing powers. The Pope is expected to visit the shrine next year.

For those of you keeping track of the details, the pontiff also said that for believers who prayed at places of worship dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes (instead of making the journey to France) from February 2nd to 11th next year (and not a day longer!)--- would also be able to receive indulgences.

Note from the Daily Dude: Is there anybody out there who gives a rat's ass whether Pope Nazi authorizes "indulgences" or not? Anybody taking time out of their day to pray (whether it be at Lourdes or at home waiting for a lotto drawing or a pregnancy test) is a helluva lot better off than us slobs who spend more time at happy hour than in a church.

There-- I feel a lot better now, thank you.

Confessions Of A Groupie

For sale on eBay (currently at $71, with just over 2 days to go) is the unpublished memoir of Cherry Vanilla (real name: Kathy Dorritie), who used her position as David Bowie's publicist to sleep with almost every notable musician in the '70s. Some of the more sensational passages contained in the book are as follows:

"Today I got so horny just thinking about [former Chicago frontman] Robert Lamm that I fucked myself three times in a row with my brush handles."

"Claudia told me that Mick gives incredible head—'The Best'—and when you stay with him he brings you juice in the morning and asks you how you've slept."

"Bobby [Keyes, Rolling Stones sax player] talked me into giving him head again before I left. I'm so easy really—just show me some musician meat and I'm hooked."

"Last night was probably the all-time high in my groupie career so far. I mean, I did it ... Uh huh. I got him—The Master to Time and Space himself, Mr. Leon Russell. Far out, huh, I mean this means I can do anything."

"We [the author and three members of Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen] went back to Pete's room at the hotel and staged what shall go down in history as 'The Great Gramercy Park Tequila Orgy of 1971.' They tied my wrists and ankles to the four corners of the bed and stuck their big hot organs in my mouth and my cunt and they had their way with me."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Abortion Smoothie

Wisconsin authorities have charged a man with slipping his (extramarital) girlfriend an abortion drug that caused her to miscarry twice. 34-year-old Manishkumar Patel was charged with seven felonies and two misdemeanors, including attempted first-degree murder of an unborn child, stalking, burglary and two counts of violating a restraining order.

Patel and his girlfriend Darshana already had a 3-year-old child out of wedlock together when she became pregnant last year. She miscarried that child last December, but otherwise had no unusual concerns. She become pregnant a second time last summer, and Patel took her to an ice cream shop for a smoothie in late August. After drinking the smoothie, Darshana noticed white powder on the rim. She then became suspicious, and feigning illness, took the drink back to her office.

Suspecting she had been slipped mifespristone (the abortion pill also known as RU-486), Darshana (a practicing physician) sent a sample of the smoothie to a California lab for analysis. Darshana's suspicions were confirmed when she miscarried a second time just a few weeks later. When the tests came back positive for the drug, she approached the sheriff’s department-- who arrested Manishkumar Patel after an initial investigation.

According to the MSNBC report, Patel is being held on $750,000 bail after prosecutor Mark Schroeder said he had a net worth of $400,000 and investigators found evidence he had been looking at flights to Germany. “The allegations are devious, diabolical and disturbing,” Court Commissioner Brian Figy said. “Extraordinary cases deserve extraordinary care.”

Wisconsin is one of 37 states with a fetal homicide law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Under the 1998 law, anyone who attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her fetus could face life in prison.

Pissing Shit Accompanied By Anal Drippage

When I see the words "went horribly wrong" on the internet, that means it's time for the Daily Dude to swing into action. Read on . . .

A surgery meant to reverse a colostomy on a Dover man went horribly wrong last year, resulting in fecal mater being discharged from his penis and urine passing through his colon.

Doctors at Kent General Hospital in Delaware improperly stapled the colon to the bladder instead of the rectal stump. This left the patient with diarrhea, as well as gas and liquid stool passing from his penis.

The man was taken to Christiana Hospital 12 days later to have the procedure corrected, but not until after much suffering and embarrassment. According to the delawareonline article, Bayhealth Medical and Surgical Associates (where the three doctors practice) declined to comment, pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by the patient and his wife.

Dr. Scott D. Goldstein, director of colon and rectal surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, said colostomy removals can be difficult and tedious procedures-- and the bladder can often get in the way. "These [urinal and anal] structures are very close to one another," he added, "But it shouldn't happen. I can't say more than that."

Fired Cop Blames Tainted Balls On Dopey Wife

A counter-terrorism police officer who was fired for failing a drug test says his wife spiked his meatballs with marijuana and wants his job back.

Anthony Chiofalo, of the New York Police Department, has asked a Manhattan court to declare his dismissal unconstitutional and force the NYPD to re-hire him. He was suspended in 2005 after 22 years of service for failing a random test.

His wife Catherine told investigators she had secretly drugged his meatballs hoping a failed test would force him to retire. Both Chiofalo and his wife have passed lie detector tests about how the marijuana entered the police officer's system. Mrs. Chiofalo told investigators she had put enough marijuana for six cigarettes in her meatball recipe in July 2005.

She testified at a hearing that she just wanted her husband "not to die of a heart attack or get killed" while still in service, according to the Associated Press story. "I wanted him to be around to help raise my son," she said. She had reportedly expected him to retire in 2004 after 20 years in the force.

An administrative judge recommended that Mr. Chiofalo be reinstated to the Joint Terrorism Task Force but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly rejected that opinion and fired him.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Catholic Church To Children: "Watch Out For Priests-- We Should Know"

A new coloring book being distributed by the Archdiocese of New York teaches children to protect themselves from adults - including, apparently, priests - who cannot stay within the lines.

Although priests are never explicitly the villains of "Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic," the female guardian angel who narrates the morality tale warns on one page that an altar boy should never remain alone in a room with any adult unless the door is open.

But advocates of those who have been abused by priests complain that the church must more clearly point the finger at the most likely perpetrators preying on children. "Too much is made of the creepy stranger, when predators are actually most often the adults we have taught kids are trustworthy," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "It does seem as though church officials are still reluctant to admit that, in fact, their own clergy can be - and are - predators."

Old Fart Blowing Big Farts

A social club in England has banned a 77-year-old man from breaking wind while indoors, according to a BBC report.

Maurice Fox received a letter from Kirkham Street Sports and Social Club in Paignton (Devon) telling him that his actions "disgusted" members. Fox, a club regular for 20 years, said: "I am happy to oblige them, there is no problem. I do get a bit windy - I am an old fart now." He said he now has to leave the club about three times a night.

In its letter to the retired bus driver, the club said: "After several complaints regarding your continual breaking of wind (farting) while in the club, would you please consider that your actions are considered disgusting to fellow members and visitors. You sit close to the front door, so would you please go outside when required. So please take heed of this request."

Fox also said he spends two days a week at the nearby Palace Place club, but said he had no complaints about flatulence there.

Being Jerked Around

A Nassau County man who said he donated sperm to a female co-worker as a friendly gesture is legally considered the father and is financially liable for child support for the college-bound teenager, according to the Newsday article.

Nassau County Family Court Judge Ellen Greenberg ruled that despite the mother's willingness to have the child's DNA tested, the man was barred from seeking a paternity test to determine if he is truly the father because the results could have a "traumatic effect" upon the child, who is now 18 years old and lives in Oregon with the mother. Regardless of genetic evidence, the judge said the man's interactions with the child over the years had a patriarchal nature. Those interactions consisted of cards and gifts on birthdays, as well as approximately seven phone calls over the past 15 years.

"What's the saying? No good deed goes unpunished," said Deborah Kelly, a Garden City lawyer for the man, who acknowledged that he is named as the father on the child's birth certificate. Like all the involved parties, the man remains anonymous because of privacy concerns.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Craig's List

Over the weekend, the Idaho Statesman published interviews with eight more men who have had sexual encounters with Senator Larry Craig, who famously said on live TV that he was "not gay, never been gay."

According to the paper, Craig's denials began June 30, 1982, when CBS broke news of a scandal alleging gay sex between congressmen and underage pages. The following day, before any public allegation that he was involved, then-Rep. Craig issued a denial. Craig married a year later and adopted the three children of his wife, Suzanne.

Four of the men the Statesman talked to wished to remain anonymous. Four others were willing to be named, and provided graphic details of their encounters. Tom Russell, now 48, is a former Nampa resident who lives in Utah. Russell said his encounter with Craig occurred at Bogus Basin in the early 1980s. Greg Ruth was a 24-year-old college Republican in 1981 when he says he was hit on by Craig in a bathroom at a Republican meeting in Coeur d'Alene.

David Phillips said he met Craig at the DC strip club Follies and went back to a house on Capitol Hill with him. Craig removed his suit coat, but otherwise remained dressed. He said Craig first performed oral sex on him, and then unzipped his pants so Phillips could reciprocate. Craig then left the room, returning with condoms and lubricant. The two men then had anal sex. Afterward, Craig became agitated and pressed Phillips to leave. "After the sex, he just wanted me out of there," Phillips said. He said Craig stuck $20 in his pocket and said, "'I can buy and sell your ass a thousand times over. You were never here.'"

Craig's encounter with Ted Haggard's famed hooker, Mike Jones, went something like this:
Craig removed his coat and dress shirt, leaving his T-shirt, slacks and shoes on when he climbed onto Jones' massage table. Craig asked that Jones be naked. Craig undid his own zipper and masturbated while performing oral sex on Jones. When Craig finished, he paid Jones $200 in cash and left.

Naturally, the libidinous lawmaker still can't understand why everyone's picking on him: "Despite the fact the Idaho Statesman has decided to pursue its own agenda and print these falsehoods without any facts to back them up, I won't let this paper's attempt to malign my name stop me from continuing my work to serve the people of Idaho."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Drunk Yob Gets A Fence Job

A drunken man broke into a central London park and attempted to have sex with a fence, a London court heard last week.

24-year-old Daniel French made "sexual motions" towards metal railings in Leicester Square Gardens after being challenged by police in the early hours of a Sunday morning, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told. "He said words to the effect of: 'I'm going to have sex with that fence'," said Philip Lemoine, prosecuting.

"The gardens were locked and police asked French to leave. He was drunk and there were some sexual motions - drunken silliness - to the railings." Lemoine added: "French said he had a relative who was a solicitor and would teach the police a lesson."

French, of Verity Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, admitted being drunk and disorderly after a night out in the West End, but angrily denied making romantic overtures towards the fence.

"That's not right at all about the fence. I was surrounded by three big police officers. I felt I was being bullied and wanted to go home. They were pushing me against the fence and trying to provoke me," he told the magistrates. "The suggestion that I was trying to do something sexual to the railings is disgusting."

French was sentenced to serve the time he had already spent in custody since his arrest - meaning he was allowed to walk free from court.

Rumor Has It The Food Is Good Also

Jail Time For Poodle Beat-Down

Baltimore dog groomer Celeste Rainone was sentenced to three months in jail last week for beating a poodle to death. 53-year-old Rainone told the court that the 14-year-old dog had a panic attack and bit her twice. “I’m sorry that I snapped, but I just couldn't control it."

Raja the poodle died at home within hours of receiving a grooming. According to the necropsy conducted on Rajah, the dog suffered from blunt trauma to the head, face, liver and other organs. The judge also ordered Rainone to stop grooming other animals. However, the Baltimore County government has not revoked her grooming license, despite the conviction.

During the trial, prosecutor Matthew Breault also played a recorded cell phone message Rainone left for Pine after the incident. In the message, Rainone threatened to sue the dog's owner for defamation if she filed charges. “I’m going to put your phone number on every bathroom stall in Baltimore County,” Rainone said on the message.

Beauty Pageant Organizers Going Out On A Limb

Ten women will show off their beauty and brains — and their landmine injuries — in Angola next April in a competition to win a golden prosthetic limb and the title of Miss Landmine 2008.

The project, created by Norwegian theater director Morten Traavik, is designed to raise awareness of the plight of landmine survivors. Contestants will have to demonstrate their skills and take part in an interview, though the details have yet to be finalized.

"There is no sensationalistic intentions within Miss Landmine," Traavik said. "Of course the format has been chosen because it's obviously a very media friendly forum, but it still is based very, very much on local culture, since beauty pageants are such a consistent phenomenon in Angolan contemporary culture."

Up to 80,000 people are estimated to have been injured by landmines in Angola, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The organization has cleared around 43,000 landmines from the countryside since 1994.

The women in the pageant range in age from 19 to 35 and represent their home provinces. Almost all were injured while tending fields or fleeing soldiers in the 1980s and '90s, according to their pageant biographies. Most are unemployed. The actual Miss Landmine pageant is planned for April 4, 2008, chosen to coincide with the United Nations' International Day for Mine Awareness, Traavik said.

Internet users can vote for their favorite online (click here). Along with fame and glory, Traavik said, they'll receive a golden prosthesis fitted to their specifications.

Texas Forces Resignation Of Science Educator For Believing in Evolution

Texas' Director of science curriculum was forced to resign under pressure from officials who said she criticized the instruction of "intelligent" design (i.e., creationism).

What specifically was the proverbial straw the broke the camel's back? Chris Comer (state director of science curriculum) received an email announcing a presentation being given by Barbara Forrest, author of "Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse". Comer forwarded the email as an FYI to several individuals and a few online communities she thought would be interested in the topic.

The problem? In her book, Barbara Forrest says creationist politics are behind the movement to get "intelligent" design theory taught in public school science classes (note from Daily Dude: what else but politics could explain it? Creationism certainly isn't science).

In justifying their decision to fire Comer, Texas Education Agency officials said, "[By forwarding the email] Ms. Comer . . . implies endorsement of the speaker."

Advocacy groups said the action against Comer was troubling."This just underscores the politicization of science education in Texas," said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education. "In most states, the department of education takes a leadership role in fostering sound science education. Apparently TEA employees are supposed to be kept in the closet and only let out to do the bidding of the board."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Obama "Rocks" the Apollo

Comedian Chris Rock introduced Barack Obama at a Thursday fundraiser at the Apollo Theater in New York this week, and got in a few zingers. He told the audience that they they'd be real embarrassed if Obama won and they weren't down with it (in advance). "You'd be like--- 'I can't call him now! I had that white lady-- what was I thinking!" he mocked. He also said that Bush's presidency "was a success-- we all knew he wouldn't do anything, and he didn't let us down."

He slammed Bush once more: "White folks burning in California-- he was out there before the fire went out. Black folks drowning in Katrina-- nothing."

Check out the video here.

2 Girls, 1 Cup

On one hand, it's pretty pathetic what fascinates people on the internet-- but once something becomes a phenomenon, you have no choice but to check it out. The "2 Girls, 1 Cup" video featured on the website below has become such an online sensation that it has been knocked off by John Mayer, Perez Hilton, and launched tons of hilarious "reaction" videos on YouTube.

The video clip, which has been making millions of Internet users gag since it hit planet net, can be blamed on 36-year-old Sao Paulo resident Marco Fiorito, a Brazilian man who describes himself as a "compulsive fetishist" and "an artist in the art of movie making."

MSNBC Reporter Call Bush A Monkey

Well, after all-- he does have big ears; and his vocabulary is a bit primitive . . .

K-Mart Treats Shoppers Like Shit Over Toilet Paper

A western Pennsylvania woman won $100 plus court costs after she sued K-mart for twice collecting sales tax on toilet paper.

Murrysville resident Mary Bach said K-mart offered to settle the case out of court before the hearing at which a judge eventually sided with her. But the settlement required her to sign a confidentiality agreement, which would have defeated the purpose of her suit, Bach said.

"I want consumers as they shop during the important holiday to be aware of what is and what isn't taxable," Bach said after the verdict. "I would lose my ability to spread that message if I were gagged."

Bach sued in October after a Kmart store in Monroeville twice collected a 7 percent tax (28 cents) when she bought a 12-roll package of toilet paper for $3.99. Although most paper goods are taxable in Pennsylvania, toilet tissue is listed as a nontaxable item by the state Department of Revenue.

Kmart, a unit of Sears Holdings Corp., will not appeal the verdict. "We don't want to fight with our customers," Kmart spokeswoman Kim Freely said. (note from the Daily Dude: Then why the fuck are you forcing them to take you to court?)

"We apologize for the inconvenience and the problem is being corrected," the Kmart rep said.

Pink Is The New Black

Clothing stores in Thailand have seen a rush to buy pink shirts, thanks to a fashion craze sparked by the country's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Thais have been queuing in their hundreds to buy the shirts ever since the King left hospital last month wearing both a pink shirt and blazer. The Phufa fashion chain said it had sold 40,000 pink shirts this month. "Our factory is making these shirts every day, every minute day and night," said a spokeswoman for the company. "We had no idea they would be this popular."

According to reports, Thai commentators said pink first became an important colour for him earlier this year, when royal astrologers determined it was a good colour for his health. On that recommendation, a pink royal crest was designed for his 80th birthday on 5 December. The king has traditionally always worn dark suits in public.

Civil servant Rose Tarin, 56, recently camped outside a clothing store from 4:00 am to ensure she was able to buy one of the latest shipments of pink shirts. "Wearing pink brings the king luck. I don't want him to be sick," she said. The world's longest serving monarch, King Bhumibol is regarded by some as semi-divine and his picture hangs in most Thai homes.

The rush for pink shirts is not the first fashion craze he has started. Since King Bhumibol's 60th anniversary on the throne in 2006, many Thais have worn bright yellow shirts every Monday, because that was the day of the week on which he was born.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Week That Was: 11/30/07

An 8th grader was suspended for 5 days for hugging a classmate. No details yet for you'll get for kissing, copping a feel, or getting inside your date's pants.

A couple of important elections are coming up this weekend. Democracy's down for the count in Russia; there may be hope for Venezuela.

Al Gore got his long overdue trip to the White House. George Bush does his part for global warming by giving Al Gore a chilly reception in the Oval Office. Smiling never looked like it hurt so much.

Darth Cheney experienced an irregular heartbeat this week. Not irregular enough for some folks.

Trent Lott announced his resignation from the Senate. In case you don't remember, Lott was the guy who said that if Strom Thurmond (that good 'ole segregationist) had been elected president (in 1948), "we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years."

Puerto Rico's Miss Universe pageant was peppered with controversy this week when it was discovered that the winner's evening gown had been doctored with pepper spray. I guess you could say that she's one hot mama.

In an interview with Time this week, horror writer Stephen King said that Jenna Bush should be waterboarded, that Britany Spears was nothing more than trailer trash, and that the celebrity with the largest impact on American life this year was Hannah Montana. I'm not sure what smart-ass thing to say about all that.

A British teacher faces 15 days in jail for allowing one of her children to name a teddy bear "Mohammed", and thousands of Islamic fanatics wielding knives demand that she be executed instead. Britain's foreign minister does his best George Bush imitation saying he is "extremely disappointed".

At The Movies: Nothing especially high-profile or particularly noteworthy opening this weekend. Use the time to catch up on "No Country For Old Men", "American Gangster" or "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead" before the Oscar rush starts in earnest.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Glimmer Of Hope For Our Constitutional Rights

Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer, newly unsealed court records show.

The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a First Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government. "The (subpoena's) chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America," U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker wrote in a June ruling.

Seattle-based Amazon said in court documents it hopes Crocker's decision will make it more difficult for prosecutors to obtain records involving book purchases. Judge Crocker unsealed the documents against federal prosecutors' wishes.

Federal prosecutors issued the subpoena last year as part of a grand jury investigation into a former Madison official who was a prolific seller of used books on They were looking for buyers who could be witnesses in the case. The initial subpoena sought records of 24,000 transactions dating back to 1999. The company refused to identify the book buyers, citing their First Amendment right to keep their reading choices private. Prosecutors later narrowed the subpoena, asking the company to identify a sample of 120 customers, which Amazon also refused to do. Judge Crocker then brokered a compromise in which the company would send a letter to the 24,000 customers describing the investigation and asking them to voluntarily contact prosecutors if they were interested in testifying.

It was only then that federal prosecutors said they could obtain the customer information they needed from one of the suspect's computers. Prosecutors had initially claimed that their computer analysts had been unable to recover the information.

The judge gave a strong rebuke to the U.S. Attorney in his ruling. "If the government had been more diligent in looking for workarounds instead of baring its teeth when Amazon balked, it's probable that this entire First Amendment showdown could have been avoided," he wrote.

Maybe It's Time To Buy A Mac

Truly Desperate Housewife

Megan Meier died believing that somewhere in this world lived a boy named Josh Evans who hated her. He was 16, owned a pet snake, and she thought he was the cutest boyfriend she ever had.

Josh contacted Megan through her page on, said Megan’s mother, Tina Meier. They flirted for weeks, but only online — Josh said his family had no phone. On Oct. 15, 2006, Josh suddenly turned mean. He called Megan names, and later they traded insults for an hour. The next day, in his final message, Josh wrote to Megan, “The world would be a better place without you.”

Sobbing, Megan ran into her bedroom closet. Her mother found her there, hanging from a belt. She was only 13 years old.

Six weeks after Megan’s death, her parents learned that Josh Evans never existed. He was an online character created by 47-year-old Lori Drew, who lived four houses down the street. That an adult would plot such a cruel hoax against a 13-year-old girl has drawn outraged phone calls, e-mail messages and blog posts from around the world. Many people expressed anger because officials did not charge Ms. Drew with a crime. St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Lt. Craig McGuire, said that what Ms. Drew did “might’ve been rude, it might’ve been immature, but it wasn’t illegal.”

Only in response to the incident did St. Charles County make Internet harassment a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail-- too little, too late, according to most residents in the small community near St. Louis.

According to the New York Times story, Lori Drew’s daughter and Megan had at one time been very close friends. Lori Drew said she created the bogus MySpace profile of “Josh Evans” to win Megan’s trust and learn how Megan felt about her daughter. Because Ms. Drew had taken Megan on family vacations, she knew the girl had been prescribed antidepression medication, and she also knew that Megan had a MySpace page.

Shortly before Megan’s death, the Meiers had agreed to store a foosball table the Drews had bought as a Christmas surprise for their children. When the Meiers learned about Lori Drew's MySpace hoax, they destroyed the table and threw the pieces onto the Drews’ driveway. The police learned about the hoax when Ms. Drew filed a complaint about the damage to the foosball table. In the report, she stated that she felt the hoax “contributed to Megan’s suicide, but she did not feel ‘as guilty’ because at the funeral she found out Megan had tried to commit suicide before.”

“There are no words to explain my rage,” Megan's mother said. “These people were supposed to be our friends.”


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