Thursday, July 31, 2008

Heading For The Exits

A passenger traveling on a cross-country bus in Canada stabbed, gutted and decapitated a man seated next to him in an unprovoked attack.

The victim had been sleeping before he was repeatedly stabbed in the chest by a man with a large knife, according to a witness. "He must have stabbed him 50 times or 60 times," said Garnet Caton.

The other 35 passengers and driver were first jolted by "blood-curdling screams" and fled the bus via the front exit. When Caton and two others returned to check on the victim from outside the bus, they saw the attacker "cutting the guy's head off and gutting him." The attacker had closed the front doors of the bus to prevent others from re-entering the vehicle.

According to Caton, "The attacker--while we were watching-- calmly walked up to the front (of the bus) with the head in his hand and the knife and just calmly stared at us and dropped the head right in front of us." Police then surrounded the bus and arrested the man, he said.


Free At Last?

In one of the most significant legal rulings in the tech industry this year, a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that the practice of charging customers a fee for breaking their cell phone contract early is illegal and violates state law.

Without the threat of levying early termination fees, the cellular carriers lose the power that's enabled them to lock customers into contracts for multiple years at a time. And while those contracts can be ong, they also let the carriers offer phones at subsidized prices. If subsidies vanish, what happens to hardware lock-in? Could an era of expensive, but unlocked, hardware be just around the corner? Some are saying it's highly probable.

Update: IOC Signs Up For Olympic Censorship

The extent of China's internet censorship is now coming to light. Since the Olympic Village press center opened Friday, reporters have been unable to access scores of Web pages - politically sensitive ones that discuss Tibetan succession, Taiwanese independence, the violent crackdown of the protests in Tiananmen Square and the sites of Amnesty International, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers known for their freewheeling political discourse.

Unfortunately, it now seems that censorship may be becoming one of the new Olympic ideals. On Wednesday - two weeks after its most recent proclamation of an uncensored Internet during the Summer Games - the International Olympic Committee quietly agreed to some of the limitations, according to Kevan Gosper, chairman of the IOC press commission.

Russian Statue The Butt Of Jokes Worldwide

A monument to the enema has been unveiled at a spa in the southern Russian city of Zheleznovodsk. An 800-pound bronze sculpture of a syringe bulb held up by three angels, was unveiled in front of a spa on the city's public square.

According to Alexander Kharchenko, owner of the spa, "There is no kitsch or obscenity, it is a successful work of art. An enema is almost a symbol of our region." Sculptor Svetlana Avakina said she designed the 5-foot high monument with "irony and humor" and modeled the angels on those in works by Italian Renaissance painter Alessandro Botticelli.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oops He Did It Again!!

Following on the heels of "Audacity of Hopelessness" and "He'd Rather Lose A War To Win An Election", McCain has gone over the deep end again with another desperate attack at Obama-- this time mocking his popularity by comparing him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears



McCain is so clearly jealous of Obama's appeal and popularity-- and if he thought he had a snow ball's chance in hell of attracting such crowds on his recent trip to Mexico, he probably would have delivered a speech from the roof of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

China to Parents: "Your Kids Will Go To School In Unsafe Buildings and Die Happily For The Privilege!"

According to the HRIC (Human Rights In China), a Chinese teacher named Liu Shaokun has been detained for posting pictures on the internet of schools that collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake.

The May 12 quake killed 70,000 people, many of them children whose schools collapsed. Grieving parents have staged numerous protests demanding an inquiry into the substandard building conditions of the schools. There is widespread belief that local officials colluded with builders to allow them to get away with cheap and unsafe practices.

After posting the pictures on the internet, Liu Shaokun was detained for "disseminating rumours and destroying social order". Without a trial, the government then sentenced Shaokun to one year of "re-education through labor".

"Instead of investigating and pursuing accountability for shoddy and dangerous school buildings, the authorities are resorting to re-education through labour to silence and lock up concerned citizens like teacher Liu Shaokun and others," said Human Rights in China Executive Director Sharon Hom.


Faux-lympics

Well, another shoe has dropped over in Beijing. China confirmed today that it will be censoring all internet access during the Games-- even internet access for Olympic officials and international media.

China's reversal of its pledge to offer complete media freedom during the games is only the latest repudiation of its commitment to Olympic ideals and human rights (it was revealed last week that the government would not allow live TV shots of various landmarks-- including Tiananmen Square).

Sun Weide, spokesman for the Chinese organizing committee, confirmed that the government would be censoring the internet used by foreign media during the games. "During the Olympic Games we will provide sufficient access to the Internet for reporters," he stated. He confirmed, however, that journalists would not be able to access information or websites connected to the Falungong spiritual movement which is banned in China. Other sites will also be unavailable to journalists, he said, but didn't specify which ones.

No one should have believed that China would live up to Olympic ideals or any of the other promises it made when it was awarded the games seven years ago. NBC/General Electric should be ashamed to be broadcasting the Beijing Olympics and providing such ready-made propaganda for the hypocritical and oppressive Chinese dictatorship.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More From Casa D'Ice

Religion is also one of good ole' Bill's favorite topics . . .



McCain Tortures Logic

Here's a good explanation of how CBS news fudged the editing of their McCain interview to cover up McCain's blunder on the timeline of the surge:



In another part of the CBS interview, McCain also claimed that Iraq was the first major combat operation after 9/11 (and the Afghanistan War was a minor spat???)

In case you forgot, McCain also still refers to Czechoslovakia (even though that country ceased to exist over 15 years ago):

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Amish-- A Real Gas

Transportation Security Assholes

From Chicago come reports that TSA screeners are routinely embarrassing travelers with artificial limbs and such. People are having their pants pulled down in public and patted down-- one woman was even forced to expose her breasts and remove her nipple rings with a pair of pliers. With ding-a-lings like this in charge of security, who knows what kind of crap is getting through. Feel safer anyone?

Chinese Olympic Ideals On Display

Chinese police have arrested yet another prominent Internet dissident as the country steps up a pre-Olympic crackdown on dissent. Du Daobin, from the central province of Hebei, was arrested this week for posting articles on overseas websites and receiving guests without permission.

He is the third leading cyber-dissident to be imprisoned in the run-up to the Olympic Games, after Hu Jia and Huang Qi. Chinese police arrested Huang Qi in the country's southwest for "possession of state secrets" after he offered help to parents of children killed in the Sichuan earthquake in May.

Hu Jia, a prominent AIDS activist, was jailed for 3- years earlier this year for inciting subversion and criticizing the ruling Communist Party. A fourth dissident, Ye Guozhu, in jail since 2004 for organizing protests, was due to be released on Saturday but he was taken from the prison where he was being held and his whereabouts were unknown.

It seems that the Chinese government never had any intention of fulfilling the promises it made when it was awarded the Olympics. Of course, none of these stories are being reported by NBC (who hopes to make millions on the TV broadcast of the games).


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Penguins Dying To Visit Rio 's Beaches

Hundreds of baby penguins swept from the icy shores of Antarctica and Patagonia have been washing up dead on Rio de Janeiro's tropical beaches.

More than 400 penguins have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state in the past two months, according to Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency. Rescuers and those who treat penguins are divided over the possible causes.

Thiago Muniz, a veterinarian at the Niteroi Zoo, said he thinks overfishing has forced the penguins to swim farther from shore to find fish to eat, "and that leaves them more vulnerable to getting caught up in the strong ocean currents."

But others disagree (warning: Al Gore alert): Biologist Erli Costa of Rio de Janeiro's Federal University said weather patterns could be involved. "I don't think the levels of pollution are high enough to affect the birds so quickly. I think instead we're seeing more young and sick penguins because of global warming."

E-gypped

A recent survey showed that 62 per cent of Egyptian admitting that they sexually harassed women, while 83 per cent of Egyptian women reported having been sexually harassed. Nearly half of women said the abuse occurred daily-- including by touched or ogled by men, having sexually explicit remarks shouted at them, and being openly exposed to men's genitals.

This is the country that tried to deny government ID cards to those in religious minorities, treats being gay (or having AIDS) as a crime, and continues to help the Bush administration conduct torture.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dick Popped Over Breast Incident

42-year-old comic Andy Dick was arrested last week on sexual battery charges. In front of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, Dick pulled down a 17-year-old's shirt and bra and began fondling her breasts. After the arrest, he was found to have marijuana and unprescribed Xanax in his possession. At least he gives good mug shot.

Losing One's Head Over Eviction

A renter in Southern England was so distraught over his eviction notice that he cut off his head with a chainsaw rather than be forced out of his apartment. The government had offered him a comparable new flat, but he just refused to move-- after which the whole affair headed to court.

Forfeiting All Good Sense

Blogger Radley Balko has seized upon a report of unbelievable largess from the Gateway city. Like many law enforcement agencies, the St. Louis Police Department impounds vehicles used in criminal activities-- but what's supposed to happen is that the vehicles are held in safekeeping and then forfeited (and then resold) only when the suspect is actually convicted of a crime.

However, it seems that the St. Louis police were allowing officers and their family members to "rent" confiscated cars free of charge, sometimes for months on end. Officers and their families could also sometimes purchase the confiscated cars at a fraction of the cars' value.

And the whole scheme was uncovered only after the St. Louis Post Dispatch was hot on the trail of the Mayor's 27-year-old drunk-driving daughter, who was going through seized vehicles like candy bars-- crashing one after the other and going back to the impound lot for cheap replacements!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Italy Off-Corsican

If you thought the whole garbage scandal in Naples was the height of Italian opera, you haven't heard the half of it.

Before this week, there came the news that Italy began institutionalizing racial discrimination by fingerprinting gypsies.

Then it was reported that the new nazi-like mayor of Rome decided to ban public eating, drinking, singing and/or "lounging around" in the downtown tourist center of Rome (whatever happened to "wine, women and song"?).

Next, came the story that Sicilian authorities purposely failed a man on his driving test because he was gay. When he passed a second time, they gave him a one-year license (instead of the usual ten) because of his homosexuality.

If nothing could top all of that, shock and outrage hit the Italian airwaves yesterday when photographers captured sunbathers west of Naples enjoying a day at the beach just feet away from the corpses of two gypsy girls who had drowned just minutes earlier.

White Fright, Part II

Tanzania, where belief in the occult is widespread, has continued to see a rise in albino killings and subsequent trafficking of their body parts. Witch doctors believe that the body parts of albinos hold special powers and it is believed that they are paying bounty to roaming gangs who seek out albinos and mutilate them. Albinos are now living in fear in this eastern African country, where a seven-month old baby is the latest victim. What a sick bunch of bastards.

Barack A Lock on Iraq

OK-- let's get this straight. Iraq's Al-Maliki, in a German magazine interview, concurred with Obama's withdrawal proposal, saying that U.S. troops should be out of Iraq by the end of 2010. The Bushies clumsily tried to claim that the Iraqi PM was mis-translated. Unfortunately for them, Der Spiegel used Al-Maliki's own interpreter. By the next day, Al-Maliki's two top deputies confirmed (in English) that Iraq preferred to have U.S. withdrawal by the end of 2010. To put the final nail in the coffin, Der Speigel's interview tapes were provided to the New York Times, who used their own translators to debunk the Bush spin on the story.

In the meantime, McCain's grasp of the situation "borders" on the ludicrous:

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