Mar 27, 2010

Squirrel hijacks vacation snapshot - revisited

We first posted this last August

Just before the camera self-portrait timer clicked a squirrel found its way into the photo.


The Cathedrals quartet sing Going Home

The Cathedral signing group got their name from American television evangelist Rex Humbard’s Cathedral of Tomorrow TV program.

Glen Payne and George Younce were Cathedral members for many years. The group ended their 35-year career in 1999.

Glen Payne passed away on October 15, 1999 at the age of 72. George Younce passed away on April 11, 2005.

Cathedral tenor Ernie Haase went on to form Signature Sound quartet in 2002. The late George Younce, long-time Cathedral bass singer, was Ernie Haase’s father-in-law.

Mar 26, 2010

NY lives up to it’s ‘Naked City’ moniker

New York has been referred to as the Naked City after a black-and-white movie by that name was released in 1948.

Further solidifying the nickname, a 30-minute TV drama on ABC was called Naked City. It began in 1958 and starred craggy-faced actor John McIntire as Police Lieutenant Dan Muldoon.

Now the moniker ‘Naked City’ has taken on a whole new meaning as life-size statues of naked men have been showing up in the city, mostly perched on top of buildings.

Panicked New Yorkers, thinking they are real people about to jump, have called 911 to report possible suicides.

As the last photo shows, they are not all perched atop buildings.

About thirty life-size statues of Antony Gormley's public art exhibition Event Horizon will be displayed in New York City near Madison Square Park from From March 26 to August 15.

The 6-foot tall statues are made of fiberglass and iron that are unmistakably male. The public art installation is the brainchild of British sculptor Antony Gormley, who bares a striking resemblance to the figures. That's because he modeled them after himself.

Bank robbers called ahead to have money ready to pick up

Police in Connecticut say they had ample warning of a bank robbery because the two suspects called the bank ahead of time and told an employee to get a bag of money ready.

Police arrested 27-year-old Albert Bailey and an unidentified 16-year-old boy on robbery and threatening charges Tuesday afternoon at a People's United Bank branch in Fairfield.

Sgt. James Perez says the two Bridgeport residents showed up about 10 minutes after making the call and were met by police in the parking lot. Perez told the Connecticut Post the suspects were "not too bright."


Don’t honk at granny!

Hong Kong smog - surging pollution

Top photo: The Hong Kong skyline is covered in a blanket of smog with air pollution index surging to 479 points in this March 2010 photo.

Lower photo: Hong Kong shown on a clear day in this June 2009 photo.

Convicted murderer found 38 years later operating a wedding chapel

Frank Dryman was convicted of murdering a man who stopped and gave him a ride while hitchhiking in 1951.

After a quick trial in 1955, Dryman was sentenced to be hanged. Later, however, the sentence was changed to life in prison.

He was paroled in 1969 but he disappeared. He was found running a wedding chapel under an assumed name in Arizona 38 years after he skipped out on parole.

The photo on the left was taken in 1955 by the Montana Department of Corrections. The photo on the right was taken March 2010 showing Dryman at the time of his arrest in Arizona.


Just desserts for Madoff?

Bernard Madoff (pictured), who is serving a 150-year sentence in North Carolina for running a fraud scheme that cost investors billions of dollars, was physically assaulted by another inmate in December, according to three people familiar with the matter.

After the attack, Mr. Madoff, who pleaded guilty a year ago and was sent to a federal prison in Butner, N.C., was moved on Dec. 18 to the prison's low-security medical center for treatment.

At the time, the Bureau of Prisons said that rumors of an assault were false and that Mr. Madoff suffered from dizziness and hypertension.

A contradictory report said Mr. Madoff was treated for a broken nose, fractured ribs and cuts to his head and face. This story came from a felon currently at Butner serving time on drug charges who was familiar with his condition at the time. The details of the injuries couldn't be independently verified.

The alleged assault is probably of interest only to investors swindled by Madoff.


Mar 25, 2010

Prince Charles inspects a butchery class

During a visit to Westminster Kingsway College in London, Prince Charles is shown with catering students in a butchery class.

He appears to be saying to the seemingly disinterested students, “grill them up proper and make it snappy!”

To Americans, this inspection appears to be meaningless. However, the Prince really needs to do something to take up his time while he is waiting for his mother the Queen to die so he can begin his life’s work.

Looking at the reality of ObamaCare

From an op-ed article in the Los Angeles Times:

Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership have nationalized healthcare by proxy.

Insurance companies are now heavily regulated government contractors.

The Obama administration has turned the insurance industry into the Blackwater of socialized medicine.

The legislation allocates $10 billion to pay for 16,500 IRS agents who will collect and enforce mandatory "premiums."

From a Lucianne commenter:

The Obama administration is moving right along:

ObamaBanks - check
ObamaCars - check
ObamaCare - check
ObamaCarbonTax - that’s next on the list
ObamaAmnesty - coming soon
ObamaUnionCardCheck - coming soon

Is anything missing from the list above?


Teen gets carpal tunnel from texting

A 16-year-old Illinois teen has carpal tunnel syndrome from sending over 100 test messages a day to family and friends for the last year.

Annie Levitz, who lives near Mundelein, Illinois, is paying the price for a texting habit that sometimes reached 3,500 to 4,000 messages per month on an unlimited plan.

She couldn't wait for her day to end at 3:25 p.m. at Lincolnshire's Stevenson High School where students are banned from sending text messages over their wireless telephones at school. So, the minute Levitz got outside she'd fire texts to her friends and kept at it on many days until 11 p.m., with the lone break coming for dinner.

Daily Herald report is here. Video is here.

Report: Stupak's fall from pro-life grace

Barack Obama played Bart Stupak (pictured) like a fiddle and in the process, the Michigan Congressman had his name turned into a verb in the political dictionary:


Etymology: Eponym for Rep. Bart Stupak.

Function: verb

1: In a legislative process, to obstruct passage of a proposed law on the basis of a moral principle (i.e., protecting the unborn), accumulating power in the process, then at a key moment surrendering in exchange for a fig leaf, the size of which varies according to the degree of emasculation of said legislator and/or as a reflection of just how stupid people are presumed to be. (Slang: backstabber.)

Will Mr. Stupak live it down? In political circles the answer is probably “no.”

There were reportedly many donations sent to Stupak’s district to assist his opponent in the November election within hours of his "yes" vote.

The Washington Post report goes on:

Poor Bart Stupak. The man tried to be a hero for the unborn, and then, when all the power of the moment was in his frail human hands, he dropped the baby.

He genuflected when he should have dug in his heels and gave it up for a meaningless executive order.

Now, in the wake of his decision to vote for a health-care bill that expands public funding for abortion, he is vilified and will forever be remembered as the guy who Stupaked health-care reform and the pro-life movement.

More here

Taking Notes

A man removes worshipers' notes from the crevices of the Western Wall in Jerusalem making room for more notes.

Joe Biden’s pre-existing condition

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Joe Biden makes a return visit to his Shoe-ectomy specialist.

They saved ObamaCare but can Obama save them?

It took all “the kings men” bribing and tweaking laws to make ObamaCare happen. Did they sacrifice their political futures in the process?

Their votes helped deliver President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Now, dozens of Democrats are politically imperiled in a contentious environment where emotions are raw and likely to remain so.

Obama plans to use his political heft—and the momentum of victory—to try to prop up lawmakers who stuck with him during the final days that turned the controversial legislation into the law of the land.

They may need more help he can give them.

Obama promised wavering Democrats, primarily moderates in conservative-leaning districts and states, that they wouldn't be left standing alone if they cast the tough "yes" votes.

In all, 17 Democrats who sided with Obama are seeking re-election in districts that Republican presidential candidate John McCain won in 2008.

They include top GOP targets Perriello in Virginia, Betsey Markey in Colorado, Harry Mitchell in Arizona and Suzanne Kosmas in Florida.

One other moderate Democrat now running for the Senate—Brad Ellsworth in Indiana—voted for the measure, too. He's facing a difficult race in a right-tilting state as Democrats seek to hang onto the seat now held by retiring Sen. Evan Bayh.

The big question is - can Obama save their House and Senate seats?

More here.

Mar 24, 2010

Mobile phone at the 1988 winter Olympics

The photo shows skier Frank Piccard using a mobile phone during the 1988 winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Early cellular phones like this were called “brick phones.” They were the size of a brick and nearly as heavy.

Congressman Dingell: ObamaCare will Control the People

Dingel3 There is a short audio clip at the link below.

In this shocking Audio, Democrat Congressman Dingell (pictured) Says ObamaCare Will Eventually 'Control the People'


SS and Medicare bigger rip-offs than the Madoff Ponzi scheme?

A John Stossel report at the link below says:

Bernie Madoff took money from people who thought he'd invested it, gave some to others who thought it was a partial return on their earlier investments and kept much for himself. That's called a Ponzi scheme, and his $50 billion fraud was called the biggest ever. But it wasn't the biggest. Social Security and Medicare are much bigger ones.

Social Security and Medicare are trillion-dollar scams. Medicare has a $36 trillion unfunded liability. Social Security's is $8 trillion. There's no money to keep those promises.

Congress isn't investigating the SS and Medicare scams because congress runs them.

The FICA money the government took out of your paycheck and put aside for your retirement is gone.

There's nothing left but IOUs backed by nothing.

Your money was spent not only on current retirees but on wars, welfare, corporate bailouts, earmarks and all the other stuff Congress wants. For years, this was possible because the FICA tax brought in surpluses that allowed government to pay retirees more than they contributed and still help buy those other things.

Then came the newly retiring baby boomers. In 2008, for the first time, Medicare and SS paid out more than it took in.

So instead of filling the government's coffers and hiding the real size of the budget deficit, the entitlement programs have now begun to drain the treasury.

Part of the "problem" is that we live longer. When Social Security started, most people didn't live to 65. Now we average 78.

Social Security and Medicare right now consume almost half the federal budget.

Now, with the pork-laden ObamaCare monstrosity, it won’t be long before SS and Medicare swallow the entire federal budget.

As Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, points out: "You literally cannot tax your way out of this problem. It's not mathematically possible. ... You wipe out the middle class."


Former Royal car is up for sale in the UK

The former Royal car is a Jaguar Daimler Majestic V8 LWB - gently used with 14,000 miles on the clock.

The pristine automobile is the former vehicle of Queen Elizabeth II.

The original cost of the car was £65,000 ($97,400) and was used by the Queen between 2001 and 2004.

Jaguar modified the car so the driver's arm rest fits the Queen's Launer handbag in order to keep it upright. Wouldn’t want Her Majesty’s small personal effects spilling out all over the car.


Did Stupak sell his vote for $726,409 in airport grants?

Three airports in the district of Congressman Bart Stupak (pictured) were awarded $726,409 in grants by the Obama Administration just two days before a vote on Obama’s government takeover of healthcare.

Stupak denies the allegation but the timing of the payoff is impossible to deny.


Favorability rating: Pelosi 11% - Reid 8%

Graphics from CBS News


Mar 23, 2010

A ring-nosed anti-government protester joins other supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as they protest in front of a major army base in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nice glasses.

First the voting then the gloating

Mobile phone circa 1940

The US Army Signal Corps communicate via radio in the field during simulated wartime maneuvers.

Texas hacker remotely disables more than 100 cars

More than 100 drivers in Austin, Texas found their cars disabled or the horns honking out of control, after an intruder ran amok in a web-based vehicle-immobilization system normally used to get the attention of consumers delinquent in their auto payments.

Police with Austin’s High Tech Crime Unit on Wednesday arrested 20-year-old Omar Ramos-Lopez, a former Texas Auto Center employee who was laid off last month, and allegedly sought revenge by bricking the cars sold from the dealership’s four Austin-area lots

More here.

The Stupak cave-in

The Stupak amendment to the ObamaCare bill restricted federal funding for abortions. It passed in November, marking the only bipartisan vote in this whole health-care fiasco.

When Bart Stupak (pictured) announced Sunday he was now a "yes" on the health-care bill, six Democrats stood with him. Even that handful would have been enough to defeat the bill. Instead, they accepted the fig leaf of an executive order—and threw away all the hard-won gains they had made.

Now Mr. Stupak has thrown it away. By caving at the last hour, he discredited all who stood with him.

The executive order issued by Obama to restrict government funding for abortions isn’t worth the paper it was written on. An executive order can’t change a law but Stupak fell for it.

Will the Stupak amendment of November, 2009 be referred to as the “stupid amendment” from now on?


Royal inspection

Please don’t sneeze!

Britain's Prince Charles takes a closer look at one of the traditional Tatarian dishes served in a restaurant during his visit to eastern Poland.

Hmm...maybe we should all chip in to buy the Prince a toupée so he can keep the back of his head warm.

Time Magazine photo

Billboard: Obama worse than Carter

A billboard in Grand Junction, Colorado takes a swipe at Barack Obama. The sign shows a picture of Jimmy Carter and says, “They can’t call me the worst president anymore!”

(click on photo to enlarge)

The statement on the billboard may be hard to deny. The sigh was commissioned by businessmen who obviously agree with those who say Barack Obama is becoming Jimmy Carter even faster that Jimmy Carter became Jimmy Carter.

The billboard was paid for by local businesses who want to remain anonymous.


Federal employees owe $1Billion in back taxes!

A CBS News report says around 100,000 federal employees owe the U.S. roughly $1 billion in back taxes and one Republican lawmaker thinks they should pay up or lose their jobs.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has introduced a bill that would seek out and terminate federal workers with "seriously delinquent tax debt" while also preventing the hire of any new employees who owe money to the IRS.

"If you get to the point where the government is putting a lien on their property and they've exhausted their appeals ... the right thing to do is fire them as a federal worker," he told ABC. "If you're going to take federal tax dollars, you should be paying your federal taxes."

More here.

Mar 22, 2010

There are ObamaCare winners and losers

ObamaCare winner

ObamaCare loser

Guinness Record longest running TV ad

A delightful commercial showing a little old lady throwing a tire through a tire store window is the longest running TV commercial according to Guinness World Records.

Joining the ranks of Charmin's Mr. Whipple, Wendy's affable founder Dave Thomas and the Lonely Maytag Repairman, is the little old lady from the Discount Tire ad.

Not only is the Discount Tire ad a winner - it’s funny and it’s also short - only a few seconds long!

It’ll only hurt for the next century or two

CNN weekend poll: bad news for Obama

While the Obama and the Democrats were cramming ObamaCare through the House, CNN's Opinion Research surveyors were hard at work over the weekend during the final hours of the successful push to win House approval of the Senate version of ObamaCare.

The results of the CNN/OR survey are out and they point to the most vivid reality of the ObamaCare victory - 219 House Democrats were willing to flout the clear majority of Americans on this issue.

Following are the major initial points of interest in the CNN/OR results:

* 59% oppose the Democrats’ health care bill, while only 39% favor it.

* 70% say the federal budget deficit will go up under the Democrats’ health care bill; only 12% believe it will go down.

* 56% say the bill creates “too much government involvement in the nation's health care system,” 28% say about the right amount, while 16% say not enough.

* 62% say they'll pay more for medical care under the Democrats’ health care bill.

* 47% say they and their families will be worse off under the Democrats’ health care bill; 33% say things will be about the same, and only 19% think they’ll be better off.

* 45% say seniors on Medicare will be worse off; 34% say things will be about the same, and only 20% think they’ll be better off.


The creative staircase

Staircase in B♭ minor?

China sandstorm turns Beijing sky orange

Beijing is shrouded in orange dust from a sandstorm originating from drought-struck northern China hundreds of miles away.

The authorities have issued a level-five pollution warning and urged people to stay indoors.

In Tiananmen Square, clouds of dust obscured monuments and visitors wore masks to avoid the dust and soil.

The storm has already caused havoc in Xinjiang, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei regions and is heading to South Korea.


List: what ObamaCare will do to you

The link below has a list of 20 ways ObamaCare will take away our freedoms.

The bill is supposed to provide us with security. Instead, it will result in skyrocketing insurance costs and many of the better physicians will leave the field, making it harder to afford and find medical care.

As the report at the link below says:

We may be about to live Benjamin Franklin’s adage, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”


Distracted TV news lady fights back

Bill Clinton in rare form at annual Gridiron Dinner

Former President Bill Clinton made a return to Washington’s public life, if only temporarily.

He spoke to the annual Gridiron Dinner as a stand-in for Barack Obama and poked fun at nearly everyone in sight - including himself.

Mr. Clinton, known to friend and foe alike as a gifted political orator, showed he hasn’t lost much in that category in the nine years since he left the White House.

Presidential speeches to the Gridiron—an organization of Washington journalists—are supposed to be humorous, and Mr. Clinton knew the drill well from his time as a regular dinner guest during his term.

So he got loosened up at Saturday night’s white-tie dinner with a joke at his own expense: “I have been waiting to stand in for President Obama for a long time,” he said, “ and since they turned me down for Dancing with the Stars, I had nothing better to do.”

Besides himself, Clinton had fun with others:

Barack Obama

Clinton said Obama couldn’t make the dinner because he was too busy polishing up his Nobel Peace Prize.


Mr. Clinton said he suggested to Obama that he at least come and appear before the journalists assembled at the dinner anyway, to pitch his health bill again, but then added, in a reference to the senior status of journalists in the Gridiron Club, that he realized “they’re so old they won’t be helped by what’s in there.”

Al Gore

Bill Clinton said he was speaking on the night before the start of spring, “otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming.”

Joe Biden

God bless his mouth.

Senator Orrin Hatch

Clinton praised a speech given earlier in the dinner by the night’s Republican speaker, Orrin Hatch: “Orrin, he’s the wittiest of all the Republicans. That’s sort of like saying he’s the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs.”


Stupak helps pass ObamaCare 219 to 212

From a report at the first link below:

At 10:48 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, the United States House of Representatives passed the Senate ObamaCare bill with 219 yay votes and 212 nays.

The Stupak cave-in turned out to be critical. Nancy Pelosi got her “historic” victory, as did President Obama. House Democrats began chanting, “Yes we can.”

What brought about the Stupak cave-in?

Barack Obama signed an executive order intended to prevent government funding for abortion.

In the past an executive order could not change a law. Will rules be changed to make it happen now?

Was Congressman Stupak (pictured) so naïve as to think that the executive order would really hold up?

Hard to say, but one thing is for sure, he is thankful that Barack Obama gave him an alibi, to give his constituents for his “yes” vote on ObamaCare, abortion language and all.

Link here and here.

Mar 21, 2010

Anyone really know what’s in the ObamaCare bill?

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

House Rules Committee still debating

The photo below shows the House Rules Committee debating Sunday morning before the vote on ObamaCare.

Among issues that the House Rules Committee will have to contend with is how the bill addresses insurance coverage of abortions.

But then, as Congressman Alcee Hastings says in the video below, “There are no rules here ... we make them up as we go along..."

By the way...

Congressman Alcee Hastings, previous to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, was a lawyer and judge in Florida.

As a judge, he was impeached and removed from office for corruption and perjury. He was the sixth federal judge in American history to be impeached and removed from office.

The impeachment, however, did not prevent him from serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Alcee Hastings impeachment story is here.

Dan Rather on ObamaCare

An article linked to below reports on Dan Rather’s appearance on MSNBC Friday:

Dan Rather (pictured) was on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC borefest last night when he said, ‘I think it — not seems to be, I think it will be. It will be the signature achievement of this first term, perhaps the only term, but a signature achievement of President Obama`s this term.’

He followed that up with his belief that if health care reform passes, ‘ I expect it will be in the first paragraph of President Obama`s obituary.’ And then goes on to point out that it could very well be a one-term presidency.

It is interesting to note that the report calls Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program a “borefest.” At least she manages to stay ahead of Anderson “cold oatmeal” Cooper (second link below).

The Dan Rather comment is here. Cable News program recent ranking list is here.

She wants to be world’s fattest woman

Donna Simpson, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, loves to show off her body in front of the cameras.

What makes Donna different from other online pin up girls, Donna is a 43-stone (603 lbs) mother of two.

Photo shows Donna Simpson eating at a McDonald’s in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

Donna, who wears size XXXXXXXL clothes, is on her way to becoming the world's fattest woman.

She is already in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest woman in the world to give birth.

Donna's goal is to reach 72 stone (900 lbs) but she thinks this may not be practical.


Ohio Congressman complicates count for Democrats

A Cleveland, Ohio newspaper reports:

After hearing out everyone from President Obama to tea party activists, Dover Democrat Zack Space (pictured) announced today that he'll oppose the health care reform bill that's up for a vote on Sunday in the House of Representatives.

Space, who represents a sprawling southeast Ohio congressional district with a high concentration of Republicans, said he doesn't like the bill, and his constituents don't like it, either.

How many other Democrat Congressmen from moderate or conservative districts will decide last minute to vote no rather than face election defeat in November?

His reasons for changing his vote can be found here.