Aug 7, 2010

Siberian tiger learning to play soccer?

A Siberian tiger plays with a soccer ball at the zoo in Leipzig, eastern Germany.

But where are the vuvuzela horns?

Come out and enjoy the weekend

Gaither Homecoming group sings On the Jericho Road

Health inspectors force 7-year-old girl to shut down lemonade stand

A 7-year-old girl was forced to stop selling lemonade by Oregon authorities.

Julie Murphy operated a lemonade stand at a community event called Last Thursday art fair in Portland, Oregon. However, because she violated the law and didn’t have a $120 temporary restaurant license, she was forced to close.

The photo shows Julie at her lemonade stand among other Last Thursday art fair vendors before she was shut down.

It turns out that Under the law, any lemonade stand, even one on your front lawn, must be licensed under state law.

One official said, "when you go to a public event and set up shop, you're suddenly engaging in commerce. The fact that you're small-scale I don't think is relevant."

By selling lemonade for 50 cents a glass she risked a fine of $500.

After the lemonade stand got squeezed out, the county’s top elected official, county Chairman Jeff Cogen, apologized for the sour treatment Julie got.

More here.

Aug 6, 2010

The Bret Favre retirement soap opera

Slate Magazine has a humorous "Bret Favre retirement curve" chart at the link below.

Beginning in January 2006, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre said that if he "had to pick right now and make a decision, I'd say I'm not coming back."

That was the first of five consecutive seasons in which Favre has insinuated, at one point or another, that he's going to stop playing football.

Since then Favre has had a faux retirement after faux retirement.

His last faux retirement came last Tuesday when he reportedly texted his Viking teammates, "This is it."

Then, true to form, he told ESPN's Ed Werder that he'd play if his bad ankle didn't fail him.

More on the Favre retirement/unretirement soap opera here.

Anger over Michelle's $380,000 Spanish vacation paid by US taxpayers

A report at the link below says:

Michelle Obama (pictured) today faced a fresh wave of attacks over her lavish break in Spain with 40 friends which has cost U.S. taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

The First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

The exact cost of the trip is unclear as Mrs. Obama, 46, and her friends are footing personal expenses - including accommodation at Marbella's five-star Hotel Villa Padierna - themselves.

However, U.S. taxpayers will pick up the tab for the First Lady's 68-strong security detail, her personal staff - and the use of presidential jet Air Force Two.

The cost for the secret service team will run about $95,000 for the length of the vacation.

Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at $145,835 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.

The American public will also cover the cost of the only official part of the holiday, a visit to the Spanish royal family on the island of Majorca.

A conservative estimate for the vacation for Michelle and her daughter puts the total amount at more than $380,000.

White House press secretary Robin Gibbs was asked at a briefing if there were any concerns about how the visit was being viewed by the public.

'The First Lady is on a private trip,' he said. 'She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. I think I'd leave it at that.'

Even so, anger is mounting in the U.S. as the First Lady will have enjoyed eight vacations by the end of the summer!


Does he bite?

A dinosaur balloon is being inflated at the 16th-annual Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta in Leipzig, Germany.

Will Tiger Woods ever come back? Cards a 74 at Firestone

Tiger Woods is shown at right reacting to an errant shot during the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Woods carded his career worst score at Firestone, a shocking four-over-par 74 in the opening round.

Tiger Woods has dominated the World Golf Championships event, winning it seven times at Firestone Country Club, but he was completely off his game in ideal conditions.

He hit only five fairways in a wayward driving performance and the rest of his game was just as bad as he finished the day ahead of only eight players.

It was his worst score by two strokes in 45 competitive rounds at Firestone.


Senate confirms Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan (pictured) Thursday as the Supreme Court's 112th justice and fourth woman on the bench.

She will succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens by a vote of 63-37.

Kagan isn't expected to alter the ideological balance of the court, where Stevens was considered a leader of the liberals.


Aug 5, 2010

London street art

These shop shutters were painted by artist Ben Eine, the brighten up the Middlesex Street estate in London.

Ben Eine is the former graffiti artist, whose real name is Ben Flynn.

California gay marriage ban reversed

The gay marriage ban in California has been reversed by Judge Vaughn R. Walker (pictured).

The gay marriage ban was the well-publicized Proposition 8 that was passed by California voters in 2008.

One Wednesday, one judge voided more than 7,000,000 California voters.

Two questions come to mind:

1. Will Judge Walker's ruling be challenged and taken to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually to the United States Supreme Court?

2. Did Judge Walker's personal sexual orientation influence his decision? An article at the second link below reports that Judge Walker is gay.

To many the obvious answer to both questions is yes.

Link here and here.

Rescue dog in training

A search and rescue dog leaps through the arms of his trainer from the Engineering Regiment of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during a demonstration at a military base on the outskirts of Beijing.

Feds admit storing naked body scans

The naked body scanned images were never stored or recorded - or so we were told.

For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed.

The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all.

The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.


Aug 4, 2010

Missouri voters overwhelmingly reject ObamaCare

Missouri voters soundly rejected the ObamaCare insurance mandate. Other states are sure to follow.

From a report at the link below:

Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, rebuking President Barack Obama's administration and giving Republicans their first political victory in a national campaign to overturn the controversial health care law passed by Congress in March.

This is the first domino to fall as Republicans plan an overhaul of ObamaCare when new members of the House and Senate take office in January.

It will depend on how much of a majority Republicans have in Congress whether Obama can safely veto bills that reverse key parts of ObamaCare and still get re-elected in 2012.

This 71% vote in Missouri will encourage other states to do the same.

Link here and here.

Wendy's robber calls back to complain

A man who robbed a fast-food restaurant with a gun was so mad about the amount of loot that he called back to complain - twice. He said "next time there better be more than $586."

The man walked up to the drive-through window of an Atlanta Wendy's wearing a ski mask and holding a gun.

He demanded the cash drawer, grabbed it and ran away.


Diplomatic blunder corrected just in time for Michelle's Spain visit

From a report at the link below:

The Obama administration faced an embarrassing diplomatic blunder today after it was forced to pull a warning about racism in Spain - just as the First Lady (pictured) arrived in the country for a summer holiday.

Staff at the U.S. State Department removed the contentious advice to travelers, which included the phrase 'racist prejudices could lead to the arrest of Afro-Americans who travel to Spain,' on Monday.

The Obama administration has been quick to bring up racism at every turn. This time it nearly bit them back.

How long will it take Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to smooth this over?


Crown shaped lunchboxes at Denver International Airport

Drivers on their way to Denver International Airport have new sights.

A DIA spokesperson says the corrugated metal and plastic sculptures represent clouds.

Could have fooled us. We thought they look more like crown shaped lunchboxes sitting on large blue scaffold's.

The crown shaped lunchboxes…er…cloud sculptures are part of the airport's public art program and will be on display for at least a year. Aficionados of corrugated metal and plastic clouds will be happy.


Is your car on the list of 10 most stolen new vehicles

CNNMoney has a list of new vehicles that thieves target the most based on an analysis by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Once again the blinged-out Cadillac Escalade SUV, a favorite of the rich and famous like Tiger Woods, is the vehicle voted most likely to be stolen.

The list is shown below:

1. Cadillac Escalade

2. Chevrolet Silverado

3. Dodge Charger

4. Chevrolet Avalanche

5. Infiniti G37 Coupe

6. GMC Sierra Crew Cab

7. Nissan Maxima

8. Hummer H2

9. GMC Yukon XL 4WD

10. Chevrolet Tahoe


Rangel and Waters ethical woes fog Democrat hopes in November

Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters (pictured above) and their ethical problems will be problematic for Democrats in November.

Two possible ethics trials of senior Democrat members of Congress are compounding the governing party's political woes and raising hopes among Republican leaders that they can make large gains in November's mid-term elections.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said on Fox News that Democrats had failed to "drain the swamp" of House ethics as they had promised.

How could Pelosi drain the swamp if the two biggest alligators refuse to budge?

More of the story here

Poll: confidence in Congress dips to 11%

Gallup finds that Congress ranks last in confidence in institutions.

Gallup's 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll finds Congress ranking dead last out of the 16 institutions rated this year.

Eleven percent of Americans say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress, down from 17% in 2009 and a percentage point lower than the previous low for Congress, recorded in 2008.

Underscoring Congress' image problem, half of Americans now say they have "very little" or no confidence in Congress, up from 38% in 2009 -- and the highest for any institution since Gallup first asked this question in 1973. Previous near-50% readings include 48% found for the presidency in 2008, and 49% for the criminal justice system in 1994.


Aug 3, 2010

Fleeing driver easy to nab: police said she stopped at red lights

Cincinnati police said a speeding driver tried to flee arrest while obeying red lights.

Police said a 26-year-old woman was going 78 mph in a 55 mph zone on Interstate 75 when an officer tried to pull her over.

Police say that when the woman reached local streets, she drove the speed limit and stopped at red lights. They used sticks that punctured her tires, just yards from her home.

Police said she resisted, and they used a stun gun before charging her with resisting arrest, failing to comply with police, speeding and driving under suspension.


Harman buys Newsweek for $1 - did he overpay?

According to reports, Sindey Harman (pictured) will buy Newsweek magazine from Washington Post Company for the nominal amount of one dollar.

It sounds like the plot for a film. A billionaire plunks down $1 and walks away with a piece of American history.

Sidney Harman, a man who built his fortune selling sound equipment, is going to be the new owner of Newsweek magazine.

The one dollar price tag, however, is only part of the story.

Harman has agreed to assume the liabilities of the financially troubled left-wing rag.

Good news for the worker bees at Newsweek. The New York Times recently reported that Harman would "keep the vast majority of Newsweek's 325 employees" in place, including managers and editors.

It looks like, instead of going belly up, Newsweek will continue to rant against conservative politicians as well as continue to be one of Mr. Obama's most active cheerleaders.


Chillin' out with Kermit the frog

A man cools off in his inflatable boat with a Kermit the Frog stuffed toy on English Bay in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Gulf seafood declared safe; fishermen are skeptical

The government has declared seafood from some parts of the oil-fouled Gulf safe to eat.

According to a report at the link below, the government has based their decision in part on human smell tests. The rule "if it stinks don't eat it" is not very scientific.

Some Gulf fishermen are questioning whether the fish and shrimp are OK to feed to their own families.

The photo shows a plane spraying dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico.

One fisherman asked, "if I put fish in a barrel of water and poured oil and Dove detergent over that, and mixed it up, would you eat that fish? I wouldn't feed it to you or my family. I'm afraid someone's going to get sick."

More here.

Georgia Democrats scattered when Obama came to town

Barack Obama flew into Atlanta Monday morning.

If you thought it was a time for Democrats running for office to rally around the chief executive -- you'd have been wrong.

Former Governor Roy Barnes was not available to meet Mr. Obama. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate was in south Georgia- - far from Atlanta.

In Houston County, Mr. Barnes had breakfast with peach and pecan farmers.

Barnes said, "I'd rather be with these folks, if you want to know the truth, I'm not running for governor of Washington D.C. I'm running for governor of Georgia."

Democrats running for office in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts found that Mr. Obama did not help them with his personal appearances.


Aug 2, 2010

EPA to regulate farm dust? You gotta be kidding!

Is this more proof this presidential administration is out of touch with reality?

From a report at the link below:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust, so senators have signed a letter addressing their concerns on the possible regulations.

The letter dated July 23 to the EPA states, "If approved, would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation's history."

1. Is this about more control for the Obama administration?

2. Is this a new way to generate revenue by charging farmers a dust tax?

3. Will Obama appoint a Dust Czar to oversee the control of farm dust?

4. All of the above.

Number 4 is likely the correct answer.

Let's hope enough sensible Senators come to the aid of farmers to get this dust up watered down!

Link here and here.

This wont hurt a bit

The photo shows a dentist office display inside a museum in Jenin Palestinian. The museum depicts daily life in Palestine. A museum worker can be seen in the background.

Speaking of dental work … Winston Churchill's teeth

Shown below is a partial set of dentures used by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill after they were sold at auction in Aylesdham, England for 15,200 pounds ($23,723.)

The upper dentures, one of several sets specially made for the wartime prime minister, were crucial for maintaining his distinctively slurred speaking style famous from World War II-era radio broadcasts.

The dentures were bought by a British collector of Churchill memorabilia, at three times the estimated price.

Does the geezer bandit have a fan club?

From reports at the links below:

He's not Bonnie, nor is he Clyde. Also not Dillinger or D.B. Cooper.

But San Diego's Geezer Bandit (shown below) has caught the fancy of the media and the public after 11 bank robberies in the last year.

Tellers who have had contact with the robber say he is between 60 and 70 years old and that he's all business when he flashes a gun and demands money.

Fans have set up a website and may hawk gear inspired by the apparently older man robbing San Diego banks. But public fascination with bank robbers is nothing new.

The authorities are not amused.

Link here and here.

Ethics battles pose Democrat partywide threat

Democrat Representatives Charles B. Rangel (shown on left) and Maxine Waters (shown on right) are defiantly pushing for full-fledged ethics trials putting the focus on Congressional corruption this fall.

This will not help Democrats as they are fighting to hold on to their majority in an election already defined by distrust of Washington.

Neither Rangel nor Waters face serious electoral challenges in November. However the focus on corruption in Washington will have a serious negative impact on other Democrats in close electoral battles this fall.


Aug 1, 2010

The London bike rental system

London mayor Boris Johnson is intent on reinventing the wheel as he is spending nearly £140 million ($218 million) to encourage more Londoners to get on two wheels with a cycle-hire program that puts up to 5,000 bikes on London streets.

The initiative, funded by Transport for London, sponsored by Barclays, and operated by Serco, could lose almost $8 million a year, according to Kulveer Ranger, Johnson’s transportation adviser.

Riders would pay about $9 for a two-hour rental or $78 for a full day. The first 30 minutes are free but how far can you go in 30 minutes?

Barcelona, Paris, and Brussels are have already introduced public cycle-rental systems.

More here.

Soccer ball boats used during the World Cup

This oversize soccer ball is actually a boat -- one of 16 built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Each ball/boat is equipped with a mini-bar, plasma screens and comfortable seating.

A humorous look at a really bad Cable News Network

The article at the link below is fun read satirizing the cellar dwelling MSNBC.

The spoof says MSNBC will be changing its name to MPTV.

One commenter had this suggestion:

Maybe they should call it KKKTV in honor of the late Senator Robert Byrd who was a Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.

From yet another commenter:

You can change the name, but the underlying lying is still the same.

Anyway, the article at the link below is a humorous spoof of a really bad Cable News Network, MSNBC.

A couple of excerpts:

Faced with years of disaster-level ratings, MSNBC has announced it will change its name to MPTV, Microsoft Progressive Television (the Microsoft name was kept because, well you don’t want to upset Microsoft). Along with the name change is a more family friendly TV lineup.

For example in the late morning there will be a block of game shows, the most promising of which is based on the health care bill and called Take the Money or Let Granny Die. Contestants will be offered the chance to guarantee the funds of their social security retirement plans if they agree to withhold expensive medical treatment from an aging grandparent or other elderly relative.

And don't ya love the photo of a protesting toothless granny holding a sign saying, "Bush Stole My Dentures!"

And this quote is as rich as it is funny:

There are even Sitcoms on this new version of MSNBC. My favorite is called Everybody Hates Keith.

Follow the comedic exploits of arrogant superstar Keith Olbermann as he goes through the day realizing that his opponents hate him, but not understanding that his “friends,” co-workers, family and even his parish priest despise the very sight of him.


Ted Nugent speaks his mind about Mr. Obama

At the link below there is an article by Ted Nugent in The Washington Times.

Uncle Ted does not mince words when he writes:

Barack Hussein Obama did not sneak into power.

An army of clueless, disconnected, ignorant Americans invited him to bring his Marxist, glaringly anti-American jihad into our lives.

And that's just the beginning.

Nugent goes on from there voicing what more and more Americans have been thinking and saying since the January 2009 Inauguration.