Jan 29, 2011

Cars litter snowy road

Cars stuck in the snow litter the George Washington Parkway in McLean, Virginia, after a heavy snow storm blanketed the northeast.

Piano replaced by table for 2 on Biscayne Bay sandbar

Will the Biscayne Bay sandbar now be a magnet for pranksters?

A baby grand piano was hauled away from a sandbar in Biscayne Bay Thursday, but it didn't take long before something else took its place.

On Friday morning, a table for two with tablecloth, a bottle of wine, roses and a man dressed as a chef standing next to it has replaced the piano on the sandbar in Biscayne Bay.

It's not known who is behind the latest prank on the bay. By noon, the new arrangement was gone, and it was unclear how it was removed or where it went.


Photo: trudging across a frozen river in China

A man walks across a frozen river in China's northeastern Liaoning province.

California mayor wants to broadcast bird songs

R. Rex Parris the mayor of Lancaster, California has proposed the idea broadcasting bird sounds during his State of the City talk on Monday.

It may sound like a bird-brained idea, but the mayor of this Mojave Desert city wants to brighten the streets by broadcasting recorded bird songs.

The Antelope Valley Press says Parris wants to play the bird chatter from loudspeakers on Lancaster Boulevard. The mayor says there's science to show that listening to birdsong makes people happier.

Parris is known for his flamboyant ideas. Check this out:

He got a law passed giving the Southern California city the right to castrate pit bulls, ordered city officials to learn the Mandarin language in a bid to woo Chinese business, and riled some people by saying he was growing Lancaster into a Christian community.

We do like the bird song idea. Cirp, chirp.


Jan 28, 2011

Dog guarding treasure found 2000 later

The remains of a guard dog about the size of a German Shepherd has been found at the site of one of Britain’s most important Iron Age excavations.

Archaeologists have unearthed the skeleton of what is believed to be Britain’s oldest guard dog, which was sacrificed to protect a hoard of buried treasure.

He has lain underground for 2,000 years, loyally doing his duty.

It is believed an ancient tribe, the Corieltauvi, who lived in Britain before the Roman conquest, killed then buried the dog between AD1 and AD50 so its spirit could protect the stockpile.


Remembering the Challenger disaster 25 years later

(click on photo to enlarge)

An official portrait shows the STS-51L crewmembers. Back row (L to R): Mission Specialist, Ellison S. Onizuka, Teacher in Space Participant Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist, Greg Jarvis and Mission Specialist, Judy Resnik. Front row (L to R): Pilot Mike Smith, Commander, Dick Scobee and Mission Specialist, Ron McNair.

Video of Challenger disaster 25 years ago

Mystery sandbar piano in 'photo of the day' photo shoot

The mystery piano, found on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, is used in a 'photo of the day' photo shoot before it was removed from the sandbar.

Piano on Florida sandbar mystery solved

The mystery surrounding the appearance of a grand piano on a sandbar in the middle of Miami's Biscayne Bay has been solved.

The Miami Herald reported that 16-year-old Nicholas Harrington - son of 'Burn Notice' production designer J. Mark Harrington - had planned to make a promotional video using the piano.

The plan went awry on New Year's Eve when party-goers lowered it into a canal and set it on fire. The next day, the family placed it on a 6.71m fishing boat and dumped it on the sandbar.

The grand piano was said to be a 'movie prop' piano rather than a serious musical instrument.

The teen said he is super happy about the attention the piano has received in recent days


= = = = = U P D A T E = = = = =

The piano is now gone after authorities ordered it removed from the sandbar.

Pelosi used AF planes 43 times for 90155 miles in 2010

Judicial Watch has uncovered new documents showing that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (shown on right) logged 43 flights on Air Force planes covering 90,155 miles from January to October 2010. During this time her Republican counterpart John Boehner (shown on left) flew commercial airlines.

Judicial Watch also previously uncovered internal Department of Defense (DOD) email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker’s last minute cancellations and changes.

For example, in response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one DOD official wrote, "Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?...[T]here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case'..."

The email also notes that Pelosi's office had, "a history of canceling many of their past requests."


Jan 27, 2011

10 states developing birth proof for presidential candidates

Barack Obama will need to show proof of native birth in at least 10 states for his name to be on the ballot as a presidential candidate in 2012.

Arizona may have the most advanced plan, but 10 of the United States – controlling 107 Electoral College votes – are now considering some type of legislation that would plug the hole in federal election procedures that in 2008 allowed Barack Obama to be nominated, elected and inaugurated without providing proof of his qualifications under the U.S. Constitution.

They aren't the simple legislation such as that adopted in New Hampshire a year ago that requires an affidavit from a candidate stating that the qualifications – age, residency and being a "natural born citizen" – have been met. It will take a bona fide birth certificate.

In Georgia, for example, HB37 by Rep. Bobby Franklin not only demands original birth-certificate documentation, it provides a procedure for and declares that citizens have "standing" to challenge the documentation.


Goggle Head sculpture

Collection owner Chris Ingram looks at Elisabeth Frink's 1969 sculpture 'Goggle Head' at Sotheby's on January 12, 2011 in London.

Journalist recants Obama birth record story

A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives.

Mike Evans told FoxNews.com on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (pictured).

Translation: he recanted his story because of pressure by Governor Abercrombie as a result of pressure on Abercrombie from the Obama administration.

Evans, who says he has been a close friend of Abercrombie since the 1980s, appeared on Minnesota’s KQRS radio last week and said he’d been told by the governor himself that Obama’s birth certificate was nowhere to be found.


Estes Park Colorado motel lands on 'dirty' list

Germophobes and clean freaks may want to check out the latest list from TripAdvisor.com before booking their next vacation.

This is the sixth year the company has complied the list. TripAdvisor.com says New York City's repeat offender, the Hotel Carter, has made the dirty hotel list for five of the last six years.

TripAdvisor.com's 2011 Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels in the US:

1. Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

2. Jack London Inn - Oakland, California

3. Desert Inn Resort - Daytona Beach, Florida

4. Hotel Carter - New York City, New York

5. Polynesian Beach & Golf Resort - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

6. Atlantic Beach Hotel - Miami Beach, Florida

7. Rodeway Inn - Williamsville, New York

8. Super 8 - Estes Park, Colorado

9. Palm Grove Hotel and Suites - Virginia Beach, Virginia

10. Econo Lodge Newark International Airport - Elizabeth, New Jersey


Chilling account of Tucson gunman's premeditation

An ABC report has found that Jared Loughner considered every aspect of the assault including the likely punishment before he went on his deadly rampage.

The 22-year-old Loughner used his home computer to browse a website with information about the effects of lethal injection.

He appeared to want to know what death by injection felt like.

Lethal injection is the method of capital punishment imposed by the federal government.

Loughner also allegedly browsed the Internet for information about solitary confinement and, perhaps more disturbingly, an official said, he had been researching political assassins.

It all paints a dark picture of cold-blooded forethought, sources said, and an obsession with assassinating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was shot in the head but survived the attack.

Police previously released details about items confiscated from Loughner, including notes with the words, "I planned ahead," "Giffords," and "my assassination."

All evidence of cold-blooded premeditation.


Liberals lament the Obama move to center

A report at the link below says Barack Obama plans to play up a bright future with congressional Republicans by channeling his 2008 campaign message of post-partisanship in his State of the Union but the liberal wing of his party isn’t quite seeing the light.

They don't like the centrist talk from Barack Obama which started right after the drubbing taken by Congressional Democrats on November 2.

(From left above) Anthony Weiner, Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich hope the president won't pivot too far.

Obama only has two choices.

He can stay as he has always been - a traditional tax-and-spend liberal and be a one-term President.

Or he can move to the center just enough to convince enough Republicans and Independents that he deserves there votes in 1012.

Obama really has no other options.


Jan 26, 2011

Congressman Kucinich suing cafeteria for bad olive

Democrat Congressman from Ohio Dennis Kucinich is suing four venders that supply the Congressional cafeteria because he bit into a sandwich wrap containing an unpitted olive, resulting in a cracked tooth.

When asked whether he could confirm or comment on the suit, a spokesman with Kucinich told ABC News "no comment, sorry" and abruptly ended the phone call.

Kucinich is shown at right with his third wife Elizabeth.

A complaint filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia says Kucinich suffered "serious and permanent dental and oral injuries" in the incident and asserts that the tainted wrap was “unwholesome and unfit for human consumption, in that it was represented to contain pitted olives, yet unknown to plaintiff contained an unpitted olive.”

He said he is entitled to recover damages, "including but not limited to past and future dental and medical expenses, compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment and other damage."

The suit is said to be in the amount of $150,000 and that he is entitled to recover damages, "including but not limited to past and future dental and medical expenses, compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment and other damage."

A cheeky affair. Loss of enjoyment indeed.


Biscayne Bay grand mystery as piano appears on sandbar

A grand piano has appeared on the highest point of a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay.

The photo shows a Coast Guard vessel inspecting the piano.

CNN has some pun fun with the story:

Call it the latest piano bar, a large-scale mystery, or a whole new set of Florida Keys.

Anyway, in Miami's Biscayne Bay, a grand piano has appeared -- perched on the highest point of a sandbar.

"We don't know how the piano got out there, we don't know who's responsible for putting the piano out there and at this point it's clearly a mystery," said Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

And for now, it's staying put. Authorities told CNN they have no plans to remove it.

"What will probably happen is that the piano will just disintegrate because of the salt water and the salt air," said Pino, adding that it will not harm the wildlife.


The real state of the union…

Obama's Sputnik speech

In the President's 'spaced out' speech, he ignored the communist challenge, among other things, in his space-race analogy.

President Obama's announcement on Tuesday that “this is our generation’s Sputnik moment” came across as puzzling.

Had al Qaeda sent a suicide bomber into space?

But it turned out to be just a clumsy metaphor.

If you are younger than 57 years old you weren't even born when the first Sputnik was launched.

It is a now distant event that no longer arouses passion. It would be as if someone described the Watergate scandal as that generation’s Teapot Dome. Few would know what he was talking about.

Nothing has happened recently that could be roughly analogous to Sputnik. The launch drew its shock value from the context of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was America’s bitter adversary.

What the President really needs is a less "spaced out" speech writer.


Report: Why Olbermann may never return to sports broadcasting

If you're a sports fan and hoping Keith Olbermann (pictured) will return to sports broadcasting -- don't hold your breath.

Looks like Olbermann has burned too many bridges behind him. What he hasn't burned employers have.

SportsGrid reported Saturday that it’s unlikely that Olbermann will go back to ESPN and has also exhausted his options with Fox as an employment option, having ended his tenure at Fox Sports Net with News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch firing him and calling him “crazy.”

Other examples of the 'minefield' Olbermann left in his wake as he moved from job to job:

Olbermann, who anchored at ESPN from 1992 to 1997 and co-hosted a radio show in 2005, instigated trouble while employed there. In 1997, he was suspended for two weeks after making an unauthorized appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” During the appearance, Olbermann made negative comments about Bristol, Connecticut, ESPN’s headquarters. Olbermann said Bristol was a “godforsaken place.”

While delivering Cornell University’s 1998 commencement address, Olbermann told graduates that his ESPN position gave him “dry heaves” and would “make [him] ashamed, make [him] depressed, make [him] cry.”

After ESPN, Olbermann had a three-year stint with Fox Sports Net, but was fired by Murdoch, who called him crazy.

Olbermann's problems with women are also well known:

In 2002, Olbermann wrote in a Salon.com column that he was shocked and sorry to learn that he’d previously brought fellow anchor Suzy Kolber to tears while at ESPN.

“I now read with horror of my ESPN2 co-host, Ms. Kolber, sequestering herself in the women’s bathroom and weeping over how I treated her,” Olbermann wrote.

During a 2007 appearance on the “Late Show,” host David Letterman asked Olbermann, “What is it about you? You seem to burn bridges wherever you leave.”

Olbermann replied “I don’t burn bridges, I burn rivers. If you burn a bridge, you can possibly build a new bridge, but if there’s no river any more, that’s a lot of trouble. I just try to run the place.”

In that same interview, Olbermann added that he was banned from ESPN’s main campus in Bristol.

It looks like Olbermann is his own worst enemy. Burning rivers indeed.


Ice encased car in NY East Village

A leaky pipe beneath a Manhattan street encased a parked car in ice and caused the pavement to sink.

East Second Street between First and Second Avenues is like a glacier as layers of thick cascading ice cover the block. Beneath the frozen tundra sits an Audi A3 completely encased in six inches of ice.

“I’ve never seen anything like that, it’s like an ice sculpture,” a woman said.

The owner of the car, is taking the situation in stride. “It could be worse like if that was me or a family member covered in ice that wouldn’t be good; so it’s all relative.”


State of the Union message…

Fact checking the Obama speech…

The report below is titled: Fact Check: Obama and his imbalanced ledger.

Two examples from the report:

OBAMA: "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."

THE FACTS: Republicans may be forgiven if this offer makes them feel like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football, only to have it pulled away, again.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

OBAMA: "To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations."

THE FACTS: With that comment, Obama missed another chance to embrace the tough medicine proposed by the commission for bringing down the deficit. For example, he ruled out slashing benefits or partially privatizing the program, and made no reference to raising the retirement age. That left listeners to guess how he plans to do anything to salvage the popular retirement program whose trust funds are expected to run out of money in 2037 without changes.

Much more here.

Jan 25, 2011

Vehicle said to be JFK Ambulance sold by Barrett-Jackson

The 1963 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance said to have carried President John F. Kennedy’s body after his assassination sold at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. sale in Scottsdale, Arizona, for $120,000 plus buyers commission for a total of $132,000.

One source claims the JFK Ambulance sold by Barrett-Jackson is a "near perfect fake" and that the real JFK ambulance was crushed in 1986. But why would anyone destroy a bona fide JFK artifact?

The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company described the ambulance as having met Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base and taken JFK’s casket to Bethesda Naval Hospital for autopsy and later to the Capitol, some experts said the actual ambulance that carried Kennedy was destroyed in the mid-1980s.

A Barrett-Jackson attorney told The Associated Press Friday that the auction company can't say for sure if the ambulance actually carried Kennedy's coffin.

Link here here and here.

Jesse Ventura sues HS and TSA for invasive pat downs and scans

Former Minnesota governor, professional wrestler and conspiracy theory advocate Jesse Ventura (pictured) has sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration claiming full-body scans and pat-down at airport checkpoints violate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Ventura is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to issue an injunction ordering officials to stop subjecting his body to "warrantless and suspicionless" scans and searches.

Since receiving a hip replacement in 2008, Ventura, a frequent traveler, has been subjected to numerous body scans; however, when Ventura's titanium implant set off a metal detector in November and was subjected to a pat-down, the 59-year-old was about ready to lay the smack down.

Ventura claims he did not mind the hand-held wand that was used to scan his body as a secondary security measure prior to the November incident, but what he does mind is the "humiliation and degradation" he experienced as a result of the "unwanted touching, gripping, and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body."


A half van is better than none

A Pakistani laborer transports the front portion of a van on his handcart on a road in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Ed Schultz bashes Bachmann for doing what Obama did in 2008

MSNBC's Ed Schultz (left photo) must be ignorant of politics and recent history.

Uncanny resemblance

On Friday, he (Schultz) attacked Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for giving a competing response to the upcoming State of the Union address even though presidential candidate Barack Obama did the same thing in 2008.

Actually the facts really don't matter to a bloviator like Ed Schultz. As with others on MSNBC, his audience is mostly made up of rabid left-wingers eagerly cheering as he 'preaches to the choir.'

One commenter wrote, "once again, Sergeant Schultz has gone into strudel withdrawal" alluding to the addlebrained Schultz (right photo) on the old Hogan's Heroes" TV series.


New York City takes aim at rich and famous tax deadbeats

Actor Alec Baldwin (pictured) has joined a list of elite New Yorkers targeted by tax collectors who think they're fibbing about where they really live to dodge New York City income taxes.

In recent years, auditors have confronted hundreds of super-wealthy New Yorkers over the residency rules - including star Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.

Facing shrinking revenues, the state has ramped up its pursuit of suspected tax dodgers, hiring 189 new auditors and - for the first time - making filers swear under oath on tax forms as to how many days they "spend in New York City."

If it's more than 183 days and the filer has a residence in the city, the tax bill goes up.

They may still find ways to, as the Brits say, "fiddle the tax man."


Jan 24, 2011

Report: Joan Rivers calls Michelle Obama 'Blackie O'

Joan told scandal-loving Howard Stern that she pulled a joke out of her repertoire about Michelle Obama (pictured) for fear of being accused of racism.

"We used to have Jackie O," she said. "Now we have Blackie O!"

Rivers claimed she meant the nickname as a term of endearment for Michelle.

She thought it was a funny complimentary joke.
Endearment and funny complimentary joke? Yeah, right.


Rahm Emanuel kicked off ballot in Chicago!

Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been kicked off the ballot in Chicago’s mayoral election.

With Obama's blessing Emanuel left the White House inner circle to run for Mayor of Chicago.

The photo shows Rahm Emanuel hamming it up during the January 20, 2009 Barack Obama Inauguration.

Now a Chicago appellate court ruled that Emanuel did not meet the residency requirement necessary to run for mayor.

Emanuel’s attorney Kevin Forde called the court’s decision a “surprise.”

The former Congressman was leading both in the polls and in fund raising ahead of next month’s election.

The case is now expected to go to the Illinois Supreme Court.

But will there be enough time for a SC hearing before the election?


Graffiti mural in New York

Mural by graffiti artist Kenny Scharf along Houston Street in New York. The mural is part of an ongoing project in which a variety of artists are invited to decorate the wall as part of an urban art series.

Shuffling deck chairs on the MSNBC Titanic

Say what you will about Keith Olbermann - he never feigned fairness or balance like so many other leftist cable news program hosts do.

He was always up front about his political leanings. He never tried to hide his loathing of conservatives.

Maybe it was his honesty that got him the highest ratings of any cable news show on either MSNMC or CNN. At the second link below there is a listing of the cable news shows by number of viewers. Olbermann is the next one after all of the Fox News shows.

MSNBC is going to have another angry leftist, Lawrence O'Donnell, take over Olbermann's 8:00 time slot. Ed Schultz will be moved to juggle the time slots.

So not much has changed really - just a shuffling of the chairs on the decks of the MSNBC Titanic, which gets beaten consistently and badly in the ratings wars by its arch-rival, Fox News.

Link here and here.

More on eating bugs - yes, eating bugs!

A group of Dutch scientists are doing groundbreaking research into insects replacing animal meat as a healthier, more environmentally friendly source of protein.

"There will come a day when a Big Mac costs 120 euros ($163) and a Bug Mac 12 euros, when more people will eat insects than other meat," head researcher Arnold van Huis told a disbelieving audience at Wageningen University in the central Netherlands.

The volunteer shown above appears to be having serious doubts about her attempt to eat something that once crawled.


Tucson sheriff Dupnik faces recall

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (pictured) has never lost an election, but that was before his remarks assigning blame for the deadly Tucson, Ariz., shooting to political "vitriol" and calling Arizona "a mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

1-dupnik Now it's Sheriff Dupnik who finds himself on the public-opinion hot seat. A group opposed to illegal immigration has begun an effort to recall the sheriff in a special election. Meanwhile, a Pima County tea party group is planning on holding a "Dump Dupnik" rally next week outside his office.

Sheriff Dupnik has refused to enforce the Arizona immigration law.

I haven't been a fan of Dupnik's for a long time, but this really was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Tom Rompel, co-owner of Black Weapons Armory in Tucson. "He's law enforcement. We expect 'the facts, ma'am,' not his opinion."

"He leans far left, always has, and frankly, people have had enough."


Olbermann ouster 1 yr after demise of Air America

It may be coincidental irony or it may be an omen. The ouster of ultra-liberal Keith Olbermann from MSNBC came exactly one year after the ultra-liberal Air America Radio went belly up.

Air America was started with seed money from George Soros in the early months of 2004. It was a far-left radio network headed by talk show host Al Franken (pictured) who was intended to be the liberal answer to Bill O'reilly. Mr. Franken even called his Air American talk-show the "Franken Factor."

Air America was intended to help elect John Kerry and we all know how that turned out.

The report announcing the final shut-down of Air America along with a multitude of excuses why it failed can be found here.

Jan 23, 2011

Report Unions see sharp membership declines again

From an Associated Press report last Friday:

The nation's labor unions saw another steep decline in membership last year, even as the economy showed signs of recovery and job losses slowed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that unions lost 612,000 members in 2010, dropping the unionized share of the work force to 11.9 percent from 12.3 percent in 2009.

That follows a loss of 771,000 workers in 2008, continuing a steady decline from the 1950s when more than a third of workers belonged to unions.

Union membership in the private sector fell from 7.2 percent to 6.9 percent, a low point not seen since the infancy of the labor movement in the 1930s.


More on the abrupt Keith Olbermann firing

The firing of liberal firebrand Keith Olbermann (pictured) came so quickly after the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast that it sure seems as though Comcast insisted on the Olbermann ouster.

Why else would MSNBC fire the host of their most popular show? The chart below shows that Olbermann had the most viewers of any cable news program that wasn't on Fox - the King of Cable News.

By the way, the cheering you hear in the background is probably Olbermann's associates at MSNBC applauding his departure. Olbermann has been known as a difficult man to get along with and may not be missed by those at the MSNBC offices.

Cable News viewers on Thursday January 20, 2011 showing Keith Olbermann as the MSNBC leader just below the FOX News programs.

FOX News - Bill O’Reilly - 2,918,000
FOX News - Sean Hannity - 2,079,000
FOX News - Bret Baier - 1,940,000
FOX News - Shepard Smith - 1,786,000
FOX News - Glenn Beck - 1,780,000
FOX News - Greta Van Susteren - 1,460,000
MSNBC - Keith Olbermann - 1,106,000
CNN - Piers Morgan - 1,025,000
MSNBC - Rachel Maddow - 976,000
MSNBC - Lawrence O'Donnell - 855,000
MSNBC - Ed Shultz - 760,000
CNN - Anderson Cooper - 740,000
MSNBC - Chris Matthews - 700,000

Link here and here.

Journalism 101. Making a meaningless story into a lead story.

Sometimes it is done innocently but mostly it is practicing what is taught in Journalism 101 - "hype a trend."

More often hyping a trend is done purposely to get recognition for the journalist.

But even if the journalist does it innocently, hyping a "trend" can lead to a complete misunderstanding of what is really going on.

How does it work? Whenever an event makes a big splash, local reporters and editors will add it to their informal lists of things to watch for.

Every instance of a similar event will get the journalist in print until it becomes common enough that interest wanes.

Here's an example:

A train derailed in Texas (doesn't matter where) and a tank car ruptured, leaking toxic chemicals. Fumes drifted across a busy highway, causing casualties.

The journalist instinctively asks what was aboard the tank car that ruptured.

If the contents sounded sufficiently alarming, the lead would say something like "A train carrying toxic sulfuric acid derailed just 10 miles from a school on Sunday."

By hyping every little story of train accidents for the next year or so it appeared that the nation had a dangerous train problem.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

A good example of a recent hyped story was the report about the politically motivated Sheriff Dupnik (shown on left below) from Tucson who was paraded in front of news cameras and newspaper journalists for the next two days without letup.

The story was hyped until someone suddenly told the sheriff to shut up.

It's hard to forget watching and reading about Sheriff Dupnik using "vitriolic" political rhetoric while blaming "vitriolic" political rhetoric for the shootings in Tucson two weeks ago.

When asked if he had evidence suggesting the young shooter was motivated by conservative rhetoric, the sheriff replied, "not yet."

The sheriff assumed his story would not be challenged. He was right. CNN didn't challenge the story. MSNBC did not challenge. Did ABC, CBS or NBC challenge Dupnik? If they did we missed it. Fox News supplied the only challenge to the left-leaning opinionated sheriff.

As a result of this hyped story, the public defenders for Jared Loughner (shown on right above) will have an advantage when trying to get an insanity plea.

Barrett-Jackson auto auctions

Once or twice a year I enjoy watching the Barrett-Jackson auto auctions on TV while catching up on some writing on my laptop while kicked back in a recliner.

It would be fun to attend one of the Barrett-Jackson auctions. However, even if I could qualify as a bidder, I would be nervous in the bidding area.

I would worry that a quick forehead scratch would make me the new owner of a 1926 Hupmobile.

Last night I had my Barrett-Jackson 'fix' so now I will be fine for the next few months.