In case you’ve somehow missed this latest round of Internet idiocy, here’s what went down: Sunday night, a Dutch teenager identified only as “Sarah” infamously tweeted a threat at American Airlines. (“hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye,” she wrote. Hilarious!) She then promptly made the account private and insisted it was all a joke — “I’m so stupid, I’m scared,” she wrote at one point — but not before American reported her name and IP address to authorities, leading to her arrest in Rotterdam on Monday.
You’d think that would warn off other pranksters, but the opposite has actually been true. In fact, at least a dozen other people have threatened American or, oddly, Southwest, an unrelated airline, under the guise of a “prank” or “joke.”
Nahshon Shelton didn’t want to pay the 22-cent tax on his $1.79 two-liter of Pepsi on Saturday afternoon, Chicago Police said.
So he allegedly pulled a blue-steel Intratec .22-caliber submachine gun out of his Gucci satchel inside the convenience store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street where they tried to make him pay it — and he threatened to kill everyone there, a prosecutor said.
This “is my neighborhood, I’m tax exempt!” he would later allegedly tell the cops. “Man, you know what, I’ll keep it real. I had to put them in their place.”
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the head of India’s Socialist (Samajwadi) Party, said he would get rid of a recently introduced law that handed death sentences to repeat rape offenders, because it was not uncommon “for boys to make mistakes”.
Referring to a recent case from Mumbai in which three men were sentenced to death for carrying out two gang rapes, Mr Yadav told an election rally that rape happens because women lead men on.
“Boys will be boys. Following a girl-boy fight, the girl complains she was raped,” he said.
“The solution is this: any woman, whether married or unmarried, who goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn’t be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.”
Student: “Bullies are attacking me”.
Principal: “You’re just making stuff up with no proof”.
Student: “I have video that I secretly recorded of them bullying me”.
Delegate Robert G. Marshall has said that disabled children can be God’s vengeance against women who have had abortions. He has described incest as sometimes voluntary, and he has questioned the sexuality of a Supreme Court justice who has favored marriage equality.
“For all I know, Kennedy’s a homosexual,” he said. “You can’t be doing some of these things without this kind of conclusion.”
Like many of his other comments, Mr. Marshall stands by it.
“Clearly, some of the people who are making these decisions must be rationalizing their own bad behavior,” he said Thursday.
Sounds like he’s never seen a mirror.
A Colorado man who was rescued from his submerged car by first responders now claims, via his lawyer, that it was something else that saved him: grace, presumably of the divine kind.
And he’s getting ready to sue the people who pulled him to safety – because he says they took too long to show up.
Maybe Bowman could write his next column about all the missing happy Jews in Holocaust movies.
“It’s a really special transaction for both Time Warner Cable and for Comcast,” Roberts said. “The deal is pro-competitive, it is pro-consumer.”
In other news, Wolf says raiding herds is ‘pro-flock’ and ‘pro-sheep’ and it reduces cancer rates.
“Obama is not President, as far as I’m concerned. He should be executed as an enemy combatant.”
Was this statement made: A. During a Klan meeting; B. At a Neo Nazi rally: or C. In front of Republican member of Congress who didn’t even object to the comment?
Since there’s no mortgage on my property and I’m not a big corporation, the Motel Caswell became a tempting target to police for profit. A Drug Enforcement Administration agent even testified it was his job to scour the register of deeds, looking for properties to seize.
America isn’t beautiful, it is stupid.
A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia is putting a new spin on the biblical tale of the flood and Noah’s Ark — and that’s causing consternation among some Christian fundamentalists.
The Book of Genesis includes detailed specifications for the giant boat on which all kinds of animals were placed, two by two, to shelter from 40 days and 40 nights of rain. The wooden ark was to measure about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 30 feet high (300 by 50 by 30 cubits, or 137 by 23 by 13 meters).
All well and good: But the specifications listed on the Babylonian “Ark Tablet,” which is now on display at the British Museum, are totally different. The Babylonian boat was supposed to be made of braided rope, stiffened by wooden spars and sealed with bitumen. And it was supposed to have a round base, measuring 230 feet wide (70 meters wide).
“It was really a heart-stopping moment — the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat,” Irving Finkel, a curator at the museum, told The Associated Press. “That was a real surprise.”
“Because the Bible is God’s inspired Word, it gives us the true account,” Ham wrote. “The other flood legends are man’s changed versions of the event called Noah’s Flood, which occurred close to 4,400 years ago!”
Fans of Ham’s Facebook page took up the argument and rejected Finkel’s claims. “This is just another clever attempt from Satan to try to disprove or distort the existence of the ark,” one said. Another wrote, “A round ark would have sunk.”
A third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London’s “Billionaires Row” are standing empty, including several huge houses that have fallen into ruin after standing almost completely vacant for a quarter of a century.
A Guardian investigation has revealed there are an estimated £350m worth of vacant properties on the most prestigious stretch of The Bishops Avenue in north London, which last year was ranked as the second most expensive street in Britain.
But he argued against increasing taxes on unoccupied homes, which he said would be an “annoyance” that would make buyers choose Monte Carlo or Milan instead of London.
So there’s a housing shortage in London, and “people with no economic or cultural ties to the city will move out” is supposed to be a threat?
The rich buying enormous houses so they can sit and rot then complaining people might actually want to tax them for it and threatening to take their “buying an enormous house to sit and rot” business elsewhere is such a breathtakingly good metaphor for the state of the world.
Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY/Staten Island) felt a little tense after the State of the Union. After giving a terse statement to an NY1 reporter, he was asked about the ongoing issue of his campaign finance. He declined to discuss the matter and stormed off, then returned a moment later, apparently unaware that the camera was still rolling, and threatened to “throw [the reporter] off this fucking balcony.” Grimm followed this with “you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Grimm’s campaign finance scandal dates to the 2010 election in which he allegedly solicited donations from his major donors for other Republican candidates, who had done the same for him in return — a “donor swap” arrangement that allowed him to skirt fundraising limits. Grimm is under investigation by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for this, and for other finance irregularities, including accepting cash donations larger than $100, and for laundering a donation of $25,000 through a third party.
Grimm is a former US Marine who served in Iraq, and then worked for the FBI. While at the Bureau, he was investigated for abusing his authority: threatening his date’s husband (“I’ll fucking make him disappear where nobody will find him”) and pulling a gun in a nightclub. Grimm argued that reports of the incident were a “witch hunt” but the NYPD and FBi refused to release their files on the matter, and the New Yorker reporter who wrote the original story produced supplemental documents supporting his account.
Grimm is a Tea Party darling who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani.
Yesterday, Biebs was arrested and charged over a drunken driving incident. The unfolding saga was so important that MSNBC host Andrea Mitchel silenced the longtime congresswoman she was interviewing (about NSA domestic spying) to report a preliminary court appearance.
The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities is a diplomatic effort to encourage every nation to respect those rights in the same way the United States has ever since President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act back in 1990.
Since the U.S. law served as a model for the U.N. Convention, nothing in America would change if the convention were ratified by the U.S. U.S. ratification would, however, make a significant different for persons with disabilities in other countries, since America is a big, influential nation and its support for — or withholding of support from — this effort affects whether or not its regarded as a serious effort whose reforms should be implemented in meaningful ways. It also makes a significant difference as to how the U.S. itself is perceived in and by those other nations. Is the U.S. a we’ve-got-ours-screw-you nation? Or does its concern for human rights extend beyond its own borders? Does America follow its principles or is it hypocritical?
Yet the United States has not ratified this convention. The United States Senate voted not to do so.
Why not? Well because of Nicolae Carpathia and Agenda 21 and the global conspiracy of the Illuminati and the international Jewish bankers, of course. Which is to say because of a vocal faction of white evangelicals who oppose this convention as part of their fantasy role-playing battle against imaginary monsters.
Frances Robles, reporting the NYT:
An argument over texting at the movies ended in a cellphone user’s death, when a retired police officer in the audience shot him at a theater near Tampa, Fla., on Monday afternoon, the authorities said. […]
The killing underscored the increased debate about when to use smartphones in public.
On Twitter, Billmon writes:
When someone is shot in cold blood over texting, and NYT thinks the issue is smart phones, safe to say we’ve gone completely nuts as a country.
Update, 2:20a EST: The “underscored” sentence has been removed from the story. It got a lot of attention while it was there, though.
Reporters should be prevented from “selling” National Security Agency documents, Gen. Keith Alexander says in a videotaped interview with Department of Defense blog Armed With Science. In a discussion designed to reassure the American public that its government is not spying on them, the NSA chief calls for an end to the publication of documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden. “I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000-whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these — you know it just doesn’t make sense,” Alexander said. “We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on.”
Previously in the interview, Alexander compares the public’s negative reaction to the necessity of intelligence collection to a child’s refusal to take a bath. “It’s like when you were younger — well, this is for boys,” he said. “You know, when you’re younger, you say, ‘I don’t want to take a bath.’ You say, ‘No, I’d never take a bath. Why would we want to take a bath?’ Well, you’ve got to take a bath, cleanliness, (et cetera). I said, ‘But isn’t there a better way?’ Well we don’t, so we had to take baths, right, or showers. What about here, what’s a better way to stop terrorists?”
This week, according to the Treasury Department, it will exhaust its “extraordinary” measures to avoid hitting a hard debt ceiling. It is not known precisely the date at which it will lack the cash to pay interest on the national debt, but on the day that happens, the United States will be in default.
The Obama administration and those on Wall Street have long thought that such a prospect was so horrifying that it would necessarily lead to resolution of the current budget impasse. What I don’t think they understand is that there has been a movement under way for some years among right-wing economists and activists not merely to default on the debt, but even to repudiate it.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said Sen. John McCain “supported al Qaeda and rebels” in Syria while speaking at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. Gohmert accused the Vietnam veteran of supporting the enemy to explain why Republicans shouldn’t listen when McCain says the GOP can’t win the government shutdown.
I say we’d better see McCain’s birth certificate to prove he wasn’t born in Kenya.
The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a “capital levy”— a one-off tax on private wealth—as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability. The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible and there is a belief that it will never be repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair). There have been illustrious supporters, including Pigou, Ricardo, Schumpeter, and—until he changed his mind—Keynes. The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away (these, in turn, are a particular form of wealth tax—on bondholders—that also falls on nonresidents).
There is a surprisingly large amount of experience to draw on, as such levies were widely adopted in Europe after World War I and in Germany and Japan after World War II. Reviewed in Eichengreen (1990), this experience suggests that more notable than any loss of credibility was a simple failure to achieve debt reduc- tion, largely because the delay in introduction gave space for extensive avoidance and capital flight—in turn spurring inflation.
The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to precrisis levels, moreover, are sizable: reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require (for a sample of 15 euro area countries) a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net wealth.
So, yeah, the IMF proposes to take 10% of what you own, and points to history to claim you won’t mind. Because it will happen only once, they say while pointing to previous instances in history.
THE top cleric in Poland’s Roman Catholic church has said parents share the blame for certain cases of paedophilia, including those involving Catholic priests.
The comment comes amid mounting allegations of pedophilia involving priests in Poland, one of Europe’s most heavily Catholic countries where loyalty to the church is beginning to wane.
“Many of these cases of (sexual) molestation could be avoided given a healthy relationship between parents,” Archbishop Jozef Michalik, head of Poland’s Episcopate told the Polish PAP news agency in Warsaw.
“We often hear that this inappropriate attitude (pedophilia), or abuse, manifests itself when a child is looking for love,” Archbishop Michalik said.
Fox News has just unveiled a breathtakingly ridiculous newsroom, complete with novelty-sized Windows-based touchscreens, a Twitter wall, and a wannabe Minority Report-style display, which it hopes will connect it with generations of viewers who use smartphones and apps.
In a video that could be mistaken for a College Humor or Saturday Night Live parody, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith walks viewers through the network’s new setup, which includes workstations with 55-inch touchscreen monitors. In the video, journalists swipe through pages and apps, presumably collecting information for live reporting. “We call these BATs,” Smith notes. “Big area touchscreens.”
As the second day of the federal shutdown comes to an end, hardline elements within the Republican Party have made it clear that they will not budge until their demands are met. But what exactly are their demands? Republican House member Marlin Stutzman, for one, has no idea.
“We’re not going to be disrespected,” said Congressman Stutzman during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
Saudi women seeking to challenge a de facto ban on driving should realize that this could affect their ovaries and pelvises, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan, a judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association, told Saudi news website sabq.org.
Driving “could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees,” Sheikh al-Luhaydan said.
There’s widespread consensus that the best cosplayers at this year’s Dragoncon were the people who dressed up in bodysuits patterned after the notoriously bizarre institutional carpet at the Atlanta Marriott hotel, one of the event’s venues. But when one of the cosplayers offered to supply carpet-camo to other attendees, Couristan Inc (the company that designed the carpet) sent them a legal threat.
The FBI is instructing local police departments and “communities against terrorism” to consider anyone who harbors “conspiracy theories” about 9/11 to be a potential terrorist, in a circular released to local police departments.
The circular thus adds 9/11 official story skeptics to a growing list of targets described by federal law enforcement to be security threats, such as those who express “libertarian philosophies,” “Second Amendment-oriented views,” interest in “self-sufficiency,” “fears of Big Brother or big government,” and “Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties.”
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly declared war on Afroduck, the driver who claims to have done a very illegal 24:07 record lap of Manhattan. Now we’re hearing from a source that the NYPD arrested him moments ago.