Posts Tagged ‘news’

A sad day indeed…George Carlin dies at 71.

George Carlin has always been something of a hero to me, even though he hated the idea of public figures being heros for not doing anything particularly heroic.

He offended everyone by using common sense. He dissected and disemboweled every aspect of our lives from the most mundane to the spiritual. He spoke truth when no one else would. He didn’t play political games, lambasting Bill Clinton just as much as he has lambasted Dubya (though GWB does provide more comic fodder). He was neither an anarchist nor a fascist. The clarity and sting of his observations made it easy to forget his age.

He died yesterday of heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital. He was to be honored this year with the Mark Twain Prize for 50 years of comedy, joining the ranks of Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and inaugural Twain Prize recipient, and fellow social commentator, the late Richard Pryor. They will award him the prize posthumously with a November 10th tribute. (hat tip)

Given his thoughts on life, death and all that comes after…I have to wonder who got the last laugh. Though I truly believe that all his digs at God and religion were done with a conspiratorial wink and nod to the Higher Power that only those two really understood.

He was an original. All these comedians who want to be “edgy” and controversial are simply poor imitations. So, for your entertainment, the routine that (arguably) launched George Carlin into the national spotlight. Seven Dirty Words

“I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I uh, I think is important. I love..as I say, they’re my work, they’re my play, they’re my passion. Words are all we have really.

We have thoughts, but thoughts are fluid. You know, [humming]. And, then we assign a word to a thought, [clicks tongue]. And we’re stuck with that word for that thought. So be careful with words. I like to think, yeah, the same words that hurt can heal. It’s a matter of how you pick them.

There are some people that aren’t into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They’d have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That’s what they told us they were, remember? ‘That’s a bad word.’ ‘Awwww.’ There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.

And words, you know the seven don’t you? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn’t even belong on the list, you know. It’s such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. ‘Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.’ It sounds like a snack doesn’t it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don’t mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can’t eat just one. That’s true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people’s feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the list…like cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are…those are heavy-weight words. There’s a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They’re just busy words. There’s a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K’s. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. CocksuckerMotherfuckerCocksucker. It’s like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.

And we mentioned shit earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and Cunt. The reason Piss and Cunt are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said ‘Those are the two I am not going to say. I don’t mind Fuck and Shit, but P and C are out. P and C are out.’ Which led to such stupid sentences as ‘OK, you fuckers, I am going to tinkle now.’

And of course the word Fuck. The word Fuck, I don’t really…well, this is some more accidental humor, but I don’t really want to get into that now. Because I think it takes too long. But I do mean that. I mean, I think the word fuck is an important word. It’s the beginning of life, and, yet it’s a word we use to hurt one other, quite often. And uh, people much wiser than I have said, I’d rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one other. And I of course agree. I wish I know who said it first, and I agree with that. But I would like to take it a step further. I would like to substitute the word fuck, for the word kill in all those movie cliches we grew up with. ‘Okay Sheriff, we’re gonna fuck ya now. But we’re gonna fuck ya slow.’ So maybe next year I’ll have a whole fuckin’ rap on that word. I hope so.

Uh, there are two-way words, but those are the seven you can never say on television. Under any circumstances you just can not say them ever, ever ever, not even clinically. You can not weave them in the panel with Doc and Ed and Johnny, I mean it’s just impossible, forget those seven, they’re out.

But, there are some two-way words. There are double-meaning words. Remember the ones your giggled at in sixth grade? ‘And the cock crowed three times.”Hey, the cock the cock crowed three times. It’s in the bible.’ There are some Two-way words, like it’s okay for Curt Gowdy to say ‘Roberto Clemente has two balls on him.’ But he can’t say, ‘I think he hurt his balls on that play Tony, don’t you? He’s holding them. He must have hurt them by God.’ And the other two-way word that goes with that one is prick. It’s okay if it happens to your finger. Yes, you can prick your finger, but don’t finger your prick. No, no.”

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Cops shoot mentally ill man over FEMA trailer

WTF YO?

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) — A man fatally shot by police after a 10-hour standoff Wednesday had suffered with mental illness for much of his life, and it worsened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a family member said.

Eric Minshew, 49, ordered Federal Emergency Management Agency workers to leave his trailer when they arrived for an inspection Tuesday afternoon, according to accounts from police.

Later, police said he fired at them several times and was fatally shot after pointing a handgun at officers who tried to arrest him. No officers were injured.

Rosemarie Brocato, who lives about a block away from the house, said she had told police, “He’s sick. Please don’t shoot him. He needs help.”

The man had moved into the family home about eight years ago, with no money and no job, his brother, Homer M. Minshew III, said Wednesday. He survived the hurricane, but the family was awaiting government aid so they could either pay the house off or fix it up and sell it.

He suffered for years with mental problems that “got a lot worse after the storm,” his brother said. He felt his hopes of inheriting his parents’ home — a place he’d felt a strong connection to — diminish, he said. He owned a gun because he had gotten a job as a security guard, according to his brother.

“He had a lot of serious mental issues and would all of a sudden go off on a rant about the government, the local, state government, the feds and everything else,” he said. “He has some issues. He just snapped. Thank God nobody else got hurt.”

James Arey, commander of the police department’s crisis intervention team, said the man had not been treated and that the case “doesn’t have anything to do with Katrina.” Police did not officially release Minshew’s identity.

The trailer was near the family home on a block that appeared abandoned. Many houses have gone unrepaired since the storm, and have broken windows. Taped to Minshew’s front window were a USA Today front-page article headlined “Do you have a legal right to own a gun?” and a no trespassing sign.

The porch held a wreath, a cross and a plywood sign with “Jesus is my Messiah” in green paint. A car in the driveway had two flat tires.

Brocato said Minshew lived alone after the storm and that his short temper seemed to get worse. He seemed very lonely, she said, often stopping her to talk for a half-hour at a time when she passed his house.

“He just needed someone to talk to, I guess. I felt sorry for him,” she said.

The FEMA inspection was a first step toward reclaiming the trailer. The federal agency has been pushing to get residents out of trailers across the Gulf Coast, in part because possibly dangerous levels of the chemical formaldehyde have been found in many of them.

FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said the agency cannot release any specifics about the case, such as when the man got the trailer or whether anyone else lived there with him. The officers involved in the shooting have been reassigned to administrative duties during the investigation, said Officer Garry Flot, a police spokesman.

“This is a very unfortunate situation and our prayers go out to the family of the deceased,” he said.

Lakeview, one of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, was under as much as 11 feet of water after the levee on the nearby 17th Street Canal broke during Katrina on August 29, 2005.

While it has been one of the fastest to recover, it is not without scars from the flood. Some trailers were still parked outside homes under renovation, schools and firehouses have been slow to reopen and there are many vacant lots where homes were demolished because of damage suffered during the storm.

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Because Katrina victims aren’t suffering enough from the neglect of their government, a man who was obviously disturbed before the storm and became more so afterwards needs to get shot over a damn trailer when the government hasn’t done a damn thing to fix his HOUSE?

Oh hell no.

Wait…WHAT?!?

Leave it to the military to come up with something like this. I’ll admit, some of their past projects have been cool (like the heat ray for instance…I still want one) and others have lent themselves to hours of gut busting hilarity (gay bomb anyone?). But this…this is just…*shudders*

According to Engadget, the Department of Defense is setting up research to look into regrowing body parts. You know, like some lizards and worms do.

Except humans aren’t lizards or worms. Well…some humans are worms, but not in the literal sense.

The DoD is obviously out to create a super soldier. They’ve already sunk money into research that will keep soldiers from feeling the effects of fatigue so they can stay in the field longer with less sleep (never mind those harmful results of sleep deprivation…what’s a little psychosis amongst friends). They’re also doing research on advanced robotic limb replacements that will have all the fine motor skills that real limbs do…and then some.

They’re going to do this under the cover of helping soldiers who have lost limbs or have been shot. But let’s face facts, since the end of the draft they’ve been having a hard time recruiting kids, and with the never ending war going on, they’re having an even harder time getting and keeping soldiers. So if your troops can spontaneously regenerate limbs (which, I have to admit, is cool in an “I used to read X-men and wish I was a mutant with powers” sort of way), then you won’t have to worry about shortages due to lost limbs. Of course this research could be used to create perfect-match organs for people desperately in need of transplants, but, and I’m just being honest here, that sort of technology would only be available to the richest of the rich who can afford it. The other 90% of people who need it will have to pray their insurance will cover it or hope that some charity will take pity on them and help.

Now, the part that really scares me (aside from the images from Terminator II-when the liquid cyborg kept regenerating himself after being shot in the head-that keep playing in my mind), is that this sort of ability is genetic. Salamanders don’t learn how to regenerate. They just do. It’s part of their DNA. For this sort of technology to be used in the military, they’d have to find a way to alter each soldier’s genetic structure, and hope that there are no unintended consequences (like a squid-soldier who has seven arms). Doing each individual as they come in would be costly, and inefficient. And while the government and military seem to only function when they are costly and inefficient, eventually they are going to start “testing” on the general public. Which makes me think that No Child Left Behind will become No Fetus Left Unaltered after a time. It will be voluntary at first, of course, but then it will become compulsory. Or worse, they’ll just do it without the mother’s permission anyway. She can’t say anything about it once the baby is here right?

Yeah I know, that’s worst case scenario, gloom and doom type talk…but let’s be honest, if they find a way to do this, it won’t be long before this sort of thing plays itself out. We’re a country where the vast majority of our tax dollars go to military spending (more than education and health care combined in fact). We are, essentially, a military state. Our only recourse, our only known way to assert our will, has been through force. Since the first settlers dropped anchor. Hell, since the Conquistadors dropped anchor. If we backed off our military spending, we’d eventually be seen as the paper tiger we are. If African countries got themselves together and organised, they’d make us their bitch (talk about reparations). Hell, eastern Europe could take us, as disorganised and that area is. So we have to keep spending. Making out military bigger, stronger, faster (and whatever else they said in the beginning of the 6 Million Dollar Man).

Can you see the snowball?

Ok, I admit, I sound like a crazed conspiracy theorist. And I’m honestly not. I just like seeing the pros and cons of things and this has a lot of cons. Like a lot a lot. It’s not like our government and military are renown for their ethics. Especially when it comes to the medical field.

Anyhow, I can’t see this sort of technology actually being usable anytime in the foreseeable future. And those ranting, raving, foaming at the mouth, ultra religious right wingers wouldn’t allow for experiments to be performed on embryos, especially not when it comes to tampering with DNA and genetics. They’d see it as playing God and would raise Hell (how ironic) like no one’s business. Huh…maybe they have a use after all.

News From the WTF Files

this sort of speaks for itself

SAGINAW — A 21-year-old who tried to pass off pancake mix as cocaine has been found guilty in the deaths of two men.

Matthew T. Deshone was found guilty of first-degree murder and firearms-related charges in the November 2005 deaths of Demario K. Sherman and Franscoir D. Shepherd, both of Saginaw.

Prosecutors said Deshone and an associate, 25-year-old Joseph Villarreal, had gone to Sherman’s apartment to sell him an ounce of the dry pancake mix. The Saginaw News says Sherman made a sudden move and a skittish Deshone shot him.

Saginaw television station WNEM says Deshone later shot and killed Shepherd, who had overheard him discussing the failed deal.

Defense attorney James Piazza argued that Deshone witnessed both slayings but that the men were killed by Deshone’s friend Freddie Williams, who himself was shot dead in July 2006.

Deshone will be sentenced to life in prison May 8. Villarreal pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and will be sentenced April 24.

No. For real. You gotta have absolutely NO respect for someone’s intelligence to think they’d believe pancake mix was coke. I’ve never personally seen, or touched cocaine in my life, but I sure as hell know Bisquick when I see it.

EDIT!

This one…this is some face-palm type stuff. I’m glad H doesn’t battle anymore.

DETROIT — Police are looking for a Westland man who killed a rapper this week after taking offense to something said during a rap contest.

The incident happened Monday in a home located in the 180000 block of Bradford on the city’s east side. Police say there was a rap battle, in which participants come up with insulting rhymes aimed at their competitors.

Police say 28-year-old Antoine Tramble became angry at something a 27-year-old rapper said, so he left the home and then returned with a gun. Tramble opened fire, killing the man, police said. The victim’s name has not been released.

Tramble then fled the home and escaped in a blue conversion van, investigators said.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Detroit Police Homicide at (313) 596-2260; or the anonymous Crime Stoppers hot line at (800) SPEAK-UP.

I’ve had teachers I didn’t like, but DAYUM!

For some reason this was filed under Reuters “Oddly Enough” section. I can understand the ban on cosmetic castration for Thai “ladyboys” (I don’t suggest you google that term, just take it at face value), and I’m surprised that the story of a UK construction firm banning wolf whistling at ladies didn’t make it in there. But this, nah, this is not odd. This is scary.

Nine nine-year-olds in Georgia devised a plan to tie up, knock out and cut their teacher. Some came to school with handcuffs (parents, please hide your kinky toys better), electrical tape, and one came with a broken steak knife. They planned this for a week. A week! Nine year olds have the attention span of newt, but they managed to plan this in pretty deep detail for a week.

But what kills me (and nearly killed the teacher) is that it wasn’t two or three kids planning this, it was nine! That’s a pretty big chunk of your class that doesn’t like you. And given that nine year olds can’t keep their mouths shut to save their lives, you know other kids in the class knew too and didn’t say a word. So even the students that weren’t in on the plot didn’t like the teacher enough to warn her/him.

Kids these days have some brass balls I tell you. We just put thumb tacks in their seat. They’re looking to eliminate the problem all together.

From the “There’s a special spot in Hell for them” files

Scrolling through Engadget and Wired today I came across two stories that are just wrong.

First was about a 7 year old cancer patient who had his PSP, meds, homework and medical records stolen when his family was eating at a local restaurant before his chemo and the day before his birthday. OK, granted the guys who broke into their car couldn’t have known he was a cancer patient, but once you find out you nicked the belongings of a kid who gets toxic chemicals pumped into his body on a regular basis so he can live, you should at least drop the stuff in the mail or leave it at the doorstep of a local police station and run. Better yet, just turn yourself in and take your lashing like a man.

The second story was wrong in ways that I didn’t know wrong could be wrong. It was the sort of wrong that usually follows the phrase “Why yes, I’d love to upgrade my one way ticket to Hell to express with the complimentary kerosene shorts.” Hackers, normally people of some morals who prefer to attack large corporations or take on government entities just to prove it can be done, decided to attack an epilepsy support forum by posting brightly colored, flashing images all over the place causing many epileptic patients to seize up or have migraines. I don’t know who would be angry enough to attack a bunch of epileptics. Maybe they didn’t like that MTV wouldn’t play Gnarls Barkley‘s new video Run. But I can’t see that as any reason to take it out on epileptics as a whole. They’re not smokers, they didn’t choose to be sensitive to brightly colored flashing images.

Good old Satan is going to have a time ass raping this lot of upstanding citizens.

News Straight from the WTF files

You really can’t make stuff like this up.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23858783/

RIVERSIDE, Ohio – Police say a pastor who was reported missing from his home in western New York has been found at an Ohio strip club.
A police officer patrolling the K.C. Lounge parking lot Friday morning in the Dayton suburb of Riverside spotted out-of-state license plates on 46-year-old Craig Rhodenizer’s car.
The FBI and New York authorities had been searching for Rhodenizer, who disappeared Wednesday after telling his wife he was getting his computer fixed at Best Buy. He is the pastor of a church in Lyndonville, N.Y.
Detective Matt Sturgeon said Rhodenizer was disoriented when confronted by police and said he felt “emotionally guilty.”

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*cough*hypocrite*cough*

“emotionally guilty”. Not spiritually guilty, or morally guilty. Emotionally guilty.

This dude went to get his “computer fixed” in NY and ended up in a strip club in Ohio; days later no less. You can’t even claim to have been lost and asking for directions.  You’re not just in a whole other state, you’re in a whole other state about 9 hours away. What was he doing all that time? He couldn’t have been in that club all that time. Could he?

Man, I can only imagine what Sunday’s sermon is gonna sound like.

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Kwame gets indicted on 12 counts of perjury

I have to admit, I didn’t think Pros. Kym Worthy was going to do it. But she did. And damn if I ain’t glad. This, my friends, is one fine example of hubris. Take note.

Mike Wilkinson / The Detroit News

DETROIT — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has filed 12 charges against Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, accusing the mayor of perjury and both of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office, among other charges in connection with the text-message scandal.

“Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, peoples lives were ruined, the justice system was severely mocked and the public trust trampled on,” Worthy said. “This is as far from being a private matter as one can get.”

The announcement could take the text-message scandal, once relegated to civil court and accusations of privacy and freedom of the press, into a criminal matter that could send the mayor and Beatty to prison. A perjury conviction can bring a prison term of up to 15 years.

The charges alone could only add more pressure to Kilpatrick to step down — something other politicians, business leaders, pastors and the public have suggested for weeks.

Kilpatrick was spotted leaving the city-owned Manoogian Mansion around 10:15 a.m.

Kilpatrick is the first mayor of Detroit to be charged with a crime while in office. Under the city charter, he can only be removed from office if he is convicted of a felony.

Kilpatrick has repeatedly vowed not to resign; Beatty resigned in February and has been looking for work since then.

Worthy’s investigation stemmed from the aftermath of the city’s decision to settle claims made by three former Detroit police officers, two of whom had won a $6.5 million whistle-blower verdict against the city last September after they claimed they were punished for investigating claims against the mayor and his bodyguards.

Former Deputy Chief Gary Brown said he was fired after investigating claims by Harold Nelthrope, an officer who said he feared for his life after he passed on concerns about the mayor’s bodyguards.

After the trial, Mike Stefani, one of the officers’ attorneys, obtained a copy of the text messages sent and received from Beatty’s city-issued SkyTel pager. He had asked for them during the preparation for the trial but did not receive them.

During negotiations over his attorney fees, Stefani told one of Kilpatrick’s city-paid lawyers that he had the messages and was going to tell the trial judge. That information spurred the lawyers to quickly reach a settlement on the case a little over a month after Kilpatrick had vowed to appeal.

As part of that settlement, the officers got a total of $8.4 million and Stefani was required to turn over all copies of the text messages to the mayor’s attorney — and agree never to talk about them.

When the city council approved the settlement, however, it was not told about the text messages or the secret deal meant to hide them from public view.

Then in January, published excerpts of the text messages strongly contradicted Kilpatrick and Beatty’s testimony that they did not have a romantic relationship and did not fire Brown.

Single, sexually active women in Canada screwed (in more ways than one)

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/02/06/abnormal-paps-pap-smears-doctors-refusing-canada

While attending a recent event honoring the twentieth anniversary of the all-important Morgentaler decision here in Canada, I came upon some disturbing news: doctors in Canada are denying pap smears to women citing religious objections. You read it right: doctors are using their personal morality to further restrict a women’s right to equal health care. I came across this fact in an essay written by Peggy Cooke, the recent winner of Canadians for Choice’s essay submission contest that answered the question “Why is a pro-choice Canada so important?”

In her essay detailing her experience as an abortion clinic patient escort, she writes, “I have two close friends whose doctors will not even give them pap tests because it goes against the doctor’s religious beliefs.” Peggy lives in New Brunswick, one of the most repressive provinces in terms of reproductive policy. The provincial government continues to violate the Canada Health Act, by requiring women to seek approval from a doctor and a gynecologist in order to access publicly funded abortions. Abortions done at the private Morgentaler clinic are not funded.

I contacted Peggy to learn more about what was going on with the doctors refusing to perform pap smears and she responded by saying that in one case it is actually the doctor’s receptionist who won’t allow her young unmarried friend to make an appointment for a pap smear saying that she is too young and doesn’t need one (she was 19 at the time of the incident). The second instance deals with a couple who are doctors, who run a practice together. Known for their religious and anti-choice beliefs, these doctors will not prescribe contraception. The doctor who refused to perform the pap smear works in the same practice.

So when did a test that is used to screen for disease and cancer suddenly become a procedure which doctors can “object” to do? Am I naïve in thinking that pap smears are a medically necessary part of a women’s yearly physical? I wonder if the same doctors refuse men prostate exams on religious grounds, or does morality only apply to women?

To look for answers, I turned to Patricia LaRue, Executive Director at Canadians for Choice, to see what she could tell me if doctors have the right to refuse ANY procedure that they see as going against their religion. She reminded me that doctors have a “conscience clause,” allowing them to refuse prescriptions for birth control, abortion, and now pap smears. The conscience clause is put in place by the Canadian Medical Association so that physicians are not forced to act in any way that goes against their personal beliefs.

However, doctors are also bound by a Code of Ethics to “inform your patient when your personal values would influence the recommendation or practice of any medical procedure that the patient needs or wants.” In New Brunswick, the doctor shortage means that young unmarried women simply cannot find a doctor who would give them the services that they request, because there are no other doctors to choose from.

Legally, doctors who use the conscience clause are required to give a referral to a doctor that will perform the procedure that they themselves refuse to do. In real life, however, this seldom transpires. Many doctors feel a “conscientious objection” not only to the procedure but to the referral, and do not refer, claiming they can not in good conscience refer a patient for a procedure that they object to. Many women never report these doctors because they are already in a vulnerable position and fear the stigma attached to reporting doctors for refusing sexual and reproductive health procedures.

So it seems that religious objections and morality policing have moved beyond the realm of abortion and contraception, and have moved into regulating the kind of tests that women can access that may in fact save her from cancer. In Canada we pride ourselves on “universal healthcare,” but to access that health care, it seems that you must fit into your doctor’s classification of the “normal.”

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You want to object to doing an integral part of your job? QUIT! Don’t put ME and MY HEALTH at risk because you want to impose YOUR morals on me. I don’t go to a doctor to save my soul anymore than I go to an Priest/Reverend/Rabbi/Imam to check my blood pressure. What I do in my bedroom and with whom ain’t nobodies damn business but MINE.

*flips these docs the bird*

(Thanks to newcherrybomb.com for the heads up, and thanks to feministing.com for dropping a note on them)

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