You can sign up for a free Budweiser email account here, if you want one.
Not as kewl as email@example.com would be, but still kewl.
WARNING! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants!
You can sign up for a free Budweiser email account here, if you want one.
My old refillable fountain drink cup served me well for almost a year, although the print was beginning to scrape off of it. I replaced it this morning, since it was a Pump & Pantry Conoco cup and the station is now a Bullseye.
Slim Jim Scramble.
Ten to one the idea for this came from heterosexuals.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Thieves have stolen scantily clad garden gnomes from a gnome peepshow in an eastern German amusement park, park manager Frank Ullrich said on Thursday.
"The gnomes display naked body parts -- the same ones you'd expect to see in a human peep show," Ullrich said of his missing stars.
The adults-only attraction at Dwarf-Park Trusetal, where visitors peep through keyholes to see the saucy German miniatures in compromising poses, was smashed open early on Thursday morning.
Ullrich said he feared the gnomes would not be traced.
"I doubt they're standing in someone's garden, they'll have to have been hidden inside."
I wish someone would do something about the heterosexual problem. Just look at some of the things they do to each other.
ROCHESTER — Attorneys for a Farmington woman and her boyfriend, charged with entering St. Mary’s Church to sacrifice her children, argued Friday they never meant to do anyone harm.
Nicole Mancini, 29, of 8 Peaceful Pines Circle, and her boyfriend John Thurber, 35, of Four Rod Road in Rochester, pleaded not guilty Friday to three counts each of endangering the welfare of a child. Thurber also pleaded not guilty to possession of marijuana.
The charges stemmed from an incident Wednesday where Mancini and Thurber entered the Lowell Street church with her three children for the purpose of sacrificing them, according to police.
The incident occurred about 3 p.m. and was reported to police by church staff.
During the arraignment on Friday, Mancini appeared flustered and confused. Throughout, she made several hand and facial gestures at Thurber, while at other times, placed her head down on the table and covered her ears with her hands.
Thurber stood quietly while the lawyers gave their arguments.
Attorneys for both defendants said Mancini never intended to hurt any of her children.
"They were never tied to the altar, there was no blood, there were no constraints for sacrificial use," said Kimberly Shoen, Mancini’s attorney.
According to Linda Slamon, Thurber’s attorney, Thurber said Mancini had been acting "irrationally" recently, and Thurber accompanied her to church to get her help.
"If anything, he was there to protect the children and protect Miss Mancini," Slamon said.
Each of the child endangerment charges stem from accusations that Mancini and Thurber entered the church "for the purpose of sacrificing (their lives) to God." The charges were read aloud at the arraignment by Judge Bruce Larson.
After their arrest, police charged that Mancini wanted to sacrifice all three children, but a church staff member said Mancini indicated she wanted to sacrifice only one of the children at the church altar.
Rochester Police Detective Eric Dugas argued for $25,000 cash bail for both Thurber and Mancini.
But Shoen argued the bail was unjust because her client was not a flight risk and had no prior criminal record.
"Zero. No convictions, no jail time. Zero," Shoen said. "There’s no reason for bail to be that high."
"Other than the point she’s charged with trying to sacrifice them," Dugas responded.
Dugas also argued that Thurber was an acting participant in the incident, he knew of her desire to sacrifice her children, and they had talked about it beforehand.
Larson eventually set Mancini’s bail at $25,000 personal recognizance and $500 cash bail. Thurber’s bail was set at $25,000 personal recognizance and $500 cash surety.
Mancini and Thurber are both allowed to see the children, but only under strict supervision. The children, ages 9, 7, and 1½, were put into the custody of the Division for Children Youth and Families after the incident. Thurber and Mancini are the youngest child’s parents.
Judge Larson also said he would take issues of Mancini’s competency under advisement.
A trial date is scheduled for April 8, 2005.
"Washington, DC - In the latest versions of its candy-flavored cigarettes, R.J. Reynolds has introduced Camel Winter Blends with flavors including Warm Winter Toffee and Winter MochaMint. Ads for these cigarettes are appearing now in magazines with significant youth readership such as Rolling Stone, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Elle. The ads feature an attractive young woman in bright green holiday garb and ice skates, cigarette in hand. RJR's online ads urge visitors to "Celebrate the wonder of Camel's Winter Blends. Whether you're skiing down the slopes or cuddling in a cabin." In fact, it would be more accurate to describe these candy-flavored cigarettes as an invitation to "cuddle up with cancer." It is outrageous that RJR would warp the holiday spirit, which celebrates life, to tempt children with a product that addicts and kills.
RJR's latest candy-flavored cigarettes follow the marketing this summer of other candy-flavored Camels, including the coconut and pineapple-flavored Kauai Kolada and the citrus-flavored Twista Lime. Hawai'i Governor Linda Lingle expressed outrage and stated, "Using the name of Kauai and Hawai'i images to market cigarettes to young people is disgusting." These candy-flavored cigarettes clearly have their greatest appeal to new smokers, 90 percent of whom are teens or younger. Established smokers are unlikely to give up their favorite brands for these new cigarettes, but kids will be tempted to give them a try and many will get hooked. These flavored cigarettes would fit right in on store shelves alongside mint or toffee-flavored ice cream and candy bars.
RJR's candy-flavored cigarettes are the latest evidence that the tobacco companies are just blowing smoke when they say they have made "profound and permanent" changes in how they do business and don't market to kids, as they did recently in their opening arguments in the federal government's lawsuit against the tobacco companies. RJR's actions underscore why the U.S. Department of Justice should aggressively pursue the federal lawsuit, which seeks to stop tobacco marketing to kids and bring about other fundamental changes in industry practices.
These actions also show why Congress should pass legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products, including the authority to ban candy-flavored cigarettes and crack down on other tobacco marketing to kids. RJR played a key role in defeating the FDA legislation precisely so it could continue to engage in irresponsible marketing such as the candy-flavored cigarettes. It's no surprise that this is the same company that conducted the infamous "Joe Camel" campaign that used a cartoon character to get millions of kids to start smoking. The tobacco companies clearly will not change their harmful practices unless they are forced to do so.
RJR's candy-flavored cigarettes are the latest evidence that the tobacco companies have not changed and continue to market in ways that appeal to kids. The Federal Trade Commission reported in October that the tobacco companies in 2002 spent a record $12.5 billion, $34.2 million a day, to market cigarettes. This represents an 85 percent increase since the November 1998 state tobacco settlement, contradicting the tobacco companies' claim that the settlement significantly restricted their marketing. The FTC report showed that almost two-thirds of cigarette marketing was spent on price discounts, which have the greatest impact on kids, who are the most price-sensitive customers. Tobacco marketing is highly effective at influencing kids. Eighty-two percent of youth smokers (ages 12-17) prefer the three most heavily advertised brands Philip Morris Marlboro, Lorillard's Newport and RJR's Camel, compared to less than half of smokers over 25.
While spending record amounts to market cigarettes, the tobacco companies continue to fight proven measures to reduce smoking, such as tobacco tax increases and smoke-free workplace policies. Philip Morris and RJR just spent at least $1.5 million in an unsuccessful effort to defeat an Oklahoma ballot initiative to increase the cigarette tax.
The tobacco companies talk a good game. But RJR's new candy-flavored cigarettes and the industry's other recent actions show that the tobacco companies have not changed and continue to put their own profits ahead of the nation's health. "
WAVY brings us this news from the world of heterosexuality:
A 13-year old Virginia Beach boy is being held at the Virginia Beach Detention Center after police say he abducted an exotic dancer last Tuesday night.
According to officials, the dancer showed up at a pre-arranged appointment at a residence - subsequently discovered to be vacant - in the 700 block of South Rosemont Road around 6:30pm.
The woman noticed the client was a juvenile, but was told that the contract was for his older brother. Police say the woman waited for a while, but no one else showed up.
Authorities say when the woman eventually tried to leave the residence, she was stopped by the juvenile who pointed a shotgun at her and ordered her to dance.
The dancer diverted the boy's attention and tried to dial 911 on her cell phone. According to police, the juvenile then grabbed the phone. During the struggle, the woman bit the boy's hand and was able to break free and run to her car.
Police say their investigation identified the suspect, and also led them to believe that another juvenile was involved in the plan to abduct the dancer. Investigators are working on identifying the second suspect.
The initial 13-year old suspect was arrested Thursday. He is charged with abduction by force, conspiracy, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, brandishing a firearm, and transporting and possessing an assault firearm at age 13.
Kev and I, when out in public, used to make up these involved backstories about strangers we'd encounter, giving them little nicknames such as "Tall Man," "Plaid Man," and "Girl," who, incidentally, were involved in a bisexual love triangle in our backstory.
From the Washington Times:
From today's Joplin Globe:
Churches prepare for 'hate' brigade
Ministers' message to patrons; ignore protesters, pray for them
By Jeff Wells
Globe Staff Writer
Lured by a controversy at Webb City High School, a Topeka, Kan., group says it will protest Sunday outside five Joplin churches and a Webb City church, during services at those churches.
The group, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., also plans to protest outside Webb City High School on Monday morning, Nov. 29.
The group, based on previous protests elsewhere, could carry signs that say "God Hates Fags, God Hates America,'' and "Thank God for Sept. 11." Other signs depict gay sex.
The pastors of the targeted churches say they are encouraging their congregations to ignore the protests.
"We don't believe anyone is won to Christ through hate," said the Rev. Aaron Brown, of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Joplin. "I'm telling my people not to antagonize them."
Phelps, Brown said, appears to select larger churches from the mainline denominations because of what he views as their pro-homosexual positions.
"The official United Methodist stance is that homosexuality is not compatible with Scripture and Christian teaching, but that all people are of sacred worth," Brown said. "Homosexuality is clearly a sin in the Bible, but so is hating the sinner."
Brown cited I John 4:20-21 to support his statement.
The Scripture reads: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
"And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
Phelps' group claims to have conducted 20,000 anti-gay demonstrations across the nation in the past 14 years. The group picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming man who was beaten to death in 1998. More recently, the group has protested at the funeral of Ronald Reagan and at appearances by the Rev. Billy Graham.
"Mr. Phelps knows nothing about our church and what we stand for, and seems to be more in touch with sensationalized media reports than the Bible," Brown said. "He is doing more harm than good for the kingdom of God, and I feel sorry for him. He is enslaved by his own hatred."
The Rev. Michael McDowell, of the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin, said he has encountered the group at earlier posts in the Kansas City area.
McDowell said he informed his congregation of the planned protest in the church's newsletter.
"My voice is going to be pray for them," McDowell said. "Don't confront them, just come on in and worship."
The Rev. Steve Butler, of the First Baptist Church of Joplin, said he is telling church members to "be patient. Be kind. We will worship as usual and leave as usual. The Lord said to practice love toward everyone."
Butler said he wonders why Phelps would target his church, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. The denomination does not perform gay marriages, and supports one-man, one-woman marriage, he said.
Phelps' group, based at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, started planning the local protests after reports of the controversy at Webb City High School. Administrators say a student may not wear gay-pride T-shirts because they violate the dress code.
Phelps' daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, told the Globe in an interview earlier this month that the group stages protests at other congregations because they preach tolerance.
"They all have the big lie that 'God loves everyone,' and they all enable sin by that device, with the big lie," she said. "They all look alike about this issue of homosexuality."
Because, if it's not, then whether or not the school has a Gay/Straight Alliance is none of these meddling homophobes' business.
In the past year and a half, I have lost at least 44 pounds, and gained it back after I got within 7 pounds of my goal weight and, no matter how hard I tried, could not lose any more.
One of my fondest memories of Houston was going to the Coffee Plantation every few days for an orange cappucino. Here in Thayer, they think coffee is something you buy in instant, freeze-dried granule form at the grocery store.
Why, exactly, has it taken THIS long to happen?
From the Pasadena Star News. I have placed exceptionally ridiculous statements in bold and, when necessary, commented on them in brackets.
School officials flip over gymnastics, suspend girl
By Christina L. Esparza, Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - WEST COVINA -- Some cartwheels and handstands sent an 11-year-old West Covina girl tumbling into the principal's office and booted out of school this week.
Deirdre Faegre, a sixth-grader at San Jose-Edison Academy in West Covina -- a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade charter school with 1,150 students --was suspended Tuesday when school authorities warned her for the last time to stop doing gymnastic stunts during lunchtime.
"They told me I can't do it anymore because I can hurt other people or myself," the 90-pound Deirdre said. "There's other kids that do ... but it's obviously only been told to me and I don't know why."
Denise Patton, principal of San Jose-Edison Academy, said she's tried everything to keep from suspending Deirdre: warnings, lunch detention and speaking to her parents.
But, she said, Deirdre continues to defy authority. [Go, revolutionary cartwheel girl, go!]
"Our first concern is the safety of all of our children," Patton said. The gymnastics have "created an unsafe situation for herself and others."
Another child could walk into Deirdre's path and get hit, or an open door could smack her while she's performing a stunt, Patton said. [And, as Wayne used to say, monkeys could fly out my ass. Why not ban walking and opening doors, too?]
West Covina Unified School District Superintendent Richard Vladovic said there a very small number of children are hurt on campus each year. However, the charter school reports directly to Edison Schools in New York, not the West Covina school district.
Vladovic said he agreed with Patton's decision to suspend Deirdre.
"There's a time and place for everything," he said. [And wouldn't that time be freakin' RECESS?]
There would be chaos if all students decided to do gymnastic stunts at school, he said.
Also, Patton added, most children are not as skilled as Deirdre, who has been practicing with the Charter Oak Gymnastics team since she was 6. They may try to copy her and get hurt.
"She may be skilled in being able to do these stunts, but I have had children who have tried to mimic what these skilled children do and end up hurt."
Deirdre's father, Leland -- who has run several times as a Libertarian candidate in various elections -- said it is ridiculous a little girl is getting suspended for doing cartwheels when sports like basketball are being allowed.
"Contact sports, apparently, are fine," Faegre said. "But this one is so ... dangerous it requires the cartwheel cops."
Deirdre, who Faegre said won a Student of the Month award in October, is slated to return to school Monday.
If she continues to do the cartwheels and hand-stands, Patton said she'll probably have to take up the issue with the West Covina Unified School District's board.
"It's unfortunate that the parents are pushing this issue without seeing the entire picture," Patton said. "This isn't just about their daughter; it's about the safety of all the students at the school."
[Those who choose safety over freedom deserve neither.]
From Pandia Search World:
MSN Search one step closer to launch
(November 10 2004, update November 11) Several news sites have announced that MSN will launch its new search engine today. This is not really the case.
Others have told their readers that they will present a beta test version of the new search engine for the very first time. This is not correct, either. MSN has had a tech preview available for some time now.
What is clear is that MSN has upgraded their Techpreview to a more advanced public beta test site. This site will be run in parallel with the regular MSN search site and portal, which both are powered by the Yahoo! search engine at the moment.
So MSN is not rushing it. They want the new search engine to be as good as Google's before they do a proper launch -- which is clearly the most sensible thing to do.
The company seems very optimistic. MSN chief executive Steve Ballmer told shareholders on Tuesday that "We will catch up, we will surpass [Google]". But then gain, this is exactly the kind of thing you are supposed to tell shareholders.
Among the new features added to the MSN search engine is a "Near Me" button that restricts your search to your local area. The feature is based on your computers IP address, but you may also set the geographical location manually.
There is extensive support for advanced searching. A separate "Search Builder" link opens up a more advanced search form on the search page itself. You may limit your search to specific domains, countries, languages or regions or to pages that link to a defined URL. The "Search Builder" then transforms your query to the correct Boolean syntax.
Another innovation is the search engine algorithm sliders. Yes, you may adjust the search ranking by degree of match, page popularity and freshness.
It is this type of innovation that gives Microsoft a chance against Google. However, there is no reason to believe that MSN will overtake Google as the leading search portal in the very near future. This technology is not better than Google's, and Google has built a better brand. However, searchers will definitely benefit from getting such a strong alternative to Google.
How does making people get out of their car, go into the store, get their beer, and drive home curb driving while intoxicated?
which, by their standards, is both homoerotically suggestive AND homophobic.
Unfair? Check. Reprehensible? Check. Theft? Hell yeah.
Farnsworth, who ran for the 8th Congressional District, claims the U.S. Constitution does not give Congress power to impose an income tax.
Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the creative uses Indians are finding for their free government condoms?
Matt Chaney of the Sedalia Democrat sums up my sentiments nicely, although he leaves out another argument I would have made -- how does a stadium in St. Louis, KC, or Columbia help ME? The answer is simple. It doesn't. So why should I be forced to subsidize it? The answer is again simple. I shouldn't.
Welfare of sports franchises burdens Missouri
By Matt Chaney
The Sedalia Democrat
The vital concerns for Missourians everywhere, urban and rural, have hardly changed within contemporary America.
Government and education, roads and bridges, manufacturing and service industry, small business, natural resources: These are Missouri's lifeblood components and will remain so, and today each faces pressing problems, some at critical mass.
The well being of professional sports franchises, meanwhile, are nowhere on the list of legitimate needs for Missouri, nor any other state for that matter.
Yet, since TV transformed American sports into mega-entertainment, leaders of many urban areas -- particularly figures in government, media and sport business -- are convinced a civic image they vaguely define as "major league" is critical to the survival and advancement of a metropolitan area.
Never mind the economic facts prove otherwise. This image thing about a city being major league, proponents insist, is real and must be fed periodically with state-of-the-art stadiums and arenas -- and taxpayers should pay the majority of financing.
Unfortunately for Missouri, this misguided, baseless policy has cost us a billion dollars in recent decades.
In addition, we're still on the hook for hundreds of millions earmarked toward existing or approved stadiums and arenas. Decades into the future, Missourians will pay costs in construction, maintenance and debt for facilities in Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis.
Incredibly, this public farce may only grow in scope, because influential people pushing major sports are hell-bent to secure new public aid for lavish venues.
Moreover, such power brokers seem oblivious that most Missourians have learned enough about sport economy -- understanding what it doesn't do for mankind, versus what it allegedly does -- to object at the polls.
Our sports mongers just don't get it. To wit:
"Like living in a big city? Then pay up," growled a recent headline in the Kansas City Star, above a mirror commentary by sportswriter Joe Posnanski.
The Poz and other KC sports boosters wanted area voters to approve a new quarter-cent sales tax measure, Bistate II, that in part would've provided $600 million to renovate stadiums for the Chiefs and Royals, along with a same amount pegged for regional arts.
The campaign was dubbed "Think Big," directly dissing anyone who disagreed, but the measure failed convincingly on Nov. 2, losing in four of five counties polled.
Still, while citizens rejected Bistate II, they couldn't kill the never-say-die attitude of supporters.
Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt has reacted more like the good ol' Texas billionaire he is, instead of the supposed local folk hero he isn't.
Hunt says now it might be time to just deck Truman Sports Complex and build two new stadiums.
Much in stride with Hunt, other KC sports boosters say the Bistate defeat really means the public needs a new stadium or two in the downtown.
Royals owner and billionaire David Glass, to his credit, is cool to anyone's idea about another stadium for his team. And Glass, a native of Willow Springs who married a Walton, appears sympathetic to taxpayers in this issue. But he still wants public aid, even if he's talking about much less after Bistate's failure.
As for Hunt, I say go ahead, man, build your stadium. You just write the check. Forbes knows you can.
Elsewhere in Missouri, St. Louis County voters struck a blow against stadium subsidy on Nov. 2, overwhelmingly approving Proposition A.
The new statute bars public assistance for professional sports stadiums without voter approval. It follows a like measure voters passed two years ago in St. Louis City.
The laws are too late to nullify public aid politicians gave the St. Louis Cardinals, about $200 million in tax breaks, infrastructure and bonds to help build the new ballpark downtown.
But St. Louis voters can ward off possible welfare bids by the football Rams, who are expected to seek aid for "improvements" to the A.G. Edwards Dome, and the hockey Blues, for subsidy they would want to survive. The dome, incidentally, already will cost taxpayers a reported $720 million before debt is retired in 2022.
Taken collectively, Missouri's enormous investment in pro sports equates to folly, and downtown St. Louis is a case in point.
In the last decade, the Cardinals have made one World Series and reached the NLCS in three other years. The Rams have made two Super Bowls. The Blues have made the NHL playoffs repeatedly.
The dome has opened, Savvis Center has been renovated extensively, and the Cardinals are replacing Busch Stadium.
Yet downtown St. Louis still has dead economy, still needs revitalization, and still awaits great ideas by civic leaders.
Thinking big for Missouri's future, urban and rural, isn't about small-minded, worn-out concepts like huge funding for stadiums. And it's time our sports mongers accept the fact.
They can learn from George Steinbrenner in New York, the Yankees owner planning a new $800 million ballpark in The Bronx.
King George says he'll pay $700 million for the project if the city will kick in $100 for infrastructure.
This proposal is reasonable. Private enterprise would pay the lion's share, while public aid is enough to cover any immeasurable benefit to local economy.
Say what you want about Steinbrenner, but his thinking on stadium funding is major league.
Here's an example of a voluntary, free-market solution to schools' budget problems.
Now HERE's a story for you:
Town's Voters Support Bush And Legal Hookers
POSTED: 8:40 AM EST November 8, 2004
FALLON, Nev. -- Voters in Churchill County, Nevada, support President George W. Bush -- and legal hookers. Legalize Prostitution?Should prostitution be legalized and regulated?YesNo
A ballot measure to ban legal prostitution in the rural Republican county lost by a 2-1 margin in last Tuesday's election.
George Flint, executive director of the Nevada Brothel Association, can't believe it. He said the overwhelming vote in favor of prostitution blows his mind.
He's not the only one who is stunned. Opponents of brothels said they were shocked, too. Officials said the defeat of the anti-brothel measure could lead to the eventual reopening of two "houses" in the area.
I know from past experience that I would be just as obsessive-compulsive as these guys.
Another college town, Columbia, Miss., enacted two pot proposals, one to legalize medical use and one to decriminalize possession of up to 35 grams. The decrim measure will reduce the penalty to a $250 fine and require police and prosecutors to take pot-possession cases to municipal courts, where it will be a minor violation, instead of to state courts, where it remains a criminal offense.
Nice to see I'm getting noticed. And nice to find a new blog, too.
From the dreadful News-Leader:
Libertarians took pride in strong showings. Christopher Davis, Libertarian Party candidate for Missouri secretary of state, was disappointed that few TV returns mentioned his party.
A spokesman for the Arkansas Libertarian Party, the only group to come out against Amendment 2, said he was "upset" with early voting results. "It’s a disappointment," said Mark Nuckles of Jonesboro.
Nuckles said the party opposed Amendment 2 because bonds authorized by the Legislature must be paid for, draining state funds. "We have schools that are in dire need of money," he said. "All around, it’s just another form of corporate welfare being pushed through."
He also said the measure was too vague and lacked appropriate safeguards to protect against unwise investments.
Both candidates were closing in on the 1 million-vote mark, with Gregoire at 980,190 and Rossi at 965,867. That was a difference of less than 1 percentage point, with about 2 million ballots counted. Libertarian Ruth Bennett trailed with 2 percent, or 41,072 votes.
According to the unofficial results, Kinder received 49 percent of the statewide vote, barely ahead of Cook's 48.4 percent. Libertarian Mike Ferguson of Belton picked up 2 percent, and Constitution Party candidate Bruce Hillis of Dexter claimed 0.6 percent.
A bottle of peppermint schnapps, three shiners, a shooter of something called "On the Beach," a few Diet Dew/Jim Beam drinks, two packs of cigarettes, ten small cherry cigars, and two full-sized apple-flavored cigars later. I made it to almost 1:00 AM, when NBC called Ohio for Bush, making his electoral count 269.
... judging from Blogger's sluggishness, so I'll be brief.
... written by David Kupelian can be found here in World Net Daily.