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"We were called to Pinewood studios at 5.05pm after reports of a 71-year-old man being injured by a garage door."
Get well soon, Grandpa.

Who was it?

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Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:49 PM PDT

He ain't heavy, he's my brother

by Karl Rover

Here's your story for today, if you need a little eye moistening:

TEMPERANCE, Mich. (AP) — A 14-year-old Michigan boy set out on a 40-mile trek on Saturday with his 7-year-old brother strapped to his back, hoping to raise awareness about the muscular condition that prevents the younger boy from being able to walk without help.

Hunter Gandee, with 50-pound Braden securely strapped to his back, left shortly after 8 a.m. from the parking lot of Bedford Junior High School in Temperance, which is near the Ohio border. They hoped to arrive Sunday at their destination, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Link to AP story.

We don't know why Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl apparently left his base and was captured by the Taliban. We do know that he was held as a prisoner for five years, and was released in exchange for Taliban prisoners who would have to be released anyway at the end of the Afghan war, if the Geneva Accords are followed.

But, there are "doubts" about his loyalties; you've all seen the screeching, howling noise calling for.. what, returning him to the Taliban for a refund? Impeachment of a President who took the whole "we bring our troops back" thing seriously? Whatever.

But this is a new low:

HAILEY, Idaho, June 4 (Reuters) - The hometown of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has canceled a rally planned for later this month celebrating his release from five years of Taliban captivity, a municipal official told Reuters on Wednesday, amid allegations that he was a deserter.
I'd hope that some decent people in Idaho would approach his family to have a Welcome Home event. I don't think they are looking for a parade or a bunch of speeches. Just a little appreciation for a young American soldier who has been through a bad time, and hasn't seen the end of it.

Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:14 PM PDT

Glenn Beck's Nazi Stuff on Display

by Karl Rover

Well, it speaks for itself: The Salt Lake Tribune

Earlier this month, Glenn Beck rented several rooms in downtown Salt Lake City at the Grand America Hotel to display an "Independence Through History" exhibition. This accompanied his "Man on the Moon" rally, which took place just a few miles away at the Rio Tinto Center.

The exhibition occupied two small rooms and brought together a panoply of objects spanning three centuries. Early American currency was presented alongside 18th century Bibles, sculptures of simian "slaves" and presidential memorabilia. Many of these items derived from the personal collection of David Barton, a publisher of tea party literature.

The adjoining room contained objects from Glenn Beck’s personal collection. This included a hooded KKK cape and a swastika banner which had been used at Nuremberg. Underneath was an illuminated vitrine containing a copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler, a stack of love letters by Hermann Göring, and a satin handkerchief browned with Hitler’s blood. Nearby was an early edition of Anne Frank’s Diary.

Lacking any deference to professional standards of display, Beck’s exhibition offered no connection between these items and the early Americana nearby. From a museological perspective, the show was brazenly dilettante. Known to be a fringe demagogue, Beck has often drawn parallels between Nazi history and contemporary American politics, acts which have brought him much criticism — and parody. The exhibition at the Grand America, however, represented a departure from Beck’s usual rhetoric.

This shit is just too weird for me. Please do read the link and comment as you will.

Additional: this shit is still too weird for me, in the way that I can't stop thinking about it. I've looked for any photos to add, but, sadly no. If you could help, I'll.. gladly follow you wherevah.



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Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 03:40 PM PDT

Google "Gay"

by Karl Rover

just do it. google googling "gay"

It's quite a day today. I'll raise a glass to our friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers who are a step closer to equality. Cheers!


are you married?

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or playing detective, you'll like geoguessr.

All those street view photos that Google takes for Google Maps? Some guy made a guessing game with them. Actually, his name is Anton Wellen, and it's fairly interesting.

It's really easy to play.. you see a photo you can scan 360 degrees, and you guess the location by clicking on a map. You're assigned points for your answer, but as they always said in "Who's line is this, anyways?", the points don't really mean much. The game also tells you the exact distance between the location and your guess.

My particular observations:

1. If your computer is running slow, it's too frustrating, because you need to scan around to see the whole photo, and it will fragment and piss you off.

2. Look at buildings, the cars, the signs, the pavement, the painted lines on the road, everything. I even note the soil color, the type of plants and trees and rocks.

3. Sometimes it's relatively easy. I got one photo with a sign "Winnemucca Chamber of Commerce" and two street signs, and located it to 0.024 km of where the photo was taken.

4. Other photos have no landmarks, and well, you take yer best guess.. Many countries must have never been photographed. Australia, the US, Canada, Brasil, Norway, Sweden and Russia show up a lot. Eastern Europe, South Africa, Japan, China, Spain and others some, but less. Many, apparently, never.

5. Only one photo, so far I recognized on sight. It was in the mountains south of Palm Springs and didn't have anything to identify it except the landscape, but I knew that one. It was kind of a nice deja vu feeling.

6. I don't open other windows to get clues. If you want to, fine. If I see a street sign or a town name on the photo, I can zoom into the map (where I post my guess) and often find more info.

So, take a look, play detective, and post your scores in the comments. My highest score for 5 photos was 15,500, but a really good guesser could double that.


Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:22 PM PDT

Wounded Knee is for sale

by Karl Rover

In the market for 40-acres of prairie in South Dakota? You're in luck: James Czywczynski is looking to sell you some for the low cost of $3.9 million. Of course, the land is also the site of one of the most infamous massacres of Native Americans by the United States Army.
WOUNDED KNEE, S.D. — Ever since American soldiers massacred men, women and children here more than a century ago in the last major bloodshed of the American Indian wars, this haunted patch of rolling hills and ponderosa pines has embodied the combustible relationship between Indians and the United States government.

It was here that a group of Indian activists aired their grievances against the government with a forceful takeover in 1973 that resulted in protests, a bloody standoff with federal agents and deep divisions among the Indian people.

And now the massacre site, which passed into non-Indian hands generations ago, is up for sale, once again dragging Wounded Knee to the center of the Indian people’s bitter struggle against perceived injustice — as well as sowing rifts within the tribe over whether it would be proper, should the tribe get the land, to develop it in a way that brings some money to the destitute, etc, blah blah

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would you donate to buy the land at Wounded Knee?

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Continue Reading
Internet Strike on January 18. Can you stay off the Intertubes for a day to send a message about SOPA and PIPA and other assorted corporate-coddling-free speech killing-legislative abuse? I'm hoping that DKos will join in this effort, and that its members will also.

Cory Doctorow of Boing wrote:

On January 18, Boing Boing will join Reddit and other sites around the Internet in "going dark" to oppose SOPA and PIPA, the pending US legislation that creates a punishing Internet censorship regime and exports it to the rest of the world. Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we'd have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren't in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.

Even though a substantial portion of my living comes from the entertainment industry, I don't think that any amount of "piracy" justifies this kind of depraved indifference to the consequences of one's actions. Big Content haven't just declared war on Boing Boing and Reddit and the rest of the "fun" Internet: they've declared war on every person who uses the net to publicize police brutality, every oppressed person in the Arab Spring who used the net to organize protests and publicize the blood spilled by their oppressors, every abused kid who used the net to reveal her father as a brutalizer of children, every gay kid who used the net to discover that life is worth living despite the torment she's experiencing, every grassroots political campaigner who uses the net to make her community a better place -- as well as the scientists who collaborate online, the rescue workers who coordinate online, the makers who trade tips online, the people with rare diseases who support each other online, and the independent creators who use the Internet to earn their livings.

The contempt for human rights on display with SOPA and PIPA is more than foolish. Foolishness can be excused. It's more than greed. Greed is only to be expected. It is evil, and it must be fought.

SOPA Strike is compiling a list of sites that are also going dark for Jan 18. If you want an Internet where human rights, free speech and the rule of law are not subordinated to the entertainment industry's profits, I hope you'll join us on it.

I'm planning on taking the 18th off the internet. If you're not familiar with Boing, check it out. It's a hoot.


A Stockton, California Police Officer managed to subdue a suspect who was later charged with "battery on a police officer". The perp was zip-tied, hands and feet, and delivered to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

The suspect in this case was five years old. He was taken from his school without his parents' knowledge by police. When his father picked him up later at the hospital, his hands were still tied behind his back.

the officer, Lt. Frank Gordo, says he placed his hand on Michael's and, "the boy pushed my hand away in a batting motion, pushed papers off the table, and kicked me in the right knee."

When Michael wouldn't calm down, Gordo cuffed Michael's hands and feet with zip ties and took the boy to the Stockton Kaiser Psychiatric Hospital in the back of a squad car.

He had not called Michael's mother or father at that point. Michael was cited for battery on a police officer.

Read more:

It's one thing when police deal with adults. But when an officer claims that a 5-year-old committed battery on him, and trusses him up with zip ties, that would be child abuse in a civilized country. Please read the link, there's also a video.

I spent the afternoon with my wife's 4-year old grandson. I suppose he committed a few infractions, but luckily no zip-ties were needed.


Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 08:26 PM PDT

Lemony Snicket on OWS

by Karl Rover

I couldn't say it better, so just go read it.

Here's a bit:

Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance

1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.

2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.

3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.

4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.

5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.


Because, apparently, US law should apply everywhere.

Radley Balko says: "I have a piece up at Huffington Post looking at a new House bill that would make it a federal crime to plan or advise any activity in another country that would violate U.S. drug laws, even the activity is legal in the county where it's planned to happen. The law would make it a crime, for example, to plan a trip to Amsterdam for the purpose of smoking pot, or to advise someone in another country how to grow medical marijuana (even if medical pot is legal there)."

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out. The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.

The bill has only passed the House Committee so far. It seems like it wouldn't become law.. or would it?

It wouldn't be the first time. Over the last several years, a number of executives from online gambling companies have been arrested in U.S. airports and charged with felony violations of U.S. gambling, racketeering and money laundering laws, even though the executives were citizens of and the companies were incorporated in countries where online gambling is legal.

The whole world is subject to US law, just don't actually come to the US. We probably won't let you in.


Should US law be enforced world-wide?

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 07:37 AM PDT

Rep. Allen West "Nuts!"

by Karl Rover

According to the Miami New Times, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) penned "the dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery" when he sent this one-word ("NUTS") letter to a local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR wrote to Rep West about his ties to radical anti-Islamic rabblerousers, arguing for their basic American constitutional right to be "afforded equal protection under law" and "to worship freely or participate in the governing of our society."

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