The G-8 comes to my neck of the woods


Frederick County, Maryland, USA. It’s a relatively normal place…normal being relative anywhere, I suppose. It’s home to about 235,000 souls, and is roughly 670 square miles in area. You can drive from one end of the county to another in under 30 minutes, whether it’s north-south or east-west.

I’ve call FredCo home for 13 years now. As with most who moved here in the 90’s, it was the only place in the Baltimore/Washington corridor where we could afford a larger house with a yard.

But FredCo has within its borders something that sets it apart from other mostly rural counties in Maryland. Just outside of Thurmont, a mere 15 minute drive from the city of Frederick, is a little place called Camp David. And, suddenly, this weekend Frederick County is on the map.


 This morning a few G-8 protesters were gathering in Thurmont, painting signs and gathering on street corners to share their thoughts about world affairs.

Richard Ochs and Donna Plamondon, two members of Occupy Baltimore, expected to be joined by about a dozen others from their group. They prepared signs near the Weis grocery at the southern end of the city.

Outdoors, reporters and law enforcement outnumbered residents and protesters before 11 a.m. Protesters said they had no plans to be destructive, but wanted to let government officials know that they are dissatisfied with the status quo. Nine Occupy New Haven members arrived by car after camping nearby.

Barbara Barbe was out front of Brown’s Jewelry & Gift store watching the morning’s activity.

“Every other car’s a police car,” Barbe said.

She and police shared the opinion that all seemed to be calm and friendly under the sunny skies.


Notwithstanding the nonchalance of the local paper, the truth on the ground is that there is great deal of apprehension around FredCo. The local hospital is on high alert, with mandatory on-site staff presence and a makeshift triage – “just in case” – in the cafeteria. The local news-talk radio station is sending out special emails reminding listeners to tune to 930 AM for the latest information.

Anyone who has followed the news, even casually, over the past decade knows that a G-8 or G-20 summit usually means riots in the host city. I’m not sure where the protesters could riot in FredCo. Thurmont is a spec on the map, and Frederick city is not exactly Metropolis. Maybe they can meet at FSK Mall, or Baker Park. I dunno.

If anything of interest happens, I’ll make a follow-up post. Otherwise, you’ll know that it was just another ordinary, quiet weekend in the sticks.

Huge win for freedom


There are some, among them a certain troll who likes to hijack my blog’s comments for his small-minded rants, who are of the opinion that journalists must be accredited and licensed in order to hold that “lofty” title. I disagree wholeheartedly; had that sort of constraint been in place 250 years ago, individuals such as Patrick Henry would have been proscribed from publishing their treatises against the King of England, and we might still be no more than ragtag pommy colonies.

Apologies in advance to any Brits offended by the preceding paragraph. I was just being cheeky.

No, the tradition of the citizen-journalist is at the very bedrock of rights the founding fathers held most dear. Troll-boy’s protestations to the contrary, the reporting of news and spouting of opinion by mere commoners is of vital importance to the health of a republic.

And now a federal judge agrees.

Boston lawyer Simon Glik was arrested on October 1, 2007 when he used his cell phone to record officers making a drug arrest, and later sued the city and the officers for violating his rights. After the officers tried to having the lawsuit dismissed on the basis of qualified immunity, a Federal Appeals Court denied the motion last week and ruled that filming and photographing police is in fact protected by the First Amendment. They also note that the rights extend not just to professional news gatherers, but ordinary citizens as well:

“[...] changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw. The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status”.

How big is this news? Beyond big.

As I reported well over a year ago, it is a felony crime in the State of Maryland People’s Republic of Maryland to take video of the Maryland State Police Schutzstaffel in the course of executing their duties (such as shooting pet dogs, for example). Or, should I say, it was.

Now that we can confidently record the jackbooted jagoffs in action, I’m willing to bet that their behavior toward we mere commoners might just be a little less strident. We can only hope.

Come On! Don’t Hold Out!


Does anyone know if it was the owner of Channel 7, Kerry Stokes, who purchased the Victoria Cross that was awarded to Lieutenant George Mawby Ingram for bravery and initiative in the battle of Montbrehain on October 5, 1918?

I’m very curious to know if Mr Stokes has again bought a significant medal and donated it to the Australian War Memorial, as is happening with this medal.

My curiosity is rightly fed by this piece of fantastic news.

Mr Stokes,

SALUTE!

Iowahawk: Still An International Wonder


Iowahawk makes an appearance in Perth’s major newspaper.

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Newsly Items


Will someone please take this guy out the back and fuckin’ shoot him?

This is a contender for the Best Headline Ever Award.

Spot, grab some tissues, because not even a grown man could not be saddened by this.

Vote Howard! Since you guys couldn’t vote in the election, you can at least do your duty to give some ABC staff small strokes.

I’m definitely moving to Queensland!

What’s the bet that this guy is sentenced harshly?

Another week, another stupid article from Paul Keating.

Posted in Miscellaneous, News. Tags: . 3 Comments »

Dick Quest Tangled Up


This is just so funny. It really is. There’s just something about some “celebrities”…

CNN personality Richard Quest was busted in Central Park early yesterday with some drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot, law-enforcement sources said.

Quest, 46, was arrested at around 3:40 a.m. after a cop spotted him and another man inside the park near 64th Street, a police source said.

Link via the only Likeable Lawyer. And as said lawyer notes “…with this sort of arrest on his record, he might as well just run for Congress. He’ll fit right in!

Huh?!


This is a new one on me.

Posted in Australia, WTF. Tags: , , , . 5 Comments »

Man dressed as a woman accused of crashing into shop


COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Police say a man dressed as a woman repeatedly crashed his car into a suburban Detroit lingerie store that had refused to hire him earlier this year.

Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said Jeremy McIntosh, 27, was arrested Saturday night outside the Intimate Ideas store in Commerce Township, 25 miles northwest of Detroit. Damage to the store was estimated at $3,000.

McCabe said McIntosh was wearing “facial makeup, lipstick, blue Capri pants, red ‘flip-flops,’ a flowery blouse and a matching flowery women’s bra.” McIntosh told deputies he is homeless and wanted to go to jail because he had nowhere else to go.

McIntosh remained jailed after his Monday arraignment on charges including malicious destruction of property

You BITCH!

Breitbart/AP

Allies. And friends as well.


This was posted over at Tim Blair’s blog by Dave S.

An Australian soldier writes to his father about the American soldiers he’s fighting alongside in Baghdad.

It’s more good news out of Iraq. Incidentally Dave S. would like to hear from anyone who thinks they might have found his missing surname. The bank manager’s getting antsy and complaining about those incomplete signatures on his cheques.

Melbourne Is A Party Town!


Just heard some stupid bint on the radio:

“Melbourne is quite a party town. It moves from one party to the next.

And so once the Formula 1 Grand Prix leaves town, we move on to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, one of Australia’s best known events.”

Huh?!

What?!

What happened to the Grand Final, the Grand Prix, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Melbourne Cup, the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, the Annual Serial Murderer Arrest (Adelaide Based), the Mardi Gras, the Annual Resignation of a Labor Leader, the Moomba Festival, the Royal Shows, or any number of other things that are rated much more highly than the Melbourne Commie Festival?

So far this marvellous celebration of the utterly hilarious has been on for two weeks (19 March to 13 April), yet I’ve barely heard a peep about it. Hell, when I was in the city (last Wednesday), I didn’t even realise it had started, such is the hype and excitement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq National Orchestra: And the Band Played On


Massive Hat Tip to Spot-the-Dog, who emailed me this article: I didn’t even know Iraq had an orchestra!

This is a difficult article to excerpt, so you should read the whole thing, but here are a few money quotes to give you a rough idea.

“Karim Wasfi, age 36, arrives driving a white Range Rover and dressed in a blazer, vest and ascot. Sporting aviator shades, his ample form topped by lush black hair, he could be one of the Three Tenors — or a staunchly civilized orchestra director, which is, in fact, what he is. When orchestra directors go around the streets of Baghdad looking exactly as they should, you know that things are bucking up. Except that Mr. Wasfi has held that post at the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra since 2004, through the darkest of times, and he has always looked like this. We set off at speed out of Mansour toward downtown Baghdad listening to Wagner. “The Ride of the Valkyries” to be precise.”

I can’t listen to Ride of the Valkyries anymore without thinking of Apocalypse Now, I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” but it does seem apropos, non?

“In the car, I also listen to the Saint-Saëns requiem and the Mozart requiem — that’s usually the right mood for Baghdad,” says Mr. Wasfi, in his cultivated English…”

OK, that I get.

“At one point, I had to tactfully get a formal religious proclamation from a top cleric that music was not profane.”

Is any more proof required that Islam is evil?

“Mr. Wasfi launches into a bewildering tale. The symphony performed at the Al Rashid theater downtown for years, but soon after the invasion the place was looted and burned. So the orchestra moved to Al Ribat Hall, which was merely vandalized. But it was officially given Al Shaab Hall, which was attacked in ’06 and has been ineffectively repaired twice, while the Convention Center popped open briefly before that deal was rescinded.”

And I think booking my own gigs is a drag.

“”Any of us could find a job abroad,” Mr. Wasfi says. “In fact, I moved my sisters to Sweden — they think I’m crazy to stay. So why stay? To fight back against the malevolent and the ignorant. I like to think that we inspire people — they see us and they see the barbarism everywhere. It gives them a choice: It could be like this, or like this.””

I fucking love this guy!

“The symphony gets a bare minimum of funding. Its parent body is the Culture Ministry, which pays the salaries and little else. Hence the orchestra often survives on single concerts funded by the U.N. or the foreign community.”

Good God, I never thought I’d offer props to the United Nations!

“These days, Mr. Wasfi struggles not merely to keep going but to make gains against adversity. He has organized a quartet to perform all around the city, and he plays the cello wherever he can, sometimes solo, as he did at the Ibn Rushd mental asylum. “I had one chair, and everyone sat on the floor. I played Bach suites, and I improvised. You can imagine what it was like. They were intensely delighted, absolutely grateful. They asked for an extra hour. Of course I sometimes wonder why I do this, until something like that comes along. Then you know that you have to. Most of the time, that’s how I feel about Baghdad.””

Emphasis mine: I really, really love this guy.

In my estimation, there is no greater cultural ambassador that the West has at its disposal than classical music, because everybody with a brain relates to it. Music is both an art and a science: It is the most scientific of the arts, and the most artistic of the sciences – in fact, music was considered a science in the ancient quadrivium – so, naturally, I find this to be outrageously good news.

I’m wondering, though, why the article is only in the conservative WSJ? ~ahem~

Like I said, read the whole thing.

Virginia Offers Tech Shooting Victims’ Families $100,000 Each in Settlement


This is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT!

I know as well as the victims, both dead and survivors who were and still injured this would happen, obviously NOT to the extent of those that actually lost loved ones, or loved ones that suffer from their physical wounds. The mental and emotional wounds, will NEVER go away. It’s the old ‘let the dust settle, then offer jackshit to those affected’ AND escape OUR part in this heinous crime, after all we cannot admit our criminal negligence, MY GOD we could go to prison, if we did’. An escape route by the State of Virginia, the officials at Virginia Tech, for the aforementioned, criminal negligence.

The President of Virginia Tech, one At about 7:15 this morning, a 911 call came to the university police department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later, the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall., those in “power” in his administration and the local police should have been dismissed immediately for their complete and negligent mishandling of this tragedy and/or subjected to civil and criminal charges. I should mention that “privacy laws” aided in this vile crime. No one was allowed to tell anyone, that Seung-Hui Cho, a mentally disturbed student, that killed the 32 victims and wounded several others at Virginia Tech on April 16 before committing suicide, was in fact a crazed person, off medications. “Privacy laws” be damned. Those that did not speak, have as much fault as those that could speak or act and did NOT.

I visited Virginia Tech, the fall after this massacre took place, as classes had just begun. I witnessed the sorrow, anger and every emotion in between. I saw the first hesitating steps to the memorial being constructed by students NOT faculty, to their lost and injured. Not trying to intrude, I asked no questions, just listened.

The reason(s) for the anger:

Have a serious situation developing here stateside in Virginia at Virginia Tech. It’s the first day of classes and a gunman is on the loose. Our Tony Harris has more details on that.

TONY HARRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT:
Yes, Daryn, it is. As you mentioned, it’s a serious situation. Classes have been canceled. The campus at Blacksburg has essentially been shut down there at Virginia Tech. University employees have been told to stay in their offices and lock the doors. Students who live on campus have been told to return to their dorm rooms and lock the doors. And here’s why. Local police are trying to capture a prisoner who escaped shortly after being transported yesterday from the county jail in Christiansburg to a hospital in Blacksburg for a leg injury.

The suspect is 24-year-old William Charles Morva and he was being held on suspicion of robbery. Now since the escape yesterday, police say Morva overpowered a sheriff’s deputy at the hospital where he was being treated, took his gun, then shot and killed an unarmed hospital security guard. And this morning as police were closing in on him, he alleged shot another police officer on the Huckleberry Trail, killing that officer. There have been a number of report there of sightings of the suspect on the Tech campus, possibly in the student center. That particular report did not bear out. But there is a lot, as you can imagine, of police activity right now on and around the Virginia Tech campus as police try to catch this suspect who has now allegedly killed two officers who were trying to get him back behind bars.

KAGAN: All this on what was supposed to be the first day of class. HARRIS: That’s right.

Fast forward same Campus, same year, same faculty:

Statement by Virginia Tech’s President

Apr 16 01:24 PM US/Eastern
By The Associated Press

Statement by Virginia Tech President Charles Steger on Monday afternoon after the fatal shootings of 21 students:Well, today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions. There were two shootings which occurred on campus. In each case there were fatalities. The university is shocked and indeed horrified that this would befall us, and I want to extend my deepest and most sincere and profound sympathy to the families of these victims, which include our students.We are currently in the process of notifying next of kin. The Virginia Tech police are being assisted by numerous other jurisdictions including Montgomery County. Crime scenes are being investigated by the university police, the FBI and the state police.We continue to work to identify the victims that have been impacted by this tragedy. I cannot begin to convey my own personal sense of loss over this senseless and incomprehensible heinous act. The university will immediately set up counseling centers. So far, centers have been identified in Ambler Johnston and the Cook counseling center to work with our campus community and their families.Now here are some of the facts as we know them. At about 7:15 this morning, a 911 call came to the university police department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later, the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall. The police immediately responded.The shooter in Norris Hall is deceased. There are multiple fatalities. The number of fatalities has not been confirmed. Victims have been transported to various hospitals in the immediate area in the region to receive emergency treatment. And we will proceed to contact the next of kin as the victims’ identities are available. All classes are canceled and the university is closed for the remainder of the day.

The university will open tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., but classes will be canceled on Tuesday. The police are currently staging the release of people from campus buildings. Families wishing to reunite with their students are suggested to meet at the Inn at Virginia Tech, the building that we’re in today. Were making plans for a convocation tomorrow at noon in Cassell Coliseum for the university to come together to begin the healing process from this terrible tragedy.

That ends my prepared comments.

Smug Bastard, you are Charles Stegel. If you read the prepared statement, by chance did anyone notice the words or phrase ‘shut down’, ‘lock down’ of school campus, AFTER you have found two dead on THAT same campus?

Did anyone notice this part of that statement?

“At about 7:15 this morning, a 911 call came to the university police department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later, the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall.”

Question(s):

If the same President and faculty shut or locked down the same campus for an escaped convict that never came to the campus, why didn’t that same President and faculty shut or lock down the same campus after finding “multiple shooting victims”?

The “police” mentioned were mainly the campus police and Blacksburg, VA. police department, not THE full force and effect, ‘bring the whole damn portion of all available law enforcement in this area, NOW!’

The full force of law enforcement did not occur until AFTER the tragedy. They were there, but pictures will show most if not all, standing around, waiting for the next series of shots. Despicable! (and no, as of now, I don’t have those pictures or the videos…but I will find them)

Why after two hours, was there still NO campus shut or lock down? 30 more died after that two hour lull?

Charles Steger and faculty powers that be, so far you are the luckiest sons-a-bitches on the face of this earth. This slap in the face ‘throw them some crumbs’ “settlement” FOR those victims, the families and friends of those victims, is a cowardly and disgusting way, for you people to try to put balm on your souls.

My fondest hope is, the survivors, families and friends of those you failed to protect, crumple this “settlement”, throw it in your face as well as the government of the State of Virgina and pursue legal remedies both civil and criminal, against all of you.

In essence ALL of you assisted in this massacre, ALL of you must pay, be it money or a pound of flesh. I prefer the latter.

Attributions TO Fox News, CNN News.

Some Damn Great News…Do we need it or what? Miami doctor breaks new ground in cancer surgery.


MIAMI (Reuters) – Dr. Tomoaki Kato had to remove a lot more than a cancerous tumor during an unprecedented operation on a 63-year-old Florida woman earlier this month.

To get to the tumor, which was buried deep in Brooke Zepp’s abdomen and threatened to kill her within months, the organ transplant specialist said he first had to remove her stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver and small and large intestines.

The organs were chilled and preserved outside Zepp’s body during a painstaking 15-hour operation at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

They were re-implanted in their normal position after the tumor — which was about 2 inches in diameter and wrapped around Zepp’s aorta and the base of two other arteries — was removed.

Kato said that never before have six organs been removed from a patient’s abdomen to allow doctors to go after a malignant growth previously considered inoperable because of its location.

“There’s nothing really simple here,” Kato, who trained as a surgeon at Osaka University in Japan, told Reuters on Monday. “I don’t want to say acrobatic but it’s kind of, in a way. It’s a very tricky operation.

“We’ve done pieces of this surgery many times but not the whole thing like this,” said the 11-year veteran of the University of Miami Transplant Institute who led a team of doctors that operated on Zepp.

Zepp was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. But Kato said the type of surgery he performed on March 4 ultimately could benefit people with more common diseases.

“There might be a lot of applications,” he said.

During the operation, Zepp, who was expected to be discharged from her Miami hospital this week, had many blood vessels replaced with artificial ones made of Gore-Tex.

“She came to me out of desperation,’ Kato said. “I’m really glad it worked out well.”

Doctor Kato. Bravo. You are a person that DOES THINGS, not talks things.

Reuters/Breitbart

Dangerous Land


It’s a dangerous land, this Australia of ours.

Anything falling from the sky just can’t be good news.

The Underpants Gnomes Won’t Be Impressed…


However, I think this is pretty funny.

A large pair of knickers saved the day in northern England after they were used to smother a household kitchen fire.

I’m doing my best to refrain from all the bad, bad, bad jokes I could make about this.

Don’t Let This Happen To You


There was a story of interest in the Herald Sun today (no link), about a drop bear attack. Here’s an extract:

Melissa Kerrin, 15, was on a school camping trip at Mt. Macedon National Park when she encountered one of Australia’s most vicious creatures. The year 10 student, a native of the United States, was attacked by a drop bear (koalus ataqus) while hiking along a bush trail in the National Park.

Drop bears are a common species in Australia, and live mostly in gum and eucalypt trees in the eastern States, and are most prevalent in Tasmania. They look remarkably similar to the koala, although their claws, used for climbing trees and attacking prey, are larger, and they have two large fangs, used to hold their prey while excising flesh with a row of smaller, more jagged fangs behind the two larger ones.

Ms. Kerrin’s guardian and school teacher, Mr. Peter Healey, told this reporter that “We just didn’t know what was happening. First, we were walking, and then suddenly there was a flash of gray, a scream, and it was all over. Mel was on the ground, unconscious, and it wasn’t until the park ranger saw the wounds that we knew what had happened. We had to carefully carry Mel back to the ranger station and call an ambulance.”

According to Mr. Healey, the park ranger, Michael Porter, then organized a search team led by Aboriginal tracker Marjoria Toowombat, to track down the dangerous animal before any other casualties occur. Mr. Porter reportedly then tried some of the traditional bush healing techniques to tend to Ms. Kerrin’s injuries, without success.

Parks Victoria released an official statement early this morning, in which they stated “The ranger at the scene responded to the incident in accordance with the official guidelines, including the use of the animal tracking team. We regret that this incident has occurred, and wish Ms. Kerrin a speedy recovery.”

Ms. Kerrin’s parents are reportedly on their way to Australia to be with their daughter, who is in the Alfred Hospital in a serious condition. She was unable to be reached for comment.

Dangerous little fuckers, those drop bears. Don’t mess with them.

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