Wednesday, May 04, 2016

When Vegans Eat their Own

What happens when vegans dare to change:
The Engelharts explained in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that it was all part of a movement called “regenerative agriculture,” which focuses on soil health through animal “residue.”

The vegans were not having it.

The couple’s original post has since been publicized on a Facebook page calling for a boycott of Cafe Gratitude and its sister restaurant, Gracias Madre. The responses indicate that the Engelharts’ former fans are out for blood (in a vegan way, of course).

The Engelharts told the Hollywood Reporter that they have been receiving death threats.

“People have taken up the mob mentality,” Matthew said. “It saddens me that the choices we made in the privacy of our home would lead people to feel so betrayed that it’s elevated to threats on our lives.”

He added that they “harvested” (read: slaughtered) several of their cows but never sold them for profit.
The vegans' chickens are literally coming home to roost...

The Hungry Men Who Stare At Goats

Venezuela's army is literally traveling on its stomach:
Over the weekend, six members of the Venezuelan military were detained by local authorities for stealing goats, the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional reported Sunday. It said the soldiers confessed to stealing the goats and said they did it to feed themselves, since they had no food left in their barracks.

"It's not a good sign when your military doesn't have enough food, and when the military has been relegated to guarding and protecting food lines," said Jason Marczak, director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative at the Atlantic Council. "This is endemic of the problems going on across the country."

Venezuela has been hard hit by food shortages, a dizzying inflation rate of about 181 percent and a collapse in the price of oil — its most critical export.
An unhappy military is never good for a country, especially one being ruined by The Revolution...

Tribal Economic Warfare

So how long will it be before the EPA is called racist against Native Americans?
“Historically power plants and mines have been some of the best jobs for those in the nation, but the plants do more than just provide high paying jobs they have allowed the Navajo Nation to preserve its unique cultural identity.” says Arizona state Sen. Carlyle Begay, himself of Navajo heritage.

Begay recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and is running for Congress in Arizona’s 1st District, in part because of his frustration over the role the EPA plays in the region. He’s frustrated EPA’s threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of Navajos in the name of a regulation that won’t improve public health — it’s purely there for aesthetics.

“If you look at the EPA’s stated goals and then look at how they are applied in practice, the new regulations will have a disproportionately negative impact on the economy of Navajo Nation to much greater extent than other communities in the Southwest. The EPA needs to understand that the Navajo Nation has a job crisis and a 52% unemployment rate,” Begay explains.
Going green. It's the white liberal's burden...

Life After Indiana

So Ted Cruz is now out:
Had he succeeded in his quest, Cruz would have been the first U.S. president of Hispanic descent, although he often downplayed his heritage on the campaign trail, instead, touting the need for tougher immigration laws, for a border wall along the border with Mexico, protecting gun rights, repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law and instituting a flat tax.

Cruz argued he was the only true conservative in the race, building on his reputation in the Senate where he clashed both with Democrats and members of his own party over his ideological stubbornness. Cruz railed against what he called the “Washington cartel,” trying to appeal to an electorate that is craving political outsiders.

But he ultimately couldn’t compete with Trump’s appeal among white, working class voters who were drawn to the billionaire’s outlandish approach to politics.

Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee, defeated Cruz by double-digits in Indiana — a state that the Texas senator had poured all his resources into.
So, what happens to #NeverTrump now?
Publicly, leaders in the Stop Trump movement dispute the notion that they were ineffective, saying their efforts in Wisconsin helped head off a Trump win in April. They also say the groups communicate effectively with one another and that they will continue fighting despite the Indiana results.

"We will continue to educate voters about Trump until he, or another candidate, wins the support of a majority of delegates to the Convention," Katie Packer, chair of the Our Principles PAC said in a statement on Tuesday.

But, in private, three top officials associated with the movement conceded that Indiana was a “do or die” moment.
Reality is hard. It's harder when you lose...

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Welcome to Chicago, Bribes Extra

It's the Chicago corruption tour:
Twelve people interested in local history signed up for a chilly Sunday tour that began outside the former location of a bar run in the early 1900s by Alderman Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna. Along with a partner, Kenna set up fictional entities to grab city contracts that they resold to companies, among many other shady activities.
Two stops later on the 2.5 mile (4 km) tour Dailing pulls laminated cards out of his satchel to show the group Chicago's absurdly gerrymandered electoral districts, often along race lines.
He dives deep into the stories of the seven Illinois governors who have been charged with crimes, including four who have gone to prison since the 1960s.
Even for Chicagoans steeped in their city's history, the tour was an eye-opener.
"You always hear about how Chicago is so corrupt, but I didn't know about all the details he's going into," said Kara Hart, a financial controller at a technology company, who went on Sunday's tour.
Some mobsters are included, including Fred Roti, a made man in the Mafia who was an alderman for 23 years and was convicted of bribery and other crimes.
Of course, these days you don't need the mob...

Back To the Dorm

Welcome to the adult dorm:
It’s not dirt cheap, but the prices cover internet, utilities, access to a full-time concierge and twice-monthly room cleaning and linen services.

Shared spaces throughout the development total 10,000 square feet. Beyond kitchens, there are lounges, a 400-desk co-working space, a public restaurant and a movie screening room.

The building will also deliver a gym, spa, library, game room and roof terrace.

Even though the bulk of features must be used alongside other tenants, the property also offers private spaces for smaller gatherings. They include three dining rooms, which renters can reserve to entertain their friends.

On this side of the pond, shared office provider WeWork launched WeLive on Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, which similarly has shared lounges, kitchens and dwellings with Murphy beds. Prices begin at $1,375 monthly and additional locations are planned for later this year in the Washington, DC, area. Other concepts include Pure House in Brooklyn — a millennial commune that rents out bedrooms for between $1,600 and $4,000 monthly to tenants who want to live in a like-minded community.
For the people who can't afford to grow up?

Singapore's Speech Codes

No opinions for you:
Many Thais are chafing under strict new regulations governing discussion ahead of an Aug. 7 referendum on a military-backed constitution.
The junta that seized power in a May 2014 coup has already threatened to jail anyone campaigning for or against the constitution, which critics say entrenches the military's political influence.
The 14 rules, which were issued by the Election Commission and formally became law on Monday, make even well-meaning discussion risky, say academics and experts.
Under the regulations, Thais must express their opinions with "polite words ... without distorting the facts".
"Rude, aggressive, or intimidating" interviews with the media are banned. So is organizing a panel discussion "with intent to incite political unrest".
Also forbidden are "T-shirts, pins and ribbons" that encourage others to campaign.
You will opine what the state allows you to opine...

Food For Thieves

Remember, theft is property:
Mr Ostriakov, a homeless man of Ukrainian background, had taken the food "in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment", the court of cassation decided.
Therefore it was not a crime, it said.
A fellow customer informed the store's security in 2011, when Mr Ostriakov attempted to leave a Genoa supermarket with two pieces of cheese and a packet of sausages in his pocket but paid only for breadsticks.
In 2015, Mr Ostriakov was convicted of theft and sentenced to six months in jail and a €100 fine.
For the judges, the "right to survival prevails over property", said an op-ed in La Stampa newspaper (in Italian).
In times of economic hardship, the court of cassation's judgement "reminds everyone that in a civilised country not even the worst of men should starve".
An opinion piece in Corriere Della Sera says statistics suggest 615 people are added to the ranks of the poor in Italy every day - it was "unthinkable that the law should not take note of reality".
Crime without consequences used to be unthinkable, too...

Monday, May 02, 2016

Debt Island Prison

Puerto Rico goes broke:
Governor Alejandro GarcĂ­a Padilla supposedly threatened creditors in March that if they did not exchange all their debt for an average of 56 cents-on-the-dollar in so-called “Base Bonds,” Puerto Rico would ask Congress for the right to file for bankruptcy and potentially wipe out most of its debt.

Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)56%
, with the support of both parties’ leadership, asked Congress in mid-April to “bring order to the chaos” in Puerto Rico by passing legislation that would create a seven-member federal control board that could facilitate some court-ordered debt restructuring that could include some form of debt forgiveness.

But with the National Taxpayers Union warning that the Puerto Rico panel could serve as a dangerous precedent for “wayward debt-ridden state governments” on the mainland to try off-loading their debt, conservative House Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee revolted on April 14 in favor of bondholders over politicians by killing the vote “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.”
Unfortunately, some states are already on their way towards being Puerto Rico...

This Is...A Biased Network

The truth comes out:
“I think it was a legitimate criticism of CNN that it was a little too liberal,” Zucker is quoted as telling the outlet. “We have added many more middle-of-the-road conservative voices to an already strong stable of liberal voices.”

He continued, “And I think that we are a much more-balanced network and, as a result, a much more inviting network to a segment of the audience that might not have otherwise been willing to come here.”

These comments come amid an ever-contentious electoral season — one in which CNN has seen its ratings more than double to 435,000 viewers among 25-to-54-year-olds.

That’s a notable jump for the network’s target demographic, as the Wall Street Journal reported.
The truth helps in this case?

No Weddings Or A Funeral

No one marries or dies until Mini Me says so:
The North Korean dictator banned all weddings – and funerals – for the coming week as the reclusive country gears up to anoint him as their official leader at the first Workers' Party of Korea Congress in 36 years, Britain’s Sunday Times reports.

Thousands of delegates and security forces from across North Korea are expected to travel to Pyongyang to pay their respects to Kim during the Congress, which starts on May 6 and is expected to last several days.

Weddings and funerals have been canceled for security reasons, the newspaper reported, without elaborating.

"Strengthening security can be seen as a measure to prevent mishaps over the party congress," said Cheong Joon-hee, a spokesman at South Korea's Unification Ministry, according to The Mirror.
In North Korea, wedding plans you...

Culling Curt

Curt who?
Most sports and Sox fans agree, Schilling’s Game Six performance was the most incredible of the whole series. And for some reason, that is the segment ESPN decided to cut in what it claims were time constraints that could not be made up later because of live event coverage earlier in the day. ESPN2 was carrying the Arizona versus Oregon college softball game beforehand, which ran long. So the network cut Schilling’s Game Six segment from the Four Days in October documentary to fit the documentary down to about 45 minutes, so it could air from approximately 5:45 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. After the documentary, according to the network’s schedule, ESPN2 aired a SportsCenter special called “Draft Grades.” So ultimately, the network made the decision to cut Game Six entirely out of the documentary.

“When a live event runs long, it’s standard procedure to shorten a taped program that follows,” an ESPN spokesman told the Washington Post. “In this case, we needed to edit out one of the film’s four segments to account for the extra length of the softball game.”

It is unclear why ESPN made the decision to cut this particular game—but the timing is certainly peculiar. ESPN just fired Schilling from being a Sunday Night Baseball analyst—and this documentary on ESPN2 clearly set up a Red Sox-Yankees game on the main ESPN network, which was airing the latest iteration in the century-long rivalry between the two teams as its Sunday Night Baseball feature on Sunday night—and now the network cut the most important game from a documentary about the most iconic battle between the two teams? It is almost as if, since ESPN does not like Curt Schilling because he is politically conservative and open about it, the network is aiming to erase him from history.
He is their non-person...

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Mayor's Safe Space

Oh, my:

This Protest Paid For By...

Your tax dollars at work:
The main organizer of Sunday’s event is the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a group that in 2014 received $250,000 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador complete the citizenship registration process.

CHIRLA, which is still listed on USCIS’ website as a citizenship services provider, was heavily involved in Sunday’s protests.

A blogger with the Hollywood-based Near Chaos Blog recorded one CHIRLA organizer leading activists in an anti-Trump chant.

Two other groups that currently receive USCIS grants took part in the May Day event.
When they say they want change, they mean from your pockets...

Elephant Walk

The elphants' last dance:
Alana Feld, executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, said the animals will live at its 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. Its herd of 40 Asian elephants, the largest in North America, will continue a breeding program and be used in a pediatric cancer research project.

Elephants have been used in the circus in America for more than 200 years. In the early 1800s, Hackaliah Bailey added the elephant "Old Bet" to his circus. P.T. Barnum added the African elephant he named "Jumbo" to "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1882.

The Humane Society says more than a dozen circuses in the United States continue to use elephants. But none tour as widely or are as well- known as Ringling Bros.
An elephant never forgets. Unfortunately, people will...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sign Of The Times

The yard signs of freedom:
In the Supreme Court Tuesday, Justice Stephen Breyer summarized why the case was thrown out: The lower courts ruled that since Heffernan was not in fact campaigning for the mayor's opponent, he was not exercising any free speech right. Therefore, he had not been deprived of any constitutional right, and could not sue.

"Sounds logical," said Justice Breyer, "but we disagree."

The critical issue here, he said, is the government's motive in demoting or firing an employee, and it really doesn't matter if the motive is based on real facts or a mistaken belief.

Writing for a six-justice majority, Breyer said that in a case like Heffernan's the constitutional harm is to more than the individual, because the punishment sends a message to all employees that they will be demoted or fired if they express a view that the government employer disagrees with.

That, said Breyer, is not permitted by the First Amendment, nor is it permitted by the civil rights law that bars the government from depriving its employees of their constitutional rights.
Sorry boss, your employees still have a right to their opinion-even when they aren't really expressing it...

Into The Zone

The day Baghdad's wall came down:
The breach marked a major escalation in the country’s political crisis following months of anti-government protests, sit-ins and demonstrations by supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The Green Zone is home to most ministries and foreign embassies and has long been the focus of al-Sadr’s criticism of the government.

Earlier Saturday, al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking political reforms aimed at combating corruption and waste. While al-Sadr didn’t call for an escalation to the protests, shortly after his remarks, his supporters began scaling the compound’s walls. A group of young men then pulled down a section of concrete blast walls to cheers from the crowd of thousands gathered in the streets outside.

Cellphone video uploaded to social media showed dozens of young men running through the halls of parliament, chanting slogans in support of al-Sadr and calling for the government to disband.

“We are all with you (al-Sadr),” one group of men yelled as the entered the building’s main chamber.

Other videos showed a group of young men slapping an Iraqi lawmaker as he attempted to flee the crowd, and protesters mobbing another lawmaker’s motorcade inside the Green Zone. The footage appeared authentic and corresponded with The Associated Press’ reporting.
they say they want a revolution, but what kind? And is it still any of our business?

Gas Mask Face

Meet the Dolphins' draft pick:
Tunsil became the biggest story of the draft when he fell to Miami hours after a video was posted on his Twitter account showing him wearing a gas mask connected to a bong. Another post on his Instagram showed an alleged text exchange with an Ole Miss football staff member that included Tunsil’s request for money, prompting a university investigation.

Tunsil said his accounts were hacked. The Dolphins conducted months of research into Tunsil and are comfortable about his character, Ross said.

“Two hours before the draft, it’s somebody totally out to get the guy,” Ross said. “It’s not a question of this guy changed overnight. Meeting the kid, you know it’s a good kid. It’s going to be a great choice.”
At least now he'll be making more for munchies...

His Last Bow

What Obama leaves behind:
The political change he predicted never appeared. Instead, partisanship and dysfunction have grown worse. His legacy on policies is more mixed. He did accomplish things, notably the Affordable Care Act. But his legacy on politics is another story.

Republicans and Democrats refuse to compromise, sometimes even talk. Congress has become more unproductive with lawmakers failing to pass budgets or even consider presidential appointments. And most Americans have little to no confidence in the federal government to tackle the problems facing the nation in 2016, according to a poll released in January.

Just Thursday, about 20 people were arrested after hundreds of protesters blocked an intersection and vandalized a police car outside a rally for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump at the Orange County Fairgrounds in California. Several fights broke out.

“It’s fair to say that President Obama entered office as chief executive of a divided country, and he’s done nothing noticeable to heal those divisions in his seven years,” said William Galston, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and now a senior fellow at the center-left Brookings Institution.
His "work" is done...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fan Wasteland

Are you ready for the apocalyptic fair?
Each year, attendees of the event are required to be decked out in costumes while at the festival's wasteland compound with organizers designing elaborate sets complete with Mad Max-style cars. Festival goers also drive out to the event in custom-made vehicles.

Orr, a life support aquarist at a public aquarium in Las Vegas, said he first learned of the festival through a former partner and their first year going, they decided to build a car.

He said he has worked on cars casually, rebuilding engines, but he described the competition to outdo himself by constructing a junkyard monster better than the previous year as an 'addiction.'

'It's an obsession,' he says in a documentary by MEL Films during last year's festival. 'But more than that, it's a passion. I'm married to this... even though I said I'd never get married again.'
The real apocalypse would probably dump him...

Endangered Species

Africa's albinos are facing extinction:
Ero, who is herself an albino from Nigeria and is the UN human rights council's expert on albinism, said Malawian police had recorded 65 attacks, abductions and murders of albinos since the end of 2014.
Albinos were targeted because of beliefs that their body parts "can increase wealth, make businesses prosper or facilitate employment", she said.
"Even in death, they do not rest in peace as their remains are robbed from graveyards."
Albinos, who have white skin and yellow hair as a result of a genetic disorder, are regularly killed in several African countries including Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Ero said she was "particularly alarmed by reports from persons with albinism that they are being called 'money' as they walk the streets and their neighbourhoods."
"Malawi is one of the world's poorest countries and the sale of body parts of persons with albinism is believed to be very lucrative."
Sadly, there is no set price on ignorance...

Funny Fail

Will Ferrell has apparently decided that making fun of an old man isn't such a great idea after all:
A spokesperson for the actor said Friday, “The REAGAN script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”

Variety first reported on Wednesday that Ferrell, 48, was slated to play the 40th president in the film, which was described as a “hilarious political satire.”

The film’s script is set in 1984, shortly after Reagan won a landslide reelection for his second term. It is centered on a young aide who must convince the mentally diminished President Reagan that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.
Sounds like a million laughs. Besides, SNL got there first.

No Free Speech Zone

Protesters against free speech:
The protester said, “I don’t think it is out of control. I think that what you’re seeing people express righteous rage, at the fact that we’ve this hateful bigot coming to speak in our state, and they’re saying, ‘No absolutely not.'”

She added, “We respect the diversity of tactics, right? We planned to lock down the streets and keep him out, and stop him from speaking.”

When asked what she meant by “diversity of tactics,” Brooks stated, “We mean that black and brown and poor people have a righteous rage, and they have a right to express it in the way that they need to, and to prevent this man from speaking in our state.”

The protester further argued that Trump has been “inciting violence against black people, and brown people, and Muslim people, and giving a platform for basically, hate speech and white supremacy to permeate the country.”
But what about hate speech from anti-haters?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Devil In Disguise

Could it be, Satan?
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told an audience at Stanford on Wednesday night, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

In fact, Wednesday night was not the first occasion that Boehner has compared Cruz to “Lucifer,” using the epithet last month during a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida.

As far as Donald Trump goes, Boehner remarked that he had golfed with Trump for years and that the two are “texting buddies” — a comment Cruz seized on in his requital Thursday.

“If you want someone that’s a texting and golfing buddy, if you’re happy with John Boehner as speaker of the House and you want a president like John Boehner, Donald Trump’s your man,” Cruz told reporters during a stop in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Cruz insisted he never “worked with” Boehner and, in response to being called Lucifer, Cruz added that Boehner “allowed his inner Trump to come out.”

Cruz is notorious for his toxic relationship with his congressional colleagues. It turned radioactive in 2013 when the Texas senator played a pivotal role in shutting down the federal government with his high-stakes attempt to defund Obamacare.

Republicans were widely blamed for the historic disruption, and Cruz’s colleagues heaped scorn on him as a result.
At least Boehner has his Trump side. Cruz only seems to have his own.

The Triggering

The horror of free speech:

Worm Food

The Swedish government wants you to eat bugs:
To that end, Vinnova is awarding half a million kronor each to fifteen different projects across the country, each of which tasked with creating an “edible prototype” of a new food.

Among the mouth-watering projects being funded are an attempt to produce a “good and healthy product from mealworms which are fed on vegetable food scraps to become a climate friendly source of protein”, “food prototypes” made from “refined mealworms”, and mincemeat made out of “climate smart insects” such as crickets.

Other enticing offerings not involving insects include “climate-fungal protein”, a “healthy vegetarian barbecue” made from by-products” and “fibrous raw materials”, and a “blue cheese-like product” made from beans.
Bug crap is still crap...

The Long, Slow Recovery

Why is the economy still struggling?
The disappointing growth of 0.5 percent in gross domestic product was a result of “weak foreign demand and low oil prices,” said Jason Furman, Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest blamed congressional Republicans in part for the weak growth, saying the economy would be stronger if Congress had agreed to Mr. Obama’s proposals for higher spending on infrastructure projects three or four years ago.

“The reason that opportunity was missed was because of Republicans’ stubborn refusal to consider any priority that President Obama has identified. That’s unfortunate,” Mr. Earnest said.

In an interview with The Times’ magazine, Mr. Obama said he believes the U.S. economy is in better shape than the public appreciates.

“I actually compare our economic performance to how, historically, countries that have wrenching financial crises perform,” the president said. “By that measure, we probably managed this better than any large economy on Earth in modern history.”
Well, when you have lowered expectations...