Monday, October 31, 2011
He rings the bell for the driver to set off when there's a woman half
getting on the bus. The driver sets off, the woman falls from the bus and
is killed. At the trial the man is sent down for murder and seeing as it's
Texas he's sent to the electric chair. On the day of his execution he's
sat in the chair and the executioner grants him a final wish.
"Well" says the man, "is that your packed lunch over there?" "Yes" answers
the executioner. "Can I have that green banana?"
The executioner gives the man his green banana and waits till he's eaten
it. When the man's finished, the executioner flips the switch sending
hundreds of thousands of volts through the man. When the smoke clears the
man is still alive. The executioner can't believe it.
"Can I go?" the man asks. "I suppose so" says the executioner, "that's
never happened before."
The man leaves and eventually gets a job back on the buses selling
tickets. Again he rings the bell for the driver to go when people are
still getting on. A man falls under the wheels and is killed. The bloke is
sent down for murder again and sent to the electric chair. The executioner
is determined to do it right this time so rigs the chair up to the
electric supply for the whole of Texas.
The bloke is again sat in the chair. "What is your final wish?" asks the
executioner. "Can I have that green banana in your packed lunch ?" says
the condemned man. The executioner sighs and reluctantly gives up his
banana. The bloke eats the banana all up and the executioner flips the
switch. Millions of volts course through the chair blacking out Texas.
When the smoke clears the man is still sat there smiling in the
chair. The executioner can't believe it and lets the man go.
Well, would you believe, the bloke gets his job back on the buses. Once
again he rings the bell whilst passengers are still getting on, this
time killing three of them. He is sent to the electric chair again. The
executioner rigs up all United States electricity supply to The chair,
determined to get his man this time. The man sits down in the chair
"What's your final wish ?" asks the executioner. "Well" says the man, "Can
I have that green banana out of your packed lunch.?" The executioner hands
over his banana and the man eats it all, skin included. The executioner
pulls the handle and a brazillion volts go through the chair. When the
smoke rises the man is still sat there alive without even a burn mark.
"I give up" says the executioner, "I don't understand how you
can still be alive after all that?". He stroked his chin. "It's something
to do with that green banana isn't it" he asked.
Nahh" said the bloke,
"I'm just a really bad conductor"
Can Herman Cain Shake Off Those Sexual Harassment Charges? Easily
It's been less than 24 hours since Politico reported that two different female employees at the National Restaurant Association issued complaints in the 1990s about their then-boss, Herman Cain, and his campaign is scrambling to pick up the pieces. After an awkward "I know you are, but what am I?" response to reporters yesterday, Cain is nowdenying the allegations. Chances are this won't be the end of it. But Cain shouldn't be too worried. From Clarence Thomas to Dov Charney to Kobe Bryant to Dominique Strauss-Kahn to Julian Assange, powerful men faced with allegations of sexual assault or harassment typically follow a 10-step path to redemption in the public eye.
Step 1: Media outlets reveal the accuser's identity. The first step in most public sexual harassment cases comes when the media reveal the identity of the anonymous woman (or women) destroying the man's reputation. Cain said today that he wasn't going to waste time "chasing anonymous sources." But this is the wrong move. Cain should take a cue from Strauss-Kahn: The game changes when all the players are known.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
The Mountain Room is gearing up for its Day of the Dead celebration on Friday. Please send in photos of loved ones for our altar. All parents are welcome to come by on Wednesday afternoon to help us make candles and decorate skulls.
Because I’ve gotten some questions about my last e-mail, there is nothing “wrong” with Halloween. The Day of the Dead is the Mexican version, a time of remembrance. Many of you chose Little Learners because of our emphasis on global awareness. Our celebration on Friday is an example of that. The skulls we’re decorating are sugar skulls. I should have made that more clear.
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2011/10/24/111024sh_shouts_semple#ixzz1cEqAXCIV
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
HALEY PULLED ON A pair of black skinny jeans, rainbow-striped socks, a pink top and a black sweater. Her short hair — jet black and pink this week — hung over her eyes. Two black rings pierced her lower lip. Haley's face was a little chubby, with pale skin marked by light freckles, not like her mother or grandmother, whose faces are defined by their high cheekbones.
Her grandmother, Karina Kayser, looks young enough to be Haley's mother. She participated in triathlons and wished Haley would try sports. Unlike acting and writing, sports had never been Haley's thing. During an entire semester of Thursday night roller-skating with Karina, Haley only let go of the outside wall once, which ended in a trip to the hospital for a hurt wrist. She tried bowling for a season, but never bowled over a 100, and held her pants up with one hand while she bowled with the other.
The morning of March 29, 2009, Haley was at her apartment in Everett, Wash., where she lived with her mother, Serenity Salvador, and sometimes Serenity's boyfriend. It was the Sunday before spring break, marked by a gray sky and drizzle. She promised her mom she would check in later and left on foot to a friend's house.
That night, I killed her.
"Well, yesterday afternoon, I waded across the edge of a lake, escaped from a mountain lion in the heavy brush, marched up and down a mountain, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand, and jumped away from an aggressive rattlesnake"
Inspired by my story, the doctor said, "You must be an awesome outdoorsman!"
"No," I replied, "I'm just a crappy golfer."
Saturday, October 15, 2011
By LAWRENCE HURLEY of Greenwire
THOMPSON FALLS, Mont. -- When he looks down at the frothing Clark Fork River from his vantage point on a high rocky outcrop, Noel Jacobson can't help cracking a smile.
He is amused by the notion that the river could be deemed navigable here at Thompson Falls, about two hours west of Missoula.
"Logically, you would say it's not navigable," Jacobson said as he gestured toward the fast-flowing channels that cut between two huge rocks in the middle of the river.
The object of his ridicule is a Montana Supreme Court ruling from March 2010, in which a majority held that this and two other rivers -- the Missouri and the Madison -- are navigable.
The court decision has serious implications for PPL Montana, which owns 10 dams on the three rivers, including one that spans the river at Thompson Falls and is managed by Jacobson.
In finding the rivers navigable, the court concluded that the state owns the riverbeds, which means PPL owes $40 million in rent for its use of the riverbeds since the company acquired them in 1999.
The court based its ruling on an 1845 U.S. Supreme Court case that said states hold title to riverbeds if the river was navigable at the time the state was admitted to the Union.
Clad in denim and wearing a white safety helmet, Jacobson pointed out that, on this day, the dam was open, making the flow of water more like what the river might have been before the dam was built in 1915.
It is a tableau that might be of interest to the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, who will review the Montana court ruling when they hear arguments Dec. 7.
To the easygoing Jacobson, who has worked at the plant since 1997, the navigability question has a simple answer: Look at the raging waters and figure out if a boat could have passed through in 1889, the year Montana was admitted to the Union.
But it's not as simple as that.
For the kids
The tussle over who owns the riverbeds arose out of a debate in Montana over how the state utilizes public lands.
Like in other Western states, certain tracts were put into public trusts at the time Montana was admitted to the Union.
Among them are lands set aside for funding schools. Over the years, some Montanans have speculated whether the state has made the best use of its lands, which, they claim, could have had a detrimental effect on the revenue generated.
It was Helena-based lawyer John Bloomquist who came up with the idea of focusing on riverbeds.
Bloomquist immediately thought of it when several school districts first contacted him to ask about whether the state was making best use of its assets.
"One of the issues I had always been interested in was whether the state of Montana was receiving compensation for the stream beds," he said
A subsequent investigation confirmed that "no compensation was being provided," he added.
Bloomquist joined with a Bozeman law firm, Goetz, Gallik & Baldwin and -- representing the school districts and some individual parents -- filed suit in 2003, arguing that the state had "failed to obtain full market value" for the land upon which hydroelectric projects were located as required under state law.
That notion was a surprise to PPL, which has always operated under the principle that either it, the federal government or other private landowners owned the riverbeds on which its projects are located (two other power companies were initially involved in the case but later settled with the state after agreeing to lease the riverbeds).
At that initial stage, the state was not involved in the case, James Goetz -- one of Bloomquist's co-counsels -- recalled.
"We attempted to persuade the Montana attorney general to come with us," he said. "They declined initially."
Ironically, at that point, navigability was not at issue. The state's Supreme Court brief notes that PPL "conceded the navigability of the rivers."
Lewis and Clark
At a viewpoint overlooking a new fish ladder that PPL recently installed at the dam -- to assist bull trout, a threatened species -- is an informational display that features a 1908 photo of Thompson Falls, taken seven years before the dam was built.
The grainy black-and-white image clearly shows the river shooting down the falls just downstream from where the dam now stands.
Experienced whitewater rafters might fancy their chances, but anyone else might think twice before trying to navigate their way downstream.
If the answer were as straightforward as that, the case would not have ended up in the Supreme Court.
"The question isn't whether you would have taken a boat down the falls," said Gregory Garre, a Washington-based partner at Latham & Watkins, who will argue the case for the state.
Traditionally, the test of whether a river is navigable also touches upon whether the river was used as a "highway of commerce," he added.
The state maintains this was the case with all three rivers. At the Thompson Falls dam, for example, there was a log chute where the fish ladder now sits. Fur traders and miners also used the rivers, the state argues.
Then of course, there is the evidence supplied by two of the most famous figures in the mythology of the West: explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who traveled along Montana's rivers.
However, they had to portage around tricky sections.
The journey around Great Falls took 33 days.
That still doesn't mean it should be described as nonnavigable, according to Garre.
"The fact there are interruptions in the form of falls or rapids doesn't defeat a finding of navigability," he said.
PPL and the federal government, which has sided with the power company, beg to differ.
As solicitor general Donald Verrilli pointed out in the government's brief, under the Montana Supreme Court's test, any river the U.S. Supreme Court has previously held to be nonnavigable "could be portaged in theory, with enough time and effort."
PPL argues that the correct analysis is to look at sections of the river and determine navigability on a piecemeal basis.
The company's lawyer, Paul Clement, a partner at the Bancroft firm in Washington, notes in his brief that the state never claimed title to the riverbeds in the past.
As for the Clark Fork River, he points out that in 1910 a federal court ruled on the navigability of the section around Thompson Falls.
The river, the judge wrote, was a "non-navigable, torrential, mountain stream, full of rapids and falls."
Property rights case
It is fair to say that PPL Montana v. Montana is not one of the most high-profile cases on the Supreme Court's docket in the 2011 term, which officially begins today and could include a blockbuster ruling on health care reform.
But Thor Hearne, a partner at Arent Fox who filed a brief on behalf of the libertarian Cato Institute and others in support of PPL, said a ruling on the navigability test would be useful in other states, particularly those west of the Mississippi River.
The Montana court "certainly broke company with the previous way every court considered navigability" and, in doing so, infringed on private property rights, he added.
Leon Szeptycki, who teaches environmental law at the University of Virginia School of Law and often represents conservation groups, has a different view: that a ruling for PPL would allow property owners to assert ownership over rivers traditionally viewed as being public land.
"It would result in a decrease in public access to rivers," Szeptycki said.
The signs are not good for the state, however, including the fact that the Obama administration has sided with PPL.
"It doesn't bode well" for the state that the Supreme Court even agreed to hear the case, said Bozeman attorney Goetz -- now merely an interested observer because the state did not allow his firm to remain involved.
That is all good news to PPL's Jacobson at Thompson Falls.
He is hoping that what he sees as common sense holds sway when the justices hand down a ruling next year, but he knows that won't necessarily happen.
"How it will shake out, I don't know," he said. "Let's just get this answered."
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Comments7 By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY Updated 32m ago CAPTIONMetro Police Dept. A Tennessee lawmaker who was the lead sponsor of a law allowing p
A Tennessee lawmaker who was the lead sponsor of a law allowing permit holders to bring guns into bars has been arrested on DUI charges and possession of a gun while under the influence, The Tennesseanreports.
Rep. Curry Todd, a Republican state representative from Collierville, was stopped by police in Nashville on Tuesday, failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer, according to court documents.
The newspaper says a loaded Smith & Wesson 38 Special was found in a holster stuffed between the driver's seat and the center console.
"The subject was obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun,' 'the arresting officer says in his report.
The newspaper says that a lawyer representing Todd was not immediately available for comment.
The Tennessean quotes Adam Dread, a former Metro councilman who led the successful legal challenge against the original guns-in-bars law in 2009, as saying that Todd, if convicted, managed to prove his opponents' point that "guns and alcohol don't mix."
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.
The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.
“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”
Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
uck the South. Fuck 'em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. Fighting for the right to keep slaves--yeah, those are states we want to keep. And now what do we get? We're the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?
'Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment? Who do you think those wig-wearing, lacy-shirt-sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?
Young women are discouraged from walking across campus alone at night. Most of the University of Montana stays well-lit, but dark shadows still creep across the grass and the flashing blue lights of emergency phones can seem far apart.
With the new smoking ban, young women living in the dorms must now walk to the edge of campus for a cigarette.
Chief of Campus Security Gary Taylor said this issue has not been fully addressed yet.
"We're forcing girls into a dangerous situation," he said.
You may have heard on the news about a southern California man put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and allegedly had (by rough estimate) 1-million rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also featured a secret escape tunnel.
My favorite quote from the dimwit television reporter: "Wow! He has about a million machine gun bullets." The headline referred to it as a "massive weapons cache”.
By southern California standards someone even owning 100,000 rounds would be called "mentally unstable. Just imagine if he lived elsewhere:
In Arizona, he'd be called "an avid gun collector”.
In Texas, he'd be called "a novice gun collector".
In Utah, he'd be called "moderately well prepared", but they'd probably reserve judgment until they made sure that he had a corresponding quantity of stored food.
In Montana , he'd be called "The neighborhood 'Go-To' guy".
In Idaho, he'd be called "a likely gubernatorial candidate".
In Wyoming, he'd be called "an eligible bachelor".
I am writing to say what an excellent product you have. I've used it all of my married life, as my Mom always told me it was the best. Now that I am in my fifties I find it eve better!
One thing led to another and somehow I ended up with his blood on my new white blouse! I grabbed my bottle of Tide with bleach alternative; to my surprise and satisfaction, all of the stains came out! In fact, the stains came out so well the detectives who came by yesterday told me that the DNA tests on my blouse were negative.
Then my attorney called and said that I was no longer considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband. What a relief! Going through menopause is bad enough without being a murder suspect!
I thank you, once again, for having a great product.
Well, gotta go. I have to write to the Hefty bag people.