Archive | November, 2013

Current Event Cat of the Day: Black Friday

Current Event Cat - Black Friday

Bring on the violence! Americans (and some Canadians) are flocking to the malls today in hopes of finding the holiday’s best Black Friday deals.

Black Friday, the day following the Thanksgiving holiday, is the biggest (and most violent) shopping day of the year in the States. 140 million early shoppers, who haven’t yet figured out that the same deals are available online, are expected to shop til they drop (or get knocked unconscious) this Black Friday weekend. And while a number of stores opened earlier this year to prevent the mad dash to the sale section, this year’s Black Friday still had its fair share of holiday brawls. Police have been reporting a number of incidents involving customers pushing and shoving each other to get their hands on the best deals, but in some cases the violence escalated – just a little bit

A man was shot in Romeoville, Illinois after he was suspected of shoplifting at a Kohl’s department store. The man ignored police requests to stop, dragged an officer with his car while trying to get away, and was then promptly shot. But that didn’t put a damper of the shopping festivities! The Black Friday shoppers browsed around the crime scene cones and took photos of the bullet-riddled car.

Over in Rialto, California, another police officer was injured after he attempted to break up one of three fights at a Walmart. The store manager decided to open the doors early (rookie mistake) resulting in crowds pushing and screaming at each other in the parking lot trying to get inside.

Meanwhile in Las Vegas, a thief shot another man in the leg and then stole the victim’s newly purchased big screen TV. At first the thief just fired a few warning shots, causing the victim to drop the TV, but when the victim tried to get his TV back (rookie mistake) while the thief was loading it into his vehicle, he got a bullet to the leg.

And in Claypool Hill, West Virginia, a man was stabbed repeatedly after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Walmart parking spot.

Now, keep in mind that all of these incidents happened on Thursday. Who knows how many violent incidents will be reported at the end of the real Black Friday– it’s only noon! Stay inside – shop online!

Via: NBC News

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Thai PM Survives No-Confidence Vote Amid Angry Protests… And Other News

Yingluck Shinawatra No-confidence

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra survived a no-confidence vote in parliament but might not survive the tens of thousands of protesters out to destroy her.

After a no-confidence motion was brought by the opposition Democrat Party, Thailand’s parliament decided in a 297-134 vote to keep Yingluck in power. But the Thai people apparently have no-confidence in her. Yingluck’s government is dealing with the biggest demonstrations to hit Thailand since the violence of 2010. The protests, which began in Bangkok on Sunday, are being led by a former opposition party lawmaker. Demonstrators say that Yingluck’s government is controlled by her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who fled in 2008 before being convicted of abuse of power. Well, it’s been nearly four years. Time for another coup? BBC News

Costco BibleCostco has apologized for (falsely?) labelling copies of the Bible as “fiction” at a store near Los Angeles. A local pastor noticed this “mistake” while he was presumably buying copies of the Bible in bulk and tweeted a picture to his congregation. Once the picture got out, Costco issued an apology: “Costco’s distributor mislabeled a small percentage of the Bibles, however we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake. We are correcting this with them for future distribution.” But the real question is: who even buys Bibles? And for $14.99?? Just steal them from hotel rooms! TIME

arnon-milchan-isreali-spyIn stranger than fiction news, Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, aka the Pretty Woman producer (among others), has admitted that he was an Israeli spy. Rumours about Milchan’s alleged double life have been circulating for years but now he’s coming clean about the work he did on arms deals and Israel’s alleged nuclear program. Milchan is thought to have worked for Israel’s now-defunct Bureau of Scientific Relations, known as Lekem, which worked to obtain information for secret defence programs. “I did it for my country and I’m proud of it,” said Milchan. Considering Hollywood is pretty much run by Jews, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. CBC News

ny_circumcisionA turtle top will cost you $140 a day in Israel. According to Israel’s Channel 2, an Israeli woman is being fined $140 a day for refusing to circumcise her one-year-old-son. While there isn’t any legal requirement for Jews in Israel to circumcise their children, the mother is going through a divorce and in Israel, divorce is in the hands of the religious courts. The husband appealed to the Haifa Rabbinical Court to get the child circumcised (against the mother’s wishes) and the court agreed that the child should be circumcised. “I’ve been exposed to a lot of information about circumcision and decided not to proceed with the circumcision,” the woman told Channel 2. “I have no right to cut at his genitals and to maim him, and the court has no authority to force me to.” 972 Mag

Raining PotIt’s raining pot! Hundred of pounds of marijuana fell from the sky over San Diego on Monday after some Mexican drug smugglers dropped the bundles out of a plane. U.S. Customs and Border Protection watched the plane as it crossed the border about 4:15 a.m, drop bundles of pot that were tied to a cage and returned to Mexico without landing. Authorities seized more than 260 pounds of marijuana from a field about two miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border and arrested two people involved in the illegal pot drop. Raw Story

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Liar Liar: Gay Waitress Lied About Anti-Gay Tip (Among Other Things…)

Gay Waitress Tip

A gay waitress from New Jersey sparked national outrage after she accused a couple of leaving an anti-gay note in lieu of a tip. Plot twist: she’s a compulsive liar.

Dayna Morales, a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, claimed earlier this month that a family of four racked up a $93.55 bill and instead of leaving her a tip, left her a note saying they couldn’t leave any extra money because they “do not agree with your lifestyle.”

After Morales emailed the story to a gay advocacy group and posted a picture of the bill on Facebook, the story made national headlines and prompted people to donate thousands of dollars to the discriminated against waitress.

TipTurns out the whole thing was bullsh*t. The couple accused of stiffing her on the bill produced a copy of their Visa bill showing $111.55 – a nearly 20% tip – and no homophobic note. The wife also claimed that she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line AND they are both Chris Christie haters because of his stance on gay marriage. If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is!

“We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that,” the wife, who wishes to remain anonymous, said.

Now, Morales’s frenemies are coming out of the woodwork to reveal her true personality and destroy any credibility she had left.

Other stories Morales has told include:

She was blown up by a land mine overseas and was the sole survivor of the explosion.

FALSE! Morales did serve in the Marines Corps reserve but never served overseas.

Her dad raped her and got her pregnant

FALSE! When people realized she wasn’t actually pregnant she said she had cervical cancer, which spread to the baby, killing it.

A boat tore through her living room during Superstorm Sandy.

FALSE! There was minor carpet damage.

After Morales got caught in her lie, she said she was going to give all the donations she received to the Wounded Warriors’ Project. She wouldn’t lie about that… oh wait.

Anyways, congratulations to Morales for simultaneously sullying the good name of women, the LGBT community, the Marine Corps, and the pristine state of New Jersey …no one likes New Jersey.

Via: Fox News

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Oklahomophobic Governor Mary Fallin Cuts Spousal Benefits For All National Guards To Avoid Giving Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

Mary_Fallin National Guard

Proving that she is a mix between a 5-year-old mid-temper tantrum and Scrooge McDuck, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin has come up with a new plan to deny same-sex military spouses rights by denying all military spouses benefit rights.

Oklahoma may not be the gay-friendliest state, in fact you might as well rename it Oklahomophobic, but Republican Governor Mary Fallin’s decision to stop processing benefits for all National Guard members to prevent gay couples from receiving benefits takes the state’s anti-gay stance to the next level.

In September, Mary Fallin promised to prohibit Oklahoma’s National Guard from providing benefits to married same-sex couples – despite the fact that this directly violated a Pentagon directive and a presidential decree. Apparently no one told the Republican governor that federal mandates trump state laws. According to Fallin’s point of view, Supreme Court decisions, presidential decrees, and direct orders from the Department of Defense mean nothing if Oklahoma doesn’t feel like complying. Yeah – Oklahoma doesn’t need the federal government! Except when all those tornadoes hit and they need some federal assistance…

Anyways, after getting a stern talking-to from the Pentagon, Gov. Mary Fallin did what any temper tantrum prone child would do and cut spousal benefits for the entire Oklahoma National Guard. So essentially, Fallin would rather deny every soldier benefits than grant a few gay ones the rights they have already been federally guaranteed.

As Gov. Mary Fallin puts it:

Oklahoma law is clear. The state of Oklahoma does not recognize same-sex marriages, nor does it confer marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The decision reached today allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies. It protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.

Despite Fallin’s temper tantrum, Oklahoma National Guards – gay or straight – can still obtain spousal benefits – but only at federal facilities in Oklahoma, which could require couples to drive extended distances even when there are state facilities closer by.

If everyone is treated badly, it’s not discrimination, right? It’s terrible and twisted, but not discrimination! Just good old-fashioned narrow-mindedness.

Via: Think Progress

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Current Event Cat of the Day: The Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon

Current Event Cat - Obama Turkey Pardon Cats

President Obama continued the presidential Thanksgiving tradition and pardoned two very plump turkeys, marking the start of American Thanksgiving – or as Americans call it, Thanksgiving.

On Wednesday, Obama stepped outside the White House for a few minutes to participate in the turkey pardoning ritual.

“The office of the presidency — the most powerful position in the world — brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities,” Obama said during a ceremony on the North Portico.

“This is not one of them.”

This year’s lucky turkey was Popcorn, a 37 pounder who beat out 80 other birds via a Facebook vote to get shipped off to a turkey farm in Virginia where he can live the rest of his short life slowly dying of obesity. Fun fact: most pardoned turkeys die within a year of being granted a reprieve – mainly because they are bred to be so fat that they develop bone deformities, heart disease, or kidney problems.

“Popcorn, you have a full reprieve from cranberry sauce and stuffing. We wish you well,” Obama declared.

The year’s runner up, Caramel, who tips the scales at 38 pounds four ounces, was also pardoned and will join Popcorn on their victory tour at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate before retiring to the turkey farm.

The turkey pardon is arguable a silly Thanksgiving tradition but considering the other American Thanksgiving traditions (i.e. punching each other in a Walmart while trying to get the best deals on cheap merchandise), it actually seems quite highbrow in comparison.

And without the turkey pardon tradition, we would never have this classic picture of George Bush:

Bush Turkey

Or, for that matter, this lovely video of Sarah Palin pardoning a turkey while its turkey friends get slaughtered in the background. A true Thanksgiving moment!

Via: USA Today

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Brazil Should Have Built a Vagina Stadium… And Other News

Brazil Stadium

Brazil’s World Cup stadium partially collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least three people.

The workers were killed when an evil crane collapsed while lifting a piece of the stadium’s roof into place, causing the roof to buckle and destroy part of the stands. Brazil has been rushing to finish the Itaquerao Stadium in order to meet FIFA’s December deadline to have all 12 venues ready – but now that the crane has cause damage to the exterior many are wondering if they will be prepared. Considering the workers’ union is halting construction for 30 days while authorities investigate, I’m going to go with ‘not prepared.’ Looks like they should have consulted with Qatar first and built an ultra sturdy, vagina-like stadium. A vagina stadium would never kill anyone – minus all those migrant workers who died building it. Globe and Mail

NorveloAmerican women need to start working on a Plan C, because apparently Plan B is ineffective for women over 176 lbs. A European version of the “morning-after pill” called Norvelo (identical to Plan B) has planned to introduce a new warning label, warning consumers that the emergency contraceptive starts to lose potency in women who weigh more than 165 pounds. And after 176 lbs, the pill becomes completely ineffective.  The average American woman weighs 165 pounds, so many of Norvelo’s current users may want to switch to a new type of morning after pill – unless they want to pay a visit to the abortion clinic– or if they live in Texas, deal with a bunch of obese ‘mistakes’ running around in nine months. CBS News

BADSANTA.jpgMerry Christmas: A 62 year-old mall Santa in Massachusetts has been charged with groping an 18-year-old elf. The Bad Santa (not to be confused with Billy Bob Thornton) has been released on $1,000 bail after pleading not guilty to indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping his 18-year-old assistant/elf. Herbert Jones denied pinching the elf’s butt and making suggestive comments but until the case is resolved Hones must stay away from the mall and refrain from putting on his big red Santa suit. TIME

Aids in GreeceGood news: People are not giving themselves HIV in Greece to get benefits. The World Health Organization retracted their claim that half of new HIV cases in Greece were self-inflicted so that the individuals could get benefits of $1,000 a month. WHO blames a “gross editing error” for the HIV statistic that was published in a report last month. The bad news: there are still some people intentionally injecting themselves with the HIV virus to collect state benefits – but not nearly as many as the WHO first claimed. The new statement reads: “Half of the new HIV cases are self-injecting and out of them few are deliberately inflicting the virus.” Few is better than half! The Guardian

Rouhani Music VideoHassan Rouhani: Iranian President…. and pop star? Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has been featured in an online music video, entitled Nowsafar (New Journey). To celebrate his 100 days in office and presumable to pay tribute to Barack Obama’s 2008 Yes We Can video, Rouhani’s music video shows him delivering a speech at his endorsement ceremony with Iranians singing/speaking his words.  Now that I think of it, the black and white clip is a total rip off of Obama’s music video! The video opens with Rouhani’s speech: “In the presence of the holy Koran and before the nation, I swear to the omnipotent God to safeguard the official religion of the country and the Islamic Republic as well as the country’s constitution.” Ok, it’s a little different from Obama’s… The Atlantic

Hot SauceTime to stock up on Sriracha hot sauce! After a month long battle between Huy Fong Foods and neighbouring residents over the strong smell of the hot sauce, a California judge has ordered that the plant must stop any operations that cause the strong odours and quickly make the changes necessary to limit future smells. Although the judge stopped short of shutting down the factory entirely, it’s a victory for residents of the Los Angeles suburb who complained that the hot sauce fumes were “extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses.” Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran has previously said that he will not change the type of chilli pepper used because it makes for a better hot sauce. Tran’s slogan throughout the controversy, “If it doesn’t smell, we can’t sell!”, has now become “ If it smells, I’m going to jail.” Catchy. USA Today

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A Latvian Supermarket Collapsed, Therefore Latvia’s Government Must Collapse Too

Latvian PM

According to Latvian logic, when a supermarket collapses, the government must follow suit!

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis announced his resignation after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in Riga that killed 54 people. Dombrovskis’ resignation means that his centre-right government will automatically fall and the president must appoint a new government to tide over the country until the October 2014 elections.

“Considering the tragedy and all related circumstances… a new government is needed that has the clear support of parliament,” Mr Dombrovskis told reporters.

Resigning as the head of a country over a supermarket incident? Seems a little extreme, but the collapse of the Maxima supermarket was the worst disaster since Latvia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and considering their population is only 2 million, I guess 54 people is a lot. Still, there must be something more to it…

Maybe a closer look at Dombrovskis’s four-year tenure as Prime Minister can shed some light on why he feels politically responsible for the supermarket disaster, which was caused by design flaws and poor construction.

After taking office in 2009, Dombrovskis made some harsh budget cuts and relied on a series of painful austerity measures to pull the Latvian economy out of crisis. While widely credited with preventing the small Baltic country from going bankrupt, Dombrovskis made a few decisions regarding government oversight of construction projects that he would come to regret. In 2009 Dombrovskis voted in favour of phasing out the nation’s Building Inspectorate and passing it off to the municipalities as part of the widespread austerity measures.

And apparently that move was enough for his government to take full responsibility for the tragedy. Still, even though he didn’t prevent the collapse of a supermarket, at least he prevented the collapse of the Latvian economy. That’s got to count for something, right?

Via: The Wall Street Journal

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The Knockout Game: Super Fun Game or Random Acts of Violence?

Knockout Game

Can’t it be both? A new trend, known as the knockout game, is quickly spreading across the United States.

The knockout game, in which strangers, often teenagers, sucker punch random people on the street in an attempt to knock them out. While this may seem like a harmless game whereby innocent people are knocked unconscious while being filmed, cases are piling up and police are beginning to wonder what the f*ck is wrong with teenagers. 

“It appears these are just random acts of violence,” said former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt. “There’s no robbery, there’s no rhyme or reason; it’s just simply youths making a decision they’re going to punch somebody out — sometimes as simple as $5 bet between themselves.”

Authorities have reported knockout game incidents in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, Pittsburgh…. basically every city in the US.

In one case, a man arrested for playing the knockout game in New York City has been charged with a hate crime. Police suspect the victim was targeted because he’s Jewish. But it’s also quite possible that he was a random choice. I mean, if you’re going around New York City punching people, sooner or later (more likely sooner) you’re going to hit a Jew.

Other knockout game cases even involve elderly victims and children. I’m not sure what kind of teenager gets a rush from sucker punching an 80-year-old woman, but obviously one who needs an emergency session with their high school guidance counselor – or probation officer.

Police across the U.S are investigating a number of these types of assaults and are hoping it doesn’t become a wider trend – especially considering the media hype surrounding it (oops). But eventually one of these knockout game teens will head down to Florida or Texas, run into someone carrying a gun, the tables will quickly turn, and that will be the end of the knockout game.

Via: Today

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Berlusconi’s Expulsion

Current EVent Cat - Senate Expels Berlusconi

The Italian Senate has voted to expel former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament following his tax fraud conviction. It’s about time…

Today ends Silvio Berlusiconi’s 19-year assault on Italian politics – or at least in theory. The former Italian Prime Minister and current leader of his Forza Italia party was expelled from parliament and could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his beloved immunity from prosecution.

The Senate voted 192 to 113 to strip the 77-year-old billionaire of his seat, following a three-month debate that began after an Italian court upheld Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction and four-year prison term. The tax fraud conviction stems from his Mediaset empire’s purchase of television rights to U.S. films, but Berlusconi has also been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute at one of his infamous Bunga Bunga parties and of a breach of confidentiality over a police wiretap.

The former PM will only have to serve a one-year sentence (for the tax fraud charge), and most likely under house arrest or by doing community service because of his old age. Nevertheless, Berlusconi is not taking the news of his expulsion well.

Claiming he didn’t receive a fair trial and that the judges were out to “eliminate” him, Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through.”

“It is a bitter day, a day of mourning,” Berlusconi declared.

Despite being kicked out of parliament, Berlusconi still wields a lot of influence as the head of the Forza Italia party and will likely remain a problematic opponent for the government. As James Walston, a professor of international relations at American University of Rome, said “He is not out of politics, he is out of government.” 

Via: BBC News

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Florida Sheriff: This Isn’t Toronto!

Florida Mayor Toronto Mayor

A Florida sheriff has taken Toronto’s embarrassment over their crack-smoking mayor to a new level. After arresting Barry Layne Moore, the mayor of Hampton, Florida, for allegedly procuring and selling prescription drugs, the sheriff declared, “This isn’t Toronto!” When Florida is making fun of you, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

A warrant for Barry Layne Moore was issued on Monday and he was promptly arrested. The local politician faces charges of selling a Schedule I or II drug, as well as possession of a Schedule I or II drug. His drug of choice? OxyCodone. Kind of reminds you of the time Rob Ford offered to “try” and help a constituent score OxyContin

The official Sheriff’s statement read:

This isn’t Toronto. We will not tolerate illegal drug activity, in my jurisdiction, by anyone to include [sic] our elected officials.”

As for the sheriff’s opinion of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, he told CP24:

“He just keeps making a mockery of the good people of Toronto.”

“It’s an embarrassment…this guy is full of excuses and stupidity.”

“You just don’t smoke crack one time.” Sheriff Smith continued. “I wanna give a shout-out to your police chief, I think he’s  a stand-up guy, and if he had any way to put [Mayor Ford] in jail I believe he would….this guy is not going to quit.”

Correction: when even the sheriff of a northern Florida town with a population of 500 who gives “shout-outs” to police chiefs and can’t produce grammatically correct official statements would make a better mayor of your city, then you’ve hit rock bottom.

Via: National Post

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