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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Journal Archives

And sometimes, a person whose arm is blown off will pick it up and attempt to stick it back on.

The actions of a person in a state of shock are not something to mock.


Elderly South Korean woman unexpectedly sodomized by her calamari dinner.


[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom: none; border-radius: 0.3846em 0.3846em 0em 0em; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"]Partially cooked squid inseminates woman’s mouth
[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-top: none; border-radius: 0em 0em 0.3846em 0.3846em; background-color: #f4f4f4; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"] A South Korean woman got quite a mouthful when a semi-cooked squid she was eating reportedly inseminated her mouth.

The 63-year-old suffered "severe pain" and a "prickling, foreign-body sensation" in her mouth after taking a bite of the partially-cooked seafood, according to a study published in February in the Journal of Parasitology.

The unidentified woman spit the squid out immediately, according to the report, but not before the cephalopod injected its sperm bags into the mucous membranes of her tongue and cheek.

She went to the hospital, where doctors apparently found a dozen "small, white spindle-shaped bug-like organisms" which they believed to be parasites in the woman's mouth.

But I'll give you a hint: They weren't parasites. And it's apparently not the first time this has happened, either. More at the link!

Nobody made you click on this OP. You only have yourself to blame.

OnEdit: I should add the obligatory:


I had basically the exact thing happen. Back porch, late at night. I can't remember...

...why I wanted to shoo them off but there was some reason. So I slide open the porch door and I'm all making cat-hiss noises and stuff to get them to scram. There were three of 'em. The first two sort of amble off absent-mindedly but the third one stands on his hind legs like "Oh, hey, who're you? I think I can take you, old man. What do you think about that?"

Now I'm physically making shooing motions because the psychic connection between the raccoon and I allowed me to read his thoughts and I'm a little hurt- "Hey, uncool! I'm not that old."

But he ain't moving. Standing on hind legs, little beady eyes just staring right at me in perfect concentration, while them little hands play over the cement in case there was a Cadbury egg or a chicken liver or something that he might not want to miss.

Eventually I realize I want to get a stick and poke his uppity ass with it. I just want to at this point, because fuck this raccoon. He's telepathically called me old and, damnit, if there do happen to be any Cadbury eggs or chicken livers on my back porch, they're mine.

And then I realize the best way to win this battle is to go back inside, close the patio door and fuck that racoon. I hope he found a bunch of unexploded landmines from WWII on my porch, but I know, deep down, it was probably a Cadburdy egg.

I've had lots of similar experiences, usually without the name-calling. Because of how close it is to the river, and because the campus is actually a giant arboretum, I've seen troupes of raccoons 15-20 strong moving through the middle of the University of Oregon campus at like, I have no idea, like 3am or some silly shit like that. Same with Hendricks park, which is a park on a hill even closer to the river.

15-20 raccoons and I start walking the opposite direction at 50 yards.


NYT: Probation Fees Rise, Firms Profit and the Poor Go to Jail

[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom: none; border-radius: 0.3846em 0.3846em 0em 0em; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"]Probation Fees Rise, Firms Profit and the Poor Go to Jail
[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-top: none; border-radius: 0em 0em 0.3846em 0.3846em; background-color: #f4f4f4; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"]CHILDERSBURG, Ala. — Three years ago, Gina Ray, who is now 31 and unemployed, was fined $179 for speeding. She failed to show up at court (she says the ticket bore the wrong date), so her license was revoked. When she was next pulled over, she was, of course, driving without a license. By then her fees added up to more than $1,500. Unable to pay, she was handed over to a private probation company and jailed — charged an additional fee for each day behind bars.

For that driving offense, Ms. Ray has been locked up three times for a total of 40 days and owes $3,170, much of it to the probation company. Her story, in hardscrabble, rural Alabama, where Krispy Kreme promises that “two can dine for $5.99,” is not about innocence. It is, rather, about the mushrooming of fines and fees levied by money-starved towns across the country and the for-profit businesses that administer the system. The result is that growing numbers of poor people, like Ms. Ray, are ending up jailed and in debt for minor infractions.

“With so many towns economically strapped, there is growing pressure on the courts to bring in money rather than mete out justice,” said Lisa W. Borden, a partner in Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, a large law firm in Birmingham, Ala., who has spent a great deal of time on the issue. “The companies they hire are aggressive. Those arrested are not told about the right to counsel or asked whether they are indigent or offered an alternative to fines and jail. There are real constitutional issues at stake.”

Half a century ago in a landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled that those accused of crimes had to be provided a lawyer if they could not afford one. But in misdemeanors, the right to counsel is rarely brought up, even though defendants can run the risk of jail. The probation companies promise revenue to the towns, while saying they also help offenders, and the defendants often end up lost in a legal Twilight Zone.

Much more at the link and definitely worth the read!


Less than 2 weeks after Obama was elected, America's Health Care Programs sent out a press release.

That press release was titled Health Plans Propose Guaranteed Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions and Individual Coverage Mandate and you can read it here. This is long before health care reform even began, when we were all still giving each other high-fives about the election.

And over the course of the next year and a half, there would be debates and arguments in Congress about changes to health care but in the end, the PPACA ("Obamacare" wound up following the template from that press release.

Isn't that interesting? Why do you suppose that is? Were some of the most ghoulish and vampiric corporate entities that exist in America being...magnanimous? Generous?



Nomatter. You are now officially on the hook. Whether you've realized it yet or not. You are now on Karen Ignagni's hook, on AHIP's hook.

For life. By law.

It may look like you just walked into a room with free danishes and coffee- who doesn't love that? But that shit isn't free. It's being provided by organizations with the most ruthless and brutal bottom-line in America. Grab all the danishes and coffee you can, AHIP gets 'em cheap.

Oh and here it comes. Lemme guess: You think I wanna see people die because I'm against subsidizing private health care corporations, right? You think I want to rip out the intravenous drips from the arms of little kids with leukemia. You think I want to deny the chemo for the woman with breast cancer.

There's a whole industry in America that has financial incentive and no qualms about letting those people die, and you're eating their danishes and drinking their coffee. So enjoy the illusion while you can. Every election year from now until you leave this earth, politicians will be promising to stand against those ruthless health care corporations and fight for your interests. And every election year, you'll hope that this batch of politicians is telling the truth.

In a post-Citizens United America.

Good luck with that.

Forbes: Mandate To Buy Coverage: Health Insurance Industry's Idea, Not Obama's
Frontline: Obama's Deal


RANT: Did you hear that faint creak? It was America's problems passing the tipping point.

Between the louder crashes of masonry falling from the ceiling I just heard a little...well, like a little creak. Almost missed it, too. That worried me more than anything. I don't care about the roof caving in but that sound means the foundation is going.

House representatives have two year terms. Senators have 6 year terms. The President has 4 year terms. And they're all staggered.

Even then, I think they can get it together enough to put a new roof on the house or a new deck in back or drop some bombs on the bad folks down the block. If they really had to, they could probably do it. I'd like to think so, anyway.

But I don't think with the way America has gotten they're gonna get their shit together enough to restore America to something healthier, something free or freer of corruption and graft. I don't think they have it in them.

The foundation is going, folks. This isn't about Obama or House reps or Senators and it's not even about Democrats or Republicans or third parties. The foundation is going and the people who we need to be concentrating on bringing us out of this mess are, most of them, already bought up by corporate, banking or other industrial interests and whose view of the world is limited in the extreme. I'm coming to terms with the realization that at least two of the three branches of government might have entered a permanently failed state. An unrecoverable dysfunction.

Like the Soviet Union was, when I was growing up. Corruption, corruption, corruption and a gestapo-style state-police to enforce it all.

We no-longer have the luxury of living in the "My Children Will Fix It" world, either. I'm almost 40. This shit is starting to snowball and the wheels are going to come off in my lifetime and probably in your lifetime, too. With the banking meltdowns here and in Europe you could arguably make the case that they already have.

I am not real excited by the prospect that the rest of my natural life will be filled with continuous wars, banking calamities, struggling to afford good healthcare (even in the good times), watching my inalienable Constitutional Rights abridged or "reinterpreted" away, entirely. Partisan political catamites spin what they can but there are good people, or at least people with some thread of decency in them, on both sides of the aisle.

But I don't think there's enough of them anymore, even if you gathered them all up regardless of party affiliation. My choice of futures as a middle-class American are rapidly slimming down to "Would you like to be slapped hard forty times in the face or be knocked out from a single blow?"


NYT:Intrigue in Karzai Family Clouds Afghanistan’s Fate

From the New York Times:
[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom: none; border-radius: 0.3846em 0.3846em 0em 0em; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"]Intrigue in Karzai Family Clouds Afghanistan’s Fate
[div class="excerpt" style="border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-top: none; border-radius: 0em 0em 0.3846em 0.3846em; background-color: #f4f4f4; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"]WASHINGTON — With the end in sight for Hamid Karzai’s days in office as Afghanistan’s president, members of his family are trying to protect their status, weighing how to hold on to power while secretly fighting among themselves for control of the fortune they have amassed in the last decade.


The looming withdrawal of American and NATO troops by 2014 from the still unresolved war, along with President Karzai’s coming exit, is causing anxiety among the Afghan elite who have been among the war’s biggest beneficiaries, enriching themselves from American military contracts, insider business deals with foreign companies, government corruption and narcotics trafficking.

“If you are one of the Afghan oligarchs, where you put your money and where you live is an open question now,” Seth Jones, an analyst at the RAND Corporation, said. “That means you are thinking about moving your money and finding a backup option about where to live.”

The president’s family — many of whom are American citizens who returned to Afghanistan after an American-led coalition toppled the Taliban in 2001 and brought Mr. Karzai to power — are among those who have prospered the most, by the accounts of many Afghan businessmen and government insiders.

Much more at the link!

This isn't just a news story. It's a clue.


Probably nothing to worry about. The forward compartment is just where...

...they keep the...

...winning LOTTO numbers, apparently:

Nuclear Submarines: As safe as sleeping next to broccoli!


I wish no ill will on those who lost money in the Facebook IPO but I...

...thought it was interesting in reading about how the majority of folks took a bath on the deal and came out of the tub with substantially less money than they went in with.

Just a day or two before the IPO, I was reading articles which didn't mince any words and basically said "Hey, only the top customers (at whatever the selling firms/banks were) are going to get a chance to buy this stock, so if you're not already sinking money into the market, you're low on the totem pole."

Now, while that's paraphrasing it's definitely not paraphrasing much. It had been a while since I'd seen this sort of naked taunting between one economic group and another in articles in what would otherwise be well-respected business publications.

I didn't think so much about it at the time but it was a curiosity to me.

And then of course, all the tumbling-down stuff happened. And I read about the better-informed groups of potential investors, who were given information which was more accurate and which would cause a person to think twice about investing at that price. From everything I've read, that more-protected group were the high rollers. What casinos call "whales". Big, big money investors.

I guess my point is a lot of people grossly misunderstand what the 1% is, who the 1% is. Maybe you have $50k in the bank. Maybe you have $200k in the bank- or maybe a million. Maybe you see something like the Facebook IPO as a way to quickly parlay a good chunk of that cash into something more, make ya even richer!

I live in a town where $50k in the bank is pretty damned rich. A million in the bank? Oh, you'd be financially teabagging on most of America if you wanted to.

But you're still not in the 1%. You're still a sucker on the boardwalk and Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are carnies handing you the baseball, for a price, and showing you how you can win big if you just knock over the milk bottles. Oh, it's not the same boardwalk that you and I walk down. Much glitzier, much more exclusive.

It's the same fleecing machine, though. Just a nicer version of it for people who might fancy themselves as movers and shakers. Being in the 1%, IMO, is not just about how much money you have in the bank. It's about the connections you have, how much pressure you exert to get your way, bend the rules, subjugate others. Everyone else is just fruit the Morgan Stanleys of the world pick and eat at their leisure.

This is why people who have $5 million in the bank should still work hard for banking regulation. Chances are, they're still on someone's menu, just like the rest of us.


Good for you for contacting the Oregonian about it. That's messed up!

A friend of mine found something similar because he used to live near the cemetery way out on Donald street in Eugene. He found a bunch of the most amazing weird metal pieces- they were fabulous looking, kind of like something art deco from the movie Metropolis. Being a Eugenian (god bless him!) he tried to turn one of them into a marijuana pipe. That's one of the things we do in Eugene with found objects: Try to turn them into something we can smoke weed out of, LOL!

Anyway, neither of us could figure out what the metal pieces were and they were fucking up his drill bits like mad, so he started doing research on the word "vitallium" (which was stamped on the side), to find out why what the fuck these indestructible, odd-looking metal things were.

It's then that he realized they were artificial hip joints!

We assumed later that they probably weren't dumped improperly, but they were from cremations and they just wanted to keep the ashes for the families instead of all the metal bits from their health problems in life. So they just tossed them out on the neighboring property, which was kind of wooded.

IIRC, he did manage to turn one of them into a pipe but he had to kill a number of pricy drill bits to get through the ball. Looked like something out of steampunk. Smoked a little hot for my tastes, IIRC.

That was almost 20 years ago, now that I think about it. Shit, someday soon, someone's going to be finding my bits and pieces and turning them into a marijuana pipe!

That's the circle of life in Eugene for ya!

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