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Archive for March, 2012

Something “Afoot” in the European Welfare State

And to think, there’s a blogger I know who supervises recess who told a mutual friend of ours that upon returning from a European trip said to him, “Socialism works!”  (While crashing on said friend’s couch naturally…)

Wonder what he thinks of this?

Hours before unemployment officials were to determine whether he was physically fit for work, an Austrian man sawed off his left foot with an electric saw, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.

The 56-year-old man had just learned that his benefits could be slashed if he did not accept work found for him, the Daily Mail reported.

He reportedly placed the severed foot in a wood stove to make sure doctors could not reattach it to his leg.

On Monday, after his wife and son had left the house, Hans Url, positioned his left leg against an electric saw in the boiler room and severed his foot above the ankle. Images from the scene show an electric table saw – apparently wiped clean – surrounded by shallow pools of blood. On the stove were a lighter and ashtray filled with cigarette butts.

Bleeding profusely and on the verge of death, Url called an ambulance. Emergency staff found him covered in blood, and they retrieved the foot from the fire.

Url was airlifted to a hospital in Graz. Hospital officials said he nearly died from loss of blood, according to the Daily Mail. Url is now out of danger, but doctors were not able to reattach his foot because it was too badly burned.

Naturally, Url is now in a psychiatric ward under observation.  He is being treated for severe depression.

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The Booms are Back

So much for a reprieve for Clintonville.

CLINTONVILLE – The booms have returned in Clintonville, reportedly louder and longer than before.

“Between the times of 10:35 and 10:50 p.m., we received 60 phone calls from residents indicating that they were again hearing very loud, booming, rumbling-type noises,” said Clintonville City Administrator Lisa Kuss to Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s Nick Iannelli.

“Some were indicating that it was even louder than it was last week.”

Last week, Kuss announced that geologists had discovered earthquakes of as high as 1.5 on the Richter scale in an area not known for them.

According to Kuss, these may have been more powerful, and extended for a longer period of time.

“Someone indicated that it seemed worse than last week.  It also appeared that the rumbling duration lasted longer,” said Kuss, who explained that the quakes of recent weeks had subsided over the weekend.

“It seemed like it was a little bit different in duration.  Clearly, the intensity is back, whereas Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, there (were) no events that generated that volume of calls.”

Kuss tells us that the U.S. Geological Survey had not given any information yet to show that these were earthquakes.

No information yet if these were earthquakes, huh?

I’m returning to my original theory that it was aliens.

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Court Agrees to Fix Redistricting Map With Limited Changes

Someone please tell former Norquist staffer James Rowen to shut the hell up.  He’s hasn’t just been proven wrong, he’s spun so much the door’s hit him smack in the face.

A federal court this morning agreed to fix the redistricting maps Republicans created last year to create a majority-minority Latino Assembly district in Milwaukee.

It also made clear in its order that it was looking only at changes to Assembly Districts 8 and 9 after Dems suggested to the court over the weekend that additional seats may have to be altered to meet the court’s concerns.

The three-judge panel ordered the parties involved in the case to meet at least once in an attempt to agree on proposed changes to the two Assembly districts. If they cannot, the parties can file their own suggested changes, as can anyone else who’d like to suggest a change.

But the court also noted the proposed changes should be limited to the outer boundaries of Assembly Districts 8 and 9.

This pretty much is what the state GOP legislative leadership wanted.  So huge victory for them politically.  Honestly, it’s clear they quit caring about the public relations hits months ago.

Democrats and Latino groups will not be able to sneak in other changes to the maps they have been hoping for.

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200,000 See Pope in “Atheist” Cuba

Faith can move mountains.  It might even end what over 60 years of American foreign policy haven’t — Communism in Cuba.

Pope Benedict XVI urged tens of thousands of Cubans gathered for an open-air mass to “build a renewed and open society,” at the start of his visit to the Communist-ruled country.

The pontiff — making the first papal visit to Cuba in 14 years — is seeking to bolster close church-state ties here while also urging authorities in the Americas’ only one-party Communist state to embrace change.

Benedict, who arrived on Monday after a visit to predominantly Roman Catholic Mexico, also hopes to encourage new and renewed faith in the mainly secular island nation.

“I appeal to you to reinvigorate your faith … and armed with peace, forgiveness and understanding, that you may strive to build a renewed and open society, a better society, one more worthy of humanity,” the pontiff said at the mass in Santiago on Monday, beneath soaring white metal church arches.

The 84-year-old Benedict was helped up to his seat and smiled as the crowd sang and chanted to welcome him.

President Raul Castro — who had earlier greeted the pope at the airport in Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city — was seated in the front row, sporting a white guayabera tropical shirt.


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BBC Releases First “Doctor Who” Series 7 Teaser

Put on your running shoes and don’t forget your sonic screwdriver. We’re getting close to once again being asked to jump on board the TARDIS and travel with the rogue Time Lord known as “The Doctor.”

Cyborg-cowboys, huh?  That’s new.

Don’t forget, bow ties [as well as fezzes and stetsons] are cool.

Series 7 is set for an autumn premiere on BBC America.

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Santorum Loses it on NYT Reporter in Racine

Getting the feeling those of us in Wisconsin will have a front-row seat over the next eight days to watching a man finally snap under the stress of a presidential campaign.

I honestly hope I’m wrong there.  Santorum is a good family man and father, but the appearances of stuff like this isn’t helping him go out on a high-note if Wisconsin is indeed the probable end-game for him.

FRANKSVILLE, Wis. – In directing what appeared to be a new level of vitriol toward Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum on Sunday described his rival as “the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.” Santorum later, however, bristled at the notion that he was referring to anything other than Romney’s position on health care.

After a rally at the South Hills Country Club here, Santorum asked Republicans to “pick any other Republican in the country” than GOP presidential front-runner Romney, based on issues that make the former Massachusetts governor “uniquely disqualified” to run against Obama.

Reporters swarmed him for clarification, only to have Santorum testily reply that it was unreasonable to take his comment outside the context of health care.

“I would say, as for, on the issue of health care, yes, that’s what I was talking about – Obamacare, as you heard me say,” he said. “That’s what I said. I didn’t say anything different than that. That’s exactly what I said.”

Minutes later, Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times followed up with a question about his outburst, to which Santorum asked, “What speech did you listen to? Stop lying.” (watch at left)

Pressed further, Santorum clarified that he meant Romney was the worst candidate “to run against Barack Obama on the issue of health care, because he fashioned the blueprint. I’ve been saying it in every speech. Quit distorting our words. If I see it [in print], it’s bull(expletive). C’mon man, what are you doing?”

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams quickly issued a statement in response: “Rick Santorum is becoming more desperate and angry and unhinged every day. He see conservatives coalescing around Mitt Romney and he’s rattled by the backlash caused by his suggestion that keeping Barack Obama would be better than electing a Republican. He’s panicking in the final stages of his campaign.”

The link above has video of the confrontation with the reporter.  It’s not one of his best moments, comes off a bit like Gingrich in one of his back and forth’s with reporters.

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