Saturday, January 16, 2010
Israeli police have arrested a self-styled Jewish sage and disciplinarian who ran a tightly controlled cult of at least 17 women with whom they believe he fathered dozens of children. Goel Ratzon, whose name means "saviour" in Hebrew, is now on remand in a Tel Aviv jail awaiting a court appearance.
Police painted a disturbing picture of a man who commanded his household according to a "rulebook", laying down severe restrictions and financial penalties for the women in his life. Many of the women, who dressed in conservative Orthodox clothes, appeared deeply committed to him. Some bore tattoos of his name and face. His lawyer said he denied any wrongdoing and all his relationships were consensual.
Ratzon appeared in an Israeli television documentary last year which showed dozens of women and children in the house. Several of the women then said they were married to Ratzon and they were shown combing his hair and feeding him. They threatened to kill themselves if anyone ever tried to harm their leader.
One said: "He is the messiah everyone is talking about. He is already here and he hasn't been revealed yet. The day he decides to reveal himself, the land will shake." His children all had names that were variations on his, Goel. Police believe he may have fathered up to 40 children with the women. During the documentary, Ratzon, who has long white hair and a thick white goatee, said of himself: "I'm perfect. I have all the qualities a woman wants."
Found in the house was a rulebook setting out a strict code of conduct for the women, with different financial penalties for infringements. "No women shall marry nor shall any woman attack another, either verbally or physically," said the first rule. The fine was listed as 2,000 shekels. Other rules banned conversation anywhere but the living room and stopped the women from asking Ratzon questions. "No woman shall sit idle when there are dishes to be washed, cleaning to be done, children to look after," said another.
"The evidence shows the suspect controlled his women with a firm hand, including their possessions and their money," said a police statement. "He would dictate what they could and could not do, limit their movements and impose sanctions and various punishments, including the use of violence if they refused to obey." Ratzon's appointed lawyer, Shlomtzion Gabai, said around 30 women and 60 children were involved with him. "As far as he is concerned, no sexual crimes have been committed," she told Israel Radio. "The women consented willingly to relations … He may be different, but he's not a criminal."
performed by the Dixie Hayseeds
Friday, January 15, 2010
Meanwhile, Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday that he wouldn't trust that money donated to Haiti through the White House Web site would actually go to the relief efforts. He said Americans don't need to contribute to earthquake relief because they already donate to Haiti through their income taxes.
Is little Mikey really a terrorist? That is the question America is asking after it emerged that the eight-year-old Cub Scout from New Jersey is frisked every time he flies because his name is on a US terror watchlist.
Michael “Mikey” Hicks has been the target of extra security measures at airports since he was 2.
Michael is not on the US Government’s “no-fly” list of 2,500 people considered too dangerous to be allowed into the air. However, his name appears to be among, or to closely match, one of the 13,500 on the “selectee” list who are singled out for extra airport security. He was patted down for the first time aged 2 as he passed through Newark airport in New Jersey.Mikey and his mother believe he’s on the watch list because his name matches that of a suspected terrorist.
The Weight Watchers participants had gathered in the group’s facilities to see how much weight they had lost. As it turned out, however, people’s weight was not the only thing to fall.
“We suddenly heard a huge thud; we almost thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air. The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls,” one of the participants said.
Then floor then started to give way in other parts of the room. Shortly thereafter, the smell of sewage began to waft up into the room.
When everything had calmed down, the participants instead moved the scales to a nearby corridor and set about seeing how many kilos they had shed. And this time the floor held.
No one was injured in the incident, the cause of which is still under investigation.
Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies arrested 33-year-old Tanya Nareau on Tuesday after receiving a tip about the swap. While at Nareau's home, deputies spoke with a family friend who had the child and confirmed to deputies that Nareau gave the girl to him for a gun.
Deputies say Nareau felt that the family friend would do a better job in raising the child than she would. They say Nareau also claimed she could not buy a weapon because she's prohibited to do so by law.
Authorities say Nareau has been booked into the county jail in downtown Phoenix. She's been charged with the unlawful sale of a child and solicitation to possess a weapon by a prohibited person.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Beaver was founded in 1920 as a publication of the Hudson's Bay Company, then a fur trader and now a department store chain. It has long since become a broader magazine about Canadian history and will change its name to Canada's History with its April issue, editor-in-chief Mark Reid said on Tuesday.
When The Beaver started publication, the name evoked only Canada's thriving fur industry. Ninety years later, the fur trade has diminished and the magazine's name has become slang for female genitals. Readers complained that Internet filters were blocking emails and newsletters from The Beaver, Reid said. The society also had concerns about attracting readers.
"Market research showed us that younger Canadians and women were very very unlikely to ever buy a magazine called The Beaver no matter what it's about," said Reid, adding he has mixed feelings about the name change. "For whatever reasons, they are turned off by the name."
Print subscriptions to the Winnipeg-based magazine, which publishes six issues a year, range between 45,000 and 50,000. It is published by Canada's National History Society.
Changing the name also makes sense because the fur trade, while an important part of early Canadian history, isn't meaningful to all Canadians today, especially as the population's makeup has changed through immigration, Reid said.
Beaver College in the Philadelphia area changed its name to Arcadia University for the same reason.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
But perhaps the job of an investment banker is not quite as difficult as it might seem.
A chimpanzee in Russia has out-performed 94 per cent of the country's investment funds with her portfolio growing by three times in the last year.
Moscow TV reported how circus chimp Lusha chose eight companies from a possible 30 to invest her one million roubles.
'She bought successfully and her portfolio grew almost three times. She did better than almost the whole of the rest of the market,' said editor of Russian Finance magazine Oleg Anisimov.
He questioned why so-called financial whizz-kids are still receiving hefty perks for their expertise. Everyone is shocked. What are they getting their bonuses for? Maybe it's worth sending them all to the circus.'
Meet 78-year-old Gabrielle Shaink Trudeau. Back in November police in South Florida arrested her for driving with a suspended license.
Apparently Broward's justice system is doing their part to keep old people off of the roads in South Florida.
The problem for poor Trudeau was, well, she’s poor. She had no one to represent her in court and the Public Defender’s Office failed to appear at her arraignment, which may have solved the problem immediately.
Trudeau’s problems with the law started after she was pulled over a few months earlier by police for driving her car too slowly. That caused the DMV to question her ability to drive. The grandma’s license was revoked pending a review of her skills.
Then, after receiving a notice in the mail saying that her driving privileges had been restored, Broward Sheriff’s Office showed up at her door with a warrant for Trudeau’s arrest. Apparently they didn’t get the memo.
Trudeau had to spend Thanksgiving in jail instead of with her family.
Prosecutors have dropped the charges against her and offered an apology.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The Leafs give up the first goal. They give up at least one powerplay goal. They badly out shoot the opposition. The Leafs lose. MLSE makes a healthy profit.
This might have been billed as the Battle for Taylor Hall...if they game had been played in Boston. Let's face it the Leafs are no longer playing for a playoff spot. They fighting off the embarrassment of having to hand over a lottery pick to the Bruins and failing miserably at that.
Incredibly the Leafs have now played 10 games this season in which they have had at least 40 shots on net and not won even one of those games. Only the most die hard Leaf fans can blame this on hot goaltending. The real explanation is bad goaltending - in the Leafs' end. It also proves that shots on net are a poor indicator of how well a team has played. A better indicator is scoring chances and giveaways. My guess is that the Leafs do not fair well in these areas. As far as the truculence indicator, well Carolina out hit our Maple Leafs 21-17.
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
Monday, January 11, 2010
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was removed from office about a year ago and faces a host of U.S. federal corruption charges, including for allegedly scheming to auction off U.S. President Barack Obama's former senate seat has been selected as a participant in this season's Celebrity Apprentice.
Americans should be insulted that both NBC and Donald Trump should try to capitalize Blagojevich's notoriety while he awaits trial over corruption charges. To make matters worse he recently told Esquire magazine in an interview that he was "blacker than Barack Obama." The man is a disgrace which I guess makes him well suited for sitting in a "boardroom" across from Donald Trump.Blagojevich is not a celebrity. He may be newsworthy for being the latest criminal governor of Illinois, but that doesn't make you a celebrity. He is scum. He tried to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder. Who will Trump sign up next Bernard Madoff, Elliot Spitzer, Barry Bonds, Carrie Prejean?
Today's admission by Mark McGwire that he used steroids is a pile of bullshit. It was most likely orchestrated by Bud Selig's office to try to get baseball past this lingering drug scandal.
History has shown that continual denial in response to accusations of cheating makes the problem worse (eg., Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Mark McGwire five years ago). No one believes you and the accusations hang around forever. Then along comes Andy Pettitte who acknowledges he used HGH twice to help recover from an injury but not to enhance performance. Next Alex Rodriguez admits n an interview with ESPN, citing "an enormous amount of pressure to perform," to using banned substances from 2001 to 2003. Both were sorry for what they did.
So fast forward to 2010 when Mark McGwire receives only 23.7% of votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America -- far less than the 75 percent required for induction into the Hall of Fame. He figures he couldn't damage his chance of induction into the Hall by admitting drug use. After all everyone quickly forgot about it after Pettitte and Rodriquez came clean.
So in todays announcement, he admits to using performance enhancing drugs in his career - but to help recover from injuries not to enhance performance. Not only that, but according to McGwire, he had good and bad years when he used drugs and good and bad years when he was off them. So one can only conclude that performance enhancing drugs do not actually enhace performance. What a pile of crap! Then to add to the mix was the statement from Bud Selig expressing his pleasure that McGwire was finally being truthful. No admonishment from the Commissioner for years of remaining silent and failing to cooperate.
Will it get him into the Hall? Not likely. Many reporters will refuse to change their position but some will. Hank Aaron quickly announced that he forgives McGwire There are those that feel his numbers don't justify entry into the Hall even before discounting them as a result of his drug use. But if the cloud lifts from above his head, watch for others to come forward with some sort of admission. Will Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemons and others come clean? Surely they too were likely just interesting in recovering from injuries?
The No Pants Subway Ride 2010 edition took to the TTC yesterday. Organized by Improv in Toronto, the white-legged riders reveal casually whip off their pants, revealing the usual variety of white briefs, frilly panties, bikini briefs and boxers. The real treat is to watch the reaction of other unsuspecting subway riders when people start to drop their pants.
I have to circle the date on my calendar next year.
A Facebook group protesting the move has formed and at last count had 160,000 members.
What's the fuss all about? Well Parliament was shut down for its usual holiday break and was to return Jan. 25 but instead will not return until March 3. At that time there will be a throne speech, followed by a budget the next day. Proroguing of Parliament basically means that the current legislative session has come to an end. All Bills that have not passed die and committee work also comes to an end. The government starts a new a new session beginning with a throne speech setting out is legislative agenda for the coming session.
So why would the government do this? When governments prorogue Parliament is in the middle of a mandate, it's because it has pretty much delivered on promises made in its previous throne speech and wants to clean the slate and start a fresh. This is not that contentious except for the fact that Prime Minister Harper used this parliamentary trick to avoid getting defeated a year ago. So now the opposition and the public are suspicious that he is again wanting to avoid resuming Parliament.
Here is my thoughts on the matter. Proroguing Parliament is always a politically motivated maneuver however Harper makes it so more obvious than previous Prime Ministers. Governments do it in an attempt to gain some advantage and positive press. Once again Harper has shown his arrogance by just taking it to the extreme. But it's not like we are finding out something new about Stephen Harper - this is the way he has always operated.
My guess is that the government doesn't want Parliament sitting during the Olympics. Question Period can get pretty nasty and the distraction of gold medals around the necks of Canadian athletes can play into the hands of the government. After all landing the Games and the funding for athletes doesn't happen without government involvement. The maneuver also delays proceedings of a Commons committee examining embarrassing reports regarding Afghan detainees being mishandled by Canadian Forces. As for the Bills that died in December, they can all be reintroduced in March.
That brings us back to the proroguing mess. A new poll released by EKOS too highlighted a Conservative slide since the fall, when the Tories enjoyed a 15-point lead over the Liberals, which now has been reduced to five percentage points. The poll had the Tories with 33.1 per cent support, the Liberals at 27.8 per cent, the NDP at 16 per cent and the Greens at 13.4 per cent.
The Conservatives slip in the polls every time things get quiet in Ottawa. However as soon as the Conservative communications machine gets rolling - press releases, photo ops, retread stimulus announcements - the polls start to turn around. The electorate is just that fickle.
So get all mad at those Conservative politicians. By the time the Olympics are over you'll have forgotten. As for Michael Ignatieff, he'll have put his foot in his mouth about 4 times between now and the Throne Speech.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
4. The two dumbest families in America
3. Were you wondering if Australian is a language?
2. Planets, moons, what's the difference?
1. Are Blondes smarter than a fifth grader? Hell no!
from Huffington Post
Jay Leno bombed in prime time so NBC tries to hang on to all three late night hosts. Which one will be pissed off enough to bolt. I'm betting it's Conan.
11:35pm-12:05am: Jay Leno
12:05am-1:05am: Conan O'Brien
1:05am-2:05am: Jimmy Fallon