Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Colorado shooting naturally opens up that ongoing debate in the U.S. about gun control. Naturally it will lead to nothing or at best some cosmetic change that will be used by both sides of the debate to win some points - if you're actually keeping score.
I am the first to acknowledge that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill is quite the challenge while still allowing responsible citizens to own and carry firearms. Though I can't really contemplate a scenario where ordinary citizens need access to assault rifles.
Interestingly enough there are examples of gun laws around the world that actually work.
Take for instance Israel. You would think with the threat of attack in Israel that gun laws would be pretty lax. Wouldn't just about everyone be allowed to carry a firearm to protect themselves? Surprisingly no.
This is my understanding of gun laws in Israel from talking to Israelis and the Internet. The laws are extremely restrictive, but have some elements of common sense. All weapons are listed, registered and individually licensed. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the licensing of weapons and Gun Shops. Also keep in mind that all citizens serve in the army and then become reservists until the age of 45. Depending on their rank in the Reserve they may have a M16A1 military issue rifle which is “signed out” from the military, for civil defense.
For the above three rules, you also have to prove that you are sane and do not have a criminal record.
There is another possibility, that is you live in the West Bank, in which case you can get a weapon and do not have to prove that you are sane and do not have a criminal record (you would have to be insane to live in the West Bank).
For an Arab citizen of Israel to get a license is difficult but not impossible.
You do not need a license to practice with a weapon inside a legal firing range.
Every 5 years a gun owner is to pass a physical and mental health check, criminal background check, qualify at the range, and pay a renewal fee for my carry permit.
Who carries weapons in Israel?
Servicemen and women, on duty and off, in uniform or not. Reservists, Cops, Ambulance Drivers, Firemen, Teachers, Security Guards, Businessmen, and anyone else that has a valid carry permit. Jews, Arabs, and Christians (and everyone else) all carry weapons.
Rifles are generally issued by the Israeli Defense Force and carried by Servicemen and Reservists, although if you live in an area deemed by the Government to be a high risk (that’s almost every small town in Israel today) you can be issued a rifle for civil defense.
Friday, July 20, 2012
The team played mediocre for most of the season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1992. One of the few highlights of the season was a brawl at the end of a game with the Flyers when Flyers goalie Ron Hextall charged across the ice to battle Felix Potvin. Potvin won the fight and cut Hextall above the eye. That legendary goalie fight (see video below) is replayed at the Air Canada Centre on a regular basis.
The 1996–97 Toronto Maple Leafs season would be Cliff Fletcher’s final season as General Manager of the Maple Leafs. In one of his final moves, Fletcher traded Doug Gilmour to the New Jersey Devils for Steve Sullivan, Alyn McCauley and Jason Smith.
It was actually Don Giffin who had initially filled in the vacuum when Ballard was fading that gave Fletcher sweeping powers to send his way into contention. Stavros who was himself rather frugal initially objected but relented when the Leafs came close to qualifying for the finals in 1993. It appeared that Cliff Fletcher was losing his touch and he too was let go by Leaf ownership. The reality was Fletcher was forced to sell off assets which stripped the team of badly needed talent. The payroll had ballooned to $40 million before being stripped down.
The biggest deal was the one not made. Cliff Fletcher wanted to sign Wayne Gretzky prior to the season. Gretzky was a free agent having left St.Louis and wanted to finish his career in Canada. When Fletcher presented a proposal to sign Gretzky to the Leaf board, it was rejected. Steve Stavros was having money problems was also looking to take MLG private.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had reached great heights early in the decade falling just short of reaching the finals twice. But now it was time to rebuild yet again. They had one young star, Mats Sundin and a decent goalie in Felix Potvin but that was about it.
When Shandong police received a call reporting a body floating in one of the province’s rivers on July 11, they wasted no time dispatching 18 of their finest officers to recover it.
As the police struggled to bring the corpse to the shore, rumor of the incident spread and a crowd of over 1000 spectators gathered, blocking traffic and preventing firefighters from reaching the scene.
Finally, 40 minutes later, Chinese police succeeded in recovering the body. Only, it wasn’t a body, but an inflatable sex doll.
As the “body” was floating about 40-50 meters from the riverbank, it was likely difficult for the police to realize what it actually was until it had been brought in closer.
After confirming that they had indeed run around in a panic for nearly an hour over trying to rescue someone’s Dutch wife, the police presented it to the anxious crowd, who quickly covered their children’s eyes and walked away.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
50-year-old John E. Brennan, who grabbed headlines back in April when he stripped naked in front of TSA screeners at Portland International Airport, was acquitted of public indecency after a Multnomah County judge ruled his act a protected form of protest.
Nicknamed "Sir Godiva" by his friends, Brennan explained that his decision to remove his clothes was not premeditated. "The machine went off, and I asked what it was and he said 'nitrates' which I know from Oklahoma City is one of the explosive ingredients," Brennan, a high-tech consultant and frequent flyer, told KGW. "And I was not interested in being hassled so I took off my clothes to show them I was not carrying any explosives."
A spokeswoman for the TSA said Brennan was being "purposefully disruptive" and affecting its ability to "screen all passengers safely and efficiently." Indeed, although he is free and clear of indecent exposure, Brennan could still be fined up to $11,000 if it is determined by the TSA that he interfered with the screening process.
He also faces being put on the Department of Homeland Security's no-fly list.
Police in Idaho arrested a man last week after he allegedly posted a Craigslist ad asking random men to break into his home and rape his wife.
The 32-year-old Twin Falls resident reportedly put up an ad on the "casual encounters" section of Craigslist claiming his wife "wanted to be forcibly raped as that was a fantasy of hers." Police say he told potential rapists "not stop no matter how much she resisted."
According to prosecutors, the man's wife had no knowledge of her husband's ad before Saturday, when she was attacked by a home invader for the second time in as many days. Police arrived at the couple's home to find the wife pointing a gun at a man, identified as Michael Combs, and took him into custody.
The husband, a National Guardman who was away at work at the time, was forced to admit to siccing Combs on his wife after police found evidence of their email exchange on his cellphone.
He is currently being held on $100,000 bond; a preliminary hearing is scheduled for later this month.
The first attacker, who fled after the wife's gun went off during their struggle, is still at large.
Back in April Brian Burke stated that he wants to upgrade in goal, at centre and make his team bigger and harder to play against. Of course he has been saying that for 4 years now. Which makes me wonder what he has been doing since April.
He wasn't able to swing a goalie or centre at the draft. His first pick was a defenseman.
He once again sat out the free agency frenzy. He doesn't agree with the cap circumventing contracts handed out. He did sign a 3rd line centre - Jay McClement and Euro-pest Leo Komarov.
He said he was going to upgrade through trades but he wasn't too interested in paying the price to land Roberto Luongo. James Reimer and Ben Scrivens are good enough. So he made just one trade - flipping an underachieving defenseman (Luke Schenn) for an underachieving winger (James van Reimsdyk). The winger can just move over to centre and fill that hole.
So as it stands the upgrades that will get us into the playoffs are van Reimsdyk, McClement, Komarov and Scrivens.
Makes you want to wish for a labour disruption this fall. Or maybe Burke is actually holding out for the new CBA to somehow rescue him through possible amnesty buyouts and other goodies.
George Costanza had a good trick for how to make people think you are busy.
Sitabai Chouhan tried to commit suicide with rat poison which led her to being brought to the hospital where nurses examined her and discovered the medieval barbarity.
Four years ago, the housewife had been drugged by her husband Chouhan who then punctured holes with a needle on either side of her genitals.
He had carried out the agonising assault so he could seal her private parts with a padlock when he went to work to stop her having sex with anyone else.
When she was admitted to the Maharaja Yashwant Raoin Hospital in Indore, India, the crudely-fashioned chastity belt was still in place. It was only removed when police tracked down her husband and retrieved the key. He had kept the keys in his socks. The nurses confirmed the existence of a small lock. It was only after the husband’s arrest that the lock could be opened.
Chouhan said he had done this because several women in his family had ‘strayed’ in the past.Barbaric: Chouhan said he had assaulted his wife because women in his family had strayed in the past. Mrs Chouhan is being treated in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Her husband, meanwhile, has been charged with cruelty and voluntarily causing grievous hurt. Police described him as an alcoholic who was mentally disturbed.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Shaq Thompson is actually a football player who is giving baseball a go in the Red Sox system in the Gulf Coast League. His career stats, since being drafted by Boston in the 18th round, are incredible: Not a single hit, and all but one of his outs have been strikeouts. He is 0-37 with 36 strikeouts. He also has 8 walks.
He plans to leave in August for the University of Washington Huslies.
The question I have is - has he tried to bunt?
UPDATE: Thompson's baseball career is now over. In 13 games, he went 0 for 39 and had 37 strikeouts. He got the ball out of the infield just once in hit last at-bat.
You've got to love her warm up dance. Her hurdling isn't too bad either.
That season also saw one of the worst trades in my memory of the Maple Leafs (#7 on my list of worst Leafs trades) - the trade with the Islander that brought back Wendel Clark. The draft pick sent to the Islanders turned out to be Roberto Luongo. Yes the same Roberto Luongo that Brian Burke is trying to get to Toronto.
There is no guarantee that the Leafs would have picked him. Had the Leafs actually traded to Luongo to New York, then this trade would be much higher on the list. After trading Wendel Clark when his market value was at its peak (how often have the Leafs done that) they bring back the broken down winger two years later. The trade was only to appease the fans who fell in love with the hard working Clark. Just look at the reaction when he scores his first goal following the trade. Leaf fans have always favoured rugged players over skilled players which is why Clark was so much more popular than Sundin. Meanwhile, while Haggerty was a bust and Hendrickson was back in Toronto the next season, Kenny Jonsson was a fixture in New York for a decade. He played 597 games for New York, recording 232 points, many of them in a time where quality Leafs blueliners were few and far between. Mathieu Schneider is the only reason this trade wasn't higher on this list. But he couldn't make up for the mediocre play of Clark.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Penn State says it has no plans to take down the Joe Paterno statue. Wonder if this banner will get the school to change its mind?
Most NHL GMs have a contract they regret signing. If you are Brian Burke then you have a fistfull of bad contracts.
In some cases they can't find anyone to take the contract off their hands. In other cases the player may also have a no-trade or no-movement clause in their contract. They can't afford to buy them out because the cap hit would be too high. The Islanders have been paying Alexi Yashin for the past 3 seasons not to play for them and will continue to do so for the next 3 seasons.
Some GMs are hoping for an amnesty in the next collective agreement as there was following the lockout in 2005. We know that Brian Burke would likely choose to buy out Mike Komisarek who still has 2 years and $7 million left in his contract since he is a healthy scratch most games. Though Burke may finally be able to trade him to a small market team since his salary will not be less than his cap hit. So I looked over everyone's roster and here are the possible buyout candidates.
Anaheim - no one
Boston - Marc Savard (4 years, $13.525 million)
Buffalo - Ville Leino (4 years, $17.5 million)
Calgary - Matt Stajan (2 years, $5 million)
Carolina - no one
Chicago - no one
Colorado - no one
Columbus - no one
Dallas - no one
Detroit - no one
Edmonton - Shawn Horcoff (3 years, $17 million)
Forida - no one
Los Angeles - no one
Minnesota - Dany Heatley (2 years, $11 million)
Montreal - Scott Gomez (2 years, $10 million) or Tomas Kaberle (2 years, $8.75)
Nashville - David Legwand (2 years, $7.5 million)
New Jersey - no one
NY Islanders - Rick DiPietro (10 years, $45 million)
NY Rangers - Wade Redden (2 years, $10 million)
Ottawa - no one
Philadelphia - Chris Pronger (5 years, $19.25)
Phoenix - no one
Pittsburgh - no one
St. Louis - no one
Tampa Bay - Ryan Malone (3 years. $8 million) or Mattias Ohlund (4 years, $11.75 million)
Toronto - Mike Komisarek (2 years, $7 million) or Tim Connolly (1 year, $4 million)
Vancouver - Keith Ballard (3 years, $12.6 million)
Washington - no one
Winnipeg - Nik Antropov (1 year, $4.75 million)
The Jays put Jose Bautista on the 15-day DL with wrist inflammation. Anthony Gose recalled from Las Vegas.
A huge blow to what was left of the Jays' playoff hopes with 6 pitchers already on the DL and all but one expected back this season. Jose is tied for second in the AL with 27 home runs and tied for third in RBI with 65. Wrists injuries can be career altering for hitters.
Anthony Gose is hitting .292 for Vegas. He lead the PCL with 29 steals and has 41 RBI and has 77 runs scored. He hasn't been hitting lefties which is why he isn't ready for a promotion. I would have brought up Snider. I don't expect Gose to be facing CC Sabathia tonight.
The rising cost of chicken in Iran has prompted the country's police chief to urge broadcasters to censor it from television screens in the interests of social harmony. Against a backdrop of lengthening food queues, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, the head of Iran's law enforcement forces, has warned that films depicting scenes of chicken dinners could provoke the underprivileged classes to attack the rich.
"They show chicken being eaten in movies while somebody might not be able to buy it," Mr Ahmadi-Moghaddam, brother-in-law of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told a law enforcement officers conference in Tehran. "Films are now the windows of society and some people observing this class gap might say that we will take knives and take our rights from the rich. IRIB [Iran's state broadcaster] should not be the shop window for showing all which is not accessible."
The warning is the latest sign of official alarm over the strains being caused by rampant inflation and international sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects is intended to produce an atom bomb, despite Tehran's denials. Rising chicken prices have come to symbolise the privations being endured by ordinary Iranians amid this increasingly grim landscape. In recent weeks, shoppers have had to fork out 70,000 rials (£3.67) for a kilogram of chicken, around three times last year's price.
Farmers and retailers have blamed a shortfall of imported livestock feed – partly caused by sanctions – leading in turn to a drastic rise in the price of domestically-produced feed. Similar increases have been witnessed in the costs of red meat, fruit and vegetables. With chicken forming a core part of the meat-rich national diet, long-queues have been reported at state food distribution centres, where it has been sold in rationed quantities at lower, government-fixed, prices. Perhaps with a view to stemming negative reporting, the Caspian Sea province of Gilan even took the novel step of offering discounted chicken to accredited journalists.
Monday, July 16, 2012
To the Paterno family, the Freeh Report is just a series of opinions and interpretations presented as if they were absolute facts. And to think Penn State spent $6.5 million, over seven months, including hundreds of interviews and millions of records. You would have hoped for something better. Fortunately the Paterno family is vowing to sponsor their own investigation to get to the bottom of what happened at Penn State.
So is the Paterno family completely delusional. They might as well hire the same team O.J. Simpson hired to find Nicole’s real killer or Casey Anthony hired to find Caylee's killer.
How stupiareis the rest of us. This famous person's daughter parties non-stop and gets 150,000 horny twitter followers. This next thing you know she is renting herself out by the hour. Sure you're a big time party girl, but come on - singer, model, film actress? Who are you kidding? Paulina, if you actually had a career you wouldn't be renting yourself out.
Has the dry summer heat turned your precious lawn into a dead brown eyesore? Wait, you have a precious lawn?! Well, la dee da! it must be such a burden keeping it pretty for all us lawn-less slobs to admire. But if you're tired of paying landscapers (or nagging your deadbeat son) to mow the lawn and water the grass, there is an elegant solution. A Staten Island-based company will come and paint it green for you!
The beauty of this is, if the grass is dead, the paint is permanent, and you never have to water or mow it again! And even if the grass is alive, you can still pay Perazzo to paint it a vibrant green, which lasts approximately three months. His treatment costs just $125 for 2,000 square feet, and for an extra $25, Perazzo will also mow the grass before he pimps your lawn. Trees and shrubs can also be painted green, according to the Grass Is Greener website.
Jonah Falcon was stopped and frisked by the TSA at the San Francisco International Airport on July 9 because of a bulging package hidden in his pants. But the 41-year-old New Yorker wasn't packing a dirty bomb, drugs or a Costco-sized tube of toothpaste. The New Yorker has the world's largest recorded penis.
"I had my 'stuff' strapped to the left. I wasn't erect at the time," said Falcon, whose penis is 9 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect. "One of the guards asked if my pockets were empty and I said, 'Yes.'"
Falcon said he knew that his interview was about to get a lot more personal when he was led through one of the X-ray body scanners and passed a metal detector.
"Another guard stopped me and asked me if I had some sort of growth," Falcon said, laughing.
It seems that disgraced, former congressman Anthony Weiner — who’s sitting on a $4.5 million campaign war chest — is mulling a bid for New York office next year perhaps even mayor.
The tabloids eagerly await his return to
pubic public life.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
On Saturday, muralist Michael Pilato altered his famous Penn State artwork – by removing a halo painted over the head of former head football coach Joe Paterno – because of revelations about Paterno’s role in the child sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the university.
The mural, which adorns the university bookstore at the corner of Heister Streets and College Avenue in State College, Pa., depicts a group of local luminaries, including Paterno, who was head coach of the Penn State football team for nearly 46 years. Pilato had added the halo after Paterno’s death on Jan. 22.
Pilato and his family have been friends with the Paternos for many years so this decision was a tough one, he said. But after considering what was revealed in last week's Freeh report, Pilato said, he "had no choice."
Slowly the university and other organizations are reacting to the crimes that took place at Penn State:
- Late last year Pilato had removed Jerry Sandusky from the same mural.
- The locker room and showers where he assaulted multiple boys will be completely renovated and rebuilt.
- Nike has indicated that it will rename the Joe Paterno Child Development Center at its world headquarters.
- Brown University, where Paterno played quarterback and cornerback from 1946-49 before graduating in 1950, has removed his name from the title of its head football coaching position and from the name of an award its athletic department gives each year to the school's outstanding freshman male athlete.