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Row Over Crematorium Heating For Swimmers


 

Row Over Crematorium Heating For Swimmers

 

SkyNews (c) Sky News 2011

Moves to warm a swimming pool with heat generated by an adjacent crematorium have sparked outrage.

  alt

 

Row Over Crematorium Heating For Swimmers Enlarge photo

Conservative-run Redditch Borough Council believes it would be an environmentally good use of energy and could save £14,000 a year at the Abbey Stadium pool.

The local authority maintains it would help reduce carbon emissions from energy which would otherwise be exhausted into the atmosphere.

But officials from the union Unison have called the plans "sick and an insult to local residents".

Roger McKenzie, Unison’s West Midlands regional secretary, said: "It goes to show yet again that the Conservatives know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

"Unfortunately, local authorities are increasingly pursuing desperate policies in a reaction to the unprecedented spending cuts imposed from Whitehall."

He wants the council to apologise to people in the area for the "insulting and insensitive" proposals.

But the local authority wants to press ahead with consultations over the plan.

A series of briefings will be held later this week, with religious groups, funeral directors and members of the public.

Row Over Crematorium Heating For Swimmers – Yahoo! News UK

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Health, Internet, nature, People, Politics, religion, Weird | | Leave a comment

Australian floods: Snake gives frog piggy-back to escape | Mail Online


Hop on! Snake gives frog a piggy-back to beat Australian floods

By Daily Mail Reporter
n an apparent re-run of the famous fable The Scorpion and the Frog, this ‘I can’t-believe-my-eyes’ moment came as a snake is caught on camera giving a frog a lift on its back to escape the Australian floods.

Real life played out backwards though, as the frog was the animal hitching the ride this time around.

But whereas in the fable the scorpion stings the frog causing them both to drown, this story had a happy ending as the two plucky animals put aside old differences to fight the elements.

Snakes alive! The frog is pictured getting as helping hand from the snake in the swirling floodwaters of Queensland

Snakes alive! The frog is pictured getting as helping hand from the snake in the swirling floodwaters of Queensland

Amid the photos of catastrophe, despair and destruction that beset the eastern state of Queensland, computer technician Armin Gerlach snapped the green frog hitching a ride on the back of a brown snake through the floodwaters near Brisbane.

‘It’s quite common when you have animals in floods or fires or disasters, they actually get together. But this was amazing. I just couldn’t believe it.’

The floods have taken a terrible human toll, however, and in the Brisbane suburb of Toowomba today Donna Rice, 43, and her 13-year-old son Jordan became the first of Queensland’s flood victims to be buried.

Red roses were scattered over their white coffins as the funeral brought home the tragic consequences of the floods that engulfed Australia’s northeast earlier this month, claiming the lives of 26 people so far.

The estimated cost of the flood damage stands $5billion Australian dollars (£3.1billion).

Australian floods: Snake gives frog piggy-back to escape | Mail Online

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Animals, Blog, Blogroll, Entertainement, Funny, Internet, nature | | Leave a comment

Baby bears’ picnic descends into farce at Washington DC zoo | Mail Online


 

Who’s been reading my paper and eaten it all up? Baby bears’ picnic descends into farce

By Daily Mail Reporter
The way she behaves you’d think she was human. A read of the morning newspaper followed by a rigorous yoga session.

Until, that is, Chaska the cuddly one-year-old Andean bear decides to start eating her paper.
And the yoga descends into a wrestling match after her twin-brother Bernardo decides to join in.

Even the simple act of chewing on sticks becomes a tug of war between the siblings as they playfully vie for supremacy, under the watchful eye of their mother, Billie-Jean.

Chewing it over: Chaska flicks through the morning paper at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Moments later she was eating up the news

Chewing it over: Chaska flicks through the morning paper at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Moments later she was eating up the news

Stretching a point: Chaska's yoga session was going fine until her one-year-old twin brother Bernardo decided to flex his muscles

Stretching a point: Chaska’s yoga session was going fine until her one-year-old twin brother Bernardo, right, decided to flex his muscles

Chaska eventually admits defeat and simply settles down to munch away in peace.

Photographer Jennifer Lockridge took these heart warming pictures during one of her regular visits to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC.

‘The bears have wonderful personalities,’ Jennifer explained. ‘Chaska is a very smart bear and it was so funny of her to adopt an almost human-like stance.’

Zookeepers use toys to help stimulate the bears and keep their minds and bodies active.

Hand it over: Bernardo can't even leave his sister Chaska to chew her stick in peace without putting his paw in

Hand it over: Bernardo can’t even leave his sister Chaska to chew her stick in peace without putting his paw in

Jennifer, 42, from Maryland, USA, has been a regular visitor to the zoo for the past five years, recording the lives and antics of the beautiful creatures living there.

‘I use my photography to raise awareness and funds for endangered animals,’ said Jennifer.

‘I hope my photography provides the viewer a moment of beauty, humour or appreciation of what is truly wonderful and beautiful in our world, rather than concentrating on the negative images and stories we are bombarded with on a daily basis.’

The bears live in a large enclosure with trees, grasses and bushes to play in as well as climbing structures and a man-made pool for them to cool down in. They are rarely seen in the wild and are classified as at risk because of the destruction to their forests in South America.

As well as the Andean bears, the zoo is home to 2,000 other animals from 400

Baby bears’ picnic descends into farce at Washington DC zoo | Mail Online

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Animals, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Food, Funny, nature, Weird | | Leave a comment

Talking Politics–Sarah Palin


 

Talking Politics Yahoo! News UK

 

 

 

Why Sarah Palin was right

Thu Jan 13 01:33PM By Ian Dunt

Sarah Palin has a lot to answer for, but her comments on the behaviour of the American left were justified.

 

Watching Sarah Palin’s video message yesterday made me want to break my face. Something about her tone, the Oprah Winfrey-style set up, the fake smile and the stilted, second-hand-car-advert delivery annoyed me intensely. I quickly gave up and read it instead.

If you want to feel good about the direction of the world, contrast it with Barack Obama’s response to the Arizona tragedy in his speech last night, which was responsible, thoughtful and non-political. Her contribution saw her focus exclusively on how badly she’d been treated. It takes a special kind of person to react that way to an atrocity. If someone asked her to be a bridesmaid she’d probably demand to be the husband.

The use of the term ‘blood libel’ – a reference, although presumably she didn’t know it, to medieval accusations of Jews sacrificing Christian children – was deeply unwise. Her team, swung into action by the blasting she’s taken over the last few days, evidently values soundbites over research.

But Palin was right. The superficiality of the associations which the American left has highlighted in the wake of the Arizona killings is depressing and even offensive. The sentence which mentions blood libel also contains an argument which the left should take note of. "Within hours of a tragedy unfolding," Palin said, "journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible."

Well actually, she’s right. Palin had used crosshairs over targeted Democratic districts in the US midterm elections. Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a victim of the shooting over the weekend, had taken her up on it at the time, saying: "When people do that, you’ve got to realise there’s consequences to that action." The resonance of that is too much for any journalist to ignore. The same goes for pundits. And eventually, Democratic politicians jumped on as well.

They lost a vital trick by doing so. There was a chance to undertake a genuine critique of the dangerous and irresponsible game the right plays in America during this period, but the left dropped the ball. They saw a vulnerability in the most famous right winger in the world and they took a shot. It’s pure nonsense. I doubt a single person believes the shooting would have been averted if it wasn’t for Sarah Palin putting some targets on a map.

Politics and war metaphors are like fish and chips. They go together so well that all war metaphors in politics are basically dead metaphors, like talking about the face of a clock. Here is Martin Tod, genial Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester at the last British general election, talking to me in the charming rural bed of Hampshire. "In a seat like Winchester, you’ve got two large, well organised parties head-to-head, and it can get like trench warfare. It’s quite intense. Every yard is heavily fought for." The election before that, his party ran a strategy against the Tory front bench team (seems a century ago), taking them on where they were weakest. It was called a ‘decapitation strategy’. These are not particularly impressive examples, just the first two that popped into my head.

To critique Palin and her fellow right wing activists/journalists/pundits (the line is increasingly blurred in America) on this basis is profoundly superficial and disingenuous. But Palin does have a lot to answer for and that’s what makes the cheapness of the attack on her so frustrating. One of the first things British visitors to America will note is the strength of the rhetoric used in political debate, especially on talk radio and Fox News, sister channel of the better-behaved Sky News. There is a safety reflex which blames this phenomenon on right and left. That’s wrong. It’s the right, in America at least. In the UK, as it happens, the left are more likely to demonise, although to a much lesser extent than across the Atlantic.

The real crime of this rhetoric is not that it is overblown. It’s that it constitutes scaremongering. Palin used the Obama healthcare battle to describe end-of-life planning provisions as the creation of ‘death panels’. This isn’t about graphics of gunsights. This is about misleading people, turning a debate about the funding of healthcare into a mad story about the government killing people’s parents. That’s beyond irresponsible. It’s cynical, misleading gutter politics. It’s undemocratic, because it robs the people mad enough to trust you of their ability to evaluate a debate. It’s political commentary as reprehensible intellectual assault.

Palin’s mirror image, the incomprehensibly popular Glenn Beck, plays the same tricks. I’ll be honest about Beck. I watched him once and wanted to hide under the bed. I wanted to buy tickets to a Caribbean country and forget all about politics and the world, if it had gone so mad. But regardless of my views, his tactics should be unacceptable to everyone.

Last November the Senate voted on the Food Safety Modernization Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration new responsibilities to combat contamination in the food chain. Perhaps there’s a debate to be had about that. If so, this was Beck’s contribution: "They control your food, they control you. This is about control and in the end – starvation."

The troubling part of this sort of rhetoric, to people like me, is that it plays on the distrust of government which I want to promote in all schoolchildren from the youngest possible age. The image of dastardly government fascists constantly trying to break into people’s living rooms is promoted endlessly by right wing US pundits. But those of us who fight against real government intrusion – ID cards, extended pre-charge detention, overzealous council surveillance – should feel aggrieved that these social Darwinists have utilised liberal arguments to fight against the very concept of government and, in tandem, social responsibility.

For a country that likes to grumble, Britain never quite knows what to do when presented with a news story like the one unfolding in America. It makes us look good, because we don’t have similar problems. Britain is generally averse to recognising the fact that some things about it really are rather good. But we might do well to note some of our advantages while we’re in the mood.

Firstly, we got the TV/print – subject/objective balance right. The Americans ended up with objective newspapers and wildly subjective TV networks. As the most prevalent form of news, it’s best to keep the TV news objective and let print turn into a free-for-all. Buying a paper is more of a proactive choice than leaving the news on and because they also provide lifestyle content they are a more appropriate home for people’s prejudices. British papers are also entirely open about their perspective – they even have the gall tell us who to vote for on election day, if anyone still listens. US TV news channels are far more secretive. Fox News, for instance, laughably describes itself as ‘fair and balanced’.

Secondly, the courts still uphold a basic standard of accuracy. Phil Woolas’ Oldham leaflets are the closest we get to the Beck school of scaremongering. In a worrying example of simpleminded thinking, some figures on the British political scene saw fit to donate to his legal fight out of a misjudged sense of courts’ role in British political life. More fool them. The special court reflected that British political debate must maintain a minimum benchmark of accuracy for it to flourish. I make this argument with some trepidation, by the way, given that I’m vulnerable on two grounds – the impotence of the Press Complaints Commission and the draconian nature of Britain’s libel laws.

Absence of religious sentiment might also play a role. That British tendency to veer away from absolutism, from those who take themselves too seriously, protects us against some of the quasi-religious, fire and brimstone rhetoric we hear across the Atlantic. Our right wingers are no more or less right wing than theirs, they’re just missing the moral certainty which religion inflicts on people. John Redwood or Norman Tebbit aren’t to the left of Glenn Beck, they’re just more reasonable human beings. They operate in a political culture that places basic cultural standards on political debate and reacts badly to missionary zeal.

Brits should feel good about that. Sarah Palin and her ilk should feel deeply ashamed at the depths they have taken US politics to. And the American left should feel some pretty crushing self-doubt when it faces up to how it acted this week.

Talking Politics – Yahoo! News UK

January 14, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, Death, Disgusting, Entertainement, Funny, Internet, nature, People, Politics, religion, Weird | | Leave a comment

Mickey Harte’s tribute to honeymooning daughter found strangled in Mauritius hotel |


 

‘She was my gem': Grieving father’s tribute to honeymooning daughter found strangled in Mauritius hotel

By Eva Marie Gibney Mail Online

Devastated: Mickey Harte with daughter Michaela on the day of her wedding

Devastated: Mickey Harte with daughter Michaela on the day of her wedding

Heartbroken Mickey Harte last night described his murdered daughter Michaela as ‘a gem’.

The Tyrone manager’s tribute came three hotel workers were remanded in custody in Mauritius today charged in connection with the murder of the honeymooner.

The men, all employed at the luxury Legends Hotel where the newlywed teacher was found strangled, appeared in court in Mapou Court on the north of the island.

Two were charged with murder and one with conspiracy to murder.

Mauritius police said the two men charged with the 27-year-old’s murder were Abinash Treeboowoon, 29, a room attendant from Plaine des Roches, and Sandip Moneea, 41, a floor supervisor from Petit Raffray.

Room attendant Raj Theekoy, 33, faced the conspiracy charge.

During a brief hearing they spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth, police said.

Magistrate Bono Mally remanded them in police custody for a week and they will return to court next Wednesday, when they are expected either to be formally charged or released.

Meanwhile, the horrific details of her final moments on the paradise island of Mauritius have emerged.

The 27-year-old’s body was discovered by her husband half submerged in the bathtub of their hotel bedroom on Monday afternoon, with the water still running.

Police suspect that her killers placed her body in the bath in an attempt to make her death look like a suicide drowning.

Police commissioner Tishur Ranpersad revealed that the evidence against the suspects is circumstantial.

‘They have not confessed but we have circumstantial sort of evidence but we are trying to find some other evidence to link them to the charge,’ he said.

He said the use of a key card to open the couple’s bedroom door was critical to the case.

‘Not all people have access to these cards,’ he said.

The police chief also confirmed that Mrs McAreavey may have tried to fight off her attacker.

‘There is some signs, indications, that she might have struggled. From what we have obtained from her nails, the collections we have obtained from her nails, it looks like there may have been some struggle,’ he said.

He said officers identified the suspects by checking who had access to the ground floor of the hotel and the rooms on that level.

‘I suspect the guy was in trying to rob and the lady caught him red-handed. I’m just guessing,’ the Commissioner told RTE Radio.

‘I’m saying we have a very open mind. There may have been some other guy who did the job,’ he said.

It is hoped a trial will take place within six months.

Last night, Mr Harte said her death was ‘too horrible to contemplate’.

‘It’s the worst of the worst, our hearts are just broken,’ he added.

‘This is our day to bear this cross.’

Flanked by two of his three sons, Matthew and Michael, he said: ‘She was a gem and we’ll always remember her. She was a lovely girl, a wonderful daughter, a brilliant sister, and we will always treasure her.

Harte murder

Mickey Harte with two of his sons, Matthew (left) and Michael, speaking about the death of his daughter Michaela, at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone yesterday

Suspect Sandip Monnea, left, escorted to the court by plainclothes policeman as he was brought in Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius

Avinash Treebohun

Third Suspect Raj Theekoy, is escorted to the court by plainclothes policeman as he was brought in Mapou Court, Port Louis, Mauritius

Suspects:  Sandip Monnea, Avinash Treebohun and Raj Theekoy are led into the court by plainclothes policemen in Port Louis, Mauritius, this afternoon

Luxury holiday: A view of the swimming pool at the five-star Legends Hotel in Mauritius, where the newly-wed couple were staying

Luxury holiday: A view of the swimming pool at the five-star Legends Hotel in Mauritius, where the newly-wed couple were staying

She was a beautiful girl. She couldn’t be better, couldn’t be nicer. God love her, we are so, so sorry. Our hearts are broken.

‘I just want to say that I know lots of people have had this experience before and I’ve tried to empathise with them. But you can’t get the feeling unless you’ve been there, and God save anybody from having to be in this place.’

Match made in heaven: John McAreavey and Michaela Harte on their wedding day

Match made in heaven: John McAreavey and Michaela Harte on their wedding day

He later told friends: ‘There must be some meaning in this, but right now, I can’t see it.’

Police in Mauritius suspect more than one attacker helped to kill the secondary school teacher after she surprised them in her room. They believe the killer or killers were known to her from the hotel.

Data taken from the door’s electronic lock revealed that her attacker entered the room at 2.42pm, just two minutes before Michaela.

The intruder is believed to have used one of three magnetic skeleton key cards that can unlock all room doors and are given to room service employees.

She and her husband of just 11 days, John McAreavey, had been eating lunch at a poolside restaurant when she decided to return to the hotel room to collect some biscuits.

Inspector Ranjig Jokoo said: ‘We believe Michaela might have been seen by her intruder, who was already in the room to commit a theft.

‘We believe that the person killed her because they did not want her to identify them to police later.

‘I cannot say as yet whether it was definitely a member of staff or an ex member of staff or if, maybe, it was someone who was just familiar with the hotel’s computerised key card system.

‘But we have some of the staff from the hotel helping us to know what happened and they are the first persons who need to be interrogated.’

Local journalist Gilles Martial said that police believed her body had been moved to the bathtub after she was murdered.

He told the Irish Daily Mail: ‘It appears they put her body in the bathtub and then turned on the tap and half-filled the bathtub to simulate a suicide drowning.’

But a post-mortem examination later revealed she had died of strangulation after a violent struggle.

There were cuts and bruises to her body and head, and pieces of dead skin were found under her fingernails.

Swabs have been taken from the scene and sent for further testing.

There are no CCTV cameras in the corridor outside her room.

The Central Investigation Division in Mauritius was questioning up to ten suspects last night.

Inspectors yesterday said all staff on duty that day who had access to room key cards were being questioned.

Local police chief Supt Yussuf Soopun said he firmly believed that the perpetrator was local.

Michaela’s husband discovered her body just after 3pm after becoming concerned that she had not returned to the poolside restaurant where they had been dining.

Detectives said Mr McAreavey could not gain access to the room because he had left his key card in a pocket of his clothes in the room.

He went downstairs to summon hotel staff and when he returned to Room 1025 he found his wife’s body in the bathtub.

One of the three suspects charged today with the murder of Michaela McAreavey sits inside a police vehicle outside of a courthouse in Port Louis this afternoon

One of the three suspects charged today with the murder of Michaela McAreavey sits inside a police vehicle outside of a courthouse in Port Louis this afternoon

Investigation: Mauritian police investigators work at the scene of a crime at the Legends Hotel

Investigation: Mauritian police investigators work at the scene of a crime at the Legends Hotel

General Manager Brice Lunot, accompanied by the hotel doctor, administered first aid to Michaela but it was too late.

Mr Lunot said: ‘I remember her eyes were closed and her body was very white. John was in the room. He was quite shocked.

‘He kept calling for an ambulance. He was saying, “Where is the ambulance? Where is the ambulance?”’

Inspector Jokoo said Mr McAreavey was still in a deep state of shock.

‘He is helping us with our inquiries as best he can but he is in a very bad shape,’ he added.

‘He is very emotional and he is obviously still suffering from the shock of his wife being murdered on their honeymoon.’

Mr McAreavey, a Down GAA player, had celebrated his marriage to the former Rose of Tralee contestant 11 days earlier at St Malachy’s Church, Ballymacilroy, in Co Tyrone on December 30.

His uncle, Bishop John McAreavey, concelebrated the Mass.

The couple had started their honeymoon in Dubai before flying to Mauritius, where they had planned to remain until this Sunday.

 Mickey Harte

Difficult times: Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone after speaking about the death of his daughter Michaela

Mr McAreavey’s brother and one of Michaela’s three brothers was due to land in Mauritius today to help support the grieving husband.

Yesterday, management at Legends Hotel said they were providing all support to the grieving families and to police.

In a statement the hotel said: ‘Certain family members of the couple have advised us of their intention to travel to Mauritius.

‘Legends is arranging for a religious service to be held for the family of the deceased.’

Paul Jones, the chief executive of the hotel group, offered his condolences to the families.

He said: ‘I am distraught by this news. Every possible support will be given to the bereaved families and we thank the government for the assistance and co-operation that has been extended to us and the bereaved families as well.

‘The police are conducting an inquiry and we await the results of the investigation.’

Legends general manager Brice Lunot said a special religious service had been organised.

Two priests were also called to assist Mr McAreavey yesterday.

Legends spokesman Julian Hagger said it had been the intention of Mr McAreavey to stay on at the hotel despite the tragedy but that the intense media scrutiny was making this difficult for him. He described Mr McAreavey as being ‘quite visibly heartbroken’.

He said he was ‘visibly still in shock and I believe will remain so for quite some time’.

In his statement yesterday, Mr Harte spoke at length about his son-in-law and pleaded with the media to leave the young man alone.

‘John has been a special lad – and he’d have to be a special lad if he was going to be Michaela’s husband,’ he said.

‘And I would ask now too – I know that John is out in Mauritius, he’s had an awful time and our hearts go out to him – and I would ask that the press corps out there please respect his privacy.

‘The lad is devastated and he’s our son in law, he’s a wonderful young man and please lay off. Let’s take this message here, let’s speak on his behalf.

Sorrow: Michaela's family home outside Ballygawley

Sorrow: Michaela’s family home outside Ballygawley

‘He’s devastated and through us he wants to say leave him alone. Let him grieve, he’s in such a lonely place and even his own family members aren’t out there yet. So please, please back off.’

Mauritius Tourism Minister Nando Bodha was interviewed on The Last Word on Today FM yesterday.

He said he had spoken to Mr McAreavey earlier and had asked if there was anything he would like him to mention while on air.

He said that Mr McAreavey replied: ‘I love my wife.’

GAA president Christy Cooney last night joined the flood of tributes to Michaela, who was a passionate GAA supporter.

‘Michaela was a familiar face to so many GAA followers up and down the country,’ he said. Her radiant smile, passion for life and interest in all things Gaelic were immediately obvious to anyone who crossed her path.

‘The loss to those who loved her most must be incalculable at this most difficult time. Her presence at not only football matches but in so many areas of life will be sadly missed at a time when she and her husband should have been planning a bright future together.’

In the final lines of his tribute to his daughter, Mr Harte said yesterday: ‘Twenty-seven years of a wonderful, lovely wee girl who grew up into a beautiful lady and she’s just radiant and she’s just so special and she’ll always be special to me and this family.

‘And we will miss her so much but we’ll love her to bits and her spirit is with us because it has to be now because how else could I say this if it wasn’t.’ Despite the tragedy, Mr Harte has said that his Tyrone team’s Dr McKenna Cup game against Fermanagh should go ahead at the weekend.

Mickey Harte’s tribute to honeymooning daughter found strangled in Mauritius hotel | Mail Online

All by the www.dailymail.co.uk

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Death, Disgusting, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, People, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin removes ‘target list’ as ‘vitriolic rhetoric’ blamed for Arizona shooting


 

Palin removes ‘target list’ from her website as mourners blame Tea Party’s ‘vitriolic rhetoric’ for Arizona shooting

By Daily Mail Reporter

Supporters on both sides of the political divide play the blame game

Supermarket massacre sparks fresh debate over gun control

Sarah Palin removed a ‘target list’ of Democratic politicians from her website after she was accused of using violent imagery to whip up the poisonous political atmosphere blamed by some for the Arizona massacre

The former Republican vice-presidential contender posted a ‘target map’ on her Facebook page last March, telling voters in the forthcoming mid-term elections: ‘It’s time to take a stand.’

The graphic used gunsight-style crosshair targets on the districts of 20 Democrat politicians she had singled out for defeat after they supported Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.

Just hours after the shooting, many mourners were also blaming the Tea Party movement’s ‘vitriolic’ attacks on Democrats for the attack.

Sarah Palin's 'target list'

Incitement? Sarah Palin’s ‘target list’ of Democrats she wanted to see removed in the November mid-term elections – including Gabrielle Giffords. After the shooting, the list was removed from Mrs Palin’s website

Paul Wellman, a former miner, laid a sign at the site of Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting which read: ‘Blame Palin. Blame the Tea Party.’

And Hollywood left-winger Jane Fonda took to micro-blogging site Twitter to make it clear who she blamed for the attack.

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate, said of Mrs Palin’s combative rallying cry, ‘Don’t retreat; reload’.

‘These sorts of things, I think, invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response,’ Durbin said Sunday on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’.

Giffords’ Tucson office was vandalised when Mrs Palin first posted the map last year.

The Democratic congresswoman later criticised Mrs Palin’s choice of imagery in a television interview.

In what proved to be a grimly accurate prediction, Miss Giffords said: ‘When people do that, they’ve got to realise there are consequences to that action.’

Sarah Palin

Gabrielle Giffords

Silence: Some Democrats have claimed that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Tea Party supporters have created a ‘vitriolic’ political debate which might have inspired the attack on Ms Gifford, right

Mrs Palin, who has boasted of her experience as a hunter and likes to use gun-related metaphors, sent an accompanying message on Twitter in which she repeated a favourite maxim of her father: ‘Don’t Retreat, Instead RELOAD.’

Rebecca Mansour, a Palin advisor, sparked more controversy on Saturday when she claimed the crosshairs were ‘something a surveyor would use’.

‘It was simply crosshairs like you’d see on maps,’ she told a talk radio show. ‘It never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent.’

But right wing bloggers point out that numerous Democrats have used ‘bulls eye’ imagery in past political campaigns.

Many other Democrats have also used incendiary and provocative language on the campaign trail – including President Obama who said: ‘If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.’

Conservative PR executive Greg Mueller sprang to Mrs Palin’s defence. He told the Politico website: ‘Governor Palin does not promote flag burning or extol the Communist Manifesto as Loughner did, so the fact that some folks are trying to link her and others to this tragedy is tragic and shameful in and of itself, not too mention worthy of the bad political spin Hall of Fame.’

Sarah Palin

Taking aim: Sarah Palin tests out the Engagement Skills Trainer at the training village on Camp Beuhring, Kuwait during the 2008 presidential campaign

But the gun-toting ‘Mama Grizzly’ has already become one of the flashpoints of a national debate on political rhetoric and gun control.

Yesterday Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who is investigating the shootings on Saturday, claimed Arizona’s loose gun laws made it ‘the Tombstone of the United States’.

Saturday’s slaughter has raised the stakes in the battle over gun control. Jared Loughner bought the semi-automatic Glock 9mm pistol he used in the attack on November 30 in  Tucson. The gun was bought legally.

Many Republican politicians emphasised the growing belief that Loughner was mentally unstable and not someone inspired by the kind of far-right or tea party rhetoric that characterised the last election.

‘It’s probably giving him too much credit to ascribe a coherent political philosophy to him. We just have to acknowledge that there are mentally unstable people in this country. Who knows what motivates them to do what they do? Then they commit terrible crimes like this,’ said Arizona Republican senator John Kyl, the majority whip.

Peace plea: Vera Rapcsak, foreground, and others hold up signs outside Gabrielle Giffords' office in Tucson on Saturday afternoon

Peace plea: Vera Rapcsak, foreground, and others hold up signs outside Gabrielle Giffords’ office in Tucson on Saturday afternoon

A billboard in Tucson invites residents to a gun show. Arizona has some of the United States' most relaxed rules on gun ownership in the US

A billboard in Tucson invites residents to a gun show. Arizona has some of the United States’ most relaxed rules on gun ownership in the US

Senate Republican Conference chairman Lamar Alexander echoed that view, but added: ‘I think obviously we are much better off in our country if we peacefully assemble, treat each other with respect and condemn people who go over the line, particularly people who do it violently as this individual did.’

Representative Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, rejected arguments that US gun laws were at fault, saying it was not the gun that was to blame in the Tucson attacks but the shooter.

Control of gun sales in the US has been a divisive and heated issue for decades. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is held by supporters of a gun rights as a citizen’s right to own a firearm.

Retired police officer and Tombstone resident Bob Harbster said Sheriff Dupnick needed to ‘wise up’.

‘As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not carrying a gun, you are a potential victim, from crazies like this little fool up there yesterday,’ Mr Harbster said on Sunday.

He spoke as he walked down the historical dirt and timber main street of Tombstone – just a block from the famous OK Corral of cowboy history.

‘If somebody there was armed, they could have taken care of him,’ said Mr Harbster.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

Gun worries: Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik speaks at the Pima County Sheriff’s Office in response to Saturday’s shooting of U.S Representative Gabrielle Giffords

Poster girl for the gun debate: Sarah Palin buys a gun at a shop in Wasilla, Alaska, in a scene from her reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska

Poster girl for the gun debate: Sarah Palin buys a gun at a shop in Wasilla, Alaska, in a scene from her reality show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska

Tombstone is a former silver boom town whose historic Old West buildings and outlaw flavor have made it a tourist attraction about 70 miles southeast of Tucson.

Jim Newbauer, owner of a gun shop called Lefty’s Corner Store in Tombstone, stood behind a counter in his store, packed with vintage pistols and old frontier rifles and chided Sheriff Dupnik for his remarks about Tombstone.

But he was ambivalent about the need for gun control.

‘Even if there was a ban on guns everywhere … if people wanted to use them, they’d still get their hands on them,’ he said

But even he admitted that Arizona arguably had gone too far, allowing concealed weapons without a license.

‘Anyone can stuff a gun in their pocket and walk around with it,’ he said.

‘They should have required some training to learn the law, and when to use it and when not to use it.’

The debate over guns adds a layer of complexity to a larger one over inflammatory political rhetoric and its role in inciting violence in Arizona and in America.

The shootings led many in the state to call for an agreement to disagree.

‘The right word is ‘civility’ in our communities. We’ve been there before and we need to get back,’ said Bob Walkup, the mayor of Tucson. ‘This is a national tragedy.’

Attending Casas church on Sunday morning in an affluent Tucson suburb near where the shooting occurred, carpet saleswoman Vickie Oberg, 63, who disagreed with Giffords’ positions, believed compassion would calm the storm.

‘Politically we are totally opposite of her, but in our hearts we are so sorry about it,’ she said, speaking for herself and her husband.

Standing at a makeshift shrine to Giffords at the hospital where the representative is being treated, epidemiologist Jane Mohler, 57, saw the tragedy as a chance for the state to bury its differences.

But she doesn’t expect Arizona – or America – to change.

‘This could bring us together, or it could further rip us apart, and my fear is that it is going to further rip us apart,’ she said.

People were afraid and mean-spirited, she said. ‘We are an armed-to-the-teeth state, and nation.’

Back in the hardscrabble high desert city that bills itself as ‘the town too tough to die’, student Eric Tyler, 37, said he thought Giffords’ shooting was ‘unnecessary" – as was gun control.

‘There’s still millions of people out there who have guns and don’t go killing people. It’s the idiots that kill people,’ he said. 

 

Sarah Palin removes ‘target list’ as ‘vitriolic rhetoric’ blamed for Arizona shooting | Mail Online

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Internet, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jedward ‘fall out’ over package deal in funny travel advert for Travel Supermarket |


 

Jedward’s holiday hoo-hah: Twins ‘fall out’ over package deal price in funny travel ad.

 

By Daily Mail Reporter
It’s a rare sight to see perma-grinned pair Jedward lose their temper with anyone – let alone with each other.

But that’s what happens in the new advert for Travel Supermarket, in which the twins ‘fall out’ over the cost paid for the same holiday.

At first they are seen in matching tropical outfits – complete with Hawaiian shirts – happily sipping cocktails by the pool in the tongue-in-cheek TV commercial.

Jedward happily sip cocktails by the pool in the tongue-in-cheek TV commercial

Jedward happily sip cocktails by the pool in the tongue-in-cheek TV commercial for travelsupermarket.com

However, the X Factor twins, John and Edward Grimes, soon begin to argue when they discover that they’ve both booked the exact same package deal but for different prices.

The advert, filmed in South Africa, also stars comedian Omid Djalili, who steps in to enlighten the pair with some advice about how they could have avoided their economic quandary.

Jedward aren’t the only ones to appear in a comedy ad for a price comparison site – John Prescott has also just appeared in one, which also debuted this week.

The X Factor twins argue when they discover that they've both booked the exact same package deal but for different prices

The X Factor twins argue when they discover that they’ve both booked the exact same package deal but for different prices

Lord Prescott stars in a spoof video to promote the money branch of travelsupermarket.com, moneysupermarket.com.

In it, he happily cashes in on the notorious moment he thumped a voter who threw an egg at him in the 2001 election – by aiming blows at a punchbag.

The advertisement, for a price comparison website and due to be shown for the first time tonight, also makes fun of his reputation as ‘Two Jags’.

Eye of the Tiger: Lord Prescott takes his frustration out on a punchbag in the advert before Omid Djallili steps in

Eye of the Tiger: Lord Prescott takes his frustration out on a punchbag in the advert before Omid Djallili steps in

It shows a tracksuited Prescott in boxing gloves, taking out his frustration at renewing his car insurance on the punchbag, to the strains of the song Eye Of The Tiger from the Rocky films.

The former deputy prime minister is interrupted by Omid Djalili, who calls him ‘Bruiser’ and tells him it is an expensive business insuring two old cars now he is ‘no longer running the country’.

This is a reference to the two Jaguars Lord Prescott had in government, one of which was once used to drive him and his wife Pauline the few yards from his hotel to the Labour conference venue.

Terrifying: The former cabinet minister, in fighting mood in the advert, has a frightening look on his face

Terrifying: The former cabinet minister, in fighting mood in the advert, has a frightening look on his face

'Thrilla in the Rhyl-a': During the 2001 election campaign Lord Prescott notoriously thumped protester Craig Evans after he threw an egg at him in the Welsh town of Rhyl

‘Thrilla in the Rhyl-a': During the 2001 election campaign Lord Prescott notoriously thumped protester Craig Evans after he threw an egg at him in the Welsh town of Rhyl

Recreated: Prescott delivers a right hook to a punchbag - and not a voter - almost 10 years after the infamous incident in Rhyl in May 2001

Recreated: Prescott delivers a right hook to a punchbag – and not a voter – almost 10 years after the infamous incident in Rhyl in May 2001

Djalili suggests the Labour peer visit moneysupermarket.com to find a good insurance deal, saying: ‘Their deal is a real vote winner – like you used to be?’

‘Are you trying to be funny, lad?’ Lord Prescott replies – before being knocked over by his punchbag.

It is not known how much he was paid for the advert, but experts said it would have been a five-figure sum.

Out of office: Advert star Omis Djalili taunts Prescott saying 'Their deal is a real vote winner - like you used to be?

Out of office: Advert star Omis Djalili taunts Prescott saying ‘Their deal is a real vote winner – like you used to be?’

Covered up: Cars underneath sheeting are a reference to Prescott's love of Jaguars

Covered up: Cars underneath sheeting are a reference to Prescott’s love of Jaguars

Lord Prescott punched a voter in the Welsh town of Rhyl after being hit by an egg while campaigning for Labour.

It earned him the nickname Two Jabs.

Yesterday, he compared the event to the ‘Thriller in Manila’ boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, saying: ‘I suppose you could say this advert marks the tenth anniversary of my so-called Thriller in the Rhyl-a.’

Two-Jags: Lord Prescott was known to enjoy the high life while in government, especially Jaguar sports cars

Two-Jags: Lord Prescott was known to enjoy the high life while in government, especially Jaguar sports cars

Smack: Prescott hits the punchbag again. Prince Charles was baffled by the politician's habit of balancing a teacup and saucer on his stomach, Tony Blair revealed in his autobiography

Smack: Prescott hits the punchbag again. Prince Charles was baffled by the politician’s habit of balancing a teacup and saucer on his stomach, Tony Blair revealed in his autobiography

Jedward ‘fall out’ over package deal in funny travel advert for Travel Supermarket | Mail Online

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Funny, Internet, Money, nature, People, Politics | Leave a comment

Painted lady Fearne Cotton unveils yet ANOTHER tattoo as she holidays with fiancé Jesse Jenkins in the Caribbean


 

Painted lady Fearne Cotton unveils yet ANOTHER tattoo as she holidays with fiancé Jesse Jenkins in the Caribbean

By Sarah Bull

She recently admitted she is ‘addicted’ to tattoos and is constantly thinking of new designs she can have inked on her body.

And now Fearne Cotton has unveiled what appears to be another tattoo – a large rose which complements the 1950s pin-up already etched on her lower back.

The 29-year-old presenter showed off her various binkies as she wore a tiny mismatched bikini on the beach while holidaying with fiancé Jesse Jenkins in the Caribbean.

Painted lady: Fearne Cotton shows off her many tattoos in a tiny mismatched bikini as she holidays in the Caribbean with fiancé Jesse Jenkins

Painted lady: Fearne Cotton shows off her many tattoos in a tiny mismatched bikini as she holidays in the Caribbean with fiancé Jesse Jenkins

Painted lady: Fearne Cotton shows off her many tattoos in a tiny mismatched bikini as she holidays in the Caribbean with fiancé Jesse Jenkins

Fearne and Jesse, who got engaged in September, looked happier than ever as they frolicked in the surf together.

New design: It seems Fearne has added to her collection, with a large rose on her back

New design: It seems Fearne has added to her collection, with a large rose on her back

The Radio 1 presenter revealed on Jonathan Ross last year that she has more than eleven tattoos, including an intricate design on her right foot and a fern tree on her back.

Talking about her love of inkings, Fearne said recently: ‘Seriously, if I wasn’t on TV I’d have tattoos all over my whole body. I would go mental. I’m addicted to tattoos.

‘I love the look, the process, the feeling of, "Yes! I didn’t pass out, I’ve just achieved something."

‘I have more than 11 now. Not that my mother knows.’

As well as the large rose design, one of Fearne’s most recent tattoos is the pin-up on her back.

She said: ‘It covers most of my back at the bottom and it’s a ’50s pin-up mermaid, lovely boobs, beautiful.

‘I love Amy Winehouse’s tattoos but I can’t do arms.

‘I can’t do Children In Need with a naked woman on my arm, can I?’

But Fearne also revealed her love of tattoos sometimes causes confusion in children, who don’t understand the inkings.

She said: ‘I was in the pool at the gym and this little girl pointed at my tattoos and shouted: “Mum, why’s that woman got face paint on?

‘Then, as I was leaving, the manager told me a woman complained about me last week, saying: “There’s a semi-naked woman exposing herself and her tattoos to everyone!”

‘Do tattoos make me a drug addict? It’s bizarre!’

Frolicking in the surf: Fearne appeared to be having fun as she enjoyed the warm weather on vacation

Frolicking in the surf: Fearne appeared to be having fun as she enjoyed the warm weather on vacation

Frolicking in the surf: Fearne appeared to be having fun as she enjoyed the warm weather on vacation

Loved-up: Fearne was on holiday with her fiancé Jesse ahead of planning their wedding later this year

Loved-up: Fearne was on holiday with her fiancé Jesse ahead of planning their wedding later this year

Fearne also spoke recently about how she is finding it difficult getting things organised enough to start planning a wedding, admitting she will be relying on the help of best friend Holly Willoughby.

She said: ‘I can’t believe I’m ever going to be able to organise a wedding. I’m going to make Holly do it.

‘She’s the super-planner and I’m the most disorganised girl in the world. If it ever happens, it’ll be because Holly makes it happen.’

From the: Mail Online

January 6, 2011 Posted by | Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Health, Internet, Money, People | Leave a comment

2010 in review


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 76 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 286 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 5kb.

The busiest day of the year was July 8th with 509 views. The most popular post that day was British government joins celebrities in bid to save Iranian mother from stoning.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were alphainventions.com, blogsurfer.us, heavyrotations.com, facebook.com, and birdflu666.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for blobfish, weird animals, blobfish swimming, the blobfish, and shell v power.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

British government joins celebrities in bid to save Iranian mother from stoning July 2010
1 comment and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

The weirdest animals on Planet Earth August 2009

3

Shell V-Plus Diesel February 2010

4

List of weird and wonderful animals March 2009
2 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

5

Weird animals from around the world September 2009

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Computers, Entertainement, Internet, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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