BartCop Entertainment Archives - Thursday, 18 December, 2014


18 December, 2014

(Updated Daily)

[1178 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Mark Morford: The Dick Cheney School for Heartless Bastards (SF Gate)
Thank you, Mr. Cheney. For your refreshing honesty, for your brutally - some might say nauseatingly - forthright character, for not disappointing a single harried soul on God's ravaged Earth by pretending to be even the slightest bit ashamed, contrite, a mite horrified by the findings in the Senate's unprecedented torture report - a massive, rot-infused document in which you figure prominently, a 6,000-page beast of moral burden so full of American-bred cruelty and ignominy, it makes ISIL look like a kiddie play.

Mark Morford: Come, superstorm, and wash away our precious pain (SF Gate)
We are a crass oligarchy disguised as a peacekeeper. We are, in many ways, just as bad, if not worse, than those we claim to abhor - as evidenced by just how viciously Bush/Cheney raped the soul of the nation, far worse than anyone suspected (and we suspected a lot), all manner of truly unspeakable acts of CIA torture so repellant, inhumane and anti-Christian as to be the work of the Devil himself - except, of course, it was all performed in the name of a righteous, heartless American God.

Kevin Phelan: 5 Real Coincidences That Prove God Has a Sick Sense of Humor (Cracked)
Even if you're an atheist of Dawkinsian proportions, there's a good chance that at some point in your life, you've encountered a set of circumstances that made your eyebrows do that weird scrunchy thing that they do. You know, a story so full of irony and/or karmic justice that not only does it suggest the existence of some higher power pulling our strings for its own tepid amusement, but that said higher power's sense of humor is completely fucked up.

Michael Koresky: "Eclipse Series 41: Kinoshita and World War II" (Criterion)
It's all too easy to be reductive when discussing the careers of filmmakers, and thus the great Japanese directors are often slotted into categories: Yasujiro Ozu was the precise sculptor of the domestic drama, Akira Kurosawa the creator of the philosophical action spectacular, Kenji Mizoguchi the master of the tragic woman's picture. The popular, prolific, and eclectic Keisuke Kinoshita, however, has never been so simple to sum up.

Jessica Valenti: Bill Cosby's wife wants to know who the real victim is. There are all too many options (Guardian)
People tell themselves the most outrageous stories, just so they can keep living their lives - even just to make it to the next day.

Best of Web 7 - HD - Zapatou (YouTube)
"Zapatou (Luc Bergeron) is back with another mesmerizing compilation of the crazy, scary, and amazing things that people (and animals) do, culled from 233 viral videos of 2014. It's not only the action that amazing, it's also the new way we get to see them, as this collection is heavy on POV and mounted cameras, so we are extremely close to the action and can even put our feet in someone else's shoes. Take that as a warning that some these clips may induce vertigo. You'll recognize a lot of them." - Neatorama

Mackenzie Patel: 7 Reasons Why 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings' Should Be Required Reading in School (Huffington Post)
1. Both novels teach the importance of loyalty, friendship and honesty (i.e. the classic trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione and the Fellowship). For example, in chapter 5 of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, "He [Harry] knew that Ron and Hermione were more shocked than they were letting on, but the mere fact that they were still there on either side of him... was worth more than he could ever tell them."

David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

David Bruce's Smashwords Page

David Bruce's Blog

David Bruce's Lulu Storefront

David Bruce's Apple iBookstore

David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on


"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today


Trivia Question of the Day

Those who engage in Lalochezia relieve stress or pain by what method?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

At the age of thirty-nine, this actress posed for the cover of Playboy's January 1985 issue wearing nothing but a white collar shirt, a loosened black tie, and a pair of red stilettos. What is her name?

      Goldie Hawn                                                      Source

Goldie Jeanne Hawn (born November 21, 1945) is an American actress, film director, producer, and occasional singer. Hawn is known for her roles in television's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and films such as The Sugarland Express, Private Benjamin, Foul Play, Shampoo, Overboard, Bird on a Wire, Death Becomes Her, The First Wives Club, and Cactus Flower, for which she won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is the mother of actors Oliver and Kate Hudson, and actor Wyatt Russell. Hawn has had a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983.

At the age of thirty-nine, Hawn posed for the cover of Playboy's January 1985 issue. Hawn posed in a giant martini glass wearing nothing but a white collar shirt, a loosened black tie, and a pair of red stilettos. Her last film of the 1980s was opposite partner Kurt Russell for the third time in the comedy Overboard (1987).        Source

Alan J was first, and correct, with:
   Goldie Hawn

Randall wrote:
   I had to Google it.
  I don't like to - seems kind of like cheating, but curiosity got the better of me.
  January, 1985 was Goldie Hawn

  Who among us of our age doesn't remember Goldie on Laugh-in?

  Goldie's charm was her innocent daffyness. Daffieness? (My spell-check shows both of those spellings wrong, but screw the spell-check: Goldie was nothing if not Daffy)

  With apologies up front, ladies, and at the risk of being called a chauvinist pig, I have to say:
  Goldie Hawn proved that one can be quite sexy without having big boobs.

  It's all about attitude
  ...and confidence; being comfortable in one's own skin.
  Of course, in Goldie's case, a heaping-helping of natural beauty doesn't hurt...

Charlie said:
   Goldie Hawn.
  Hardly a "dumb blonde."

Adam answered:
   Goldie Hawn

Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
   Goldie Hawn

Marian replied:
   Goldie Hawn

Humbug Dale of Danky Diamond Springs, Norfuckincali said:
   Goldie Hawn…Now she's old, just like the rest of us…except the rest of us didn't have a shitload full of corrective face adjustments…Goldie would probably been better off without it….. See how fetching an un-face like Keef's is!

MAM   wrote:
   Goldie Hawn

DJ Useo answered:
   Yarr, it be Goldie Hawn. I already knew the answer, but I swear, I was only reading it for the articles. hahaha.

Deborah took the day off.

mj took the day off.

Joe S     took the day off.

Lois Of Oregon took the day off.

Sally's got some great news.

BttbBob   returned to semi-retired status.

  December 18 Birthdays - Celebrities Born December 18 | Famous Birthdays



Middle Class Political Economist

Middle Class Political Economist: Eleven Richest Americans Have All Received Government Subsidies

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Devils butcher our little angels

Gilbert board on biology textbook redaction: nevermind

Arpaio's $2 million 'portrait' of Lacey benefits ASU

'Saving Private Ryan' among films being preserved - SFGate

The Science on Fracking Is In: Not One Well! | Mark Ruffalo

Obama Bars Oil And Gas Development In Alaska's Bristol Bay

Navajo County targeted for right wing paradise

BBC News - Sentinel radar satellite tracks continued Napa slip after quake

BBC - Culture - Why the world still loves Charles Dickens

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting : Code Switch : NPR

Way Beyond Brownies: Vice Launches A Marijuana Cooking Show : The Salt : NPR

A Tweet On Women's Veils, Followed By Raging Debate In Saudi Arabia : Parallels : NPR

A Tweet On Women's Veils, Followed By Raging Debate In Saudi Arabia : Parallels : NPR

Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014 : Monkey See : NPR

Ancient Egyptian technology may be our first line of defense from hospital infections

Montana GOP (Dress Code) - YouTube

Ronald Reagan amnesty haunts immigration action | MSNBC

Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Thanks, Michelle!



Reader Comment

Jeb in 2016

Thanks, Randall!



From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'

"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)



In The Mail

Google Is Evil

Response Requested for Link Removal


We wish to thank you for linking to our site from Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that this link is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

It is important for us to bring our site into compliance with Google's terms.

Please remove our link from this page and any other page on your site.

Thank you,


The response:

Hi Jerry -

That's one helluva letter there, espcially for a blog post on sports promotions that went south.

As a matter of curiostiy, why should I honor your request?

You thank me for doing something to your advantage, and then ask me to make it disappear? Not kill the link, but make it disappear?

That's some pretty heavy-handed censorship.

And you want me to do this 'favor' at my own expense, in an effort to further your bottom line? All to keep your site in google's vision of 'compliance'?

You will kindly notice I have no corporate advertising on my little site - meaning I don't have to fluff google. You know what they call people who specialize in fluffing, don't you?

As a matter of internet courtesy, I will remove your link, but it will be at my convenience, because you are costing me time and money which I will never recoup.

Yours is not the first request like this I've received, and I'm sure it won't be the last, especially so long as good citizens are economically prodded into censorship on behalf of your corporate masters.

Happy Fluffing,


Regular readers will remember a spate of these requests last year about this time. And, yes, they upset me, probably more than they should.

Google demands that they be allowed to control content on 3rd party sites. I don't know this site - just found something useful or funny there, and linked to it.

That's all.

Now, that site demands that I remove the link so their site complies with Google's Webmaster Bullshit.


FWIW, the link has been removed - this is the replacement:

15 Sports Promotions That Went Horribly Wrong

This link has been removed at the request of ad magic dot com because they claim it violated Google's webmaster guidelines. Google is not your friend. This is how they control content on the 'net.
ad magic dot com, a blog I don't know, but linked to, had to write a letter to a stranger (me), at Google's request, to ask me to remove (not kill, REMOVE) this link, beause Google claims it violates their webmaster guidelines, or Google will mess with their ad revenues.
So, I get to work (for free) in order that others may prosper, and also assist Google in controling what you may read.
Why should I comply, you might ask.
If I don't, the Google-bot "overlooks" my site, and throttles my traffic.
Google is evil - Duck Duck Go isn't.



M Is FOR MASHUP - bonus link


From DJ Useo

Hey Y'all- My pal, Mr. Fab, has some great novelty Christmas music links on his long-running Novelty music blog, "Music For Maniacs".

You'll be glad you heard them. Music for Maniacs: Krazy Krustmas Kollections
( )

Music for Maniacs: "Christmas Memories Played on Antique Musical Boxes"

Music for Maniacs: Krazy Krustmas Kollections

Happy Holidays to each & every one of youse.



from Marc Perkel


Hello Bartcop fans,

As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to

Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on

But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( )

Marc Perkel




Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD










Tom Coburn, Jesus Twin

Tom Coburn (R-Jesus Twin)

Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


Ark Of Darkness


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Rainy night, damp day.

Tonight, Thursday:

CBS opens the night with a RERUN 'Big Bang Theory', followed by a FRESH 'Mom', then a FRESH '2½ Men', followed by a FRESH 'McCarthys', then a FRESH 'Elementary'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave are Rosie O'Donnell and Jeff Altman.
Scheduled on a FRESH Craig, the next-to-the-last show, is Jim Parsons.

NBC begins the night with a FRESH 'Biggest Loser', followed by the FRESH 'The People Magazine Awards'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Amy Adams, Nick Offerman, and Foo Fighters.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are Christoph Waltz, Uzo Aduba, and Greg Warren.
Scheduled on a FRESH Carson 'The Scab' Daly are Jack O'Connell, Coves, and Andrew Orvedahl.

ABC starts the night with a FRESH 'The Taste', followed by a RERUN 'How To Get Away With Murder'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Mel Brooks, Christine Baranski, and Jenny Lewis.

The CW offers a FRESH 'The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014', followed by a RERUN 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?'.

Faux has a RERUN 'Bones', followed by another RERUN 'Bones'.

MY recycles an old 'The Mentalist', followed by another old 'The Mentalist'.

A&E has 'The First 48', another 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH 'Beyond Scared Straight', then another FRESH 'Beyond Scared Straight'.

AMC offers the movie 'White Christmas', followed by the movie 'Miracle On 34th Street', then the movie 'Miracle On 34th Street', again.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    BBC World News
 [7:00AM]    BBC World News
 [8:00AM]    Doctor Who - Season 7 - Ep 6 - The Bells of Saint John
 [9:00AM]    Doctor Who - Season 7 - Ep 7 - The Rings of Akhaten
 [10:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 7 - Ep 9 - Force of Nature
 [11:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 7 - Ep 10 - Inheritance
 [12:00PM]    Battlestar Galactica - Season 2 - Ep 10 - Pegasus
 [1:00PM]    Battlestar Galactica - Season 2 - Ep 11 - Resurrection Ship, Part 1
 [2:00PM]    Battlestar Galactica - Season 2 - Ep 12 - Resurrection Ship, Part 2
 [3:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 1 - Ep 2 - Lela's
 [4:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 1 - Ep 4 - Finn McCool's
 [5:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 2 - Ep 6 - Hannah & Mason's
 [6:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 3 - Ep 9 - Le Bistro
 [7:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 6 - Ep 4 - Ms. Jean's Southern Cuisine
 [8:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 4 - Davide
 [9:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 5 - DownCity
 [10:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 6 - Cafe Tavolini
 [11:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 4 - Davide
 [12:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 5 - DownCity
 [1:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 6 - Cafe Tavolini
 [2:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 1 - Ep 4 - Finn McCool's
 [3:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 2 - Ep 6 - Hannah & Mason's
 [4:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 3 - Ep 9 - Le Bistro
 [5:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 6 - Ep 4 - Ms. Jean's Southern Cuisine    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', another 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', 'Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce', and another 'Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce'.

Comedy Central fills the night with all old 'The Colbert Report's.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jon Stewart is Chris Rock.
Scheduled on a FRESH Colbert Report, the very last show's very last guest is Grimmy.

FX has 3 hours of old 'Mike & Molly', followed by the movie 'Night At The Museum'.

History has 'Pawn Stars', another 'Pawn Stars', still another 'Pawn Stars', yet another 'Pawn Stars', followed by a FRESH 'Pawn Stars', then another FRESH 'Pawn Stars', followed by a FRESH 'Pawnography', then another FRESH 'Pawnography'.

IFC  -   
 [10:45AM]    SWAMP THING
 [12:45PM]    THE CHILDREN
 [4:30PM]    SWAMP THING
 [9:00PM]    HALF BAKED
 [3:00AM]    JAWS 3

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    Rectify-Until You're Blue
 [7:00AM]    For Your Consideration
 [8:45AM]    Dragonslayer
 [11:15AM]    Groundhog Day
 [1:30PM]    Revenge of the Nerds
 [3:30PM]    Blazing Saddles
 [5:30PM]    Uncle Buck
 [7:45PM]    Uncle Buck
 [10:00PM]    Spies Like Us
 [11:45PM]    Spy Game
 [2:30AM]    Blazing Saddles
 [4:30AM]    The Writers' Room-Pretty Little Liars
 [5:00AM]    Law & Order-In Memory Of    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'The Crazies', followed by the movie 'The Cabin In The Woods'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Orlando Bloom, John C. McGinley, and Sebastian Maniscalco.

 [6:00 AM]      MGM Parade Show #15 (1955)
 [6:30 AM]      The Affairs of Martha (1942)
 [8:00 AM]      Nazi Agent (1942)
 [9:30 AM]      A Letter For Evie (1945)
 [11:15 AM]      Never On Sunday (1960)
 [1:00 PM]      Phaedra (1962)
 [3:00 PM]      The Guns of Navarone (1961)
 [5:45 PM]      Alexander The Great (1956)
 [8:00 PM]      Christmas Carol (1938)
 [9:15 PM]      Scrooge (1970)
 [11:15 PM]      Scrooge (1935)
 [12:45 AM]      A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)
 [2:15 AM]      Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
 [3:45 AM]      Fanny and Alexander (1982)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Friday   -  12/19/14

TCM spends the night with director Charles Walters
 [7:00 AM]      Period of Adjustment (1962)
 [9:00 AM]      Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
 [11:00 AM]      Mister Roberts (1955)
 [1:15 PM]      The Great Race (1965)
 [4:00 PM]      The Wackiest Ship In The Army (1961)
 [5:45 PM]      The Apartment (1960)
 [8:00 PM]      High Society (1956)
 [10:00 PM]      Glass Slipper (1955)
 [11:45 PM]      The Tender Trap (1955)
 [1:45 AM]      Easy to Love (1953)
 [3:30 AM]      Don't Go Near The Water (1957)
 [5:30 AM]      Best Foot Forward (1943)

USA has a FRESH 'White Collar', followed by a FRESH 'Covert Affairs'.

Antenna TV

Bounce TV

Cozi TV

MOVIES! TV Network


RTV - The Retro Television Network

This TV

Al Jazeera

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

(See below for addresses)


A group including attorney Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr., foreground, lawyers and others stage a 4:30 minute "die-in" protest Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, at the criminal justice center in Philadelphia. A number of protests have been staged around the country following recent grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, over the deaths of unarmed black men.
Photo by Matt Rourke


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Class Of 2014

National Film Registry

"Saving Private Ryan" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" are among 25 movies being inducted this year into the National Film Registry for long-term preservation, the Library of Congress announced Wednesday.

The library selected films for their cultural, historic or aesthetic qualities. This year's selections span the years 1913 to 2004. They include such familiar and popular titles as "The Big Lebowski" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," while others were milestones in film history.

The oldest selection dates to 1913 and is believed to be the earliest surviving feature film starring black actors. Vaudevillian Bert Williams gathered with black performers in New York City to make the film "Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day." The film was discovered 100 years later in the film vault at the Museum of Modern Art.

The silent films selected for preservation this year include "The Dragon Painter" from 1919, starring Hollywood's first Asian star, Sessue Hayakawa, and the 1916 silent film "Shoes," which examined poverty and prostitution, curators said.

National Film Registry


A woman dressed as mermaid wearing a Santa Claus hat performs to students from inside a tank at the Sao Paulo Aquarium December 17, 2014. According to organizers, the performance aims to narrate about the myth and legend of mermaids.
Photo by Paulo Whitaker


Sues HarperCollins Over 'Sniper'

Jesse Ventura

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has sued HarperCollins Publishing, saying he was defamed in passage from a book it put out from an ex-Navy SEAL who claimed the two were in a bar fight.

Ventura, who in July won more than $1.8 million in damages from the estate of former SEAL Chris Kyle, filed suit in federal court in Minnesota on Monday against HarperCollins over the best-selling book "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."

HarperCollins, a subsidiary of News Corp, said in July the passage in the best-seller would be removed, without offering further details.

A feature film based on Kyle's book, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, is due out later this month.

Jesse Ventura


Newhead News


First Woman Bishop

Church of England

The Church of England appointed its first female bishop on Wednesday, overturning centuries of tradition in a Church that has been deeply divided over the issue.

It named Reverend Libby Lane, a 48-year-old married mother of two, as the new Bishop of Stockport in northern England.

After long and heated debate, the Church of England governing Synod voted in July to allow women to become bishops and formally adopted legislation last month.

Women have served as priests in the Church since 1994, a decision that prompted some 470 male priests to leave in protest, many for the Roman Catholic Church.

Church of England


Indonesian army soldier Partika Subagyo, wearing a costume of the puppet character Bima, dances to raise money for landslide victims, in Solo, December 17, 2014, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. The landslide in Banjarnegara destroyed a village and killed at least 32 people, according to officials.
Photo by Andika Betha


Stanford University To Restore

Reproducing Pianos

Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano - the high-tech music machine of the early 20th century.

Stanford researchers have launched an ambitious effort to restore and study instruments known as reproducing pianos that recorded major composers performing their own work.

The researchers also plan to preserve and digitize thousands of perforated paper rolls that recorded and played back piano performances with impressive accuracy. They eventually hope to put the recordings online.

Stanford recently acquired an important private collection of 10 reproducing pianos and more than 7,500 rolls that include recordings of composers such as George Gershwin, Scott Joplin and Claude Debussy.

Reproducing Pianos


Wake-up Call


Secretive Groups In State Races


Shadowy outside groups broadcast an estimated $25 million worth of political ads on local TV stations with a goal of shaping state-level elections this year, and their full roster of donors is unlikely to ever be known, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

While the $25 million is a small slice of the $850 million spent on ads in statewide races, the amount is still almost twice what outside groups shelled out during the last midterm elections in 2010. The Center for Public Integrity analysis also showed that the secretive outside groups were quite successful, exceeding the victory rates of groups that disclose their donors.

Overall, mysterious groups ran twice as many ads as they did in 2010, the first election after Supreme Court cleared the way for the ultra-rich, corporations and unions to quietly bankroll campaigns through anonymous groups that form and disperse without any meaningful disclosure. As a part of the total advertising landscape, roughly 40 outside groups doubled their share of all advertising in state races.

For instance, the utility-backed Save Our Future Now spent $1.4 million on television ads against a Democratic candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities. Ads criticizing Sandra Kennedy ran almost 1,400 times.

Nationally, those groups got their desired outcome in 63 percent of the races where they ran ads. All independent groups, including those that disclose donors, prevailed less than 50 percent of the time when they ran ads. The overall victory rate for advertisers - candidates and super PACs that disclose their donors, as well as secretive outside groups that do not - was 51 percent, according to the Center for Public Integrity's analysis.



An artist works on a mural for the Color Walk Project in a Ciudad Juarez neighbourhood November 27, 2014. The Color Walk Project is an art initiative that aims to revive the Mexican border city through murals painted by local and international muralists and street artists in areas that have been abandoned by residents due to drug violence, according to local media. Picture taken November 27, 2014.
Photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez


Bans Fracking

New York

New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration said on Wednesday.

New York Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens said at a cabinet meeting he will issue an order early next year banning fracking, which has been under a moratorium since 2008. Once that happens, New York will join Vermont as the only states to completely prohibit fracking.

The decision ends what has been a fierce debate in New York over the benefits and pitfalls of fracking, a process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. Many in the state saw gas drilling as a key economic resource while others argued it was too dangerous.

The state's health commissioner, Howard Zucker, said there is not enough scientific information to conclude that fracking is safe.

New York


Clowns from Slava's Snowshow pose for photographers on London's South Bank, December 17, 2014.The show will take place at London's Royal Festival Hall from December 17 through to January 5, 2015.
Photo by Paul Hackett


Half of Anti-Net Neutrality Comments

Koch Bros.

When the second round of the FCC's call for comments on net neutrality ended this past September, something seemed a little off. Sure, the 1.6 million submissions fell about a million short of the first round, but that wasn't the weird apart. This time, instead of the vast majority of comments arguing for net neutrality, 60 percent were fighting against it. The reason for this marked shift? A "shadowy" campaign powered by Koch Brothers' funds and form letters.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, American Commitment-the group heading up the conservative form letter campaign-has both received money from and given money to a number of groups associated with the billionaire benefactors to conservatives everywhere, brothers David and Charles Koch. According to Sunlight's recent report on the FCC's second round comments.

As for the non-form letter submissions, only one percent stood opposed to net neutrality, a distribution almost identical to what it was during the first round. For their part, American Commitment could not be more delighted with the Sunlight Foundation's findings, with president Phil Kerpen saying in a press release.

As it just so happens, Kerpen is also the head of the Internet Freedom Coalition which has"a desire to keep the Internet free from government interference" and which proudly counts Americans for Prosperity-a group founded with the help of none other than Koch Industries-as one of its more active members. It gets pretty convoluted, but the Sunlight Foundation untied the various Koch-backed groups behind American Commitment, and rest assured, the ties run deep.

In other words, when and if the FCC actually goes through the comments, that significant majority of anti-net neutrality sentiments will have come from one of several conservative, Koch-backed forms. It's just like choose-your-own-adventure, manufactured outrage edition .

Koch Bros.


A combination of pictures shows houses and decorations illuminated ahead of Christmas in German cities of Berlin, Hamburg-Heimfeld, Moenchengladbach, Olching and Stolberg. Every year hundreds of houses across Germany are decorated by their owners with lights ahead of Christmas.


Two Pharmacists Charged With 25 Murders

Meningitis Outbreak

Two pharmacists from Massachusetts were charged with second-degree murder in connection with a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed at least 64 people and injured about 750, according to an indictment made public on Wednesday.

The 131-count indictment accuses 14 people who either worked or acted as owners of New England Compounding Center (NECC), a specialty pharmacy that went into bankruptcy after the outbreak.

Barry J. Cadden, 48, a pharmacist and part of NECC's ownership group, and pharmacist Glenn A. Chinn, 46, have been charged with 25 murders in seven states, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors said officials at Framingham, Massachusetts-based NECC knowingly shipped contaminated steroids across the country. The drugs typically were injected in patients suffering from back pain.

The pharmacy escaped harsh punishment from health regulators several times in the years leading up to the outbreak, according to hundreds of pages of documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Meningitis Outbreak

My cousin George was one of their victims. Oddly, his father was a pharmacist.


Acrobats perform during the circus show at the Christmas party for children at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The French presidential palace holds a traditional Christmas party every year for families of the palace staff, with acrobat performances and presents for the children.
Photo by Jacques Brinon


Without Passports


Actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evgenia are suing John Kerry and the State Department to recover passports that the government revoked three years ago.

The State Department said it takes U.S. passports for reasons including issuance of a felony arrest warrant, fraud, failure to pay child support or a criminal court order barring departure from the country.

Randy Quaid said the revocation involved an issue over "an insurance policy that we did not take out," but declined to discuss it further.

"Randy can't take a film job," said Evgenia Quaid. "He had to turn down the Cannes Film Festival last year. We can't proceed with our life."

The Quaids have had a string of legal problems, including accusations of vandalism of a home they once owned and a California felony warrant issued over an unpaid hotel tab.



A toy maker assembles a so-called 'Rauchermann' (a wooden Christmas incense smoker) depicting German composer Johann Sebastian Bach at the Arts and Craft Workshop in Olbernhau, eastern Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The workshop manufactures some 250 different types of the figures, which is a traditional Christmas decoration of the Erzgebirge region and is used to burn odorant incense cones. Some 20 percent of the production are sold to the U.S.
Photo by Jens Meyer


New Coalition Opposes Right To Work


A newly formed coalition of more than 300 construction-related private businesses in Wisconsin announced Wednesday that it will work to defeat a right-to-work proposal being discussed by Republican leaders in the Legislature.

Formation of the group comes as talks proceed behind the scenes among Republicans who control the Legislature about the timing of a right-to-work bill and what form it may take.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Kochsucker) repeated his message Wednesday, during a brief speech to Republican state senators in the Capitol, that he sees right-to-work as a distraction from his agenda. He told lawmakers he wants them focused on his legislative agenda, but he also didn't promise to veto a right-to-work bill should it pass.

The coalition does not list any unions among its members, even though they are the strongest opponents of the right-to-work laws that prohibit workers from being required to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment.



Santa Claus reindeer sculptures made with toilet bowls are seen at the Robolights art installation by Kenny Irwin Jr. in Palm Springs, California December 15, 2014. The installation consists of hundreds of whimsical robot and other themed sculptures created from recycled materials including golf carts, kitchen appliances and microwaved smart phones, and is open to the public each holiday season on the sprawling Irwin family property.
Photo by David McNew


Free Trip Around World

Elizabeth Gallagher

A Toronto man who made headlines last month by offering a free round-the-world air ticket to a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend has found Ms. Right.

Jordan Axani, 28, and his then girlfriend, named Elizabeth Gallagher, booked heavily discounted round-the-world air tickets in May, but their relationship ended and he didn't want her ticket to go to waste. The ticket had a strict no-transfer policy, but since passport information was not required when booking, it can be used by any Canadian named Elizabeth Gallagher.

Axani posted his offer last month on the popular Reddit social media website, and received thousands of emails, including 18 from actual Elizabeth Gallaghers with Canadian passports.

He's now chosen his travel mate, Elizabeth Quinn Gallagher, a 23-year-old student and part-time office administrator from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Elizabeth Gallagher



In Memory

Wowzer Morgan

Wowzer was MAM's faithful 4-legged companion of the last eight years.

He was smart, he was loving, and he was photogenic as hell.

He will be greatly missed.


In Memory

Richard C. Hottelet

Richard C. Hottelet, the last of the original "Murrow's Boys," the pioneering group of wartime journalists hired by CBS radio newsman Edward R. Murrow, has died. He was 97.

Hottelet was a foreign correspondent for the United Press in Berlin at the start of World War II - and even spent several months in a Nazi prison - before joining CBS in London in 1944.

He reported from many battlefronts, and went on to become CBS' correspondent for the United Nations, an assignment he began in 1960. He resigned in 1985 to join the U.S. Mission to the U.N. as its public affairs counsellor, leaving that post in 1987 over differences with Ambassador Vernon A. Walters.

The legendary "Murrow's Boys" were recruited by Murrow, then London-based director of CBS' European bureau, starting in 1937 and continuing through the war years. They included such eminent figures as Eric Sevareid, William Shirer, Charles Collingwood, Larry LeSueur, Winston Burdette and Howard K. Smith.

"It was not our job to inspire people, to educate, to move them," Hottelet recalled in an interview with The Hartford Courant in 2003. "It was our job to tell them what was going on."

Decades before journalists were embedded in military operations, Hottelet moved forward with troops and circled back to file his reports. He flew with the U.S. Air Force before the D-Day operation in 1944 and was in an Air Force bomber that attacked Utah Beach just minutes before the start of the Allied invasion.

From the start, Murrow insisted on good reporters, not professional announcers, and they became legends to radio audiences for their bravery and eloquence.

"Nowadays, facts are drizzled over people in a news cycle that's 24 hours a day," he told the Courant. "To appeal to more people, news sometimes goes down to the lowest common denominator. Print isn't so bad, but they do tend to featurize a good deal. People don't feel stimulated to respond in terms of their own interest or what is said."

He remained active even in recent years, guest lecturing every semester at George Washington University journalism classes, according to a 2008 news release from the university.

Hottelet had his own daily television news broadcast, "Richard C. Hottelet With the News," a 15-minute morning program in 1959, and a regular weekend radio broadcast.

He was named U.N. correspondent in 1960 and that fall reported on the celebrated when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, during a visit to the United Nations, banged his shoe on his desk.

For the following 25 years, Hottelet appeared regularly on CBS News programs such as the "CBS Evening News" and "Face the Nation," covering the diplomatic aspects of conflicts in Cuba, Congo, Bangladesh, Vietnam and the American hostage crisis in Iran.

Hottelet, born in New York in 1917, first travelled to Germany as a student in 1937 and joined the United Press bureau in Berlin.

Caught up in World War II, he survived four months in a Nazi prison in 1941 following his arrest by the Gestapo on false charges of espionage. He was released after he was exchanged for a Nazi newsman held by the United States.

After a stint in the U.S. Office of War Information in Washington and London, he was hired by CBS.

His wife, Ann Delafield Hottelet, died in 2013. He is survived by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Richard C. Hottelet



A young Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) is seen together with its mother Nigrita (back) and father Jumbo (R) at an enclosure at the zoo in Zurich December 17, 2014.
Photo by Arnd Wiegmann



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