Enjoy your automobile, comrade citizen.

From Yahoo, straight from the old USSR:
President Barack Obama's extraordinary auto industry intervention is assertive and coldly pragmatic, with a dose of caution and a sentimental nod to the automobile's place in the American psyche.

Obama's curt rejection of General Motors' and Chrysler's restructuring plans and his abrupt move to muscle out GM's CEO set the stage for a major realignment of the U.S. auto industry. He bluntly raised the prospect of a "prepackaged bankruptcy" that would reorganize the companies quickly under court protection.

But Obama did not upend Detroit in one single swoop. He gave each company a second chance at a federal bailout — 60 days for GM and 30 for Chrysler — though it was evident that from now on little would remain the same.

"We've reached the end of that road," Obama declared Monday.

Yet Obama also conceded the intangible nature of the auto industry as a national symbol, and made it clear he would not let it succumb under his watch. He called the industry an emblem of the American spirit and a pillar of the economy.

"We cannot, and must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish," he said.

The forced ouster of GM CEO Richard Wagoner, the detailed review of the companies' business models and the overt threat of bankruptcy represented an increasingly hands-on approach by the government to institutions receiving federal assistance in the midst of the economic crisis.

On Tuesday, Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican whose state is home to auto manufacturing plants, said the administration's aggressive intervention in the industry sets "a very dangerous precedent."

It wasn't just the forced ouster of Wagoner that causes him concern, Corker said on CBS's "The Early Show." He accused the administration of taking a "we know best" attitude in connection with the problems in the domestic industry and said that should "send a chill throughout the country."

The president was hardly ambiguous about his desire to use the beleaguered state of the industry to press one of his top policy agendas — an energy policy that emphasizes the manufacture of fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars.

"The United States will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars," he said.

Obama's restructuring conditions include concessions from bondholders, the investors who hold GM and Chrysler debt, as well as from the United Auto Workers, which represents the industry work force. "It will require unions and workers who have already made extraordinarily painful concessions to do more," Obama said.

Welcome to the new world.

Hey, while you're at it, check out the history behind goverment cars:


Replace Prime Minister with President and UK with USA.


Waxing ban in New Jersey

From New Jersey:
It looks like bikini season will come to New Jersey after all.

Perhaps realizing how silly they looked, Garden State officials on Friday scrapped plans for a ban on "Brazilian" bikini waxes.

The ban was being considered by the state's Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling because two women had been hospitalized in the last year for infections following a bare-it-all Brazilian-style treatment.

But in a letter to the board on Friday, New Jersey Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman wrote: "I cannot agree to the complete prohibition ... banning removal of hair in the genital area."

For the uninitiated, a Brazilian-style bikini wax involves the full removal of hair from what can euphemistically be called the "bikini region." Jeannette Abou-Mourad, owner of Sisters Skin Care and Waxing on Michigan Avenue, explained that despite its South American name the practice began thousands of years ago in the Middle East, a tradition considered routine and hygienic.

"It's pure cleanliness," she said. "It began in the Middle East, then traveled to Brazil and around other parts of the world before it wound up in America."

Salon owners in New Jersey cried out when they heard about the potential ban, fearing the economic impact it might have with bikini season on the horizon.

Szuchman, in his letter to the cosmetology board, wrote that he believes there are "alternate means to address any public health issues" and he encouraged the board to begin a review of the training needed to safely provide Brazilian bikini waxes.

Because in Jersey, it is camaro hair everywhere!


Mom of the year....so far...

From Schenectady:
The 14-year-old girl who jumped onto the trunk of her mother's car then fell off after the woman refused to take her and her younger sister for ice cream is on the road to recovery, city police said.

The incident, which unfolded outside the family's Foster Avenue home Tuesday night, has lead to felony charges against city resident La Tasha Daniels, 38. The county has also taken her three other children.

Police say the older girl suffered brain injuries after tumbling to the ground when Daniels slammed on the brakes after driving her Honda Accord about 200 feet away, police spokesman Sgt. Eric Clifford said.

Moments earlier, Daniels' other daughter, 12, had been thrown off the roof but was unhurt, Clifford said. She hopped onto the roof because she was upset that her mother wasn't taking them to the Stewart's store on Van Vranken Avenue for ice cream. Daniels had locked the doors before the girls jumped on the car.


Clean out that recycle bin, dog-gone-it

From The Smoking Gun:
Concerned that an ex-boyfriend had used her laptop to search for child pornography, the Indiana woman asked police to search the computer for illegal images, but had her plan backfire when cops discovered two videos of her engaged in illicit acts with a dog. Owen, 24, was charged last week with two felony bestiality counts in connection with the video files, which a detective found in the laptop's "recycle bin."

At the time Owen asked cops to search the computer, she was locked up in the Johnson County Jail on a public intoxication charge (which violated the terms of her release in a prior drunk driving case). According to a police affidavit, a copy of which you'll find here, a cop told Owen that he had found videos of her on the laptop and asked if she "knew what those files might be." Owen, pictured in the below mug shot, replied, "The one with the dog." Cops believe that the dog in question, Toby, is a beagle. After asking if she was "going to be charged with this," Owen said that the videos "were just something she did when she was drunk and barely remembers it," adding that she tried to "delete them the next day when she was sober."

This quack has gone to the dogs...


Proving the adage "a fool and his money"...

From New Jersey:
A Green Brook resident who owns a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo has filed suit against Circuit City and an employee for causing $50,000 in damage to the car, which had been brought to the store for a stereo installation.

In the suit filed in the Civil Division of state Superior Court, Luke Liang said he brought the vehicle valued at $185,000 to Circuit City on Route 28 in Bridgewater on Oct. 18, 2008 for an audio installation.

After he handed over the car for the work, Brian Murphy, a store employee, drove the car without permission in the parking lot and struck a curb, the suit states.

The "joyride,'' as the suit characterizes the action, resulted in $50,000 in damage, including the "destruction'' of a wheel and tire, scratches and a broken suspension system.

The suit notes that Circuit City's rules prohibit employees for taking vehicles for test rides after audio installations.

Liang claims in the suit that the incident lowered the car's value by $50,000.

The Circuit City store closed earlier this month after its parent company filed for bankruptcy.

Good luck getting money from a bankrupt store and an out-of-work install tech.


St. Patrick's Day. It isn't about the green beer ya heathens.

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa AD 385–461), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by the those of Irish descent and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in New Zealand, Australia, and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Irish stout, Irish Whiskey or Irish Cream) and attending parades.

St. Patrick's Blue, not green, was the colour long-associated with St. Patrick. Green, the colour most widely associated with Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick's Day in modern times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase "the wearing of the green" meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. The wearing of and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the saint's holiday. The change to Ireland's association with green rather than blue probably began around the 1750's.

In the past, Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated as a religious holiday. It became a public holiday in 1903, by the Money Bank. (Ireland) Act 1903, an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by the Irish MP James O'Mara.[14] O'Mara later introduced the law which required that pubs be closed on 17 March, a provision which was repealed only in the 1970s. The first St. Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald. Although secular celebrations now exist, the holiday remains a religious observance in Ireland, for both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Church.

It was only in the mid-1990s that the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. The government set up a group called St. Patrick's Festival, with the aim to:

—Offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebrations in the world and promote excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activity.
—Provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent, (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations.
—Project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal, as we approach the new millennium.

Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick's Day. Writing in the Word magazine (March 2007), Fr. Vincent Twomey stated that, "it is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival". He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that, "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together".

It isn't about green beer and getting shit-faced, ya heathens.


All Tapped Out.

From FOXNews:
A $300,000 Ferrari collided with a Porsche, crashed and broke in half on an Orange County roadway Saturday, killing one person and injuring another, police said. The driver of the Porsche was later arrested.

The martial arts clothing company TapouT confirmed that co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis died in the car wreck shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday in Newport Beach. Police say the Ferrari apparently collided with a Porsche and spun out of control

Lewis was a co-founder of the company and was known for signature facepaint stripes on his face. The firm says in a statement that a memorial is being planned.

The two cars were speeding north on Jamboree Road in this wealthy city when the crash occurred shortly before 1 a.m., Lt. Craig Fox said.

A patrol officer saw the red 2004 Ferrari Modena and a white 1977 Porsche coupe swerve out of control, Craig said.

"We believe they were going fast based on the skids and the damage to the vehicle," Fox told KABC-TV. "But we can't speculate at this point if they were racing or not."

"Apparently they had collided and this was the aftermath of the collision," Fox said.



From Yahoo News:
This March 1, 2009, booking photo provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Dept., shows Acea Schomaker of Lincoln, Neb. He was booked Sunday on suspicion of animal cruelty, after deputies caught him smoking marijuana from a bong contraption that had a cat stuffed inside its 12-inch by 6-inch base. Schomaker told Lancaster County sheriff's deputies the 6-month-old female cat named Shadow had been hyper and that he was trying to calm her. Shadow was taken to the Capital Humane Society, where she appeared to be in good condition.


OGRE: A Lego Tank

Two comments:

Steve Jackson called. He wants his board game back.

Sarah Connor called. She wants your Skynet...er, Lego experiment stopped.