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Name: Mister Rea
Gender: Male
Hometown: Houston
Home country: Moon
Current location: afk
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 48,808

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mostly harmless

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Christian cannibal: Puppeteer arrested with kiddie porn; planned to abduct and eat child


Ronald William Brown of Largo, Florida, the 57-year-old proprietor of “Puppets Plus,” has been charged with the possession of child pornography and of conspiring with another man to kidnap and then eat a child.

The Christian Television Network kids program Joy Junction regularly featured Brown and his ventriloquist dummy “Marty,” who would warn about things like… pornography.

Brown, an active member of the Gulf Coast Church in Largo, and an accomplice, Michael Arnett, were planning to abduct a specific child who was a member of the church and who took part in Brown’s “Puppet Ministry Kidz Zone” youth ministry program.

Homeland Security agents who searched Brown’s home and tool shed yesterday discovered images of bound and gagged kids, photographs of dead children and a flier for a missing child.

Sorry, but crazy ventrioloquists in general are an overplayed stereotype. For that matter, once you count the "Homeland Security search" angle, this whole story exceeds the maximum number of memes permitted per post. Sorry, mods.

Bonus material:

Is Inequality Inhibiting Growth?


I mean, like, duh. But if you want a sound economic argument, using big money-shot concepts like "maximizing Demand functions in the market by a more efficient distribution of consumer spending" (I just made that shit up!), this is a good read...

Two facts stand out. First, overall demand for goods and services is much weaker, both in Europe and the United States, than it was in the go-go years before the recession. Second, most of the economic gains in the US in recent years have gone to the rich, while the middle class has fallen behind in relative terms. In Europe, concerns about domestic income inequality, though more muted, are compounded by angst about inequality between countries, as Germany roars ahead while the southern periphery stalls.

Persuasive explanations of the crisis point to linkages between today’s tepid demand and rising income inequality. Progressive economists argue that the weakening of unions in the US, together with tax policies favoring the rich, slowed middle-class income growth, while traditional transfer programs were cut back. With incomes stagnant, households were encouraged to borrow, especially against home equity, to maintain consumption.

Rising house prices gave people the illusion that increasing wealth backed their borrowing. But, now that house prices have collapsed and credit is unavailable to underwater households, demand has plummeted. The key to recovery, then, is to tax the rich, increase transfers, and restore worker incomes by enhancing union bargaining power and raising minimum wages.


The short-sighted political response to the anxieties of those falling behind was to ease their access to credit. Faced with little regulatory restraint, banks overdosed on risky loans. Thus, while differing on the root causes of inequality (at least in the US), the progressive and alternative narratives agree about its consequences.

The alternative narrative has more to say. Continental Europe did not deregulate as much, and preferred to seek growth in greater economic integration. But the price for protecting workers and firms was slower growth and higher unemployment. And, while inequality did not increase as much as in the US, job prospects were terrible for the young and unemployed, who were left out of the protected system.

The "painful" heavy tax return burden may not be correct

But the economics of human behavior tells us that Romney will only reveal what he's hiding as soon as the cost of hiding it's more painful than the embarrassment of revealing it.

Two possibilities here, and actually the fact that something is not quite legal in there is the lesser of the potential evils.

First, of course, is that he's really got something to hide, something horrendous and possibly illegal or at least improper would be revealed by the standard 10-20 years of tax returns that most candidates roll out for the public and their rivals' oppo teams. If it was merely something embarrassing and he was a logical man, he'd have revealed it by now and gotten ahead of the game. Romney's not a typical Republican candidate in that he's not a sputtering nincompoop when forced to speak off script.

But of course if there was something quite all that bad, why would he be running at all, knowing what we all know about the revelations of one's past among all modern presidential candidates. And so this brings us to the second and potentially more troubling possibility.

The second case is that Romney doesn't have much to hide at all. Oh, the Cayman Island and Swiss accounts look tacky--they're certainly the financial investments of a greed and unpatriotic soul. But it's nothing a voting majority of Americans aren't willing to overlook in our New Gilded Age. And if this is the case, then the compulsive hiding tells us something uglier about Romney: that he sees himself as someone who simply doesn't have to play by the rules. When God chooses you to lead his people, you get to cut a few corners, drop a few frogs on Thebes, drown a few pharaohs. It's no biggie; the rules are for keeping the little people in line, not for hamstringing their moral leaders.

We see this already in his avoiding the release of the standard number of tax records, in the tish-toshing the president's ads for supposed exaggerations that are dwarfed by his own dishonest campaign commercials, and in the signing forms as an officer of Bain Capital for years after he'd assured the people of his state that he was out of the corporate raider dodge. His responses to calls to come clean about his record--feigned indignation, denial, grossly distorted counterexamples, and the smiling stonewall--tell us everything we need to know about how Romney would behave if he ever became president.

His every action as a campaigner speaks to us of a man who can't recognize when he's wrong, can't self-correct when he errs, can't comply when the sovereign people or simply decency demands a little humility, and can't quit bloviating when cornered. This is the character of a man who not only can, but inevitably will turn any minor mistake (as all human presidents have made) into a full blown, all consuming scandal. If leadership is about character, then disastrous policies aside Mitt Romney is a man fully lacking in what it take to be a real leader for the country.

It's more important now than ever before that this man be defeated in his run for office.

I already figured out Romney's response to Obama's attack ads

"It is beneath the dignity of the Presidency to resort to facts at a time like this."

I already figured out Romney's defense for collecting a salary from Bain

"Just $100,000 a year? Who can remember every part time job they ever held?"

Wish I'd thought of *that*

http://bitsandpieces.us/2012/06/30/wish-id-thought-of-that/ uncommonly logical logistical solutions for everyday challenges

like this for instance

from Rep. Garnet Coleman on 'Shoot First, Ask Later' Law in Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Contact: Juliana Kerker
July 2, 2012 | (713) 303-5803

Statement from Rep. Coleman on Rise in Number of Homicides in Texas, Resulting from 'Shoot First, Ask Later' Legislation

HOUSTON –Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, (D-Houston) released the following statement regarding FBI data on avoidable homicides that indicates the need for and why he will file a bill to repeal or modify the Texas 'Shoot First, Ask Later' law:

"It is alarming that the number of so-called "justifiable" homicides in Texas and in the Houston area is on the rise, but not surprising. This is precisely the reason why I voted against expanding Texas' already extensive self-defense laws in 2007. What was passed then does not protect lives; it causes unnecessary deaths by using an ambiguous law to affirm a person's violent actions. Just because killing a person can be justified as legal, that doesn't make it right or just. An individual should not be allowed to be judge, jury, and executioner all in one---this goes beyond what justice is in America. That is why the law needs to be changed, and I will file legislation to repeal or substantially modify what was passed in 2007---returning Texas law to a balanced approach to self-defense that values human life."

Rep. Coleman is available for comment.
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