From the Associated Press via Suzanne Abbot:
Ready to flex their pecs and strike a pose, bodybuilders at the Belgian championships scattered when doping officials showed up.
After a spate of positive doping tests in recent years in Belgium, the event had been moved across the Dutch border to Vlissingen for the weekend competition.
"They must have felt safe out there," doping official Hans Cooman told the Associated Press on Monday.
But Cooman and two colleagues got the necessary papers to check the tournament in the Netherlands. And when they identified themselves just before the event — with the 20 bodybuilders weighing in and preparing themselves — the testers drew quite a response.
The bodybuilders got up and left, preferring to quit rather than submit to doping tests. Some grabbed their gear and headed straight out the door....
Minutes before the start of the championships, before even one gleaming pose was on display, organizers had no option but to tell a few hundred fans that had come to the Arsenaal theater that there was not point in staying.
Now Cooman and his colleagues will report the case to the disciplinary committee, which will have to decide whether the bodybuilders can be punished because they refused to be tested.
A man who refused to give his name at the NABBA Belgium bodybuilding federation could not explain why the competitors had suddenly rushed off and would not discuss the matter.
I can't help thinking how great it would have been if I had been in that competition and won by default.
From The Daily Mail:
Prison officer Walter Schmidt wanted to give his colleagues' children a taste of what their mums and dads get up to at work while showing them around a Florida jail.
So to make the youngsters' experience all the more realistic as they toured Franklin Correctional Institution during the lock-up's 'Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day', he decided to zap them with his 50,000-volt stun gun.
The jolt sent at least two of them sprawling to the floor, crying out in pain and clutching at agonising burns on their arms. One child ended up in hospital.
But 37-year-old Schmidt told officials who later fired him that he had only been trying to show the children - whose parents all work at the jail near Tallahassee - what a typical day involves while handling unruly inmates.
'It wasn't intended to be malicious, but educational,' he explained to the St Petersburg Times.
'The big shock came when I got fired.'
The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did....
Now it's clear to me why atheists are the least trusted group in America.
The Washington Post has just published a story accusing executives at Chrysler Financial of turning down a $750 million government loan because they "didn't want to abide by new federal limits on pay," and instead opted for more expensive private sector financing, "adding to the burdens of the already fragile automaker and its financing company."
The so-called National Organization for Marriage issued a strange ad against legalizing same-sex marriage:
While Human Rights Campaign has issued a rebuttal of the ad's claims, the ad has more effectively been countered by a number of ridiculous videos, including the original ad's audition tapes, clips of which can be seen with Rachel Maddow's entertaining commentary 2:08 into the below clip from her show:
My favorite parody is Stephen Colbert's:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad|
I think it's encouraging that acceptance of same-sex marriage has grown so much that its opponents have to argue against specious consequences rather than against gay marriage itself.
Update: The April 19 New York Times had a great op-ed column by Frank Rich, entitled The Bigots' Last Hurrah:
What would happen if you crossed that creepy 1960s horror classic "The Village of the Damned" with the Broadway staple "A Chorus Line"? You don’t need to use your imagination. It’s there waiting for you on YouTube under the title "Gathering Storm": a 60-second ad presenting homosexuality as a national threat second only to terrorism....
Far from terrifying anyone, "Gathering Storm" has become, unsurprisingly, an Internet camp classic. On YouTube the original video must compete with countless homemade parodies it has inspired since first turning up some 10 days ago. None may top Stephen Colbert’s on Thursday night, in which lightning from "the homo storm" strikes an Arkansas teacher, turning him gay. A "New Jersey pastor" whose church has been "turned into an Abercrombie & Fitch" declares that he likes gay people, "but only as hilarious best friends in TV and movies"....
What gives the ad its symbolic significance is not just that it’s idiotic but that its release was the only loud protest anywhere in America to the news that same-sex marriage had been legalized in Iowa and Vermont. If it advances any message, it’s mainly that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead....
It is justice, not a storm, that is gathering. Only those who have spread the poisons of bigotry and fear have any reason to be afraid.
When Dean Health System in Madison, Wisconsin announced last week that it "planned to 'immediately' lay off 90 employees," it wasn't kidding around. One of them was a nurse who was pulled out of surgery to be told the news.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't say if she then returned to finish attending the surgery, but Dean Health admitted to the paper that interrupting her during her job just to give her the news "violated medical protocol." We guess her manager had a long list to get through.
Anyone who has ever received a useless class action settlement will appreciate this story from the California Civil Justice Blog:
A southern California attorney who brought a class action against a clothes retailer will be paid $125,000 for his legal services -- in gift cards.
Yorba Linda attorney Neil B. Fineman brought a class action lawsuit against Windsor Fashions, alleging the company was committing routine violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, according to the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
Per the settlement agreement, class members won't receive cash, only a $10 gift card. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brett Klein also provided that Fineman will be paid his fee with "12,500 ten-dollar Windsor Fashions gift cards."
The lawyer is to get 3,500 of those cards by next Monday and 750 of them on the third day of each month through January of next year. The named plaintiff, Jacqueline Cohen, will garner 250 of the gift cards as an "incentive reward" for leading the charge....
The Civil Justice Association of California salutes the judge for his innovation. In many class action cases, the lawyers walk away with millions -- in real dollars, while the class members receive coupons.
In honor of Barack Obama's inauguration, doughnut purveyor Krispy Kreme announced:
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American's sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies -- just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet 'free' can be.
KRISPY KREME CELEBRATES OBAMA WITH PRO-ABORTION DOUGHNUTS
Washington, DC (15 January 2009)
The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama's radical support for abortion on demand....
Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that 'choice' is synonymous with abortion access, and celebration of 'freedom of choice' is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.
File this under "Overreactionary Wing Nuts" and another attempt of conservatives to redefine words for their political means (You can try to rewrite the Constitution, but not the dictionary). Of course, the "overreactionary libtard" counter to this is that conservatives want to demonize all choice from America until we're living under a fundamentalist dictatorship. A fundamentalist dictatorship without doughnuts.
My sister Andrea spotted this photo of disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in the Chicago Sun-Times.