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Tue, 07 Feb 2023
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Don't want to be groped by the TSA or go through a body scanner? Just pay $100!


The Sturmabteilung-like Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is run by the atrocious Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is arguably one of the single most destructive plagues on America.

With their thoroughly reprehensible "grope-down" procedure, not to mention reportedly strip searching multiple elderly women, harassment of elderly terminal cancer patients and the severely mentally challenged, and the potentially dangerous and ludicrously costly naked body scanners (which can be circumvented with shocking ease), the TSA has become a bit of a joke in the United States.

Not to be outdone, they have now introduced a program which allows travelers to pay $100 to take part in a program where they are able to skip the degrading, dehumanizing procedures the rest of us are subjected to every time we're unfortunate enough to travel by plane.

Bad Guys

'Don't Let Him Do it To Me Again': Final Moments of Canadian Girl, Eight, Abducted, Raped and Murdered on Way Home From School

The last horrifying moments of an eight-year-old girl's life were revealed in graphic detail today by a woman who has admitted bludgeoning her to death with a hammer.

Victoria 'Tori' Stafford was abducted from outside her school in Woodstock, Ontario, on April 8, 2009. Her body was found 103 days later stashed in garbage bags and buried under a pile of rocks.

Terry-Lynne McClintic took to the stand for the second day at London, Ontario's crown court for the murder trial of her ex-boyfriend and alleged orchestrator of the abduction and brutal murder.

She broke down as she revealed the little girl begged for help moments before she was killed.

© Unknown
Disturbing case: Victoria 'Tori' Stafford was only eight-years-old when she was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered by a couple who were high on drugs.

Alarm Clock

Kony 2012 Co-founder, Jason Russell, Arrested for Masturbating in Public


Jason Russell - not the kind of guy you want teaching your kids about 'ethics'
We're not sure how to adequately express our shock and disbelief at the news that Jason Russell, one of Invisible Children's co-founders and the star of the Kony 2012 campaign, was taken into custody last night for drunkenly masturbating in public.

But, as Jezebel's own Erin Gloria Ryan put it, "Wasn't the entire Kony 2012 campaign essentially this white guy masturbating in public?"

According to TMZ, Russell was dancing around wearing "speedo-like underwear," which he eventually removed to make "sexual gestures." They're also reporting that Russell may be hospitalized for up to 3 days "to determine if he represents a threat to either himself or others."

On his nonprofit's website, Russell describes himself as a "grand storyteller and dreamer," as well as a Christian who wants to have nine more children with his wife, who is his "best friend for over 23 years." There are no words.


Lack of 7-Eleven Sausages Sends Bridgeton Woman into Frenzy

© unknown
US, New Jersey - A woman who was angry that 7-Eleven did not have any fully-heated sausages for her started attacking an employee and ultimately had to be pepper-sprayed, police said Friday.

Brittany C. Glanville, 25, of West Lincoln Street, was arrested Friday and charged with disorderly conduct.

Chief Mark Ott said an officer responded to the 7-Eleven on West Broad Street when someone set off a panic alarm at 3:05 a.m.

The officer said that as he pulled up he saw Glanville wing an item at the head of the clerk on duty. With quick reflexes the clerk was able to snatch the item out of the air and avoid being hit.

The officer said that as he began to enter the store Glanville was attempting to climb over the counter and go after the clerk, so he immediately arrested her.

Eye 1

Afghan Shooting Suspect Showed Different Side in Iraq

The man identified Friday by sources as the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians betrayed no animosity toward civilians in a different war zone, according to an account posted on the U.S. Army's website that describes a firefight in Iraq in January 2007.

"I've never been more proud to be a part of this unit than that day, for the simple fact that we discriminated between the bad guys and the noncombatants and then afterward we ended up helping the people that three or four hours before were trying to kill us," says Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who was then a team leader in 1st Platoon, C Company. "I think that's the real difference between being an American as opposed to being a bad guy, someone who puts his family in harm's way like that."

In the February 2009 article, Bales was described as a participant in an attempt by the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment to recover a helicopter that had been shot down in Iraq, killing both pilots.

The ensuing battle -- which succeeded -- left 250 Iraqis dead, 81 wounded and 410 detained; none of the 2-3 Infantry's soldiers was hurt or killed, the article says.

A number of the Iraqi casualties were civilians, and the battle's clearing operation turned into a humanitarian one, the article adds, again quoting Bales: "We'd go in, find some people that we could help, because there were a bunch of dead people we couldn't, throw them on a litter and bring them out to the casualty collection point," he is quoted as saying.

Eye 1

US Soldier Suspected of Killing 16 Afghan Civilians Identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales

The US soldier suspected of methodically slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians has been identified by senior military officials as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.
Robert Bales
© unknown
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an exercise at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California

The Army has kept the 38-year-old's identity a closely-held secret since he was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning after allegedly attacking two villages in Kandahar and shooting dead nine children.

Last night, after he was flown from a temporary military prison in Kuwait to a maximum security cell in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, his identity was leaked for the first time.

Bales enlisted in the US Army shortly after the September 11 attacks, his lawyer said, and served three tours in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan in December of last year.

While in Iraq in 2010 he suffered mild brain injuries when his was vehicle flipped by a roadside bomb attack but after undergoing treatment was cleared to return to the front line. A second injury in Iraq reportedly led to part of his foot being removed.

John Henry Browne, the suspect's lawyer, said the father-of-two was reluctant to deploy to Afghanistan in December and that the day before the killings he had seen a comrade's leg blown off.


How Not to Attract Tourists

© Joe Spix
As Americans, we like to imagine our country as we think of ourselves: open-hearted and welcoming; efficient and practical; easygoing, above all. These values are the foundation of our culture, of an open economy fueled by ideas and immigration, and of our soft power - America's ability to change the world simply because it is admired.

Whatever foreigners think of the American experiment, though, it's unlikely the experience of crossing our border has made them think better of it.

Imagine that you're the citizen of a prosperous, democratic ally like Britain, Spain or Japan, and you'd like to visit America. Before traveling, you must pay $14 to complete an online United States government form called ESTA, short for Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

ESTA asks for basic personal data, like your name and birth date. It also asks whether you are guilty of "moral turpitude," whether you're planning crimes or "immoral activities" and whether you suffer from "lymphogranuloma venereum" (don't ask). If you're involved in terrorism or genocide - and for some reason you've decided to take this opportunity to inform the United States government - there's a box for that. And if you're a spy - a particularly artless one - please let us know.

Naturally, no one with anything to hide will answer honestly. Such purposeless questions recall Thoreau - "I saw that the State was half-witted" - and should astonish Americans, who know better than their government how to welcome guests.

Cell Phone

'This American Life' Retracts Apple Story

© unknown
Employees work at the Foxconn factory in China. 'This American Life' is having difficulty with an episode on working conditions at Foxconn, spurring a full, aired retraction.
"This American Life" -- a higher-end radio magazine show -- will "separate fact from fiction" and retract a recent episode that detailed what life is supposedly like at Apple's Foxconn manufacturing plant in China.

The show's website has added this note to the story:
NOTE: This American Life has retracted this story because we learned that many of Mike Daisey's experiences in China were fabricated. We have removed the audio from our site, and have left this transcript up only for reference. We produced an entire new episode about the retraction, featuring Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz, who interviewed Mike's translator Cathy and discovered discrepancies between her account and Mike's, and New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, who has reported extensively on Apple. Ira also re-interviewed Mike Daisey to learn why he misled us.
Host Ira Glass penned a statement to subscribers articulating that parts of the story were fabricated, adding, "I've never had to write an email like this."

"Like all our friends and colleagues in public radio, I and my co-workers at This American LIfe work hard every day to make sure that what you hear on WBEZ is factually correct. We will continue to do that, and hope you can forgive this." (Glass' entire statement is at the bottom of this article.)

The show will air an explanation on Sunday, claiming that the episode's narrator, Mike Daisey, misled the show during the fact-checking process, according to Silicon Alley Insider.

Bizarro Earth

Angelica Huston: US Returning to 'Dark Ages'

Filling in for Piers Morgan who's on assignment in England, the comedian, actress, and television personality welcomes Anjelica Huston for an honest and revealing discussion on politics and women's issues in the 21st century.

"What has happened, that we are fighting again for reproductive rights?" wonders O'Donnell.

"And how did guys, get to be the ones to solely discuss it?" responds Huston. "It's absolutely astonishing to me, it's the Dark Ages."


Accused G.I. 'Snapped' Under Strain, Official Says

Afghanistan, murders
© Gawker

Washington - The American staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers had been drinking alcohol - a violation of military rules in combat zones - and suffering from the stress related to his fourth combat tour and tensions with his wife about the deployments on the night of the massacre, a senior American official said Thursday.

"When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues - he just snapped," said the official, who has been briefed on the investigation and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the soldier has not yet been formally charged. His comments drew from accounts of the sergeant's state of mind from two other soldiers with whom he illicitly drank alcohol on the night of the shootings, the official said, and those soldiers face disciplinary action.

As new details emerged about possible reasons behind the shootings, a lawyer who said he had been retained by the sergeant's family told CNN on Friday that the suspect was being flown to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., from the detention site in Kuwait he was moved to on Wednesday.