Dumb Crook of the Day!

Two armed robbers, one of whom left a T-shirt bearing his photo and name at the scene of the crime, and their female accomplice were captured early Sunday morning just minutes after firing multiple rounds during a robbery at a Rutherford County bar, police said.

Twenty-two-year-old Kendell M. Swader…his 20-year-old girlfriend, Whitney Elliott…and accomplice Antonyo O. Roper, 18, all of Murfreesboro, have all made bond…

The victims told police that two males and a female were hanging around The Spot…from about 1 a.m. Sunday until it closed two hours later…

During that time, the men came in to buy drinks and one of them removed a T-shirt bearing his photo and family name and tattoos. He left his T-shirt lying in the bar.

When the bar closed, the three were waiting in the parking lot and reportedly re-entered the bar armed with a .40-caliber pistol and took both the cash drawer from the register and a bank money bag full of cash.

Despite getting the money, one of the two men said “shoot them” as they were leaving. The victims ducked and heard four shots. More shots were fired into a truck driven by a woman who pulled up attempting to get a tag number off the suspects’ four-door brown car. That victim had already called 911 and saw the suspects flee outbound on Woodbury Pike.

A regional “be on look out” was immediately broadcast by RCSO Communications. A Woodbury police officer spotted the vehicle and began chase, asking for assistance from Cannon County deputies.

The car was stopped, and a .40-caliber Glock was recovered along with cash and other evidence linking them to the bar robbery.

The only thing these dummies didn’t do was leave behind a note with their home address. Presuming they can write.

Federal court wipes FCC’s Bush Era cursing rule

A federal appeals court has tossed out a government policy that can lead to broadcasters being fined for allowing even a single curse word on live television, concluding that the rule was unconstitutionally vague and had a chilling effect on broadcasters.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan struck down the 2004 Federal Communications Commission policy, which said that profanity referring to sex or excrement is always indecent…

“To place any discussion of these vast topics at the broadcaster’s peril has the effect of promoting wide self-censorship of valuable material which should be completely protected under the First Amendment,” it added…

The score for today’s game is First Amendment one, censorship zero,” said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, policy director of Media Access Project, which joined the case on behalf of musicians, producers, writers and directors.

Carter Phillips, a Washington lawyer who argued the case for Fox Television Stations, called the decision satisfying. He said the court had “sent the FCC back to square one to start over” by not only tossing the FCC’s fleeting expletive policy but also a broader indecency policy as unconstitutionally vague.

The FCC fleeting expletive policy was put in place after a January 2003 NBC broadcast of the Golden Globes awards show, in which U2 lead singer Bono uttered the phrase “f—— brilliant.” The FCC said the F-word in any context “inherently has a sexual connotation” and can lead to enforcement.

The Right-Wing high priests of the Supreme Court previously upheld the ruling – and policy.

19th Century minds still work very hard at preserving the family values of the 14th Century.

Mannequin’s wardrobe malfunction upsets Nebraskans

Photo by Kevin Kramer

Beatrice. NE — Residents who complained about a nearly naked female store mannequin prompted police to conceal the window display and stirred a debate about obscenity. Police covered the window at Hannah’s Treasures for about a day last week after several people in the southeast Nebraska city of 12,500 complained about the mannequin with a pair of pants around its ankles and wearing shoes but no other clothing.

City Attorney Tobias Tempelmeyer said Monday he had yet to receive all the police reports on the semi-naked mannequin.

“We’re not able at this point to issue a determination whether it’s obscene or not,” Tempelmeyer said.

The owner of the closed shop later dressed the offending mannequin in a bikini.

Store owner Kevin Kramer’s lawyer, Dustin Garrison, didn’t immediately respond to a message Monday, but he told the Beatrice Daily Sun that Kramer might sue over the dispute.

Nothing about a naked mannequin constitutes obscenity,” Garrison said to the Beatrice Daily Sun. “I think we’ve all gone into a department store and seen a naked mannequin at one point in our lives.”

This is one of those stories that prompts me to think the American people get what they deserve: when they elect greedy, self-serving politicians who historically always loot the U.S. Treasury for their corporate country club buddies; when they blather about prayer meetings they believe will somehow solve disasters ranging from earthquakes to oil spills; when police and politicians respond instantly and dramatically to stupid complaints about nude department store mannequins.

I agree with Darwinists that the redirective process of the cerebral cortex enables our species to be self-correcting, learn from mistakes and advance the progress of the human race. Just not in my lifetime.

Is the world ready for good news?

Yes it is, according to Bruno Giussani, European director for TED, the nonprofit organization that on Tuesday is beginning TEDGlobal 2010, its third conference in Oxford.

“Someone has written, in presenting the conference, that good news is a species that is becoming extinct. If you look at any newspaper … we are bombarded by bad news,” he said as attendees chatted at a welcome party at Keble College on Monday. “But if you dig, if you look under the surface and search, you will find a lot of new technology, new science, new art, new ways of thinking, politically, socially, philosophically that may give you, when you string them all together, a more optimistic view of the future…”

Giussani said part of the goal of the conference is to “inspire [people] to open up to new ideas and points of view, to act on those ideas and to engage.” He also described the conference as a “platform for new ideas. Some of those have legs, and some don’t. But those that have legs seem to have long legs and run very fast…”

TED began as a California-based conference in the 1980s named after its three initial subjects: technology, entertainment and design. It has expanded its subject matter and its geographical scope, holding conferences around the world and making videos of its speakers, so far more than 700, freely available at http://www.ted.com/. Volunteers translate talks into more than 70 languages. [CNN partners with TED to present a TEDTalk every week, with added content, on CNN.com]

Among the themes to be explored this year at the Oxford conference are how the brain works, how people make decisions and the brainlike functions of neurons in control centers in plants that enable them to process information and communicate with other plants.

Giussani said speakers will also spotlight the role of women in societies torn by conflict and disease, the potential of sustainable practices and organic farming to change agriculture and the restaurant business and the ways corporations and nongovernmental organizations can collaborate to protect workers in global supply chains.

So there really is some good news, he believes.

Newspapers filled with bad news reflects more than anything else the demented editorial belief that disaster and tragedy sells more product than happiness. It’s big in local TV and radio news. Significant in national TV and radio news. The whole genre of Talk Radio is founded upon the fear and impotence defining ethically-deficient right wingers and religious nutballs.

The style exists, it wavers, and, I think, continues to diminish before the inherently democratic feel of Web communications. Being able to participate on a large scale in opposition to the juggernaut corruption of Congress, the cowardice of our current White House – is barely measured by timorous pollsters.

But it grows. And that is good news. Conservatism has nothing like it to offer, after all.

Potential sale of gay teen database invokes privacy concerns

A row has erupted in the United States centering on the ownership of a gay teenagers’ database.

The owner of XY Magazine and its associated website – which catered for young homosexual boys – filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. XY’s creditors have applied for the firm’s one remaining valuable asset: its database of one million users. But the Federal Trade Commission has expressed its concerns and said the sale “could violate Federal law”.

The issue of selling databases is not new, but it is the sensitivity of this particular database that is catching the attention of lawmakers.

The list contains details of tens of thousands of young men, the majority of whom will be gay.

Writing on the technology blog Read Write Web, Curt Hopkins summed up the concern felt by many users.

The selling off of private information, gathered under the supposition of privacy, is bad enough,” he wrote.

“Even worse if you’re forced into it.

“And positively untenable when the information is connected to kids who are dealing with a dawning sexual reality that in some instances is even more fraught than what straight kids go through,” he added.

The point is made by a UK commentator that “information shouldn’t be used for a purpose other than for which it was originally intended.” Hard to administer or enforce in the era of data-mining. A process which – in and of itself – is free of value judgements.

However – the big word – when you add the context of many societies governed by ideologies ranging from dislike to hatred, fear to bigotry, questions of privacy originally guaranteed by an online contract should be substantial. And pre-eminent.

Desperate, dumb and Darwin

Desperate heroin users in a few African cities have begun engaging in a practice that is so dangerous it is almost unthinkable: they deliberately inject themselves with another addict’s blood, researchers say, in an effort to share the high or stave off the pangs of withdrawal.

The practice, called flashblood or sometimes flushblood, is not common, but has been reported in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on the island of Zanzibar and in Mombasa, Kenya.

It puts users at the highest possible risk of contracting AIDS and hepatitis. While most AIDS transmission in Africa is by heterosexual sex, the use of heroin is growing in some cities, and experts are warning that flashblood — along with syringe-sharing and other dangerous habits — could fuel a new wave of AIDS infections.

“Injecting yourself with fresh blood is a crazy practice — it’s the most effective way of infecting yourself with H.I.V.,” said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which supports the researchers who discovered the practice. “Even though the number who do it is a relatively small group, they are vectors for H.I.V. because they support themselves by sex work…”

In most East African countries like Tanzania and Kenya, only 3 to 8 percent of adults are infected with the AIDS virus, far fewer than in southern Africa, where the rates reach 15 to 25 percent.

But among those who inject heroin, the rates are far higher. In Tanzania, about 42 percent of addicts are infected. The rate is even higher — 64 percent — among female addicts, Dr. McCurdy said, and since most support themselves through prostitution, they are in two high-risk groups, and their customers are at risk of catching the disease.

Most of the addicts she has interviewed who practice flashblood, Dr. McCurdy said, are women. For them, sharing blood is more of an act of kindness than an attempt to get high: a woman who has made enough money to buy a sachet of heroin will share blood to help a friend avoid withdrawal. The friend is often a fellow sex worker who has become too old or sick to find customers.

By contrast, on Zanzibar, it is mostly among men, according to a 2006 study in The African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies, which found that about 9 percent of the 200 drug-injectors interviewed practiced it.

They’ll all be gone sooner or later. Leaving behind everyone they’ve infected.

Baseball game called “on account of gunfire!”

“I surrender, I surrender!”

The Mexican baseball league has been forced to suspend a game in progress because of gunfire at a stadium.

The game between the Broncos at their home stadium in Reynosa and the Monterrey Sultans was suddenly interrupted when gunshots were heard.

Witnesses said the baseball players ran for cover and dived into their dugouts.

Panic spread through the crowd of spectators after a group of unknown gunmen exchanged fire on Sunday.

Baseball officials then took the decision to stop the game

The game will resume on Friday in the city of Monterrey.

Uh, OK.