Bollards earn street nickname “Penis Road”

Residents of a Pennsylvania city said newly installed concrete traffic deflectors have earned a street a colorful nickname, “Penis Road.”

Scott, PA, residents said the posts, called bollards, were installed on two streets in the Glendale section of Scott and the shape of the objects — elongated shafts with rounded tops — resemble male sex organs…

“People are laughing at it. They’re calling it Penis Road,” resident Pat Martin told officials at a Tuesday meeting of the township commissioners.

Scott Manager Denise Fitzgerald said the state Department of Transportation approved the bollards.

Commissioner Bill Wells suggested flattening the tops of the bollards.

“I think it would improve the appearance,” he said.

Fitzgerald said she would look into the potential cost of such work.

Bollocks!

Native American tribes ignore Oklahoma ban on gay marriage

Two gay men are getting married under Native American tribal law in Oklahoma, apparently circumventing a state law that does not allow same-sex unions.

Activists said the marriage advances the cause of gay rights in a state that has blocked federal benefits for same-sex military couples in the past.

Jason Pickel, 36, and Darren Black Bear, 45, who have been together for more than eight years, were planning a trip to Iowa to get married. But they changed their minds when the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes allowed them to pick up a marriage license on Friday in the tribes’ courthouse after the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down, Pickel told Al Jazeera.

“I proposed to Darren several years ago, and we were planning an elaborate wedding,” he said. “Now,” he added, “we decided the time was right. I’m so happy; it’s just amazing.”

Lisa Liebl, the tribes’ public relations officer, told Al Jazeera in an email, “This is the 3rd same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.”

According to their legal code, the candidates should be married on sovereign land and one should be a member of the tribes, but a marriage license should not specify a couple’s gender. The code reflects the respect enshrined in some Native American communities for gay individuals, who are often believed to be endowed with special spiritual gifts…

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US started bugging Angela Merkel’s phone in 2002

The US has been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone since 2002, according to a report in Der Spiegel magazine…The German publication claims to have seen secret documents from the National Security Agency which show Mrs Merkel’s number on a list dating from 2002 – before she became chancellor.

Her number was still on a surveillance list in 2013…

The nature of the monitoring of Mrs Merkel’s mobile phone is not clear from the files, Der Spiegel says.

For example, it is possible that the chancellor’s conversations were recorded, or that her contacts were simply assessed.

Germany is sending its top intelligence chiefs to Washington in the coming week to “push forward” an investigation into the spying allegations, which have caused outrage in Germany…

A close ally of Mrs Merkel told the BBC that she was personally very hurt by the idea of being spied on by American friends.

The chancellor is said to be shocked that Washington may have engaged in the sort of spying that she had to deal with while growing up in Communist East Germany…

A unit called Special Collection Services, based in the US embassy in Pariser Platz in Berlin, was responsible for monitoring communications in the German capital’s government quarter…

Similar units were based in around 80 locations worldwide, according to the documents seen by Der Spiegel, 19 of them in European cities.

With friends like this, Angela Merkel doesn’t really need enemies, now, does she?

Just for shits and giggles – think about the public relations types, the soothers, smoothers and spin doctors who front for the array of professional politicians infesting what could be a simple federal bureaucracy functioning on behalf of the people of this nation. They’re trying to come up with new excuses every week for the previous week’s lies – because all the crud Ed Snowden walked away with gets another release from one or another of the few newspapers with the courage to print the truth, every week.

Consider that if George W was bugging Merkel’s phone, he certainly agreed to do the same to Gerhard Schröder, then chancellor, and Joschka Fischer, leader of the Green Party. Although it’s always fun to note that American conservatives never seem to trust anyone to be conservative enough – especially them furriners.

And another lie is revealed. And another.