Court orders reckless driver to wear ‘idiot’ sign

Instead of a dunce cap in the corner, an Ohio woman will have to wear an “idiot” sign at an intersection as punishment for driving on the sidewalk.

Shena Hardin, 32, was caught on a cellphone camera as her car swerved onto the sidewalk to get around a bus picking up and dropping off children on East 38th Street in Cleveland. The bus driver was recording and police were ready because Hardin allegedly passed the bus on the sidewalk on a regular basis.

She originally pleaded not guilty to charges of not stopping for a school bus, which was picking up a disabled child, and reckless operation of a vehicle but was convicted.

She received a $250 fine and a 30-day licence suspension, according to the report.

The judge also ordered Hardin to stand on a street near where the offence took place for an hour a day for 2 days wearing a sign that reads: Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2012/11/06/20335271.html

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On the first day she smoked, listened to music and sent text messages while standing with the sign.

Cleveland Municipal Judge Pinkey Carr, not happy with Hardin’s nonchalant behavior, told Hardin’s attorney Tuesday that she expected better behavior.

The next morning, Hardin was not smoking or texting while holding the 22-inch sign that reads, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

And a radio station personality stood beside her with a sign that read, “If she’s an idiot, so am I.” Archie Berwick, who said he is with WLFM FM/87.7, said everyone has made mistakes, and it’s insulting to call someone an idiot.

Dozens of reporters and onlookers milled around the corner, including the mother of a child who rides the bus Hardin drove around.

“She did it every morning, putting my daughter in danger,” Lisa Kelley said. “She’s a fool.”

Hardin refused to talk to reporters and refused to apologize for her behavior.

“I don’t owe these people anything,” she said. “If the kids (who were on the school bus she illegally passed) were here, I would apologize to them.”

The rest of the hour the woman stood holding the sign, as dozens of people stopped their cars and took pictures and videos. Many called her “fool” and cursed at her.

Carr said Tuesday, “I saw television footage of her smoking and texting, and the only time she held that sign up was to use it as a shield to block the wind so she could light up her cigarettes. She was making a mockery of my court order.”

Hardin works as an administrative assistant at the Cleveland State University Police Department.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/11/hardin.html

Tea Party leader Ken Crow speaks about breeding, bloodlines and DNA at Tea Party rally in Washington D.C.

Last week, Tea Party activist and lawmakers within the GOP gathered near the Capitol to express their feelings against the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate.

Members of the Republican Party, including Rep. Steve King (Iowa), and Senatores Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) showed up to the rally, which spoke against a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

But it was the remarks from Ken Crow, one of the Tea Party community’s co-founders, that alarmed George Zornick of The Nation.

Zornick uploaded the clip of Crow’s remarks onto YouTube that same day, with the caption: “At a rally against immigration reform on Capitol Hill on July 15, 2013, Tea Party leader Ken Crow has some really ugly things to day about “well-bred” Americans and supposedly inferior cultures. Why won’t the media be honest about what some people opposed to immigration reform think?”

Some of Crow’s remarks during the rally are as follows:

“From those incredible blood lines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith. And all these great Americans, Martin Luther King. These great Americans who built this country. You came from them.”

“And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby,” he said. “You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it.”

U.S.Congres insisting on building tanks the the Army says they don’t need

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Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army’s hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle.

Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.

But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, “No thanks.”

It’s the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt.

Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there’s a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.

“If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.

Why are the tank dollars still flowing? Politics.

Keeping the Abrams production line rolling protects businesses and good paying jobs in congressional districts where the tank’s many suppliers are located.

If there’s a home of the Abrams, it’s politically important Ohio. The nation’s only tank plant is in Lima. So it’s no coincidence that the champions for more tanks are Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Rob Portman, two of Capitol’s Hill most prominent deficit hawks, as well as Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

They said their support is rooted in protecting national security, not in pork-barrel politics.

“The one area where we are supposed to spend taxpayer money is in defense of the country,” said Jordan, whose district in the northwest part of the state includes the tank plant.

The Abrams dilemma underscores the challenge that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces as he seeks to purge programs that the military considers unnecessary or too expensive in order to ensure there’s enough money for essential operations, training and equipment.

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, faces a daunting task in persuading members of Congress to eliminate or scale back projects favored by constituents.

Federal budgets are always peppered with money for pet projects. What sets the Abrams example apart is the certainty of the Army’s position.

Sean Kennedy, director of research for the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste, said Congress should listen when one of the military services says no to more equipment.

“When an institution as risk averse as the Defense Department says they have enough tanks, we can probably believe them,” Kennedy said.

Congressional backers of the Abrams upgrades view the vast network of companies, many of them small businesses, that manufacture the tanks’ materials and parts as a critical asset that has to be preserved. The money, they say, is a modest investment that will keep important tooling and manufacturing skills from being lost if the Abrams line were to be shut down.

The Lima plant is a study in how federal dollars affect local communities, which in turn hold tight to the federal dollars. The facility is owned by the federal government but operated by the land systems division of General Dynamics, a major defense contractor that spent close to $11 million last year on lobbying, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Jordan, a House conservative leader who has pushed for deep reductions in federal spending, supported the automatic cuts known as the sequester that require $42 billion to be shaved from the Pentagon’s budget by the end of September. The military also has to absorb a $487 billion reduction in defense spending over the next 10 years, as required by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011.

The plant is Lima’s fifth-largest employer with close to 700 employees, down from about 1,100 just a few years ago, according to Mayor David Berger. But the facility is still crucial to the local economy. “All of those jobs and their spending activity in the community and the company’s spending probably have about a $100 million impact annually,” Berger said.

Still, said Jordan, it would be a big mistake to stop producing tanks.

“Look, (the plant) is in the 4th Congressional District and my job is to represent the 4th Congressional District, so I understand that,” he said. “But the fact remains, if it was not in the best interests of the national defense for the United States of America, then you would not see me supporting it like we do.”

The tanks that Congress is requiring the Army to buy aren’t brand new. Earlier models are being outfitted with a sophisticated suite of electronics that gives the vehicles better microprocessors, color flat panel displays, a more capable communications system, and other improvements. The upgraded tanks cost about $7.5 million each, according to the Army.

Out of a fleet of nearly 2,400 tanks, roughly two-thirds are the improved versions, which the Army refers to with a moniker that befits their heft: the M1A2SEPv2, and service officials said they have plenty of them. “The Army is on record saying we do not require any additional M1A2s,” Davis Welch, deputy director of the Army budget office, said this month.

The tank fleet, on average, is less than 3 years old. The Abrams is named after Gen. Creighton Abrams, one of the top tank commanders during World War II and a former Army chief of staff.

The Army’s plan was to stop buying tanks until 2017, when production of a newly designed Abrams would begin. Orders for Abrams tanks from U.S. allies help fill the gap created by the loss of tanks for the Army, according to service officials, but congressional proponents of the program feared there would not be enough international business to keep the Abrams line going.

This pause in tank production for the U.S. would allow the Army to spend its money on research and development work for the new and improved model, said Ashley Givens, a spokeswoman for the Army’s Ground Combat Systems office.

The first editions of the Abrams tank were fielded in the early 1980s. Over the decades, the Abrams supply chain has become embedded in communities across the country.

General Dynamics estimated in 2011 that there were more than 560 subcontractors throughout the country involved in the Abrams program and that they employed as many as 18,000 people. More than 40 of the companies are in Pennsylvania, according to Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., also a staunch backer of continued tank production.

A letter signed by 173 Democratic and Republican members of the House last year and sent to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta demonstrated the depth of bipartisan support for the Abrams program on Capitol Hill. They chided the Obama administration for neglecting the industrial base and proposing to terminate tank production in the United States for the first time since World War II.

Portman, who served as President George W. Bush’s budget director before being elected to the Senate, said allowing the line to wither and close would create a financial mess.

“People can’t sit around for three years on unemployment insurance and wait for the government to come back,” Portman said. “That supply chain is going to be much more costly and much more inefficient to create if you mothball the plant.”

Pete Keating, a General Dynamics spokesman, said the money from Congress is allowing for a stable base of production for the Army, which receives about four tanks a month. With the line open, Lima also can fill international orders, bringing more work to Lima and preserving American jobs, he said.

Current foreign customers are Saudi Arabia, which is getting about five tanks a month, and Egypt, which is getting four. Each country pays all of their own costs. That’s a “success story during a period of economic pain,” Keating said.

Still, far fewer tanks are coming out of the Lima plant than in years past. The drop-off has affected companies such as Verhoff Machine and Welding in Continental, Ohio, which makes seats and other parts for the Abrams. Ed Verhoff, the company’s president, said his sales have dropped from $20 million to $7 million over the past two years. He’s also had to lay off about 25 skilled employees and he expects to be issuing more pink slips in the future.

“When we start to lose this base of people, what are we going to do? Buy our tanks from China?” Verhoff said.

Steven Grundman, a defense expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said the difficulty of reviving defense industrial capabilities tends to be overstated.

“From the fairly insular world in which the defense industry operates, these capabilities seem to be unique and in many cases extraordinarily high art,” said Grundman, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial affairs and installations during the Clinton administration. “But in the greater scope of the economy, they tend not to be.”

http://news.yahoo.com/army-says-no-more-tanks-115434897.html

Latest teen Internet trend – condom snorting

The “condom challenge” is the newest, most disturbing YouTube trend in which young kids snort condoms and then pull them out of their mouths. Yes, it’s as gross as it sounds.

Though videos surfaced online as early as October, the challenge recently picked up speed with one YouTube user’s post, where a girl completes the challenge while blasting Taylor Swift’s “22” in the background — probably not what the singer had in mind when she wrote the song.

Brazilian woman almost killed by train while trying to retrieve her dropped cell phone

This video shows a woman trapped on the tracks below a commuter rail platform in Brazil escape within an inch of her life from an oncoming train. Two men pulled the woman to safety less than a second before the train speeds by at the Corinthians-Itaquera station in Sao Paulo.

Bystanders said she jumped onto the tracks to retrieve her dropped cellphone, but couldn’t climb back out.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2013/04/02/20704421.html

Naked man risks croc death for booze

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The croc-infested Daly River was up to 9m deep when this man was tackling the flow on a log.

A fisherman risked his life for what he considered a good cause – a bet. He won two cases of bourbon for jumping on to a log racing down a flooded, crocodile-infested river in the nude, riding the makeshift raft for about three minutes before clambering back into a boat.

“I’d enjoyed a few beers and it seemed a good idea at the time,” he said. “We weren’t catching any fish – because the river was flowing too fast – so I thought, ‘Why not?’ “But when I woke up the next morning, it didn’t seem so clever.”

Witness Billy Innes said his friend thought nothing of the dangers of drowning or being eaten by a crocodile. “It was hilarious,” he said.

The daredevil, who asked not to be named, was camping at the Daly River on Sunday when he accepted the bet.

“Huge trees were hammering down the river,” Mr Innes said. “It was quite a sight. Someone dared him to get on to one of the logs and row across the river. We went out in a boat and he jumped overboard on to a tree. He managed to stay on for quite a while before getting back into the boat. He got two cases of Jack Daniels for it – and thought that made it all worthwhile.”

The Daly is one of the Territory big “croc rivers”.

Keith Parry, 20, was killed while swimming across the Daly River in April 2009. He was crossing the river because he wanted more beer.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/04/04/319219_ntnews.html

Michael Newman – drunk Australian man tries to ride saltwater crocodile

 

A drunk man who climbed into a crocodile enclosure in Australia and attempted to ride a 5m (16ft) long crocodile has survived his encounter.

The crocodile, called Fatso, bit the 36-year-old man’s leg, tearing chunks of flesh from him as he straddled the reptile.

He received surgery to serious wounds to his leg and is recovering in hospital, police say.

He had been chucked out of a pub in the town of Broome for being too drunk.

The man, Michael Newman, climbed over a fence and tried to sit on the 800kg (1,800lb) saltwater crocodile.

“Fatso has taken offence to this and has spun around and bit this man on the right leg,” Sgt Roger Haynes of Broome police told journalists.

“The crocodile has let him go and he’s been able to scale the fence again and leave the wildlife park.”

Malcolm Douglas, the park’s owner, said that the crocodile was capable of crushing a man to death with a single bite.

“The man who climbed the fence was fortunate because Fatso was a bit more sluggish than normal, due to the cooler nights we have been experiencing in Broome,” said Mr Douglas.

“If it had been warmer and Fatso was more alert, we would have been dealing with a fatality.”

“No person in their right mind would try to sit on a 5m crocodile, Saltwater crocodiles, once they get hold of you, are not renowned for letting you go.”

The man staggered back to the pub bleeding heavily.

Pub manager Mark Phillips said staff told him that the man reappeared at about 11pm with bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs.

“They said he had chunks out of his legs and things like that,” Mr Phillips told The West Australian news website.

An average of two people are killed each year in Australia by aggressive saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 7m (23 ft) long and weigh more than a tonne.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10611973

 

 

Chevy dealer sells car for wrong price, apologizes after having buyer arrested

 

A Virginia man spent four hours in jail after purchasing a Chevrolet Traverse from Priority Chevrolet in Chesapeake, VA. The dealer’s sales staff accidentally sold the SUV to Danny Sawyer for $5,600 less than they should have, and when Sawyer refused to sign a new, more expensive contract for the correct amount, the dealership called the local police alleging the buyer had stolen the vehicle. Law enforcement then picked Sawyer up and held him for four hours before getting the situation straight.

Dennis Ellmer, president of Priority Chevrolet, says he owes Sawyer an apology on behalf of the dealership, and had intended to do right by the buyer by letting him have the vehicle at the agreed-upon price. But Sawyer’s lawyer says it’s a little too late for saying, ‘sorry.’ The briefly-incarcerated owner has filed two lawsuits against the dealer, accusing the business of malicious prosecution, slander, defamation and abuse of process. All told, the suits seek a total of $2.2 million in damages, plus attorney fees.

The lawsuit says Sawyer originally purchased a blue Traverse on May 7, but took the SUV back the next day for a black one. The dealer’s sales manager made the swap, allegedly without saying anything about a price differential between the two. Either way, Sawyer signed a final contract for around $34,000 when the vehicle he took home had an actual price of closer to $39,000. On June 15, Sawyer was taken into custody by police, but the Commonwealth dropped the charges after finding insufficient evidence to pursue the case.

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/10/02/chevy-dealer-sells-car-for-wrong-price-apologizes-after-having/?ncid=txtlnkwbauto00000002