New Mittxico is found at six flags

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So like I promised 1 to two posts week starting this week since our summer is officially over as of August first and our fall readiness program will begin. However all is not well with the world, and we need to know why, so let’s begin.

 

Dog Days Untamed

Author: Leon

 

 

Wanko anime Dog Days is almost there in its latest episode, showing plenty of flesh but apparently saving the important bits for the disc-buying elite…

 

The gallery as usual can be seen on the site. Also, LB was finally announced so, let’s get that out of the way.

 

Little Busters Anime Finally Unveiled

Author: Artefact

 

 

Legendarily long-awaited Key anime Little Busters! may have attracted as much attention for who it is not being animated by as for its actual announcement, but that has not stopped enthusiastic optimists from excitedly hailing the release of its first trailer with some anticipation.

The trailer, announcing TV broadcasts are to being in October:

 

 

 

That being said, the gallery of posts can be seen on there. So let’s talk Romney.

 

Mitt Romney ‘providence’ comments in Israel outrage Palestinians

 

Palestinian leaders expressed offence and outrage at comments by Mitt Romney during his lightning visit to Israel, in which he said the Jewish state’s economic success compared with its Palestinian neighbours was due to “cultural” differences and the “hand of providence”, and declared Jerusalem to be “the capital of Israel”.

The presumptive Republican candidate in the the US presidential race told a $25,000 (£16,000)-a-head fundraising event in Jerusalem: “As I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognise the power of at least culture and a few other things.”

He cited a climate of innovation, the Jewish history of thriving in adversity, and the “hand of providence”.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, condemned Romney’s comments. “It is a racist statement, and this man doesn’t realise that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” he said.

“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people. He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”

Romney, who did not visit the West Bank while in the Holy Land, made no mention of either Israel’s 45-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, nor its continuing blockade of Gaza, both of which have had a catastrophic impact on the Palestinian economy.

The consensus of international economists, including the IMF and the World Bank, is that the Palestinian economy will fail to develop firm foundations and sustained growth until Israeli restrictions on imports, exports and the movement of goods are lifted.

Romney’s comparison between the Israeli and Palestinian economies drew on figures substantially different from those cited by the World Bank. Romney said: “As you come here and you see the [gross domestic product] per capita, for instance, in Israel, which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality.”

According to the World Bank, however, Israel’s per-capita GDP was about $31,000 in 2011, while the West Bank and Gaza’s was just over $1,500.

More than 40 people attended Romney’s fundraising breakfast at Jerusalem’s famous King David hotel, amassing more than $1m for the Republican election campaign. The event was moved from Sunday after Romney aides realised it had been scheduled during Tisha B’Av, a Jewish day of mourning and fasting.

Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish-American billionaire casino magnate who has bankrolled Romney’s presidential campaign, sat next to the candidate at a U-shaped table. Adelson also owns Israel Hayom, the Jewish state’s biggest-circulation newspaper, which is a staunch supporter of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.

Among the other guests were the New York Jets owner, Woody Johnson, and the hedge fund manager Paul Singer. Donors ate a typical Israeli breakfast of salads, cheeses, yoghurt and pastries.

Romney, who introduced his eldest son, Josh, to the gathering, said he had “read a number of books” on what makes countries successful.

He added: “I am overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence, whenever it chooses to apply itself, and also the greatness of the human spirit, and how individuals who reach for greatness and have purpose above themselves are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God.”

During a speech on Sunday delivered against the backdrop of the historic old city at sunset, Romney described Jerusalem as “the capital of Israel”. Erekat said the remark was “absolutely unacceptable”.

A second senior Palestinian official, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the statement was unhelpful to peace negotiations, pointing out it “contradict[ed] the previous positions held by the American administration”.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. East Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 and later annexed by Israel in a move not recognised by the international community. The future of Jerusalem is one of the most complex and delicate issues in negotiations on a possible peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

All foreign embassies, including that of the US, are in Tel Aviv, with consular services based in Jerusalem. According to a statement, the White House official policy is: “The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. We continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue and others in a way that is just and fair, and respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

 

If Romney can get the Pale’s and the Jews to play nice, I might actually vote for him. I mean, it’s pretty ground breaking to have the 2 biggest warring countries fighting over an invisible man that never existed. Course, if he does, it’ll be an even bigger shock to the rest of the US than killing Osama.

 

Kryptonite particles found in new Superman ride

 

VALLEJO, Calif. —

Twelve people were stuck Sunday afternoon for nearly two hours on the new Superman roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

Two cars stalled at the highest point of the ride, 150-feet high, around 2:30 p.m. and riders were upright, according to witnesses.

Rescuers used a crane to release the cars from the track shortly after 4 p.m., according to a spokeswoman for the park.

Every ride is checked every morning to make sure it runs properly and the Superman wide was checked Sunday morning and no problems were found, according to the park spokeswoman.

The park president said he doesn’t believe there was a mechanical problem with the ride.

Park mechanics have not yet investigated what led to the stall. The ride will stay offline until they complete their investigation.

The Superman ride opened on June 30 and is 15 stories tall at its highest point and reaches speeds of 62 mph.

This is not the first time there have been roller coaster issues at the Six Flags park.

In August of 2010, the boomerang ride got stuck in the upright position for about an hour with 26 people on board.

 

Louisiana police got bored and are looking into dirty license plates.

 

State police watching for dirty tags

 

Associated Press Reporting

Louisiana state police and local law enforcement agencies are telling motorists to clean off their dirty license plates.

State police say in a news release the motorists caught with their license plates obscured in any way, including by dirt, mud or frames that cover part of the plate, could be ticketed.

Louisiana law requires vehicle license plates be clearly displayed, as well as illuminated at night by license plate lights.

Col. Michael Edmonson, state police superintendent, says clean license plates can help citizens more easily report reckless or impaired drivers, as well as vehicles involved in criminal acts.

 

Next up, ermahgerd. How the fuck is this news?

 

JERMPING TEH SHERK: ERMAHGERD EENERPERPRIT ERMAHGERDZ

 

By now you all know about the ERMAHGERD meme, using the twisted face of some poor girl from the ’90s for the expression of excitement and the belittling of those with speech impediments. It showed up on the weird shadowy side of the Internet a few months back and just now started gaining traction with the normals.

You know, that poor lady is probably sitting at a Denny’s right now writing a suicide note because some ass clown found her picture at a garage sale and dredged up old feelings of loneliness and pain of adolescence.

But as the meme would say, it has, jermped teh sherk. Nowadays if you don’t get on the ground floor of a meme the first few weeks, you get buried under the weight of a million others on Facebook, attaching a political cause to something that doesn’t need to be attached to.

ERMAHGERD CHERK-FER-RAY IS HERMAPHERBIC!

Or something like that.

That’s why I came up with eight or so inappropriate ERMAHGERD, because before now this meme has been too cutesy and dear. Pain, death, misery, hatred, these things deserve to be memes.

Er, merms.

 

Next up, The Olympic flame has died. Now they have to sacrifice 12 vestal virgins, six ping-pong players and start war with Persia.

The Olympic Flame Dies, Gets Unceremoniously Relit By Old Guy On a Cherry Picker

 

This is not a metaphor: the Olympic Flame has died for real, as technicians were moving the cauldron to a new location in the stadium. Now, they have to sacrifice 12 virgin ping-pong players and start a war with the Persians.

Actually, they just sent some old guy named Austin Playfoot on a cherry picker to re-light it. It looked more ridiculous than majestic, but it did the trick. At least Mr. Playfoot was one of the Olympic Torch-bearers, both this year and back in the 1948 London Olympics.

According to millenary tradition, the flame has to burn inside its cauldron for the duration of the game. It went out this Sunday, 11:14pm London time.

Thankfully, it was not accidentally extinguished by London’s perpetual rain. It had to be extinguished for security reasons before the cauldron was moved to a new location. Before unceremoniously turning off the gas, they lit up the torch that was used by Mr. Playfoot to relight the cauldron this morning.

The move follows strong criticism by British media, which has been hammering the games’ organizers’ decision to place the cauldron in a place where it can’t be seen from anyone outside of the stadium—something that apparently has never happened in Olympic history. Their strong criticism included words like bloody, git, knobhead, cabbage and how dare they. They also wrote organizers in the traditional British way: organisers.

 

And now more Olympic fails.

 

Olympics epic fail

Man gripped by Olympic fever tries to swim to America… and fails

 

After a pulsating and pounding opening ceremony on Friday night, and world record’s being broken left, right and centre on the days that followed, it seems as if Olympic fever has gripped us all. There’s no doubt about it, people’s interest in sport has shot through the roof, and so have people’s expectations.

For one man, it inspired him to try and swim to America from Biarritz, southern France, without any training or equipment. In short, he had gone out of his mind on the Olympics.

Despite his insistence that he was up to the challenge, he was rescued by coastguards just off the coast who convinced him that it probably wasn’t a good idea to continue, in what will no doubt be one of many epic fails at the Olympics.

It’s thought that the 34-year-old holidaymaker was visiting Biarritz with friends. He told them that he was planning to swim to New York, 3,594 miles away, to carry the Olympic spirit across the Atlantic.

They let him go because they thought he was joking and knew that he was a strong swimmer.

At 3.30pm, lifeguards watched as he swam past the buoys 300 yards out to sea, which mark the legal limit for swimmers. He then continued to swim until he was out of sight.

At this point, lifeguards called out a helicopter and a diver dropped into the sea and explained to the man that it was a good idea to turn back.

At the same time, lifeguards arrived in a rescue dinghy. The man then realised that he might have made a mistake, so lifeguards threw him a line and towed him back to the beach.

Laurent Saintespes, senior officer at Biarritz airbase told Agence France Presse: “He was a bit naive. But at a time when the Olympics are taking place in London you have to see the funny side of things.”

Have you seen any epic fails at the Olympics yet? What’s been your best bit?

Oh, and here’s an epic fail by Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, a few days ago:

 

 

Oh did you hear about the 19 year old that tried to use twitter to join the National Guard?

 

Kent State student accused of tweeting threat instructed to stay away from school, president

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Kent State University student accused of posting a message on Twitter saying he planned to “shoot up” the northeastern Ohio campus has been instructed to stay away from the school and its president.

Nineteen-year-old William Koberna will be released Monday after posting part of a $50,000 bond set at Portage County Municipal Court. He will be required to wear a GPS tracking device and to stay away from university President Lester Lefton and the school.

Koberna was arrested Sunday at his parents’ home in the Cleveland suburb of Brunswick. The sophomore has been charged with inducing panic, a felony, and aggravated menacing. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Friday.

University officials say Koberna posted a tweet July 25 that included the threat: “I’m shooting up your school ASAP.”

 

And finally,  a 74 year old man gets police to chase him around at 105 miles an hour.

 

Driver, 74, injured while fleeing police

 

PRINCEVILLE —

A 74-year-old Peoria man was airlifted to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center on Sunday morning and remained in serious condition after he crashed while trying to flee police.

David Carlson, of 3232 W. Westport Road, was driving eastbound on Illinois Route 90 at 11:50 p.m. Saturday without a passenger side headlight, according to a report on the incident. Carlson initially appeared to pull over to the right side of the road but then sped away.

During the chase down Route 90, a Peoria County Sheriff’s deputy reported that Carlson reached speeds approaching 105 mph while passing westbound vehicles.

Carlson apparently did not see the turn in the road at the intersection of Route 90 and Illinois Route 91 and smashed straight through the guardrail. The car then ramped off the side of a ditch and went airborne over the nearby Holmes Road, coming to a rest in a corn field on the south side of Holmes.

When fire rescue officials attempted to extract Carlson from the wreckage, he was briefly unconscious and then awoke, confessing that he’d been drinking earlier. Later blood tests showed his blood alcohol content to be 0.137 percent.

Police issued Carlson citations for driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated attempt to elude police, reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving with only one headlight.

A 74-year-old Peoria man was airlifted to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center on Sunday morning and remained in serious condition after he crashed while trying to flee police.

David Carlson, of 3232 W. Westport Road, was driving eastbound on Illinois Route 90 at 11:50 p.m. Saturday without a passenger side headlight, according to a report on the incident. Carlson initially appeared to pull over to the right side of the road but then sped away.

During the chase down Route 90, a Peoria County Sheriff’s deputy reported that Carlson reached speeds approaching 105 mph while passing westbound vehicles.

Carlson apparently did not see the turn in the road at the intersection of Route 90 and Illinois Route 91 and smashed straight through the guardrail. The car then ramped off the side of a ditch and went airborne over the nearby Holmes Road, coming to a rest in a corn field on the south side of Holmes.

When fire rescue officials attempted to extract Carlson from the wreckage, he was briefly unconscious and then awoke, confessing that he’d been drinking earlier. Later blood tests showed his blood alcohol content to be 0.137 percent.

Police issued Carlson citations for driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated attempt to elude police, reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving with only one headlight.

That’s our show for today folks, I’ll see you guys on the flipside. Good night, everybody.

SomePonies

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It’s Wednesday, let’s relax and open with some ponies and Japan before news.

 

Will Anderson Looking For Bronies // Hey Ocean CD Release Party // SEASON THREE SPOILER

 

 

Cereal here, grouping somewhat related news items for fun and profit.

William Anderson, whom you may remember as the most badass person on the face of the entire planet, just landed in Rome and wants to know if there are any pony fans in the area he can hang out with. Be sure to flood him with requests! Make his trip special. Tell him Cereal sent you.

In other news that may or may not be related, I’m sure most of you are aware that Ashleigh Ball (the voice of Rainbow Dash and Applejack) heads her own band called ‘Hey Ocean!’. For fans in Vancouver on June 16, the band is having a concert and CD release show at the Vogue Theater. It’s $20 and you can find more details here.

And just in case that’s not enough news for you, there’s a spoiler for season three under the page break, tweeted by Tara Strong herself. You’ve been warned!

 

 

 

Yep, Trolla Strong at it again. Now for something from AJ/RD’s VA, Ashleigh Ball.

 

 

 

 

 

Support Ash’s band by visiting their site at HeyOcean.com and buying merch.

Let’s move on.

 

Bleach Anime Ending Pleases Fans

Author: Artefact

The better part of a decade of Bleach anime has finally drawn to a close, with its many quick-to-complain fans seemingly satisfied the series ended fittingly, and the hero’s future neatly summed up as “unemployment.”

Just how much is left in the manga is not clear, but it is thought that it may end at some point.

Rather than ponder the fate of post-Bleach shonen anime, one fan shares this most pressing concern.

“Is she nopan? She’s walking about town nopan?
If this is nopan, foreigners may misunderstand this as Japanese all being HENTAI.
It should really be made clear if she’s wearing pantsu or not.”

Barbarian viewers take note – Bleach is most assuredly not a “HENTAI” anime, and the concern of its Japanese fans about the cast’s underwear status is solely out of concern for the good name of Japan’s anime industry.

 

Gallery post. Enjoy. And now this.

 

YouTube Child Chaser Commits Suicide

Author: Artefact

A man who uploaded a video of himself chasing a schoolboy on a bicycle in his car whilst threatening to run him off the road to YouTube has committed suicide, despite police and the boy declining to press charges, prompting furious speculation as to why he would kill himself when he remained anonymous and faced no punishment.

The incident began in July of 2011, when a Himeji company employee in his forties apparently succumbed to road rage and began chasing a middle schooler on a bicycle, screaming various threats against the boy, including telling him he would ram him into the river.

He recorded the entire chase on his dashboard camera, and for reasons which are not clear decided it would be a good idea to upload the video onto Youtube:

 

 

 

He later deleted the video, but by then mirrors had proliferated and it was too late, and soon the police became involved.

The boy being chased was less than fazed by his ordeal, brushing off his pursuer as not worth bothering with – “I got through it fine. I’m not scared of some guy like that.”

He declined to press any charges against the man (with a complaint from his victim he could have been charged with misdemeanour intimidation or similar), and police had to settle for issuing him a verbal caution and making him sign a written pledge not to do it again.

The Internet, however, was much less forgiving – viewers of the video clamoured for his arrest and denounced him with much vitriol, outraged by his reckless and potentially murderous conduct. The media soon picked the story up as well.

All this was evidently too much for the schoolboy chaser – on the 27th, Tottori prefecture police reported discovering him dead, in what they are treating as a suicide.

There appears to be very little sympathy online, but there is a great deal of curiosity as to what actually transpired:

“This guy had no balls at all, did he?”

“He gets hit back and he kills himself…”

“This is the happiest news I’ve heard all year.”

“The kid didn’t even file a complaint. Why’d he kill himself?”

“He’s trying to get back at the kid.”

“He killed himself to atone. A happy end.”

“Did the kid even do anything to provoke this?”

“This is not going to leave a nice aftertaste for the kid.”

“You guys drove another one to suicide I see.”

“Nobody actually found out who he was and put it online, did they?”

“Nobody found out who he was. There should not have been any public impact on his life.”

“Scum has died, that is all.”

“He was probably up to all sorts of other dodgy stuff which would have ruined him if it got out.”

“If he had any real sensitivity he would never have uploaded that.”

“Apparently he went missing shortly after this blew up, after saying he didn’t think it would be this big of a deal.”

“Watch the video. Guys like that are a waste of oxygen.”

“The classic case of a dog whose bark was worse than his bite.”

“He probably had a mental illness of some sort.”

“A real ruffian wouldn’t have uploaded it like that. He was just a total coward in the end.”

“He had probably done other stuff which would have come out if anyone investigated.”

“Could have been his family which applied the pressure.”

“Was this really a suicide?”

“Why was he found in Tottori? With no complaint filed against him he basically got off scot-free.”

“He was probably unstable to start with. I’m more worried about the effect him killing himself will have on the schoolboy…”

 

Yay, An Heroes everywhere. Win!!

 

Daughters Disguised: The Afghan girls who are dressed and raised as boys

By Tahir Qadiry BBC Persian, Kabul

When Azita Rafhat, a former member of the Afghan parliament, gets her daughters ready for school, she dresses one of the girls differently.

Three of her daughters are clothed in white garments and their heads covered with white scarves, but a fourth girl, Mehrnoush, is dressed in a suit and tie. When they get outside, Mehrnoush is no longer a girl but a boy named Mehran.

Azita Rafhat didn’t have a son, and to fill the gap and avoid people’s taunts for not having a son, she opted for this radical decision. It was very simple, thanks to a haircut and some boyish clothes.

There is even a name for this tradition in Afghanistan – Bacha Posh, or disguising girls as boys.

“When you have a good position in Afghanistan and are well off, people look at you differently. They say your life becomes complete only if you have a son,” she says.

There has always been a preference for having sons in Afghanistan, for various economic and social reasons.

Ms Rahfhat’s husband, Ezatullah Rafhat, thinks having a son is a symbol of prestige and honour.

“Whoever came [to our house] would say: ‘Oh, we’re sorry for you not having a son.’ So we thought it would be a good idea to disguise our daughter, as she wanted this too.”

Azita Rafhat is not the only mother who has decided to do this.

Not girlish

Many girls disguised as boys can be found in Afghan markets. Some families disguise their daughters as boys so that they can easily work on the streets to feed their families.

Some of these girls who introduce themselves as boys sell things like water and chewing gum. They appear to be aged anywhere between about five and 12. None of them would talk to me about their lives as boys.

Girls brought up as boys do not stay like this all their lives. When they turn 17 or 18 they live life as a girl once again – but the change is not so simple.

Elaha lives in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. She lived as a boy for 20 years because her family didn’t have a son and reverted only two years ago when she had to go to university.

However, she does not feel fully female: she says her habits are not girlish and she does not want to get married.

“When I was a kid my parents disguised me as a boy because I didn’t have a brother. Until very recently, as a boy, I would go out, play with other boys and have more freedom.”

She has returned reluctantly to her gender and says she has done it only because of the social traditions.

“If my parents force me to get married, I will compensate for the sorrows of Afghan women and beat my husband so badly that he will take me to court every day.”

Common story

Atiqullah Ansari, head of the famous blue mosque in Mazar-e Sharif, says the tradition is about appealing to the divine.

He says those families who do not have a son disguise their daughters as boys for good luck so that God gives them a son.

Mothers who do not have sons come to the shrine of Hazrat-e Ali and ask him to grant them sons, he adds.

Atiqullah Ansari says that according to Islam the girls who live as boys must cover their heads when they come of age.

In Afghanistan, stories like this have become more common. Almost everyone has relatives or neighbours who have tried this.

Qazi Sayed Mohammad Sami Balkh Human Rights Commission

Fariba Majid, the head of the Women’s Rights Department in the northern province of Balkh, used to go by the boy’s name Wahid.

“I was the third daughter in my family and when I was born my parents decided to disguise me as a boy,” she says.

“I would work with my father at his shop and even go to Kabul to bring goods from there.”

She thinks that experience helped her gain confidence and helped her get where she is today.

It is not surprising that even Azita Rafhat, mother of Mehran, once used to live as a boy.

“Let me tell you a secret,” she says. “When I was a kid, I used to live as a boy and work with my father.

“I experienced both the world of men and of women and it helped me to be more ambitious in my career.”

‘Breach of rights’

The tradition has existed in Afghanistan for centuries. According to Daud Rawish, a sociologist in Kabul, it may have started when Afghans had to fight their invaders and for this women needed to be disguised as men.

But Qazi Sayed Mohammad Sami, head of the Balkh Human Rights Commission, calls it a breach of human rights.

“We cannot change someone’s gender for a while. You cannot change a girl to a boy for a short period of time. It’s against humanity,” he says.

The tradition has had a damaging effect on some girls who feel they have missed out on essential childhood memories as well as losing their identity.

For others it has been good experiencing freedoms they would never have had if they had lived as girls.

But for many the key question is: will there be a day when Afghan girls get as much freedom and respect as boys?

 

And now for stories from the cockpit.

 


JetBlue pilot faces federal charges

By Bart Jansen

An affidavit unsealed Wednesday states that Capt. Clayton Osbon told his co-pilots that things didn’t matter during a New York flight bound for Las Vegas. Court documents say Osbon told the plane’s first officer, “We’re not going to Vegas” and began giving a sermon.

Passengers wrestled Osbon, 49, to the ground after he left the cockpit and sprinted down the cabin screaming and urging everyone to pray. The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas. No one on board was hurt.

Osbon, a 12-year veteran of the airline, was suspended by the airline and is undergoing medical care. If convicted of interfering with a flight crew, he could face up to 20 years’ imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines.

An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint said Osbon arrived later than he should have for Flight 191 and missed the crew briefing. After takeoff, Osbon told his co-pilot he was being evaluated by someone, then began talking about religion in an incoherent way, according to the affidavit from FBI Agent John Whitworth.

The co-pilot became concerned when Osbon said, “Things just don’t matter” and “We need to take a leap of faith,” according to the affidavit.

Osbon abruptly left the cockpit to go to the forward lavatory, alarming the rest of the flight crew when he didn’t follow the company’s protocol for leaving the cockpit, according to the affidavit.

When flight attendants met Osbon and asked him what was wrong, he became aggressive and banged on the door of the occupied lavatory, saying he needed to get inside.

Osbon walked to the rear of the aircraft but along the way stopped and asked a male passenger if he had a problem. Osbon then sprinted back to the forward galley and tried to enter his code to re-enter the cockpit.

The co-pilot asked over the intercom for passengers to restrain Osbon, which they did, and he yelled comments about Jesus, Sept. 11, Iraq, Iran and terrorists.

Osbon was removed from the aircraft and taken to a facility in the Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo for medical evaluation, where he remains.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and Amarillo police.

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger told NBC’s Today show Wednesday that Osbon had been a “consummate professional.”

Barger said Tuesday’s incident began as a “medical situation” and became a “security situation” as passengers and crewmembers restrained him.

“I’ve known the captain personally for a long period of time,” Barger said of Osbon. “There’s been no indication of this at all in the past.”

Osbon’s LinkedIn page describes him as a flight-standards captain who works in pilot recruitment and leadership development. He earned degrees from Hawthorne College in aeronautical physics and Carnegie Mellon University in physics.

Barger commended the company’s workers and passengers for responding well to the incident.

“That was a tough situation at altitude,” Barger said. “The customers and crew did a great job.”

The incident was a rare one and frightening for passengers.

At the time, JetBlue said that the captain of Flight 191, which was diverted to Texas on Tuesday morning, had a “medical situation” and that an off-duty captain traveling on the flight entered the cockpit before the landing “and took over the duties of the ill crewmember once on the ground” in Amarillo.

Tony Antolino, a security executive from Rye, N.Y., said he realized something was wrong on the flight when Osbon left the cockpit and starting walking erratically through the cabin, drinking water and becoming agitated.

Antolino, 40, said he and several other passengers realized they needed to subdue him after the co-pilot locked Osbon from the cockpit. The captain started yelling about Iraq and Afghanistan, then told passengers to start reciting the Lord’s prayer.

“That’s when everybody just tackled him and took him down,” said Antolino, an executive with a security firm headed to an industry conference. “We just physically stood on top of him until the flight was diverted and we landed in Amarillo.”

Because the incident was so unusual, other pilots are waiting to hear more before passing judgement. “We know what happened,” said Capt. Lee Collins, executive vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations. “We don’t know why.”

Heidi Karg, another passenger on the flight, told CNN that the man was shouting, “I need the code! Gimme the code! I need to get in there!”

“We heard the word ‘bomb,’ ” Karg said. “We didn’t know exactly what was going on.”

Several passengers wrestled Osbon to the floor. David Gonzalez, 50, a former New York City Department of Corrections officer, told ABC News he put him in a choke hold.

“We got to get this plane down,” Gonzalez, who was traveling to an security show, said he recalled thinking. “This guy is nuts.”

Dave Funk, a retired Northwest Airlines captain now an aviation consultant with Laird & Associates, compares the co-pilot’s decision to bar Osbon from the cockpit to what Captain “Sully” Sullenberger did when he landed a US Airways flight into New York’s Hudson River with no lives lost.

“The first officer recognized the gravity of the situation and solved the problem,” Funk said. “The co-pilot is a hero not because he landed the plane safely but because he created situation to do that.”

Former pilot John Cox, president of Safety Operation Systems, said he could recall only a couple of incidents similar to Tuesday’s in 40 years in commercial aviation.

Cox said the first officer could have landed the plane safely, even without assistance from the off-duty captain. Cox said crewmembers are trained to restrain combative passengers under a program called Crew Resource Management that could have applied to the pilot.

“The same training to restrain an abusive passenger that presents a physical threat could be utilized against a crewmember,” Cox said. “It was great that there was another captain that was on the flight that could assist the first officer. Had he not been there, though, the first officer is completely capable and trained to land the aircraft. There was never a risk to the passengers.”

Airline pilots must have a first-class medical certificate, which is renewed annually if the pilot is under 40 and every six months over that age, according to the FAA. As part of that process, the pilot must have a physical exam by an FAA-designated medical examiner, who assesses the pilot’s psychological condition . The examiner can also order additional psychological testing.

Glenn Winn, a former airlines security chief who teaches at the University of Southern California, said the physical exams are very thorough. There is also random urinalysis. Airlines have numerous employee assistance programs to help deal with stress.

Bob Francis, former vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said for the most part, the JetBlue incident had a positive resolution. “A problem in the cabin in the aircraft is a lot less serious than a problem in the cockpit,” he said. “If there is a problem in the cockpit, you might end up losing the whole airplane.”

No official mental health testing is required. Instead, pilots are trained to be on the lookout for any sign of mental distress among their peers. “The mental health side is constant monitoring from your co-workers,” Funk said .

If someone’s personality changes drastically, he said, “we’re going to pull him aside. Management will get involved and not in a hostile fashion. We work with people.”

“I’d say the system functioned properly,” Funk said. “There’s a reason we have two pilots. There’s a reason we have flight attendants. … One healthy pilot on the flight deck who’s qualified would have no problem landing the plane.”

Antolino commended the co-pilot for recognizing Osbon’s behavior, getting him out of the cockpit and landing the plane safely.

“The co-pilot from JetBlue was the real hero for having the sense to recognize that something was wrong here,” Antolino said.

In August 2010, an upset JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, pulled the emergency chute on a flight from Pittsburgh International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He went on the plane’s public-address system, swore at a passenger who he claimed treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid down onto the tarmac.

Slater completed a court-ordered treatment program and was sentenced to one year of probation. “That was one moment; that was not indicative of who I am,” Slater said at sentencing.

On March 9, American Airlines passengers were settling in for a trip from Dallas to Chicago when a flight attendant launched into a rant on the public-address system about 9/11 and the safety of the plane.

Several passengers wrestled the woman into a seat while the plane was on the ground, and the attendant was taken to Parkland Hospital for evaluation.

Randy Reep, who has spent 16 years as a commerical pilot, said crew members are much more stressed out these days. “I think its indicative of where we find ourselves as an industry,” he said. “It is much more stressful in the sense that the job security isn’t what it once was.”

“What was once an extraordinarily glamorous job and arguably well paid is now an okay paid job and not as glamorous,” Reep said. “You have to take your shoes off three or four times a day to go to your office. You’re in charge of your airplane but you have someone go through your shaving kit before you even get on that plane.”

 

And now for something completely different.

Supreme Court rules that the Federal government can tell the world about your HIV status if it wants to

By Bill Mears

A divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday against a California pilot who sued after the federal government publicly revealed his HIV status.

In a 5-3 ruling, the high court decided Stanmore Cooper’s claims of mental and emotional distress are not covered under the Privacy Act.

“The Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize damages for mental or emotional distress and therefore does not waive the government’s sovereign immunity for such harms,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the conservative majority.

Three liberal justices dissented, while a fourth — former Solicitor General Elena Kagan — did not participate.

Cooper became a licensed recreational pilot in 1964, but two decades later, the San Francisco man was diagnosed with the HIV virus. As his condition worsened over time, he let his private pilot’s certificate and his airman medical certificate lapse.

In 1996, Cooper applied for long-term disability with the Social Security Administration.

“I was in bad shape, I didn’t have long to live,” he told CNN last year. But his health improved thanks to a cocktail of anti-retroviral therapy. He went back to work and wanted to fly again.

“I found out they were issuing medicals (exemptions) and I reapplied” to the Federal Aviation Administration “without revealing my HIV status,” he said. “Big mistake.”

He received his new pilot’s certificate but, unknown to him, a joint local-federal initiative called Operation Safe Pilot was launched in 2002. Using a spreadsheet, the agencies shared and compared the names and personal data of about 45,000 pilots in Northern California, looking for potentially medically unfit individuals who were also receiving federal benefits.

Cooper was among four dozen or so pilots tagged as a “person of interest.” When confronted by government agents, he admitted to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report.

He was sentenced to probation and fined, and his pilot’s certificate was revoked. The retired business executive’s name was listed in a federal press release and later, through his prosecution, Cooper’s medical history suddenly was a matter of public record.

“I had been able to control those (with) whom I shared my information about my HIV status, limited to some co-workers, family, and close friends,” he said “And suddenly that was out of my control.”

Cooper, who was eventually allowed to fly again, sued.

“I chose not to reveal my HIV infection and that was a very bad thing,” he said. “I took responsibility for it and I paid the price. I was punished. And I think now it’s the government’s turn to own up to breaking the law and take responsibility for what they did.”

A federal judge found both the FAA and the Social Security Administration violated the Privacy Act with the information-sharing probe, but said under the law, only “actual damages” could be collected by plaintiffs seeking redress.

Since Cooper made no claims for economic harm, such as lost wages or medical expenses, he was out of luck. The judge found “emotional injury” alone did not qualify and dismissed the lawsuit.

A federal appeals court reversed that decision, ruling for Cooper. The FAA then asked the high court to intervene.

During a sedate hour of oral arguments last year, the justices stayed away from the specific claims of emotional harm made by Cooper, focusing instead on what the law says about qualifying for damages.

“The argument you have made — and I certainly understand it, that this is the Privacy Act and so it’s precisely these types of damages that you would be concerned about — really cuts both ways,” Chief Justice John Roberts said to Cooper’s lawyer.

“What you are saying is this (law) covers a really big chunk of damages, because this is what the whole act was about,” Roberts said. “And it seems to me that argument suggests that there is some weight to the government’s point: That if you are going to get that, you really do need clearer” language in the law that would immunize the government to some extent, from a flood of hard-to-disprove lawsuits.

The ambiguity has divided lower courts for years, and privacy experts say the ease with which the government can collect and share information in the digital age makes the issue of personal privacy liability ripe for review.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly hammered away at the government lawyer arguing for the FAA. She said the federal damages provision in question is similar to state tort claims that include both emotional and financial harm.

“The person who is subject to this, to this embarrassment, this humiliation, doesn’t have out-of-pocket costs, but is terribly distressed, nervous, anxious, and all the rest,” Ginsburg said. “The act that the Congress is reaching, the impact is of that nature. I mean, pecuniary (monetary) damages ordinarily attend conduct that embarrasses, humiliates you, causes mental distress.”

Eric Feigin of the Justice Department admitted the Privacy Act’s language may be interpreted as allowing damages for such things as “humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish,” but said because the phrase “actual” damages remains vague, the government should get the benefit of the doubt, tipping the case in its favor.

“Simply because a plaintiff may have suffered an adverse effect” from the privacy violation, argued Feigin, “doesn’t mean that the plaintiff suffered actual damages.”

Raymond Cardozo, Cooper’s lawyer, pointed out during the hearing that his client’s information was made public, and his name and HIV status are still posted on a federal government database. He also made a larger argument, that his client’s dilemma is one that may affect all Americans.

“Congress passed this act to restore the citizens’ faith in their government, and it made a solemn promise to the American citizens that in cases of intentional and willful violation, the United States shall be liable for actual damages,” Cardozo said. “Today, the government is proposing that “actual damages” be read in a way that renders this act virtually irrelevant. That makes a mockery of that solemn promise.”

Cooper attended the public session at the court and expressed optimism afterward he would prevail.

“They’ve betrayed my trust and I can’t get that back,” Cooper said at the time. “There was nothing to lose here. I had to do it. It was the right thing to do.”

The case is Cooper v. FAA (10-1024).

 

That’s our show for tonight, I’ll see you guys all next time. Buh-bye!

 

 

Weekend Quickie

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So a friend of mine found this interesting video. It looked kinda funny and the voicing was okay, synching was decent, and overall audio was okay.

 

 

 

Take a look, it might peak your interests.

 

Our one article of news for today is this:

 

After Attacks in Pakistan, Worries in Afghanistan About Security

By and SALMAN MASOOD

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — As investigations began on Sunday into the NATO attacks on two military outposts that killed at least 25 Pakistani soldiers, Afghan officials expressed concern about the possible long-term damage to regional security.

Afghan Foreign Ministry officials on Sunday urged Pakistan to not follow through on threats to boycott a conference on Afghanistan’s future that is scheduled for Dec. 5 in Bonn, Germany. “We hope that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will participate in the Bonn conference because the conference for us is the most important political event of the year,” a ministry spokesman, Janan Mosawi, said.

Pakistan’s participation is considered vital, officials said, given the leverage that it maintains over some of the Taliban factions fighting inside Afghanistan.

A spokeswoman of the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said no decision had been made about attending the conference. “The matter is being examined,” the spokeswoman said.

In Washington, American officials were trying to assess how the attacks had happened. According to preliminary reports, allied forces in Afghanistan engaged in a firefight along the border and called in airstrikes. Senior Obama administration officials were also weighing the implications on a relationship that took a sharp turn for the worse after a Navy Seal commando raid killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad in May and that has deteriorated since then.

NATO was also investigating after saying on Saturday it was likely that NATO-led airstrikes had led to the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers. “This was a tragic unintended incident,” the group’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said in a statement. “We will determine what happened and draw the right lessons.”

Pakistan’s foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, called Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday to convey the “deep sense of rage felt across Pakistan,” according to a government statement. The border attacks negate “the progress made by the two countries on improving relations and forces Pakistan to revisit the terms of engagement,” Ms. Khar was quoted as saying. Earlier, Pakistani military officials had called the attacks unprovoked acts of aggression by the United States.

Pakistan buried the dead soldiers on Sunday as thousands of protesters gathered outside the American Consulate in Karachi. A Reuters reporter said the angry crowd shouted “Down with America,” and one man climbed on the wall surrounding the heavily fortified compound and attached a Pakistani flag to the barbed wire.

One funeral, led by the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was held at the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province in northwest Pakistan near the site of the attacks. General Kayani also visited soldiers who were injured in the attacks.

On Saturday, the Pakistani government ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to vacate the drone operations it runs from Shamsi Air Base in western Pakistan within 15 days. It also closed the two main NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, including the one at Torkham. NATO forces receive roughly 40 percent of their supplies through that crossing, which runs through the Khyber Pass, and Pakistan gave no estimate for how long the routes might be shut down.

On Sunday, the state-run news media quoted Rehman Malik, the Pakistani interior minister, as saying that the NATO supply lines had “been stopped permanently.” Mr. Malik said NATO containers would not be allowed to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Hundreds of trucks remained stalled at border crossings, The Associated Press reported, leaving them vulnerable to militant attacks. About 150 trucks were destroyed during attacks about a year ago after Pakistan closed one Afghan border crossings for about 10 days in retaliation for a helicopter strike that killed two Pakistani soldiers.

This time, The A.P. said, Pakistan has closed both its crossings, and nearly 300 trucks carrying coalition supplies were backed up at Torkham and at Chaman in Baluchistan Province in the southwest.

The Pakistani government also lodged a protest with Afghanistan on Sunday about the “use of Afghan territory against Pakistan,” according to government officials. The Afghan government was urged to take steps to ensure such attacks would not be repeated.

The Bonn conference, to which more than 50 countries are sending representatives, had been intended to showcase the international commitment to Afghanistan’s security as well as its sovereignty. If Pakistan, which is widely seen as a seedbed for many Afghan insurgents, refuses to participate, Western diplomats and military officials said, there would be little doubt that the insurgency would continue.

Mr. Mosawi described the conference as important “in terms of the vision the Afghan government will be sharing with the international community, with the region in the 10 years after transition.”

“Pakistan’s participation for us is extremely important. and we hope that they will continue as they have agreed to at the Foreign Ministry level in Bonn,” he said.

Mr. Mosawi said that the Afghan government had been contacted by the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul, Afghanistan, but would not elaborate and did not respond to questions asking whether the Afghan government had been asked to take steps to limit NATO military activity on the Pakistani border.

 

I will see you all tomorrow for the full show and be ready for the workweek.

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