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Member since: Sat Dec 30, 2006, 01:56 PM
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India’s Toilet Race Failing as Villages Don’t Use Them, dont want to be "locked in with own filth"

Sunita’s family in the north Indian village of Mukimpur were given their first toilet in February, one of millions being installed by the government to combat disease. She can’t remember the last time anyone used it.

When nature calls, the 26-year-old single mother and her four children head toward the jungle next to their farm of red and pink roses, to a field of tall grass, flecked with petals, where the 7,000 people of her village go to defecate and exchange gossip.
Only dalits, the lowest Hindu caste, should be exposed to excrement in a closed space, “or city-dwellers who don’t have space to go in the open,” said Sunita, who uses one name, as she washed clothes next to the concrete latrine. “Feces don’t belong under the same roof as where we eat and sleep.”

Sunita’s view reveals one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest challenges in combating the world’s biggest sanitation problem, one that costs India 600,000 lives annually from diarrhea and exposes a third of the nation’s women to the risk of rape or sexual assault. With no toilets for half the population, Modi promised to build 5.3 million latrines by the end of his first 100 days in office -- one a second until Aug. 31, according to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Without education, they’ll make little difference.



With little access to running water, government latrines typically consist of a large, concrete septic tank with a ceramic squat-toilet on top, enclosed by a cement or brick cubicle with a narrow door. The government says it has built 138 toilets in Mukimpur since February.

Sunita finds them disgusting.
“Locking us inside these booths with our own filth? I will never see how that is clean.” She points to the field. “Going out there is normal
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 10:04 PM (62 replies)

wealthy businessmen flaunt their wealth by wearing gold shirts

An Indian textile magnate who made a fortune from his clothing empire is making sure the rest of the world knows about his success - by having a shirt made out of pure gold.

Although he left school without any qualifications Pankaj Parakh created a multi-million pound textile business in India.

And now, to celebrate his upcoming 45th birthday on Friday, he has commissioned the solid gold shirt that weighs more than four kilos.

An Indian textile magnate who made a fortune from his clothing empire is making sure the rest of the world knows about his success - by having a shirt made out of pure gold

Last year wealthy Datta Phuge has splashed out £14,000 on a solid gold shirt to make sure he's a 24 karat hit with women in central India

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:23 PM (37 replies)

LAPD chief Beck is a lying liar who lies


Chief Beck: I Was Mistaken To Deny Involvement In Sale Of Daughter’s Horse To LAPD
August 6, 2014 9:40 PM

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says he was “mistaken” in his initial comments denying involvement in the sale of his daughter’s horse to the department.
Beck came under fire after a memo released Wednesday appeared to contradict his previous comments that the $6,000 sale of the animal, owned by his daughter, LAPD officer Brandi Scimone, “steered around” him.
The document (PDF) from the L.A. Police Commission obtained by CBS2/KCAL9 shows Beck signed a grant request from the commanding officer in charge of the LAPD’s Mounted Platoon for the purchase.

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, Beck said he realizes now he should have been more transparent about his relationship with the owner of the horse.

“Yesterday, I stated that the paperwork for the donation of a horse originally owned by my daughter, LAPD Officer Brandi Scimone, and purchased with private funds ‘steered completely around me.’ Since that time, I reviewed the file and realized that I had signed the LA Police Foundation’s Grant Request after the donation had been evaluated and approved by the Office of Special Operations and had also signed the Intradepartmental Correspondence to the Board of Police Commissioners to approve of the donation. Therefore, I now realize that my comments were mistaken,” Beck stated.

“After evaluating the circumstances of this donation, in retrospect, I should have ensured that the Department had formally transmitted to the Commission the additional documentation on file which identified the original owner of the horse. I will continue to work with the Commission to increase the Department’s transparency.”
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 08:55 AM (3 replies)

Israelis unhappy to see world class military surprised again

Israelis Unhappy to See World-Class Military ‘Surprised’ Again
Michael Crowley @CrowleyTIME Aug. 6, 2014

A high Israeli troop death toll in Gaza, with inconclusive results, reminds some of a "severe sense of failure" after a 2006 ground war

Israel’s military can be fearsomely destructive. From the day in July 1967 when Israeli planes preempted an Egyptian attack by destroying Cairo’s air force on the ground, to surgical airstrikes on nuclear reactor projects in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, the Israel Defense Forces have displayed crack intelligence and technical skill.

So why does Israel keep getting caught by surprise when it fights ground wars against its neighboring enemies?

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza over the past three weeks—more than six times the 10 lost in Israel’s 2008 incursion into the Palestinian territory. The Gaza incursion “revealed worrisome shortcomings in the Israel Defense Forces in battle readiness and management,” the Israeli daily Haaretz laments. The chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is vowing to investigate both diplomatic and military failures, including the use of a poorly-armored personnel carrier in which seven Israeli soldiers were killed by a single missile last month. Military experts also say the IDF was generally “operating from an old playbook and [was] not fully prepared for a more sophisticated, battle-ready adversary.”

Other Israeli politicians are also asking “why the extent of the Hamas tunnel system into Israel was either not known or not prepared for better,” the New York Times reports, which adds that the tunnels were “a psychological and tactical surprise.”
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 08:04 AM (8 replies)

Raju the crying elephant is welcomed into an elephant family

After 50 brutal years of being used as a "beggar's prop," Raju finally has a family of his own.

The tortured elephant who made headlines in July for crying upon his release from captivity has joined five striking female pachyderms at his new home in India.

Tear-jerking video shows the gentle giant being welcomed to the Wildlife SOS’s Elephant Conservation and Care Center refuge in Mathura by his new companions.

Raju — believed to have been snatched from his mom as a young calf and to have been traded among 27 owners over the course of five grueling decades — joined new pals Laxmi, Chanchal, Sai Geeta, Phoolkali and Maya the sanctuary.

The female pachyderms flapped their ears, trumpeted greetings and touched Raju with their trunks — all signs of joy.

His new family members, collectively dubbed the "Herd of Hope," were all rescued by the Wildlife SOS charity, which also saved Raju from a life of "hell" during a nighttime raid early July.http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/raju-crying-elephant-new-home-article-1.1893552

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 06:59 PM (44 replies)

Bob McDonnell's sham marriage compared to his family values masters thesis


Focus on the Family

What Bob McDonnell’s Regent University thesis says about his public corruption defense.
It's impossible not to see this tragedy through the rosy lens of McDonnell’s much-scrutinized graduate thesis, authored in 1989 for a master’s in public policy and a J.D. from Regent University. When the Washington Post first reported on the thesis in 2009, it kicked up something of an Internet ruckus about whether it reflected McDonnell’s actual contemporary political views on gender equality (opposed), homosexuality (opposed), birth control (ditto), and welfare (also ditto). McDonnell was 34, married, and a father when he wrote that thesis, but he passed it off as youthful musings, explaining during his run for governor, that voters should not judge him based on a “decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven’t thought about in years.” He publicly claimed that his views had changed over the years. But as the Post noted at the time, “during his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family.”  

McDonnell’s views on marriage, family, austerity, personal responsibility, and morality as laid out in the 93-page paper, are worthy of revisiting in light of the drama now playing out in Richmond. It’s not so much a question of whether he governed by these values anymore, as whether he and his family lived by them. The thesis was an argument for infusing Christian Republican values into government policy. His view was that family is an institution that predates civil government and thus may not be defined by it. This is because “the Creator instituted marriage and family in Eden.” The family and marriage are celebrated as the best safeguard against immorality and selfishness. The thesis is a lengthy exposition on the ways modern government has disrupted and undermined traditional families and a road map back to a Christian view of the primacy of family as an organizing unit. There is a lengthy section on the evils of government-assisted child care that enables women to work. There is a bracing reminder about the need for fiscal austerity(!). There are some nice zingers about liberals (who “measure equality on a factual economic basis”). And there is a lot of talk about the evils of welfare and government aid and the need for self-reliance(!!). There are strong words for families who “reject the traditional values of responsibility and accountability.” And the tour de force comes at the end with a laundry list of the “real enemies of the traditional family—materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness,” which McDonnell concedes are largely outside the sphere of government control. Those qualities now stand as the organizing principles of the current McDonnell defense strategy, although—to be clear—the materialism, irresponsibility, lust, and selfishness are all massed on Maureen’s side of the ledger. And the dreaded feminism is nowhere in evidence.

You need read no further than Page 39 of the document, where McDonnell whimsically muses: “Must government subsidize the choices of a generation with an increased appetite for the materialistic components of the American Dream?” to understand the real failure of the thesis as a political and moral argument: Materialism and greed know no ideological, class, or religious bounds. It isn’t just the greedy welfare beneficiaries who are seduced by the need for pretty, pretty things. Yet the lectures about morality and austerity unerringly seem to come from the guy with the free Rolex. People who live in glass governor’s mansions really shouldn’t throw stones.
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 03:14 PM (2 replies)

woman gets grief for using helicopter for part of her Everest climb


Whose Post-Avalanche Everest Ascent Sparked Outrage Defends Her Feat
To achieve her remarkable climb, Wang Jing helicoptered over a treacherous icefall.


Because Wang insisted on climbing Everest when virtually every other Nepal-side expedition had abandoned their plans, and because she used a helicopter to bypass the difficulties of the Khumbu Icefall, where three unrecoverable bodies of avalanche victims were still buried, her Everest ascent has been mired in controversy—derided as being in poor taste, the indulgence of a rich "pseudo-mountaineer" who breached basic climbing ethics and ushered in a debased new era of "helicopter mountaineering."

Nowhere has the criticism been more vehement than in Wang's home country, where Chinese blog sites have been inflamed with outrage, some of it misinformed.

"Helicopter Jing, you're imbued with the stench of your money-bought certificates and honors ... The holy Everest has been dirtied by you, a cunning and ugly person!" said one angry commenter on Weibo, a Chinese social media site. "This is a permanent shame in the history of Everest climbing. This is a notorious joke in mountaineering circles!" another weighed in.


Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 08:54 AM (20 replies)

massive bull elephant uses occupied car for scratching post


That's some heavy petting! Tourists stuck in their hatchback as elephant gets frisky with it during South African safari
Massive bull elephant decided to scratch an itch on parked car during safari
Occupants hung on for dear life as it burst the car's tires and broke chassis
It was during musth period, when elephants become extremely aggressive

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 08:47 AM (57 replies)

commuters work together to free stuck man. amazing picture

Nicolas Taylor told Perth Now that he and fellow passengers got off the train and worked together to free the man by pushing against the carriage away from the platform.

'He seemed to be a bit sheepish, because right where he fell was the ‘mind the gap’ writing,' he said.

Mr Taylor said Transperth staff coordinated the incident well, taking about 10 minutes to free him.

All heave! Commuters work together to free with their bare hands man whose leg had become stuck between platform and train
People power saved a commuter whose leg became wedged between the gap in Perth, Western Australia during rush hour
Transperth praised the actions of all who helped lift the train off the man
The incident was not a problem caused by overcrowding
Ambulance were called but the man escaped without injury


Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 08:36 AM (2 replies)

stomach churning optical illusions - comes with health warning



pictures that magically seem to MOVE: Stomach-churning optical illusions are so trippy they come with a health warning
The illusions were created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka from the Ritsumseikan University, in Kyoto, Japan
He has spent more than a decade creating illusions using trial and error, or by adapting existing designs
The animal psychologist’s interest in the illusions began when he studied how the designs affect monkeys
His website comes with a health warning about dizziness, sickness and epileptic seizures caused by the illusions
Professor Kitaoka advises people don’t close their eyes when looking at the images as it can ‘make the attack worse’

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Tue Aug 5, 2014, 04:05 PM (6 replies)
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