Archive for 2012

FBI Admits Complicity In Record Levels Of Criminal Activity

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This sounds like a startling statistic to me. According to HUFFPO:

In a Jan. 14, 2013, letter to Justice Department officials, obtained by The Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, FBI officials disclosed that its 56 field offices authorized informants to break the law at least 5,939 times during the 2012 calendar year. USA Today reported earlier this year that the bureau allowed its informants to break the law 5,658 times in 2011.

Think about it.  Nearly 6,000 crimes. That's a lot of criminal activity for the FBI to turn it's back on. And keep in mind, that's the number of crimes the bureau is admitting to. How many more were there they complicit in that somehow didn't get reported?

What's also a bit startling is that the number of "ordained" or "forgiven" infractions of the law increased 5% from the year before. Did this substantial bump result in greater safety for us? The FBI doesn't seem to keep stats on that -- we really don't know what the ratio of crimes allowed to major busts is statistically -- if it can even be quantified.

But if I'm a victim of one of these FBI approved crimes, I'd sure hate to think the G-men were covering it up. Or worse, condoning that crime ahead of time, knowing I or someone else would be a victim.

To get a glimpse of the oversight to these crimes the FBI allows, the following might be an eye-opener:

The breakdown of how many crimes were authorized by each individual FBI field office were redacted from the 2012 report, which is known as the Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. The FBI's fellow federal law enforcement agencies -- the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- do not track how often their sources commit crimes.

There must be a set of guidelines on this Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. And I'm sure there are some sacrifices that we, the public are called upon to make (even involuntarily) for the public good, but it sure would be nice to know where the line is drawn and what kind of oversight is mandated. Is it just non-violent crimes? Is it physical assaults?

Actually, it goes much farther than small infractions. It even includes murder.

Whitey Bulger

...the Boston field office allowed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger to continue to operate his crime ring because he was providing information to the bureau.

Whitey Bulger, just in case you missed it, was indicted and found guilty this year on 19 murder charges. Nineteen. And many of them were committed during his time as an informant. How far should we allow this program to go unbridled? Where do we draw the line? After someone commits one ordained murder? Three? Nineteen?

"It sounds like a lot, but you have to keep it in context," former top FBI official Shawn Henry told the newspaper. "This is not done in a vacuum. It's not done randomly. It's not taken lightly."

So the FBI says this is not taken lightly? Bulger committed at least 19 murders? I beg to differ with FBI Official Henry. They absolutely did take it lightly. So lightly they didn't care at all. I guess he was just a bad guy killing other bad guys -- and women. And he didn't just kill them, he had them tortured, then dismembered and tossed away like garbage.

To top all of that off, Whitey, for all the FBI's oversight, slipped away and disappeared for 16 years. So much for things not being done in a vacuum. Maybe it they really had been, he wouldn't have been given so much rope to hang so many other people.

Just like with the NSA spying, it would be better to set the rules BEFORE innocent people become the victims, not afterward.

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Fascinating Divorce Facts, 2012

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We're just past the mid-year break of 2013 and finally many studies done about last year are completed and published. It takes time to get all the statistics in order and we wouldn't want to rush to judgement about 2012 -- especially when it comes to something as significant as divorce.

Thanks to the good folks at HuffPo, there's a list out which may be eye-opening, especially if your married or in a strong relationship. And if not, you'll find it a great cautionary set of guidelines which may help judge what you think is a happy relationship. The official list of most fascinating divorce findings of 2012.

Couples Who Share Housework Are More Likely To Divorce

Splitting chores could lead to divorce? According to a Norwegian study released in August 2012, the divorce rate among couples who divvy up household chores is roughly 50 percent higher than for those in which the wife handles the housework.

So, gentlemen, stop doing the dishes, the vacuuming and folding the laundry.  It could be sounding the death knell for your happy marriage.  Evidently t's better to be nagged to do these things than actually do them.

Divorce Could Be In A Woman's Genes

In February 2012, Swedish scientists released a study suggesting that a specific gene may explain why some women have a hard time committing, or staying committed, should they marry. The researchers found that women who possessed a variation of the oxytocin receptor gene known as A-allele were less likely to get married due to difficulty bonding with other people.

Oh, pheww.  See, I always said it's the woman's fault.  So it's the Oxytocin -- oh, wait, I read that wrong.  I thought it said Oxycontin and I was thinking... well, forget what I was thinking.  Who the hell ever heard of Oxytocin.  Certainly not my dealer.

A Close Relationship With Your In-Laws May Change Your Divorce Odds

In November 2012, a 26-year longitudinal study released by the University of Michigan found that when a husband reported having a close relationship with his wife's parents, the couple's risk of divorce decreased by 20 percent. On the other hand, when a wife reported having a close relationship with her husband's parents, the couple's risk of divorce increased by 20 percent.

Guys, keep your wives away from your mothers if you know what's good for you.  Your mother-in-law is okay, but your wife's isn't.

Men Who Cheat Are More Likely To Have Heart Attacks

According to a study released in May 2012 by the University of Florence, “sudden coital death” is more common when a man is engaging in extramarital sex in an unfamiliar setting than when he's having sex with his spouse at home. The researchers found that infidelity outside the home was associated with "a higher risk of major cardiovascular event," including fatal heart attacks.

Ladies, now you have even more to worry about if the old man's ticker goes haywire.  Was he cheating on you?  And holy S*** guys, was it worth it?

Women Close To Divorcing Tend To Work More Hours

In November 2012, the European Economic Review released a study that revealed women who clock an extra 12 minutes per week face a 1 percent increase in the risk of a marital breakdown.

Okay, fellas, start putting your wife on the clock.  If you see she's spending more time on projects at work, you better start looking for a new place to live.  You gentlemen, are seemingly on borrowed time.

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Welcomes the Recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal 11:10a EST

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over

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"So Annie Oakley was more of a woman then say, Golda Meir?"

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annie oakley

I've been getting tweet after crazed tweet from gun zealots who are insisting that I shouldn't live in Chicago (which I don't) because their gun ban just plain old failed, and since I'm not a gun owner, I'd have no way to defend my defenseless little self.

Handguns are great! Handguns are essential! Handguns are what keep us safe, they keep tweeting me! How dare I suggest otherwise!

Actually I didn't. I referred only to military-style weapons and large capacity magazines, but who's counting?

But since they insist...

In 2009 prior to the handgun ban being lifted, per the Chicago police department:

chicago gun murders 2009

chicago murders by shooting 2009

Them's the stats, folks.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Chicago’s 28-year-old handgun ban. After the ban was lifted, in 2012 alone there were 516 gun-related deaths, per The Washington Times:

Chicago ended 2012 with a bang — an astonishing 516 gun-related deaths in one year.

In the first week of 2013, Chicago had already outpaced 2012’s gun deaths with 12 homicides.

I'd like to share what one of our Commenters wrote (in part) in response to one of my posts and a few of my own tongue-in-cheek comments that he seemed to take literally:

You are obviously not a reasonable adult, merely a child with the appearance of grown woman. You have probably never held a weapon let alone had to use one to defend yourself.

Real women hold guns. Got it.

One of my Twitter followers, @4dogsplus1, responded with:

So Annie Oakley was more of a woman then say, Golda Meir?

@SandiBehrns tweeted:

Bright side: Always fun when "real women" can be defined in terms just as assholishly macho as "real men"!

And finally, @MegTee tweeted:

I have held & fired a gun. I'm "grown up" & still for gun control. Their reasoning is non existent.

H/t: @KingDavidLane for all the links and stats.

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Bonus Cartoon of the Day- We Survived the 2012 Zombie Apocalypse

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2012zombie

Via.

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"The only thing that really went right with 2012 was we misread the Mayan Calendar."

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that happened smaller

Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

ODE 2 2012

And so we bid a not- so- fond farewell to the bow of another large unwieldy year as it sinks slowly over the horizon wobbling unsteadily towards the graveyard of memory. And cheers erupt from we folks on shore waving the double- handed “L for loser” sign above our heads. “So long. See ya. Don’t let the door slam you in the butt on the way out. And if you got any brothers or sisters, don’t give them this address.”

Normally there’s some small sense of nostalgia for a departing annum. An iota of regret for the calendar discarded. Not this one. Getting through the past 12 months was like navigating a Black Diamond ski run in roller skates with the wheels rusted shut. While wearing a crib. It was an oil soaked pelican of years. The Year of Living Stupidly. Had the same connection to constructive change that Vladimir Putin has to the editorial board of Crochet Monthly. The Chinese need a new Zodiac sign: Year of the Flatulent Weasel.

But in the interest of keeping this particular piece of puffery positive it might be best if we confine our remarks to reflecting on the good that emerged from 2012.

Okay. Well, that was quick. Wait- got one: at least the presidential election is over. Of course people are already running for 2016, so we got that to look forward to. Which is real similar to looking forward to having five- year twins playing in the back seat of a cross- country drive with a new set of drums and an unlimited supply of metallic sticks. And tambourines. Tons of tambourines. For four years.

You’d think even your average run- of- the- mill politician would possess the simple common human decency to wait till the current President was re- inaugurated, but nooo. These early birds are intent on stockpiling worms. You know what they say: Early money is like yeast. And very early money is like baking soda. And extremely early money is an egg wash brushed delicately across a pan full of hot cross buns.

When you think about it, the only thing that really went right with 2012 was we misread the Mayan Calendar. Everything else is either worse than we found it or the same. Middle East a mess? Check. Crazy people with guns? Check. Weather getting weird? Check. Congress unable to accomplish any sort of worthwhile task, including differentiating between their gluteus maximus and yellow paint? Double check.

Face it. These days, simple survival has become the goal. Continuing existence is the new victory dance. And then for a half a second you ruminate on how good we got it here. What kind of state the rest of the world is in. And most of our problems just kind of fade away, don’t they?

Sure, with great potential comes great responsibility. But it’s an exciting time. 15 years ago, the only people with GPS units were NASA. Now we got them in our cars and phones. We’re also in the middle of a cheeseburger renaissance and pretty good coffee is available almost everywhere. Not half bad perks. So, what do you say? Shall we give another a year a shot? But just 365 this time around. Don’t know about you but that extra day this year kicked my butt.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s new e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, now available at Redroom.com, Amazon or any fine virtual book retailer near you. And don’t forget the Twentieth Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show. Through Jan 1. 6 comics. 2,000 laughs. Details at willdurst.com or Facebook.

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Video- Best News Bloopers of 2012

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