Via reader Ron, this tale of an amazing crime spree:
A spate of mysterious crimes carried out by ninjas has left Pittsburghers annoyed and confused.
In the latest event, a sword-wielding ninja smashed 11 cars in South Union Township, PA. and tried to stab a man who confronted him, say police. Santino Guzzo said he heard glass breaking, found the ninja hiding in a yard, and was cut in the hand during the ensuing ninja escape.
“He was like a gazelle that just got attacked by a lion,” Guzzo told the Pittsburgh Trib. “He got up and fell, and got up and fell. Then he jumped off a cliff.”
Guzzo reported that he “did not move with the grace typically associated with a ninja” and that he therefore “will not live in fear of the ninja’s return.”
WTAE news, quoting neighbor Chelsey Cunningham, said the ninja also left behind “like, a fifth of liquor.”
A few weeks ago in Scottdale, PA, a man was charged with child endangerment after leaving his 4-year old child at home alone. Police insist that Ross Hurst, 28, was dressed in ninja garb when approached. Hurst denies being a ninja and says it was all a misunderstanding.
“I wasn’t playing ninja,” Hurst told WPXI news. “I wasn’t playing anything. I went out for a jog.”
Not long ago, two sword-wielding ninjas robbed a gas station in Richland Township, PA, taking with them cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets.
“It did appear they were dressed like ninjas,” said local police chief Robert Amman. Local businessman Rick Lekki reported that it happened just across from his bar.
“It’s shocking. Things like that just don’t happen out here. I just can’t believe it happened,” Lekki told a local news affilliate, narrowing his eyes as a menacing, discordant note escaped an unseen shakuhachi flute.
Way to go, guys! The International Association of Firefighters announced yesterday it was “turning off the spigot” for donations to federal candidates and PACs:
Last election cycle, FIREPAC was in the top 1.1 percent of the more than 7,100 federally registered PACs in terms of dollars raised and was the 10th largest PAC in candidate contributions. It was also one of the most bi-partisan PACs.
In total, we spent close to $15 million in the last election cycle on behalf of federal candidates and both political parties, helping to elect those who support us and defeat those who oppose us.
But the attacks launched at our members since the November 2010 elections have changed the landscape.
Extreme right-wing conservative and so-called Tea Party politicians are coming after fire fighters, paramedics and all public workers with a vengeance across the United States. They are attempting to take away basic American rights like collective bargaining and your right to negotiate for a good quality of life for your families. They are working to eliminate your pensions and retirement security. They want to silence your voice by gagging you with legislation they call Paycheck Protection. They are taking away the long-held right of dues deductions from paychecks to try to weaken the finances of our union. They want to hurt all unions and drive down wages and benefits with Right-to-Work laws.
Not only are extremist Republicans trying to destroy us — too few Democrats are standing up and fighting for us.
Over the past two years, politicians from both parties have failed to address our issues in Washington, DC. Now, anti-labor members of Congress and their allies are championing measures that would undermine pension security, tax employer-sponsored health benefits, force newly hired fire fighters into Social Security and attack federal fire fighters. And with no pro-fire fighter legislation likely to be advanced in the 112th Congress – it’s time to take a stand.
With the survival of our union and the ability to preserve and protect the rights, wages and benefits our members deserve in jeopardy in the states, we have re-evaluated how to get the best results for our political dollars.
With the full support of our union’s Executive Board, we are turning off the spigot to federal candidates and federal parties, party committees and the super PACs that are created to support them.
Historically, FIREPAC has made most of its contributions to federal candidates. But it’s time to send a clear message to all politicians at every level that the support of this IAFF is not automatic. It must be earned.
Hopefully more states will follow in NJ’s footsteps. Gov. Christie vetoed it the first time, but signed it after the legislature amended the bill by replacing the right to file a civil suit against offending businesses with fines:
In just over a month, a new law in the state of New Jersey forbidding business from discriminating against unemployed job candidates will take effect.
You can find a copy of the new law here. Under this new law, New Jersey businesses may not advertise job openings in New Jersey that contain one or more of the following three items:
Any provision stating that the qualifications for a job include current employment;
Any provision stating that the employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee will not consider or review an application for employment submitted by any job applicant currently unemployed; or
Any provision stating that the employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee will only consider or review applications for employment submitted by job applicants who are currently employed.
First time violators will get tagged with a $1,000 fine. Repeat offenders will be fined $5,000. Three or more strikes will earn you a $10,000 fine per incident.
[...] The new law will take effect on June 1, 2011.
Looks like the EPA has no intention of standing by and letting Gov. Corbett’s contributors foul our waterways:
The federal Environmental Protection Agency is doing more than looking over the shoulder of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. The EPA is apparently not satisfied with the way the DEP is handling an investigation into last week’s spill in the Marcellus Shale.
Chesapeake Energy has maintained that malfunctioning equipment caused fracking fluids to flow like a geyser at one of its well in Bradford County.
Officials with the EPA say the DEP is still in control of the investigation, but federal authorities are on the ground asking tough questions and seeking data. It is rather strange since no one was injured and it does not appear that the leak caused irreversible, long term, damage to the environment.
Oversite like this did not occur during former DEP Secretary John Hanger’s watch. Has the Department of Environmental Protection’s reputation fallen that much in the days in the few months since Hanger departed?
Hanger told the Patriot-News, “It means that the gas-drilling industry in Pennsylvania will be regulated in practice by both DEP and EPA, at least in some cases and respects.”
The EPA maintains that the course of action is routine, but this is the first time it has conducted such an inquiry in the Marcellus.
Thousands of gallons of fracking fluid leaked into the ground and a tributary before Chesapeake managed to seal it.
“We want a complete accounting of operations at the site to determine our next steps in this incident and to help prevent future releases of this kind,” EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said in a statement.
Paul Ryan is flipping out that town hall attendees aren’t going to follow his command to “play nice” in front of the media. Can you imagine the sheer arrogance? Do you think he told Tea Party members to behave nicely during last year’s health care town halls? Seems like people are just too stubborn to swallow the right wing talking points anymore!
KENOSHA – Protesters waited for Congressman Paul Ryan outside a listening session at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, many of them were seniors holding preprinted signs that read ‘Hands Off My Medicare.’
They chanted, “Ryan stop lying!”
There was capacity crowd inside the school’s Madrigrana Auditorium.
“Do not renew the Bush tax credit for the wealthy,” one man said during the public comment period, even giving out his phone number in front of everyone. “I’ll debate these issues with you anytime, just call me.”
At times, the Janesville Republican sounded more like a referee than a lawmaker.
“If you’re yelling, I just want to ask you to leave,” Ryan requested. “If you’re going to scream out like that, it’s just not polite to everyone. We’ve got media here. Let’s prove to them that Wisconsinites can be cordial with one another.”
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I have this great music trivia book, “Rock and Roll Heaven Entrance Exam.” So I got the idea to have Will Bunch, Charlie Pierce, Molly Ivors and Steve Simels on Virtually Speaking Susie for a music trivia night, because we’re all such music geeks.
So last Friday night, I start looking for the book and can’t find it. Bright idea: order it from Amazon Prime (two-day shipping) and after I use it, I can always give it as a present. I order the book (Amazon promises me it will be here Tuesday).
Nope. Never shows up.
Turns out that, through a horrible chain of events that are FUBAR, Amazon has me down as having two accounts — and only one of them has two-day shipping. WTF? I make another desperate search for the original copy, but no luck. So I discover there’s an iPhone app which makes the book into a game, and spring for the $.99.
Then I get an email from Simels. He’s sick, he can’t do it. But it’s okay, because after all, I have three other guests.
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Keep May 6th and May 12th open.