Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We Live in Strange Times….

I think they’re crazy, no really: The Environmental Protection Agency is already favorite topic (for example, the secret goofing-off "man cave" of one EPA contractor in July 2013 and, two months later, the EPA executive who skipped agency work for months by claiming falsely to be on secret CIA missions), but the agency's Denver Regional Office took it to another level in June. In a leaked memo, the Denver deputy director implored employees to end the practice of leaving feces in the office's hallway. The memo referred to "several" incidents.

The Feds really know how to crack down on abuse (not): The federal food stamp program, apparently uncontrollably rife with waste, has resorted to giving financial awards to the states that misspend food stamp money the least. In July, the Florida Department of Children and Families, beaming with pride, announced it had won a federal grant of $7 million for having blown only $47 million in food stamp benefits in 2013 (less than 1 percent of its $6 billion in payments). Vermont, the worst-performing state, misspends almost 10 percent of its food stamp benefits.

Now, don’t get carried away: The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration really came down hard in July on West Virginia's Freedom Industries for violations of chemical safety standards in January 2014 that resulted in the 10-day contamination of drinking water for 300,000 residents. OSHA issued two fines to the company -- one for $7,000 and the other for $4,000. That’ll teach ‘em!

Irony: The large cement "Humpty Dumpty" at the Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon, created by Roger Tofte in 1970, was destroyed when two intruders tried to climb the wall Humpty was sitting on. However, the wall crumbled and Humpty suffered a great fall, and Tofte said he doubted he could put Humpty back together again, but would try instead to make a new one.

Well, at least it was entertaining: Sheriff's deputies in Salina, Kansas, arrested Aaron Jansen, 29, but not before he put on quite a show on July 5. Jansen, speeding in a car spray-painted with derogatory comments about law enforcement, refused to pull over and even survived a series of tire-shredding road spikes as he turned into a soybean field, where he revved the engine and drove in circles for 40 minutes. As deputies set up a perimeter, Jansen futilely tossed items from the car (blankets, CDs, anything available) and then (with the car still moving) climbed out the driver's door and briefly "surfed" on the roof. Finally, as deputies closed in, Jansen shouted a barrage of Bible verses before emerging from the car wearing a cowboy hat, boots and a woman's dress.

Today’s Reflection:
Here's to a temperance supper,
With water in glasses tall,
And coffee and tea to end with--
And me not there at all!

Live Long and Prosper…

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