I never get tired of the video of Tara the cat giving hell to a dog who dared to attack her human. Now another cat with strong protective instincts is being recognized as a hero after he rescued another little boy from his attackers — human ones this time.
This is Smudge with his human, five-year-old Ethan Fenton. Ethan was playing outside with his little brother Ashton when some older boys came along and began taunting him. Ethan tried to ignore the bullies, but they kept picking on him, and then one of them pushed him down.
When Smudge saw this, he sprang into action. He flew at the bully and pounced on him. The boy stumbled backwards, then burst into tears and ran away.
Ever since then, Smudge has been extra-protective of Ethan, even guarding his bedroom door at night. Let’s hope the bully learned an important life lesson from the experience.
(read the full story here)
From The Washington Times.
Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.
The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.
Congressional investigators of the IRS targeting of conservative groups have been hampered by the unexplained destruction of emails and other records of Ms. Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division and a central figure in the scandal.
The loss of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive also raised broader questions about why the tax agency never reported the missing records to the National Archives and Records Administration, as required by the Federal Records Act.
While those questions remained unresolved, IRS officials signaled plans to destroy tens of thousands of additional electronic records.
“After all media are destroyed, they must not be capable of any reuse or information retrieval,” IRS officials stated in the contract papers.
[story continues here]
Exactly the sort of b.s. we’ve come to expect from government. Via The San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
In order to save water in a severe drought, Laura Whitney-Korte reduced watering her lawn to two times a week, turns off the shower to suds up and never leaves the faucet running while brushing her teeth.
And what has she received for her water-saving efforts? A threatening letter from the city of Glendora’s code enforcement team saying that her brown lawn could be a “potential public nuisance problem” that may cost her $100-$500 in fines and possible criminal action.
“Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green,” read the letter, which said maintaining this appearance is part of keeping Glendora beautiful and keeping up city’s “Pride of the Foothills” image.
The letter, with the city seal and the police department seal, contained three pictures: a dead lawn with a red line through it, a weedy lawn also crossed out and a lush, green lawn with a sprinkler running in the daytime, apparently the positive example.
“It is telling me I’d better get my lawn green and I have 60 days to do it,” said Laura Whitney-Korte.
Whitney-Korte and her husband, Michael, are caught in a squeeze. On one hand, they said they want to obey Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to reduce water consumption 20 percent because California is in the third year of record low rainfall with some communities running out of water.
In fact, the governor’s call was strengthened Tuesday — the same day the couple received the letter — when the State Water Resources Control Board gave local agencies the power to hand out $500 fines for overwatering lawns.
Now, the couple says they are trying to avoid paying fines to City Hall for having an unkept front and side lawn, which they say ironically will require watering every day to remedy.
“It seems like you’ll be fined if you overwater but we will be fined no matter what,” said Laura, during an interview inside the couple’s 1946, post-war bungalow in south Glendora.
This story comes from the Los Angeles Times, which as far as I know is not a satire site:
Brian Reichle couldn’t have gotten a pepperoni pizza much faster.
Needing to replenish his stash of pot one recent afternoon, the Burbank resident dialed Speed Weed. Within the hour, a driver arrived with a white paper bag carrying a gram of cannabis, 10 joints and a handful of pot-infused candies and cookies.
“They come to my house, and they’re in and out,” said Reichle, 39, a comedian who spends about $100 a week on medical marijuana. “I shouldn’t have to go to a store.”
Once a small, word-of-mouth phenomenon, mobile marijuana businesses now number in the hundreds across Southern California. Nationwide, pot delivery services have nearly tripled in three years, from 877 to 2,617, according to Weedmaps, a Yelp-like online directory for pot businesses.
“I still believe 75% of marijuana patients don’t know delivery is a thing,” said Speed Weed owner A.J. Gentile, 42, a Bronx native who also works as a voice-over actor. “It’s safer to engage this way. You don’t have to go to a sketchy dispensary. That’s why we get so many female customers.”
The proliferation of delivery services is fueled in part by city efforts to reduce the number of dispensaries. About 200 have closed in Los Angeles since voters approved Proposition D last year, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office said.
Under the measure, dispensaries and their landlords can be prosecuted if the shops aren’t properly registered or if they fail to operate a legal distance from public parks, schools, child-care centers and other facilities. As a result, the owners of closed stores sitting on piles of unsold inventory figure they have little choice but to start a delivery service.