‘NOT ISLAM’ feel good story of the day

An Oregon garbage collector was going through his route when he saw that an American flag had been blown off its pole and scattered across a trash can. While he could have just ignored it, he instead stopped what he was doing, properly folded the flag as he’d learned in the Boy Scouts, and returned it to its owner.

h/t IJReview


SOCHI: Despite Obama’s obvious anti-Putin ploy of loading the Team USA delegation with homosexuals, Putin pays a personal visit to the athletes

Gee, I’m surprised Obama didn’t also send along some of his Muslim Brotherhood associates with the Team.

USA Today USA House got its most famous visitor yet. Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped in on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s headquarters at the Olympic Park on Friday, removing any lingering tensions over President Barack Obama’s choices for the American delegation to the Sochi Games.


How Conservative/Liberal are you?

TIME Magazine survey claims to be able to determine how conservative or liberal you are by your answers to a few questions.


Click here to take the quiz. Post results in comments section.


I was rated 90% conservative/10% liberal. How about you?

Conservative qualities

  • You like dogs more than cats
  • You think kids should respect authority
  • You like a neat desk
  • You’re not wild about fusion cuisine
  • You think the government should treat the lives of its citizens as much more valuable than those of other countries
  • You don’t think your partner should be looking at porn alone
  • You think the world benefits from nations and borders
  • You prefer Times Square to the Met
  • You’re proud of your country’s history

Liberal qualities

  • You prefer documentaries over action movies
  • You think self-expression trumps self-control
  • You use a modern browser

How it works

We created this survey by drawing on several sources. Research by Sam Gosling, at the University of Texas, has found that liberals generally score higher than conservatives on the trait of “openness to experience.” They are more likely to seek out new experiences (such as fusion cuisine), choose to watch documentaries, or enjoy art museums. They have less conventional notions of what is proper in a romantic relationship, so solo pornography consumption is OK. Conservatives are more likely to stick with what is familiar, what is tried and true. Hence, they are more likely to use a PC than a Mac and are more likely to stick with that PC’s default browser, Internet Explorer. Conservatives score higher than liberals on the trait of conscientiousness. They are more organized (neat desks), punctual, and self-controlled (rather than emphasizing self-expression).

h/t WZ



A welcome ‘paws’ from the relentless stream of depressing news at BNI


The sole survivor from a 3-cub litter, this adorable polar bear cub at the Toronto Zoo took his first wobbly steps yesterday – just in time to celebrate his two-month birthday. While the male bear doesn’t yet have a name, he’s got plenty of character as he squawked and screeched before tentatively walking for the first time.

UK Daily Mail  But life hasn’t always looked as hopeful as it does now for the cub. When he was born on November 9, he had two brothers – but sadly they died within 48 hours. And while his mother, Aurora, showed nothing but love and affection for this baby, she had a history of violence towards her own offspring.


So when zoo staff noticed this cub getting weak, they swiftly moved him into an incubator in intensive care. Since then he has gone from strength to strength. Toronto Zoo carefully monitored his health and milestones: ‘He began showing his contentment by purring on November 15th, crawling on the 17th and rolling over for the first time on November 23rd.’

The bear weighed in at 25 ounces (700g) at birth, but has now increased this to 9.7 pounds (4.4kg) and is currently teething – mostly by biting his blanket. This cub has now had his eyes open for 35 days, is growing whiskers and developing a thicker coat, which will be helpful in the cold Toronto days to come. Most importantly, his biggest achievement so far is taking these first-ever steps.


FINALLY!!! The end of carriage horses in New York City


Probably the first and last policy of new Mayor Bill DeBlasio I’ll ever agree with. The fact that Mayor Bloomberg, whose own daughter owns and competes several multi-million dollar horses, would allow the NYC carriage horses to continue to  suffer such a miserable existence during his 12 years in office, just shows that he doesn’t know sh*t about horses.

DeBlasio to replace inhumane carriage horses with electric antique cars

Horses in the carriage industry are often castoffs from the harness racing industry or from Amish communities and come to the city with pre-existing health problems. They develop further health issues from walking on pavement all day and breathing exhaust from trucks, cars and buses. They work all day in freezing cold and scorching heat and they’re stored in warehouses at night.

They’re never sent out to pasture, never turned out in a field to run around for an hour or two, which all horses deserve, and have no government protection. Carriage owners are legally allowed to work their horses 9 hours a day, seven days a week–whether horses like it or not. But this rule is not enforced, so many work longer hours.

gridlock cropped

The horses suffer and people are endangered too. Horses get spooked easily and can run into traffic. In New York there have been more than 18 accidents involving horses in the past two years. It’s a largely unregulated industry. It’s a half-hour ride for patrons, but it’s a lifetime of misery for the horses.


These beautiful creatures are not housed in barns or anything else that would actually make sense. NO – they’re housed in old tenement buildings where they’re forced up stairs (yes, stairs) and into small areas where they are unable to lay down or move.


According to NYCLASS.ORG“They routinely work at least 9 hours a day, pulling a vehicle that weighs hundreds of pounds, on hard pavement, while breathing exhaust from cars, buses and taxis. Unaccustomed to the urban environment, horses can be “spooked” easily and cause accidents that inflict great damage on vehicles, drivers and most often, the horses themselves. There were six accidents in the Summer and Fall months of 2011 alone” 

Yes, spooked and anything can spook them – flashing lights, loud noises, masses of people. Sounds like all the elements of a city, right? Like, exactly where they should not be. Oh and get this. When they can’t work anymore  they’re auctioned off and inhumanely slaughtered into horse meat and sold in Mexico and Canada.


Forbes  Mayor Michael Bloomberg misled the public in claiming that 210 hard-working carriage horses would go to slaughter if New York City’s carriage trade is shut down after next Tuesday’s election.

An obviously lame horse at work

An obviously lame horse at work

The horses won’t end up in a slaughterhouse, as stated in two separate Daily Newsarticles, including Bloomberg: If carriage horse business ends, horses will die appearing on October 29. (One would think this billionaire daughter’s huge horse farms in both upstate NY and Florida could accommodate a lot of these horses)

This is where these horses are housed in NYC

This is where these horses are housed in NYC

Not according to Jackie Beckstead, Director of Accreditation and Field Operations for the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).

This is a non-profit organization formed in 2007 by nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the animal protection field for the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries worldwide.


And since the Daily Newsarticles came out claiming that none of the horses would find homes, Ms. Beckstead and GFAS have been quietly working to make sure that no NYC carriage horse faces the fate that the mayor is predicting.

“This isn’t about politics,” she says. “It’s about finding homes for all of the horses, and there won’t be a problem doing that.”

Carriage Horse Collapse

Since the articles came out, she’s contacted her extensive network of sanctuaries that take draft horses—precisely the breed who the soon-to-be-ex mayor and the grouchy NY tabloid seem intent on turning into horsemeat—and found plenty of takers.


“We found out who can take the horses and how many,” Beckstead states. “We are told by some of our experienced equine sanctuaries that there is actually a waiting list of good homes for retired carriage horses.”




Making their owners over $15 million a year, these horses have earned a peaceful and safe retirement. If the owners truly care about their horses, as so many claim, then providing for their safety seems a reasonable expectation.

Carriage horses still in their working prime have substantial economic value, so many will almost certainly be purchased by other carriage horse businesses. “That’s what we hear from our draft horse rescues,” she adds.


Hopefully, those that continue working will find a more equine friendly environment than they did under the Bloomberg administration—preferably in a place where the hometown reporter bothers to fact-check the mayor’s claims.

Re-enter the horseless carriage:


New “horseless carriage” vintage-replica electric cars are now in production, thanks to New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS). Car maker Jason Wenig of The Creative Workshop designed the cars to compliment the charm of Central Park. If all goes well, the first vintage cars could be on the streets for test drives in a few months. “The new eco-friendly cars will give tourists a neat way to move around the city, preserve the jobs of the carriage horse drivers, and give horses a break,” Kwan said.