My friend and DisinfoCast alum Lyle Blackburn was on a recent episode of “Finding Bigfoot”. Lyle and the crew went in search of the Boggy Creek monster. Lyle’s got a new book out now, Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster that I’m currently reading in preparation for another interview. His first book, The Beast of Boggy Creek, is one of my favorite works of cryptozoological sleuthing. Lyle has a good head on his shoulders, and considers the folkloric aspects of his pursuits as important as the monster hunt itself. It’s just fun reading, whether you believe in the ‘squatch or not.
Tag Archives | Arkansas
PolicyMic on the latest efforts to restrict what you can do with your body:
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Last March, the Arkansas State Senate voted 26 to 4 in favor of SB 387, a bill limiting tattoos, piercings, and other forms of body art that it deemed “untraditional.”
After making several modifications, the State’s House of Representatives has started to coalesce behind a compromise measure that could, plausibly, be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Because of its vague wording, it’s difficult to construe exactly which procedures would be “limited” or outright banned. While the bill only specifically proscribes dermal implants, its language regarding tattoos is ambiguous enough that some pundits have expressed concern it could be interpreted more broadly.
This measure is flagrantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment clearly prohibits government efforts at “abridging the freedom of speech,” which our courts have repeatedly found includes forms of artistic expression like corporal modification.
Steve Horn writes at DeSmogBlog:
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An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.
Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few.
But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever.
The chemicals found in the samples include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane, and xylenes. Breathing in both ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and reproductive effects, while breathing in n-hexane can damage the nervous system and usher in numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.
The mayor explains that normal constitutional protections don’t apply, because, due to the high rate of property crime, anyone walking outdoors in his city is a criminal suspect. Via Russia Today:
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In order to curb the rising crime rate in this town of barely 25,000, Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall endorsed a plan to send cops dressed in full-fledged SWAT gear and equipped with AR-15s into downtown Paragould starting in 2013. What’s more, Stovall says, is he intends to have the cops collecting identification from everyone and anyone.
“If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID,” the Daily Press reports him saying during last week’s meeting. “We will be asking for picture identification. We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area. We will be keeping a record of those we contact.”
“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” he said.
An Arkansas Democrat has a message for whomever killed his kids’ cat: “I’ve got a gun and I know how to use it.”
According to the Blue Arkansas blog, the campaign manager to Ken Aden, who’s running for the state’s third congressional district, came home last night to discover the family pet had been murdered and left on their front porch, as if the attacker wanted it to be discovered.
The feline’s skull was bashed in, and an ominous message was carved into its side: “LIBERAL.”
“If I have to protect my kids, I’ll do it without hesitation,” Aden campaign manager Jake Burris told Blue Arkansas.
The killing comes after a weekend of positive press for Aden, a former soldier running for Congress as a Democrat in one of the most conservative areas of Arkansas…
[continues at RawStory]
In recent times, New Year’s seems to always bring with it mystifying mass animal deaths. What an appropriate way to ring in 2012! The New York Daily News writes:
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Thousands of blackbirds dropped dead on New Year’s Eve in Arkansas in an incident eerily similar to one that occurred at the same time a year ago.
The disturbing deaths in Beebe, a city northwest of Little Rock, were sparked after loud fireworks sent flocks of the small birds into a panic, scientists said. This caused them to collide with each other, as well as power lines, houses and cars.
On New Year’s Eve 2010, an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 birds died from “blunt trauma” after they were similarly spooked by fireworks.
Eyewitnesses told authorities “the birds were hitting mailboxes, cars, basketball goals, houses, trees,” Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told the Daily News last January. “The trauma shows that they were in flight when they collided with something that killed them.”
The bird deaths, which were followed only days later by hundreds of more bird deaths in Louisiana, sparked conspiracy theories ranging from the Biblical end of the world to government coverups.
The deluge of dead red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and starlings that fell out of the skies over Beebe, Ark., on New Year's Eve in all likelihood has a simple scientific explanation. Yet genuine concern spread quickly through the town of about 5,000 on New Year's Eve, and understandably so, as environmental cleanup workers in white jumpsuits descended on Beebe on New Year's Day to pick up thousands of dead birds from roads and walkways. The main worry was that the birds, like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, were an indicator of a toxic threat – a possibility that has largely been ruled out. Yet the event spooked residents near and far as, in the absence of a final explanation, imaginations are running wild. People have tried to link the bird die-off — which is certainly unusual, though not unprecedented — to everything from a sign of biblical end times to chemical conspiracies, shifts in the Earth's magnetic core, and even proof of UFOs.
While every school board member has the right to their own opinions and religious beliefs, it does not need to be posted on Facebook. Then again, the first amendment condones this behavior. The Washington Post reports:
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A member of a northern Arkansas school board, commenting on campaign to get people to wear purple to show support for bullied gay and lesbian youth, purportedly posted on Facebook that the only way he would wear purple is “if they all commit suicide.”
The Arkansas Department of Education on Wednesday condemned the alleged posting by Midland School Board member Clint McCance.
The Advocate, a magazine that reports about gay issues, first reported about the posting on its website. The Facebook page has been disabled, but The Advocate posted a screen grab of the purported postings that it says someone forwarded to it.
McCance’s alleged posting was in response to a Facebook campaign that asked supporters to wear purple last Wednesday to show solidarity after several gay and lesbian youths killed themselves, reportedly because of bullying.