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This one time at band camp…

Band director loses job amid probe

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored “serious cultural issues” including sexual harassment.

Jonathan Waters had led the band since 2012, and served in lesser capacities for a decade before that. His halftime shows for what’s known to fans as “The Best Damn Band in the Land” were considered revolutionary and drew millions of viewers on YouTube.

Fledgling university president Michael Drake, on the job just three weeks, said in a video statement posted to Ohio State’s website that a two-month investigation uncovered a “sexualized” culture inside the band and determined Waters knew and failed to stop harassment.

The big news here is that band kids have sex….

Man, or possibly hospital, misplaces penis…

Alabama man sues hospital he claims ‘amputated’ penis instead of circumcising it.

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Johnny Lee Banks Jr., 56, said in a lawsuit filed in state court earlier this week that no one at the Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, had told him why it had been necessary to remove his penis, according to his attorney, John Graves. “My client is devastated,”

Graves said Banks, who is married and does not work due to a disability, did not recall the precise date of the incident but believed it occurred in June, his attorney said.

So…exactly how many days did this guy go before he noticed something (‘his thing’) was amiss?

Everybody hates David Gregory. Everybody. Even people and things on other planets hate David Gregory.

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The 43-year-old Gregory, who has been hosting NBC News’ venerable Sunday public affairs program since December 2008 to inexorably declining ratings, didn’t respond to an email requesting guidance on his situation.

But the Page Six item—which suggested that Turness will replace Gregory at MTP shortly after the midterm elections in November—prompted an energetic round of speculation among network insiders about who planted it, for what reason, and which ambitious on-air personality will dislodge Gregory from the anchor chair of the third-place Sunday show.        

In multiple conversations that I had with people inside and outside NBC after the item appeared, it was taken as a given that Gregory is toast. The Post reported viewership has sunk an alarming 43 percent—and in recent months MTP has been beaten consistently by ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos and CBS’s Face the Nation, hosted by Bob Schieffer—since Gregory assumed the unenviable position of taking over for the late Tim Russert, who turned the show during his 16 years as moderator into No. 1 must-see Sunday television.

Really, you guys? I mean, seriously?

Rifle-toting birthers at JFK murder site rebuke ‘foreigners’ and ‘sexually-charged’ women

Supporters of open carry gun laws rallied over the weekend by bringing assault-style rifles and other types of firearms to Dealey Plaza, the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

In a video posted to YouTube, activists explain that they return to Dealey Plaza in Dallas each month to exercise their right to openly carry firearms.

Documents displayed by the demonstrators include information about New York Pastor James David Manning, who has criticized President Barack Obama for releasing “the homo demons,” and who also believes that Jesus would “stone” LGBT people to death.

Sunday in the park with Jesus

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Christians harvesting souls by the swing-set:

An evangelical group has launched a campaign to convert children to Christianity at public spaces and schools in Oregon.

[…]

The group’s website claims most people become Christians between ages 4 and 14 years old, so they target children with the message that all people are sinful and that only Christian faith will save them from hell.

“The most spiritually productive harvest field anywhere is among the children,” the group says on its website.

But a spokesman for the religious group said it hoped only to reach young people at parks, apartment pools, and other gathering spots to educate them about Christianity.

“Children are easy to manipulate, we all know that,” said Moises Esteves, the group’s vice president. “We don’t use any of the schemes and high-pressure tactics that we’re accused of. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Or, put another way:

You see I can’t always get through to you so I go for your son" - Joe Jackson, I’m The Man

Revenge of the Spelling Nazi Beetles

In the truth is stranger than fiction department, Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes Griffith Park, told Pop & Hiss over the weekend that the pine tree planted in 2004 near Griffith Observatory in memory of George Harrison will be replanted shortly because the original tree died as the result of an insect infestation.

Yes, the George Harrison Tree was killed by beetles.

Except for the loss of tree life, Harrison likely would have been amused at the irony. He once said his biggest break in life was getting into the Beatles; his second biggest was getting out.

RIP James Garner

Amiable actor James Garner, whose moderately successful film career was eclipsed by two extraordinarily popular television series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” has died, according to reports. He was 86.

Like many popular leading men of Hollywood’s heyday, Garner boasted all-American good looks and a winning personality that carried him through comedy and drama alike. He was one of the first of TV’s leading men to cross over into films in the ’60s with such popular movies as “The Thrill of It All” and “The Americanization of Emily.” But he had his greatest impact in television, first on “Maverick” in the ’50s and then in the ’70s on “The Rockford Files,” for which he won an Emmy in 1977. He later appeared in several quality telepics including “Promise,” “My Name Is Bill W.” and “Barbarians at the Gate,” as well as the occasional strong feature such as “Victor/Victoria” and “Murphy’s Romance,” for which he captured his sole Oscar nomination for lead actor.

Garner won two Emmys and racked up a total of 15 nominations.

This would never happen at a Taco Bell

Woman drops pants, attacks at burger joint

WASHINGTON— An apparently enraged woman walked into a local burger joint in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood called “Broadway Dick’s Drive-in,” assaulted the employees there, and then dropped her pants.

Seattle police did not identify the woman, but told reporters that she became belligerent when told by the manager to leave, hurling condiments and a charity box at the staff behind the counter. If this wasn’t expressive enough, she pulled down her pants and began performing a “lewd act in front of Dick’s” said police.

She’s been arrested and booked for harassment and assault. She apparently caused $75 worth of damage during her explicit tirade. Sorry, no photos are available.

That last part is kind of a relief…

RJ Reynolds get smoked by Florida jury

A Florida state jury has ordered the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company to pay $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the wife of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer, attorneys said.

Friday’s verdict, seen as one of the largest for a single plaintiff in Florida history, also awarded more than $16 million in compensatory damages to the estate of Michael Johnson Sr.

During the four-week trial, lawyers for Johnson’s widow Cynthia Robinson argued that RJ Reynolds was negligent in informing consumers of the dangers of consuming tobacco and thus led to Johnson contracting lung cancer from smoking cigarettes.

'Philip was burning himself out before your eyes'

John le Carré on the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman:

A lot of actors act intelligent, but Philip was the real thing: a shining, artistic polymath with an intelligence that came at you like a pair of headlights and enveloped you from the moment he grabbed your hand, put a huge arm round your neck and shoved a cheek against yours; or if the mood took him, hugged you to him like a big, pudgy schoolboy, then stood and beamed at you while he took stock of the effect.

Philip took vivid stock of everything, all the time. It was painful and exhausting work, and probably in the end his undoing. The world was too bright for him to handle. He had to screw up his eyes or be dazzled to death. Like Chatterton, he went seven times round the moon to your one, and every time he set off, you were never sure he’d come back, which is what I believe somebody said about the German poet Hölderlin: Whenever he left the room, you were afraid you’d seen the last of him. And if that sounds like wisdom after the event, it isn’t. Philip was burning himself out before your eyes. Nobody could live at his pace and stay the course, and in bursts of startling intimacy he needed you to know it.

Really beautiful piece of writing about an once in a lifetimel talent.

Elizabeth Warren is making sense. Again.

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Plain talk:

Most significantly, [Warren’s] speech now contains a pointed passage on international trade, in which deals like NAFTA and the upcoming TPP deal are framed as yet another way the dice are loaded, and another example of there not being any pea under any of the shells. “These trade deals,” she said, “are done in secret so big corporations can do their dirty work behind closed doors, so they can have their insider access while worker’s rights and environmental regulations are gutted. You know, I’ve actually had people who support these trade deals come up to me and say that they have to be done in secret because, if they weren’t, the people would be opposed. To me, if people would be opposed, then we shouldn’t do the trade deals.”

How stunning that we are now in a place where the obvious sounds downright revolutionary…

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