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May 20, 2003

California tracking activists in terror database
Oakland Tribune | Submitted by: Soylent
"CATIC -- touted as a national model for intelligence sharing and a centerpiece of Gov. Gray Davis and Attorney General Bill Lockyer's 2002 re-election bids -- has quietly gathered and analyzed information on activists of various stripes almost since its creation." How can they possibly justify this? Because public protests often block traffic, blocking traffic impedes commerce, and anything that impedes commerce is a terrorist act. Or, as one douchebag puts it: "I've heard terrorism described as anything that is violent or has an economic impact, and shutting down a port certainly would have some economic impact. Terrorism isn't just bombs going off and killing people." How's about fuck you, pal.

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Pentagon finally building The Beast of Revelation
Wired | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person's life, index all the information and make it searchable. ... The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read." Great. Just great.

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The problem of glue-huffing, armed Iraqi street urchins
BBC | Submitted by: Jim Jones
"Until sanctions began following the first Gulf War, the problem of street kids -- homeless, hungry, often drug-addicted children roaming the streets of Baghdad -- was very small. But since 1991 a great number have been abandoned by parents too poor to feed them, and the numbers grew dramatically during the conflict earlier this year, after looters attacked orphanages following the fall of Baghdad. ... Most of them are thieves. They get drunk and take drugs -- they even have sexual relations with each other." With world's greatest photo.

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Filipinos unhappy about drinking corpse broth
Wire Services | Submitted by: Bama62
"Millions of people in Manila have been drinking super-chlorinated water this week as the body of a teenager remained stubbornly stuck in a major supply pipe. ... The company has insisted the water supply is safe as it tries to dislodge the body."

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Leaked memos show Congressional infighting post 9-11
capitolhillblue.com | Submitted by: Ann Onymous
"Nearly six years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman was told by his senior staff that the FBI and other government agencies had missed warning signs about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and were ill-prepared to prevent future domestic terrorist attacks, memos show. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, whose committee oversees federal law enforcement, approved holding investigative hearings about the information, but they never took place, the memos show. ... Hatch preferred not to air the FBI's problems in public. 'His solution to problems within the FBI is to send more money, create more bureaucracy and give them more authority to trample our civil liberties... That is not oversight. That is a knee-jerk reaction that has never worked.'"

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Serious shit going down in Congo
BBC | Submitted by: Jim Jones
"Allegations of cannibalism and mass murder are coming from Congolese civilians of the Hema ethnic group who have fled across the border into western Uganda. It is impossible to verify some of the more extreme claims -- for example that the ethnic Lendu militia have eaten the hearts of Hema victims or worn their intestines as a grisly headdress." Locals are begging the UN to send peacekeeping troops, but nobody really expects that to happen anytime soon. The United Nations is all tuckered out from its noninvolvement in the Iraq War.

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Just can't keep "nigger" off the map
Reuters | Submitted by: Jim Jones
"Nigger Jim Hammock Bridge in Florida's Hendry County is just one of 144 places throughout the United States whose name or an official version of it includes the derogatory term for black people, a term seen as the ultimate, signature word for racism in America. ... Most of them label bodies of water -- streams, bays, reservoirs, creeks and lakes. Others are summits, valleys, trails or mines. Maryland has an island called Negro Island or Nigger Island in Wicomico County. Washington state has a Nigger Creek in Chelan County, according to the federal database." Yeah, well... what about Skinhead Junction in Boise, or Poor White Trash Bluffs outside Bakersfield? Okay, I just made those up.

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Chimps are now humans
Discovery Channel | Submitted by: Soylent
"Chimpanzees share 99.4 percent of functionally important DNA with humans and belong in our genus, Homo, according to a recent genetic study. Previous studies put the genetic similarity between humans and chimps at 95 to 99 percent, so the new figure suggests chimps and humans are even more closely related than previously thought. ... [T]he DNA information, combined with the ancestral links, should result in a new family tree, with the genus Homo including humans, common chimpanzees, and bonobo chimpanzees."

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Employee fired via SMS
beaufortgazette.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"A Sydney traffic controller sued his former employer for unfair dismissal Tuesday, claiming the he was sacked via mobile phone text message from a company director." Apparently the message read: "Its official, you no longer work for JNI Traffic Control and u have forfided any arrangements made." At least they could have spellchecked the damn thing.

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Wife takes out insurance policy on her looks
BBC | Submitted by: Bored_technician
"A woman who is worried her husband might leave her if she loses her looks has insured her face for 100,000. Nicole Jones, of Bristol, is paying 200 a year for the policy, which will pay out if she is no longer deemed to be attractive. She took the policy out as a birthday present for her husband Simon, who had always joked that he would leave her if she let herself go as she got older."

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Marines kicked out of Iraqi city for suspicious grafitti
Observer | Submitted by: Ann Onymous
"One of the greatest wonders of civilisation, and probably the world's most ancient structure - the Sumerian city of Ur in southern Iraq - has been vandalised by American soldiers and airmen, according to aid workers in the area. They claim that US forces have spray-painted the remains with graffiti and stolen kiln-baked bricks made millennia ago. As a result, the US military has put the archaeological treasure, which dates back 6,000 years, off-limits to its own troops." One thing bothers me, though. "One graffiti reads: 'SEMPER FE' - Always Faithful - the motto of the Marines." Except that even the dumbest jarhead knows that it's actually "Semper Fi" -- short for Semper Fidelis. I smell a frame-up.

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Norwegian sex freak steals diaper bag
nettavisen.no | Submitted by: oleval
"The 29 year old, who is said to suffer from sexual discrepancy, broke into the kindergarten in July last year, stealing a baby care bag, children's clothes, a doll and some [diapers]. The court stated that the man had stolen the objects in order to satisfy his anomalous sexual instinct."

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Most retarded jailhouse birthday ever
thedailyitemoflynn.com | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"In the first incident at 11:20 a.m., Officer Goldstein is seen flicking Austin's ear twice and then slapping the back of Austin's head. Just over an hour later, the tape shows Officers Goldstein and Lavoie handcuffing Austin and forcing him to eat cake with his face down against the plate. Then at 2:20 p.m., the officers again handcuffed Austin and forced him to eat the cake, which was brought in for Kostan's birthday."

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