Attention

All comments are subject to approval by Moderators. Any off-topic comments will be rejected. Thanks for your cooperation!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Attack On Family Is Latest Incident In Wave Of Anti-Black Violence

The trouble began soon after they arrived.

The black family—a mother, three teenage children and a 10-year-old boy—moved into a little yellow home in Compton over Christmas vacation.

When a friend came to visit, four men in a black SUV pulled up and called him a "nigger," saying black people were barred from the neighborhood, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. They jumped out, drew a gun on him and beat him with metal pipes.

It was just the beginning of what detectives said was a campaign by a Latino street gang to force an African American family to leave.

The attacks on the family are the latest in a series of violent incidents in which Latino gangs targeted blacks in parts of greater Los Angeles over the last decade.

More 

Japan To Slash Welfare Benefits In Attempt To Root Out "Comfortably Poor

Two months ago we demonstrated [7]one of the biggest paradoxes of the current iteration of the US welfare state, in which a single mom earning gross income of $29,000 has the same disposable income after all net benefits as a worker who has gross income of $69,000. The same logic is applicable to all those who instead of working, opt to receive foodstamps, disability payments, and the occasional Obama phone, all the while dropping out of the labor force and making the BLS' job of indicating a dropping unemployment rate a little easier. And while the US is fully intent on converting an ever rising portion of the population into these "comfortably poor" zombies who no longer have any marketable skills, and are completely unqualified to be competitive in an increasingly more specialized workforce, one place where such welfare handouts will no longer be tolerated is Japan, of all places.

As Japan Times reports, "welfare benefits will be slashed by ¥74 billion over a three-year period starting from fiscal 2013, after a government panel found that some people are making more on the dole than the average low-income person who is not spends on living costs, it was learned Sunday." We await with eager amusement as this attempt to impose austerity on the comfortably poor takes place in the US next. Considering there was nearly a revolution in California a few weeks back when EBT cards malfunctioned for a few brief hours, the outcome of a comparable belt-tightening in the US would have truly hilarious, not to mention lethal, consequences.

More

Promises Promises


Geithner's Legacy: The "0.2%" Hold $7.8 Trillion, Or 69% Of All Assets; And $212 Trillion Of Derivative Liabilities

As of this morning Tim Geithner is no longer Treasury Secretary. And while Tim Geithner's reign of clueless pandering to the banks has left the US will absolutely disastrous consequences, an outcome that will become clear in time, the most ruinous of his policies is making the banks which were too big to fail to begin with, so big they can neither fail nor be sued, as the recent fiasco surrounding the exit of Assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer showed [8]. Just how big are these banks? Dallas Fed's Disk Fisher explains [9].
It is important to have an accurate view of the landscape of banking today in order to understand the impact of this proposal.

As of third quarter 2012, there were approximately 5,600 commercial banking organizations in the U.S. The bulk of these—roughly 5,500—were community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. These community-focused organizations accounted for 98.6 percent of all banks but only 12 percent of total industry assets. Another group numbering nearly 70 banking organizations—with assets of between $10 billion and $250 billion—accounted for 1.2 percent of banks, while controlling 19 percent of industry assets. The remaining group, the megabanks—with assets of between $250 billion and $2.3 trillion—was made up of a mere 12 institutions. These dozen behemoths accounted for roughly 0.2 percent of all banks, but they held 69 percent of industry assets.

More

Unfit for Combat

The United States Marine Corps is set to shed more than 20,000 active duty positions in the coming years and have already commenced a process meant to force some senior officers into an early retirement.

The Marines are on course to cut around 4,000 positions a year through 2017, decreasing the total number of Marines to 182,100 from its peak last year of 202,100, according to a major scale-down order that was quietly issued last year.

The reduction in forces could leave the elite fighting force underprepared to battle multiple regional threats, particularly those in the Middle East, according to military experts.

More 

Daniel Hannan Destroys The 3 Unquestionable Myths Of Our Crisis

Driving Through Sea Foam

Witness: South Alabama Bus Driver Shot; Child Taken By Man

The Dale County Sheriff's Department has established a command post location at the intersection of 231 North and Private Road 1539 in Dale County, Alabama following a shooting.

Multiple agencies are present assisting with the incident where multiple reports are indicating that a bus driver was shot and a student on-board the bus was taken hostage. The incident started around 3:40pm Tuesday near Destiny Church.

Both north and southbound traffic on U.S. Hwy. 231 near the church have been rerouted to keep commuters away from the area.

More 

How Iceland Overthrew The Banks: The Only 3 Minutes Of Any Worth From Davos

Toilet Paper Restrictions Concern

MAHANOY CITY - Vandalism in Mahanoy Area High School boys' bathrooms has resulted in toilet paper being issued by request as needed, a policy that one parent believes is embarrassing for students.

Karen Yedsena, Mahanoy City, spoke during the public portion of Thursday's school board meeting, asking about the policy.

"I'm asking about the high school and why the boys are not allowed to have toilet paper except if they go to the nurse or the office to get it," Yedsena said.

The boys' bathrooms in the high school do not have toilet paper due to vandalism. Any boy needing the bathroom tissue must ask for it and sign it out.

High school Principal Thomas Smith said it was a solution to a major problem.

More 

Catholic Schools Week Celebrates Raising The Standard

"Catholic Schools Raise the Standards" is the theme for Catholic Schools Week 2013, the annual celebration of the high quality, faith based education the nation's Catholic schools provide. The observance is scheduled for January 27 to February 2, 2013.
The 2013 theme highlights the recent launch of a new initiative, theNational Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, to ensure consistent high standards at Catholic schools across the country. The logo designed for the week illustrates a chart of steady growth culminating in the highest achievement of all, a cross representing the faith that underscores all Catholic education.
More

‘THE PROBLEM IS NOT GUN LAWS’: WATCH THE EMOTIONAL SPEECH BY A SANDY HOOK VICTIM’S DAD THAT GOT A STANDING OVATION

Parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School appeared before a subcommittee of the Connecticut Legislature on Monday to speak about gun control. While some used the platform to promote stricter firearms legislation, at least one parent became passionate, claiming that there are more than enough laws on the books, that current regulations simply need to be enforced and that the nation needs to embrace personal responsibility.

Mark Mattioli, whose six-year-old son James perished inside of the school, testified that a plethora of new gun laws isn’t the answer and that, instead, personal responsibility, accountability and civility are the best path forward. He made his comments as intense debate surrounding gun control and the causal factors behind the shooting continue to be at the forefront of public discussion.

The grieving father, who ended up receiving a standing ovation, said that he believes in “simple, few gun laws” and that there are already “more than enough on the books.” Mattioli contends that “the problem is not gun laws” and that these regulations simply need to be enforced.

More 

Judge Finds Leopold Guilty In Misconduct Case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A judge has found Anne Arundel county Executive John Leopold guilty of misconduct in office for using his security detail for political activity.

Leopold was charged with using his security detail for personal and political purposes. Prosecutors also accused him of abusing his power by forcing a county employee to empty his urine from a catheter drainage bag.

More 

If You're Along The Eastern Seaboard, Look Up! NASA Has A Light Show For You


If you're along the Eastern Seaboard tonight, it might be worth your while to look at the sky this evening.
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is scheduled to launch a sounding rocket that will release "two red-colored lithium vapor trails in space."
As Space.com reports, those trails might be seen across the Mid-Atlantic and perhaps as far north as Canada and as far south as northern Florida.
Space.com explains how these trails will produce a "night sky show:"
"The sounding rocket that will be used to create the two NASA-made glowing cloud trails will be a Terrier-Improved Orion.In this technology test launch, two canisters in the rocket's payload section will contain solid metal lithium rods or chips embedded in a thermite cake. The thermite is ignited and produces heat to vaporize the lithium.
"Once the vapor is released in space, it can be detected and tracked optically. The rocket will eject two streams of lithium which will be illuminated at high altitudes by the sun (which will be below the local horizon at ground level)."
In a statement, mission project manager Libby West said the launch is a test flight for two upcoming missions. It'll give scientists a view of two different methods for creating lithium vapor trails.
By the way, NASA says the "lithium combustion process poses no threat to the public during the release in space."
The launch is scheduled for 5:45 p.m ET, but the launch window extends from 5:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. The Wallops facility will update the mission status on its twitter feed.

Decisions


Will You Submit & Obey?
In New York, we have a prequel of what’s to come – the repeal of the Second Amendment and summary criminalization of peaceful citizens merely for possessing the means of self-defense, even in their own homes. As in Great Britain, citizens of NY face prison if they use proscribed weapons against murderous thugs – even in their own homes. The tyrants Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo have made their decision. Now New Yorkers will have to make theirs. And so will the rest of us – if, as seems likely, the federal tyrants succeed in issuing a New York-style fatwa that applies to the rest of the country. Which brings us to the question:

More

'Vaccine Court' Awards Millions To Two Autistic Children Damaged By Vaccines

Quietly and without much fanfare, the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program(VICP), or more accurately the congressionally-sanctioned kangaroo court whose sole purpose is to shield the vaccine industry from liability for vaccine injuries, has essentially admitted that vaccines cause autism. As reported by the Huffington Post, two more children who developed autism following routine vaccinations have been awarded millions of dollars to help pay for the lifetime of specialized care they will need to address their injuries.

The first case involves a 10-year-old boy named Ryan from California who quickly regressed into an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) following routine vaccinations he received between 2003 and 2005, and specifically the combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Prior to getting vaccinated, Ryan was a perfectly healthy young boy who was actually quite advanced for his age, according to reports. But after getting the MMR vaccine on December 19, 2003, he rather quickly developed an encephalopathy, or serious inflammation, in his brain.

More

Maryland Lawmakers Look To Ban Fake Pot

Products with names like "Scooby Snax," "Spice" and "K2" that are marketed as potpourri but give off a marijuanalike high when smoked would be illegal under four bills before Maryland's General Assembly.

Maryland is one of six states that doesn't ban synthetic marijuana. If D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signs a bill waiting on his desk, Maryland would be the only place in the Washington area where the fake pot could be bought.

All of the bills aim to ban certain chemicals that mimic the psychoactive effects of THC, the key ingredient in marijuana. Drugmakers spray the chemicals onto plant matter and sell it to be smoked.

More 

HITTING THE BALL OUT OF THE PARK

I want to thank Phil Tilghman and the entire welcoming staff at PAC 14 for what I felt was by far the most inviting and professional interview I've ever experienced.

Clearly there's a huge difference between public access television and main stream media, no question about it. Phil was a perfect gentleman who didn't attempt to throw a curve ball. 

His questions were spot on and well thought out, I appreciate that very much. 

In the near future my interview will air along with Jim Ireton's interview. One thing is certain, this is going to be the interview you'll NOT want to miss. I call it, hitting the ball out of the park. 

Once we have the dates of these interviews we'll publish them for your viewing pleasure and I strongly encourage all of you to please watch. Many of you have asked about my platform and where I stand on many issues, most everything comes out in this interview. 

Social Security's Disability Trust Fund Could Fail To Cover All Benefits Early As 2016

As President Obama faces pressure on the left to defend federal entitlement programs from the benefit cuts that the Republicans say are necessary to keep the programs solvent decades down the road, one part of Social Security could fall short of paying out full benefits within a few years -- even while Obama is still president.

Over the long term, Social Security and Medicare have promised tens of trillions of dollars more in benefits than the nation can pay for under current policies. But Social Security's disability trust fund is in even worse shape, and current estimates say by 2016 it won't have enough money to pay full benefits.

"That's three years from now," Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center said. “And given the president's rhetoric and his posture, it's quite clear that he has no intention of doing anything about it."

BREAKING NEWS: Kerry Confirmed

Senate confirms John Kerry as secretary of state. 

SPD Press Release 1-29-13




School Is Bad For Children

This is excerpted from The Underachieving School by John Holt. Reprinted with permission from Sentient Publications.

Almost every child, on the first day he sets foot in a school building, is smarter, more curious, less afraid of what he doesn't know, better at finding and figuring things out, and more confident, resourceful, persistent and independent than he will ever be again in his schooling – or, unless he is very unusual and very lucky, for the rest of his life. Already, by paying close attention to and interacting with the world and people around him, and without any school-type formal instruction, he has done a task far more difficult, complicated and abstract than anything he will be asked to do in school, or than any of his teachers has done for years. He has solved the mystery of language. He has discovered it – babies don't even know that language exists – and he has found out how it works and learned to use it. He has done it by exploring, by experimenting, by developing his own model of the grammar of language, by trying it out and seeing whether it works, by gradually changing it and refining it until it does work. And while he has been doing this, he has been learning other things as well, including many of the "concepts" that the schools think only they can teach him, and many that are more complicated than the ones they do try to teach him.

In he comes, this curious, patient, determined, energetic, skillful learner. We sit him down at a desk, and what do we teach him? Many things. First, that learning is separate from living. "You come to school to learn," we tell him, as if the child hadn't been learning before, as if living were out there and learning were in here, and there were no connection between the two. Secondly, that he cannot be trusted to learn and is no good at it. Everything we teach about reading, a task far simpler than many that the child has already mastered, says to him, "If we don't make you read, you won't, and if you don't do it exactly the way we tell you, you can't". In short, he comes to feel that learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself.

More

Do TV Liquor Ads Drive Kids to Drink?

Seeing beer and liquor ads on TV may promote drinking as early as seventh grade and lead to alcohol-related problems just a few years later, a new study suggests.

The more ad exposure the teens reported -- and the more they enjoyed the commercials -- the more they drank by 10th grade, the researchers found.

"This study provides evidence that exposure to alcohol advertising in seventh grade and liking those alcohol advertisements on television is associated with higher levels of drinking in the eighth and ninth grades," said lead researcher Jerry Grenard, an associate professor in the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University in California.

More 

Illinois Worst Rated State

S&P has downgraded Illinois to A- with a negative outlook after the state's legislature failed to take meaningful action on reforming municipal pension woes, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

At A-, Illinois now has the distinction of having the lowest credit rating among all states, surpassing California.

Here's the ranking as of last July, via Pew:

Scottie Pinwheel

Scam Complete: The US Government Takes A Page From Diocletian's Book

Early in the 4th century, Emperor Diocletian issued an infamous decree to control spiraling wages and prices in the rapidly deteriorating Roman Empire.

As part of his edict, Diocletian commanded that any merchant or customer caught violating the new price structures would be put to death.

This is an important lesson from history, and a trend that has been repeated numerous times. When nations are in terminal economic decline, governments will stop at nothing to keep the party going just a little bit longer.

I thought of Diocletian’s desperation a few days ago when I read about the recent sanctions imposed on US rating agency Egan-Jones. It’s a similar story–

For years, major rating agencies (S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch) have championed the outright fraud of our financial system by pinning pristine credit ratings on insolvent governments and their heavily inflated currencies.

In doing so, the rating agencies are effectively claiming that the greatest debtor that has ever existed in the history of the world is nearly ‘risk-free’.

Clearly this is a ridiculous assertion. With a debt level over 100% of GDP, the US is so broke that the government must borrow money just to pay interest on the money it’s already borrowed. They’ve lost over a trillion dollars a year since 2008, yet they still spend money on things like drones and body scanners. It’s crazy.

As with any good scam, the government must maintain public confidence. The moment someone says ‘the Emperor has no clothes,’ that shallow, fragile confidence will come crashing down and expose the scam. Dissent must be vigorously and swiftly pursued.

So when S&P finally downgraded the US one notch in August 2011, the SEC and Justice Department announced that S&P was under investigation, just two weeks later.

Egan-Jones, a smaller rating agency, has been even more aggressive, downgrading the US credit rating three times in 18 months. And while the federal government may not have imposed Diocletian’s death penalty, they are just as willing to squash dissent.

In a country that churns out thousands of pages of new regulations each week, it’s easy to find a reason to go after someone. As you read this letter, in fact, you are probably in violation of at least a dozen regulatory offenses.

In the case of Egan-Jones, the SEC brought administrative action against the agency within two weeks of their second downgrade. And a few days ago, the case was settled.

More

TOWER OF HATE

Racist and sexist slur-filled graffiti covers inside of new World Trade Center

EXCLUSIVE:
The soaring symbol of American resilience now bears the markings of lowlifes. The graffiti looms over the 16-acre site in lower Manhattan where more than 2,800 people of all colors and creeds died — victims of an attack directed at the heart of American ideals.

Insurgents Torch Ancient Scrolls in Timbuktu

Backed by French helicopters and paratroopers, Malian soldiers entered the fabled city of Timbuktu on Monday after al-Qaida-linked militants who ruled the outpost by fear for nearly 10 months fled into the desert, setting fire to a library that held thousands of manuscripts dating to the Middle Ages.

French Col. Thierry Burkhard, chief military spokesman in Paris, said that there had been no combat with the Islamists but that the French and Malian forces did not yet control the town.

Still, there was celebration among the thousands of Timbuktu residents who fled the city rather than live under strict and pitiless Islamic rule and the dire poverty that worsened after the tourist industry was destroyed.

More 

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY ON THE PASSING OF HATTIE HARRISON

ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 28, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley issued the following statement on the passing of Delegate Hattie Harrison:

“Delegate Hattie Harrison will be remembered for being a tireless advocate for the citizens of Baltimore City. She dedicated her life to the noble calling of public service and I am proud to have called her my friend. “

QUOTES OF THE DAY 1-29-13

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
Carl Sandburg


“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
Carl Sandburg

“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”
Carl Sandburg

“Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.”
Carl Sandburg
“Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln never saw a movie, heard a radio or looked at television. They had ‘Loneliness’ and knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.”
Carl Sandburg
“In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning”
Carl Sandburg

“We can never possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time.”
Carl Sandburg
“Our lives are like a candle in the wind.”
Carl Sandburg
“I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us, I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God. I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision”
Carl Sandburg

Virtue's Reflection

The reflection that you provide for others has a greater impact than you might know.

When a person looks inward, exploring his or her thoughts, feelings, motivations, or values, we call it self-reflection. What we compare our actions to when we self-reflect are our standards.

It turns out that a simple mirror can provide enough of a reflection to help us to live up to our standards.

This is what was discovered by researchers Robert Wicklund and Shelley Duvall back in the 1970s. They found that when people were in front of a mirror and told that they were being filmed, those people changed their behavior: They worked harder, gave more accurate answers to questions, were more consistent in their actions, and those actions were more consistent with their values.

About a decade later, Charles Carver and Michael Scheier looked at this in more depth. When people sat at a desk with a mirror – not a great big ostentations mirror but just a small part of the surroundings – they were more likely to follow their own values than someone else's orders, they would work harder and they would resist being bullied into changing their opinion on something.

What's more, when they were told to administer shocks to somebody they were more restrained in their actions. This is not unlike the important revelation of Stanley Milgram in his Obedience to Authority experiments, in which people who witnessed others refusing to comply with directions to severely shock somebody were dramatically less likely to comply themselves.

The self-reflection that was aided by the actual reflection of the mirror helped people to regulate themselves.

More

Live Or Die? Marylanders Rally In Support Of Death Penalty Repeal

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Death penalty opponents speak out in favor of repealing capital punishment in Maryland. Governor Martin O’Malley is supporting a death penalty repeal this year. Political reporter Pat Warrenhas more on how Marylanders feel about eliminating executions.

Advocates calling for a repeal of the death penalty say the resources should be diverted from the death of the criminal to the victims’ families. This group is taking their case to lawmakers, who also have strong opinions.

Senate President Mike Miller will vote against the repeal.

“There has to be an ultimate penalty for somebody who commits mass murder,” Miller said.

More 

Ex-CIA Officer Given 30-Month Jail Sentence For Leaking Agent's Name

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou on Friday was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for leaking the name of a secret agent implicated in harsh interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects.
Kiriakou, 47, pleaded guilty in October before a federal court as part of a plea bargain to avoid trial, acknowledging he had knowingly disclosed the name of the agent, who was working under cover at the time, to a freelance writer.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Leonie Brinkema said sternly: "Thirty months is way too light."

"This is not a case of a whistleblower. It is about a person who betrayed a very solid trust," Brinkema said.

Had the sentence not been recommended by the prosecution, the judge said she would have given Kiriakou a heavier sentence. The 30-month prison term is to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Kiriakou worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, and made headlines in a 2007 ABC television interview in which he confirmed for the first time that Abu Zubaydah, a top Al-Qaeda detainee, had been subjected to waterboarding.

The interrogation technique, a form of simulated drowning, has been widely denounced as torture.

Thoughts Following The Inauguration Of Septimius Severus

I’ve been thinking about fault lines, and fractures, and diversity, and when it’s all going to implode. I hope I’m still around because it is going to be one gorgeous show. Few things are as entertaining as a truly good disaster.

What is going to kill us is diversity. It isn’t working well. By diversity I mean here the intermixing of large groups of people holding utterly differing and opposed values. There is too damned much diversity in America. It isn’t getting better.

The current donnybrook over guns is not a political question, like whether to raise or lower taxes. It is a clash of civilizations, a confrontation between two groups who seriously don’t like each other and hold irreconcilably different views of life. The two would be happier in separate countries, an idea that has occurred to them. It is that bad.

The Constitution no longer being in effect, the gun-controllers may be able to outlaw guns, chiefly because the federal government also wants to do this, though for different reasons. The gun-controllers think that they are going to stop murder, whereas the feds just want a supine and helpless population. Should they succeed in banning firearms, the result will be a very large element of the population actually hating the rest, and hating the government. Diversity.

Guns are a curious fracture line: As a nation, America is way and gone the most militarily aggressive country on the planet, as note Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Mexico, Columbia, Somalia, and so on. The economy is militarized beyond redemption. Yet if a little boy draws a picture of a soldier with a rifle, or a little girl points a gun blowing soap bubbles at a friend, they are likely to be led from school in handcuffs and subjected to psychiatry. Diversity.

More

Rep. Harris Challenges Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy To Super Bowl Wager

WASHINGTON, DC—In the spirit of Ravens pride, Rep. Andy Harris (MD-1) is challenging Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California’s 23rd District to a friendly wager that the Baltimore Ravens will defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Superbowl XLVII on Sunday. Majority Whip McCarthy will send over a box of Dewar’s taffy from Bakersfield, CA when the Ravens bring home the Lombardi Trophy. In the off chance that the Ravens do not win, Rep. Harris has agreed to send him Maryland’s finest crab cakes.

Here’s their exchange on Twitter from this morning:

1. @RepAndyHarrisMD

.@GOPWhip countdown to @Ravens whoopin the @49ers is 6 days. I bet you MD's finest crab cakes that we bring home Lombardi Sunday

2. @GOPWhip

.@RepAndyHarrisMD Can’t wait to enjoy bc #niners won’t be stopped. If #ravens pull if off, Bakersfield’s own, Dewar’s Taffy will be your way

3. @RepAndyHarrisMD

.@GOPWhip it’s on!

Statement from Rep. Harris:

“I’ve heard great things about Dewar’s candy. I can’t wait to enjoy their taffy. The sweetest victory will be Sunday, though, when the Ravens defeat the 49ers and bring the Lombardi Trophy back home to Baltimore.”

Soldier Who Lost 4 Limbs Has Double-Arm Transplant

On Facebook, he describes himself as a "wounded warrior...very wounded."

Brendan Marrocco was the first soldier to survive losing all four limbs in the Iraq War, and doctors revealed Monday that he's received a double-arm transplant.

Those new arms "already move a little," he tweeted a month after the operation.

Marrocco, a 26-year-old New Yorker, was injured by a roadside bomb in 2009. He had the transplant Dec. 18 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, his father said Monday.

More 

TOO BIG TO CONTROL

Total bank assets in the United States equal $13 trillion. Twelve criminal Wall Street banks control $9 trillion of that money. These twelve banks control the country, with the full support of the Federal Reserve, which they own. These banks use their bottomless pit of fiat dollars to buy off politicians, government bureaucrats, and the corporate mainstream media. They are the oligarchs. They own you. They have robbed you. They have impoverished the nation for their own benefit. They will cause the destruction of this country. A showdown between the people and the bankers will happen. But, not until they collapse our economic system, again.

As of third quarter 2012, there were approximately 5,600 commercial banking organizations in the U.S. The bulk of these—roughly 5,500—were community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. These community-focused organizations accounted for 98.6 percent of all banks but only 12 percent of total industry assets. Another group numbering nearly 70 banking organizations—with assets of between $10 billion and $250 billion—accounted for 1.2 percent of banks, while controlling 19 percent of industry assets. The remaining group, the megabanks—with assets of between $250 billion and $2.3 trillion—was made up of a mere 12 institutions. These dozen behemoths accounted for roughly 0.2 percent of all banks, but they held 69 percent of industry assets. – Richard Fisher – Dallas Fed

More

4th Cir. Orders Hearing For Inmate Seeking Sex Change

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals panel said Monday that a Virginia inmate is entitled to a full court hearing on her lifelong quest for a sex-change operation.

The three judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals returned Ophelia De’Lonta’s case to a lower court, concluding that her constitutional claim should be heard. She contends that the denial of her sex-change operation amounts to a violation of her Eighth Amendment freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

A federal judge in Roanoke dismissed De’Lonta’s self-filed lawsuit in 2011 after he concluded the Virginia Department of Corrections was adequately treating De’Lonta.

More 

Court Says Obama Recess Appointments Invalid

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that President Barack Obama violated the U.S. Constitution when he used recess appointments to fill a labor board, in a sweeping decision that could limit presidential power to push through federal nominees.

The court found that the Senate was not truly in recess, for the purpose of a recess appointment, when Obama in January 2012 installed three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.

The nominees were facing stiff Republican opposition, and the appointments caused an uproar at the time. Republicans argued that Obama undercut the Senate's power to confirm nominees because although most of its members were out of town, the Senate had not formally adjourned.

In a surprisingly broad ruling, the three-judge panel rejected not only the NLRB appointments but any made while the Senate is in session but on a break. That could limit recess appointments to only a few weeks a year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also ruled that recess appointments could only be used for positions that become vacant while the Senate is in recess.

"If the decision stands, it would be a significant reduction of the president's recess power," said John Elwood, a Washington lawyer who was deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel from 2005 through 2009.

"This is a big, big decision for executive power," Elwood said. "It is one of the most important decisions in decades."

More

BOYCOTT CHICAGO

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is putting more pressure on gun makers to get behind his push for an assault weapons ban and criminal background checks for gun purchasers.

This time, he wants to go after their bottom line.

Emanuel is pushing two major financial institutions to stop their financial backing of gun makers, unless those companies support “commonsense reforms, including requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales.”

The mayor is urging that banks to stop lines of credit, financing for acquisitions and expansions and financial advising.

More

Baltimore Police Owe $500K To Mistreated Teen

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore jury is awarding $500,000 to a teenager who was left miles from home without his shoes after he entered a police van as part of a drug investigation.

The Daily Record reports that the damages were awarded Friday to Michael Johnson Jr. and his parents after a five-day civil trial.

Johnson was 15 when he entered the police van in May 2009 in Baltimore. He was dropped off hours later near Patapsco Valley State Park in neighboring Howard County without his shoes, cellphone or any way of getting home.

More 

Rand Paul: GOP Must 'Evolve' Or 'Die'

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul firmly staked out his place as a conservative firebrand this week, igniting the blogosphere and cable news punditry with his feisty interrogation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during Wednesday's Senate hearing on Benghazi.The exchange — in which he told Clinton he would have "fired her" if he were president — was eyebrow-raising, but not particularly surprising. In recent weeks, Paul has made a habit of inflaming political passions, part of a calculated effort to boost the Kentucky Senator's national profile in advance of a possible 2016 presidential bid. 

Check out Paul's activities in the last month alone:

Powerful Statement By U.S. Veteran At Chicago Anti-Gun Forum

Q&A on Maryland And Health Care Reform

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Here are some details about Maryland's health benefit exchange as President Barack Obama's health overhaul takes effect and the first exchange starts operating later this year:
__
Q: How many people are uninsured in Maryland and how many of those are projected to get insurance under the exchange?

A: Maryland has about 740,000 uninsured residents. The state estimates 150,000 of those individuals are expected to enroll in qualified health plans and 100,000 in Medicaid during the first year.
__
Q: How many people will be served by the state's decision to expand Medicaid?

A: Maryland estimates that 184,000 state residents will be newly qualified for Medicaid. The state expects about 100,000 of them to enroll in the first year.

More 

GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE HOMEGROWN CLEAN ENERGY GENERATION ON THE EASTERN SHORE

Innovative agricultural waste to energy program will save Marylanders up to $80 million in avoided energy costs while improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley announced the State of Maryland, in partnership with the University System of Maryland, will enter into a power purchase agreement with Green Planet Power Solutions to purchase a minimum of 10 MW of electricity produced from animal waste in Caroline County. The contract, awarded via the competitive Clean Bay Power process, promotes the use of renewable energy, reduces Maryland’s contribution to agricultural runoff in the Chesapeake Bay, and encourages job creation while promoting Maryland’s farm industry.

“Clean Bay Power is a prime example of how Maryland is leading the nation’s efforts in clean energy, sustainability and a growing green jobs sector,” said Governor O’Malley. “It is only through a diverse, renewable fuel mix that we will be able to reach our aggressive goal of generating 20 percent renewable energy by 2022, create jobs through innovation, and protect our precious environment.”

The Green Planet Power Solutions project, which will be built in Federalsburg and use chicken litter as its primary fuel source, will create 200 construction jobs and 24 permanent jobs, reduce 230,000 pounds of nitrogen runoff annually, and save Maryland between $53.2 M and $80.0 M in avoided energy costs over the fifteen year contract period.

“We are confident that Green Planet Power Solutions will move Maryland closer to our renewable energy goals,” said Department of General Services’ Secretary Alvin C. Collins. “Obtaining electricity from poultry manure or animal waste helps Maryland government to reach its goal of generating 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources, all the while improving Bay water quality and supporting the agriculture industry.”

The Clean Bay Power project is one of several initiatives that the O’Malley-Brown Administration is pursuing to assist farmers with creating energy and heat from animal waste and becoming more energy independent, all while improving the health of the Bay. For example, the proposed FY14 budget contains $2.5 million in capital funds for manure to energy projects with proven technology, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture, which will be used to help farmers bring proven energy technologies onto their farms. Another $500 thousand has been proposed for the development of new manure waste to energy technologies. Maryland Environmental Service continues to develop an anaerobic digester, fueled by chicken litter, which will provide electricity and heat to the Maryland Department of Corrections. The Maryland Energy Administration and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced the 17 recipients of the Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program, which provides $1.4 million in grants to cover a portion of the cost of energy efficiency upgrades for selected farms and agribusinesses.

The Clean Bay Power project is an effort by the Maryland Department of General Services, in coordination with the Maryland Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, the Maryland Energy Administration, and the University System of Maryland.

REPORT: TREASURY OKAY’D ‘EXCESSIVE’ PAY RAISES, SALARIES FOR BAILED OUT EXECS

A government report Monday criticized the U.S. Treasury Department for approving “excessive” salaries and raises at firms that received taxpayer-funded bailouts during the financial crisis.

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program said Treasury approved all 18 requests it received last year to raise pay for executives at American International Group Inc., General Motors Corp. and Ally Financial Inc. Of those requests, 14 were for $100,000 or more; the largest raise was $1 million.

Treasury also allowed pay packages totaling $5 million or more for nearly a quarter of the executives at those firms, the report says.


More 

Lost Cat: UPDATE

We lost our female cat about 2 years old its has a turtle shell color brown and black lost in the area of park ave. 

Best Restaurant Cities: 15 U.S. Metro Areas With The Most Eateries Per Capita

2. Salisbury, Maryland
Population: 425,748

Restaurants: 1165

Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 27.4

Pictured: The densely-peopled beach in Ocean City, Maryland, part of the Salisbury metro area as defined by the NPD Group.

Seacrets Not Liable For Rape

Jury: Seacrets not liable for rape

An Ocean City bar is not liable for a rape that occurred in its parking lot, a jury decided Monday.

The case had been brought by a woman who was attacked in the parking lot of Seacrets, a resort hotspot, after bar employees noticed she was drunk, escorted her outside and left her there.

The jury, made up of five women and five men, deliberated for about two days after a trial that began Jan. 14 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Joseph S. Mack of Mack & Mack LLP in Baltimore said he and his client, identified in court papers only as Jane Doe, are considering their options for an appeal.

“We are grateful that the jury took its time to consider the evidence in the case,” Mack said. “We are disappointed with the result.”

During closing arguments Wednesday, Mack told the jury that the bar’s owner, O.C. Seacrets Inc., failed to take reasonable precautions when its staff left her outside the bar alone. The defense, however, said the bar should not be held liable for the criminal acts of another person.

Throughout the case, Seacrets maintained the assault was not the result of any negligence on the bar’s part. Seacrets’ attorney Laura C. Walters, of Drechsler, Larkin & Walters P.C. in Baltimore, argued that the bar is obligated under its written policy to eject intoxicated people and prevent them from returning.

“The management and staff of Seacrets would like to thank the judge and jury for their careful attention to this matter,” Walters said.

Walters declined to comment further on the outcome, saying it was her firm’s policy not to discuss verdicts.

Jane Doe, then 24, headed to Ocean City in 2008 to spend the Memorial Day weekend with friends.

At around 1 a.m., bar cameras show the woman swaying before falling sideways in the bar. A doorman at the time, William Arvin, escorted her outside and left her on a bench.

While there was evidence that Seacrets has a policy of trying to reunite people it ejects with other members of their party, Arvin testified that the policy does not apply during the peak summer season because the staff does not have enough time.

Around 2:22 a.m., parking lot security cameras show “a violent assault” against a woman, before the attacker moved the woman behind a building, according to court documents.

Jane Doe’s lawsuit sought $1 million in damages for negligent ejectment and premises liability.

She also said that Seacrets chose to place a security camera in the parking lot, but failed to use it to provide effective security.

Walters, however, argued during the case that the woman had ignored both taxi and bus rides and left the bench where staff left her.

The woman’s assailant, Lorenzo Ivan Garcia-Moreno, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape, kidnapping and other crimes in March 2012 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Judge William M. Nickerson presided over the trial. Last year, Nickerson denied a motion for dismissal or summary judgment in which Seacrets argued that the lawsuit was a dram shop liability action. Under dram shop actions, which Maryland does not recognize, bars are liable for over-serving alcohol.

Nickerson denied the motion in August, saying Seacrets had policies in place to deal with drunk patrons since staff members are told to search for their friends and even alert other staff when they can’t find the friends.

Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer Kristi Tousignant contributed to this report.


A Louisiana Grocery Store Is Forced To Raise Milk Prices By State Regulators

You might have to read this post twice to make sure your eyes didn’t deceive you. This article is actually completely different from my recent pieces on stealth inflation, but is even more infuriating. In this case, a grocery store called Fresh Markets decided to sell milk at a bargain basement price as part of a promotion, yet the state has deemed the price “too low.” As a result, the chain is being forced to raise the price. Yep, at a time when millions are struggling every day to make ends meet, this is what the state of Louisiana has decided it a priority that the cost of milk is higher for consumers in the state. This is exactly what happens when bureaucrats exert to much influence in our daily lives. From the Daily Caller:
Louisiana state regulators recently cracked down on a supermarket chain’s weekly promotional deal because it was selling milk too cheaply — which violates state law.

The upscale Fresh Markets was selling gallons of milk for $2.99 as part of a weekly promotional deal. Louisiana requires that retailer price markups be at least six percent above the invoice and shipping costs of the product.

“They can sell it six percent over cost all day long. It’s when they sell it below cost that it becomes a problem,” State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain told The Advocate.

After getting a complaint about Fresh Market’s promotional deal, Strain’s office sent an auditor to a French Markets store.

At least one Fresh Market shopper was outraged when he found that the state government had intervened to control the store’s milk prices.

More