Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tiger dissapoint by questions about Hank Haney’s book

Tiger Woods had a quarrelsome press discussion currently during a Honda Classic in courtesy to an arriving book created by his former coach, Hank Haney. The Golf Channel reported that members of a news media were asked forward of time not to ask questions about a book.

What seems peculiar about a bitch over Haney’s The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods, is that the excerpts expelled so far by Golf Digest haven’t addressed any aspect about Tiger’s sex scandal. They have mostly addressed Woods’ seductiveness in a military, including Haney observant he once was meddlesome in apropos a Navy SEAL. Still, Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, criticized a book yesterday as “armchair psychology.”

But Woods currently would usually anxiety earlier comments, where he pronounced Haney essay a book was “unprofessional and really disappointing, generally given it’s someone we worked with and devoted as a friend.”

“It’s still a same,” Woods pronounced of his greeting to Haney essay a book. “Nothing has altered in that courtesy during all.”

When there was a followup doubt about a book after Woods tersely responded, “I’ve already talked about it.”

A third doubt came when Golf Channel writer Alex Miceli asked either Tiger and his stay were encountering a correctness of any of a information in a book, in sold his enterprise to be a Navy SEAL.
“I’ve already talked about everything,” Woods said, with some annoy creeping in to his voice.
He and Miceli afterwards got into a small back-and-forth, before Tiger resolved with, “You’re a beauty, we know that?”

During a press discussion Woods also was asked either he’s worried by a consistent inspection of all he does, on and off a golf course. Said Tiger:

“It’s partial of, we guess, who we am and what I’ve accomplished. we consider it would substantially be identical if Jack (Nicklaus) was substantially in my generation. They didn’t utterly have a media inspection that they do now. we know that a lot of players don’t get a research with their games that we do. But it’s been like that given we incited pro.”

Russia’s Putin Warns World NOT to Attack Iran

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is concerned about the “growing threat” of an attack on Iran over its nuclear program, warning that the consequences would be “truly catastrophic.”

In an article on foreign policy for publication on Monday, six days before a March 4 presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also warned Western and Arab nations against military intervention in Syria.

“I very much hope the United States and other countries … do not try to set a military scenario in motion in Syria without sanction from the U.N. Security Council,” Putin said, according to a transcript.

On Iran, he said that “the growing threat of a military strike on this country alarms Russia, no doubt. If this occurs, the consequences will be truly catastrophic. It is impossible to imagine their real scale.

The Brookings Institute Says Welfare Reform Actually Worked

by Yvette Carnell

In a report issued today (February 29), the Brookings Institute posits the assertion that welfare reform worked as intended.

The report reads:
Until the mid-1990s, never-married mothers seldom worked outside the home, had poverty rates of over 60% and were at least five times more likely than married-couple families to be poor. Then in 1996, congressional Republicans and President Clinton collaborated on a welfare reform law requiring adults on welfare, including never-married mothers, to work.
Continue Reading at Kulture Kritic

The New Trailer for Marvel's The Avengers!

The new trailer for Marvel's The Avengers is now online (via iTunes Movie Trailers) and can be watched using the player below! You can also check out the new poster that was revealed earlier by clicking here.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the May 4 release stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson.

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel's The Avengers is the superhero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

The gas price manipulation boogeyman returns

By Bill Wilson

Another price shock in oil and gasoline prices, with oil above $100 a barrel and gasoline marching steadily to $4 a gallon nationally, would not be complete without Democrats again waiving the speculators’ card.
The latest peddler of this myth was none other than Calif. Rep. Xavier Becerra, vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who told a press briefing on Capitol Hill: “It isn't a shortage of gasoline, it's a manipulation of the gas prices. You have got to go after the gougers, you have to make it so that they can't win.”

This followed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Feb. 22 assessment of rising oil and gas prices: “We need to take strong action to protect consumers from this speculation.”

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has accounted for rising prices by market forces, saying alternatively that it’s because the economy is recovering and includes increased demand overseas, particularly China.
Perhaps they should get their stories straight, because they are contradictory. Are prices being manipulated, or are they rising as supply fails to keep up with increased demand as the economy recovers?

To be certain, demand did increase globally from 88.3 million barrels a day in 201 to 89 million in 2011 according to the Energy Information Agency — with a 700,000 barrel increase in demand in Asia and the Pacific — global production also rose to 90 million a day as of Dec. 2011.

So, Becerra is correct inasmuch as there is no shortage of gasoline. There is something else afoot. But it is not price manipulation.

Instead, both of these divergent explanations miss the underlying weakness of the dollar that is the real cause for price pressures in commodities, include food, oil, gasoline, and precious metals like gold.
An increase in one asset or another might be explained by a simple supply disruption or even overspeculation. But in a broad range of commodities — which are priced and traded in dollars — it looks much more like a monetary inflation problem. Commodities are often held as hedges against a weak dollar.
Get full story here.

Ginsburg is missing a fundamental point

By Mark Wohlschlegel

In a previous article, I reflected on some of Madam Justice Ruth Bader’s Ginsburg’s comments regarding the U.S. Constitution when interviewed with Al Hayat TV in Egypt. In particular, I highlighted how her fascination with foreign law and dismissive comments about the U.S. Constitution is an outright violation of oath she took to defend and protect our Constitution.

Furthermore, her actions both here and in the past pose a real danger to all Americans, as it opens us up to no longer be judged by our peers, but rather we are now susceptible to the whim of foreign jurists who may not hold to the same values we do — and all this because Madam Justice finds that these foreigners hold similar “superior” views to her own. Because her ancient document doesn’t confirm or conform to her views, she is forced to look elsewhere.

Now, based off the same interview, I want to draw your attention to the fact that Madam Justice Ginsburg either is ignorant or chooses to willfully overlook the very fundamental purpose the U.S. Constitution was created for — it is not a document designed to empower the government to protect its people, but rather one that was designed to protects its people from their government. That bears repeating — the Constitution was designed to protect the American people from their government.

Consider the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution:
"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people."—9th Amendment
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”—10th Amendment
This is a distinctly different view than the modern documents cited by Madam Justice Ginsburg. For example, take her quote on the praise of South Africa’s constitution:

Get full story here.

The Electric Vehicle Brick

By Rick Manning

The bad news just keeps coming for the Obama Administration’s push to force electric vehicles on the public with the revelation that the much loved Tesla line up of vehicles have a singular problem — they become bricks if the battery runs out.

That’s right, the $100,000+ Tesla vehicle reportedly has at least five instances out of the mere 2,200 in production where the vehicle ceased to function when the battery ran down to a zero charge. The Tesla didn’t just need a recharge like a cell phone, no, the $32,000 battery needs to be replaced entirely when it runs out – at the owners expense.

Of course the $32,000 replacement charge does not include transporting the now inert “vehicle” whose wheels no longer move, or the labor to replace the battery. The total estimated cost to the Tesla customer is $40,000, because in spite of the bumper to bumper warranty, the battery running out of juice is considered the customers fault.

Ordinarily, a car built for the eclectic wealthy class would not matter, but the Tesla is different.
The Tesla Corporation was singled out by Obama’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency as a company of the future, during a regulatory “study” conducted to determine the volume of vehicles manufacturers would produce in 2025.

The study was part of the EPA and Transportation’s dramatic change to the nation’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard (CAFÉ) which dictate the average fleet gas mileage requirements that each automobile manufacturing company must meet.
Get full story here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Super Tuesday: It’s Not Just for Candidates

By Richard Lee

Super Tuesday will once again play a critical role in the nation’s electoral process, but the significance of the primaries and caucuses on March 6 will not be limited to how the candidates fare in those 10 contests.

Super Tuesday also will be an important test for the media, as well as for all us as citizens.

For news organizations, Super Tuesday poses a challenge – in part because of the logistics involved in covering 10 simultaneous events in various locations across the county. The greater challenge, however, will be to sort out the results and cut through all the spin and rhetoric to determine just what Super Tuesday means for the American people and the future of our nation.

Covering Super Tuesday is not like covering the NCAA basketball tournament, where there are clear winners and losers. Although every primary and caucus will have a winner and a few losers, all victories are not equal when it comes to politics. In sports, a win is a win. Defeating the 1927 Yankees may have been as a lot tougher than beating the 1962 Mets, but it didn’t count any more in the standings.

On Super Tuesday, a myriad of factors will determine the value of each victory, starting with the number of delegates at stake, which ranges from just 17 in Vermont to 76 in Georgia. How each state allocates its delegates also is an important part of the equation.

Most states use some type of formula that allocates delegates proportionately based on how many votes each candidate receives. A strong second place showing in Georgia, for example, could garner a large number of the state’s 76 delegates. A candidate who finishes second in a state such as Ohio, however, could walk away empty handed, even if he receives just one vote less than the winner. Ohio is one of several states in which the winning candidate will receive all of the state’s delegates if he captures more than 50 percent of the vote.

In addition to the delegate total and allocation issues, every state has its own oddities and idiosyncrasies that make its process unique. Continuing with the sports analogy, it’s a bit like covering a tournament that has different rules for every game.

The challenge for reporters becomes all the more difficult when candidates and campaigns go into spin-mode and do their best to paint a rosy picture despite what the numbers show. For example, Mitt Romney won this year’s first primary in New Hampshire back in January, but one would never have known the other candidates lost from the tone of the speeches they delivered after the results were final. Jon Huntsman finished a distant third, but that didn’t stop him from declaring “We’ve got a ticket to ride” to the next primary in South Carolina. It turned out to be a ticket home as he dropped out of the race less than a week later – well before the South Carolina contest.

Spin is nothing new. In his book Hardball, Chris Matthews describes a successful strategy the Walter Mondale campaign employed on Super Tuesday in 1984. With the Mondale camp anticipating a disappointing showing in the nine primaries taking place that day, his campaign manager, Robert Beckel, spent much of the 48 hours prior to Super Tuesday telling reporters Georgia was the key state up for grabs. Mondale won Georgia, and Mathews describes the glowing press coverage that followed – even though Mondale did not fare well elsewhere that night. “Mondale lost seven contests out of nine,” he writes. “But that was just the arithmetic.”

Fast forward to 2012 and imagine what the Robert Beckels of today could do with the Internet, social networks and all of the other tools available to candidates and campaigns in the 21st Century.

And this is where we come in as citizens. In today’s world, news and information no longer come to us though journalists, who bear the responsibility of holding government and politicians accountable. Today, candidates and campaigns have the ability to bypass the scrutiny of the news media and deliver information directly to voters.

Critics of the media may feel this is a good thing, and the truth is: It is somewhat liberating. But this new world also leaves us with more responsibility. To make educated and informed decisions when we cast our ballots, we must be willing to sort through the cable television channels, web pages, tweets and Facebook posts, and separate fact from fiction and reality from spin.

It’s an awesome responsibility, but it’s also what democracy is all about.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is an assistant professor in the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Prior to joining the St. Bonaventure faculty, he spent more than 30 years working in New Jersey journalism, government and politics. Read more of Rich's columns at richleeonline and follow him on Twitter @richleeonline.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Black male teachers becoming extinct


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Take a moment and think of all the teachers you had between pre-K and twelfth grade.

Now, how many of them were black men?

For most people, this question won't take too long to answer. That's because less than two percent of America's teachers are black men, according to the Department of Education.
That is less than 1 in 50 teachers.

Terris King, 25, a kindergarten teacher at the Bishop John T. Walker School in Washington D.C., believes that for African-American children, having a strong role model in front of them can make a huge difference.
"I fit a void in their lives," King says, "A lot of them have never felt what it feels like to shake a man's hand, [have him] look them in the eye, and tell them right from wrong. They need those things. They need someone in their lives who's strong—-they need an African American male in their lives that's positive."

This year, King has just over fifty African-American children from low-income households in his classes.
"I look out of my window, and I see gentlemen that are standing on the corner, and I look at my boys, and I can say to myself what I'm going to teach in a day about what's right and what's wrong, might turn the path a little bit."

It's this kind of impact that Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he is trying to replicate in classrooms around the country. He launched the Teach campaign and is actively trying to recruit more African-American men to go into teaching straight out of college.

"I think all of our students benefit from having a black male in the classroom," Duncan says, "But particularly our young black males. I think what we haven't talked about enough is that we're competing with the gangs, we're competing with the drug dealers on the corner, and when students fall through the cracks, when young people don't have that positive mentor, in a school setting, in the church or community, there's always a guy on the street corner that can say come my way."

But if you ask most African-American men why they don't teach, they'll tell you——it just doesn't pay the bills. King says, "Historically in our society there is an expectation that a man provides for their family. This is an added pressure, that warns against men becoming teachers because of the salary."
"I just want our teaching workforce to reflect the tremendous diversity of our nation's young people. [But] I think fundamentally we have done a poor job as a country, historically, of making the teaching profession attractive," Duncan says.

The newly launched RESPECT Project is one way the Department of Education is trying to do just that. By offering incentives to teachers and school districts that will increase starting salaries and provide more professional development and training among other things, Secretary Duncan hopes to eliminate barriers and concerns that may keep qualified candidates away.

"There are African American men all over the country with skills, and with passion, that can serve these boys in so many capacities that they don't even know," King says. "It makes a huge difference because [the students] are able to be comfortable with themselves, they're able to see what they'll become one day, and if those images are positive, it raises their self identity to another level."

King hopes that by reaching his young black boys early, he'll be able to help them build a strong educational foundation that will allow them to buck another troubling trend: the low number of African American males entering and graduating from college. A recent report from the Department of Education showed that males are now a distinct minority on campus—even at historically black colleges and universities.

"Its an honor for me to be here with them. I feel like I'm a part of a revolution in a sense because we get to see the future leaders of tomorrow starting right here. I think at Bishop Walker School, we really believe in our boys and we really believe that they can be anything that they want to be."

Real Estate Workers in San Diego Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud

By Danny Fenster

Here’s another reminder how the real estate and banking world have suffered as a result of major acts of fraud.

In San Diego, charges were unsealed on Tuesday against several real estate agents involved in a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme targeting “vulnerable, low-income immigrants” , according to a statement from the FBI.

Eric Elegado, Charmagne Elegado, Theodore Cohen, Minh Nguyen, Regidor Pacal, Alexander V. Garcia, Roman Macabulos, Ramin Lotfi, and Roderick Huerto face multiple charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture, says the FBI. The scheme resulted in losses of more than $15 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Eric Elegado owned and operated San Diego real estate and brokerage businesses and, conspired with others, obtained mortgage loans for unqualified buyers by falsifying salary information on loan documents, then submitted the documents to mortgage lenders, who eventually lent more than $50 million in mortgage loans.

“As a result of their scheme to defraud, defendants and others caused the mortgage companies, lending institutions, and financial institutions to lose more than $15 million,” says the FBI statement.
The defendants are scheduled to appear before US District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on March 28.

NY U.S. Atty. Bharara Telling Friends He Could Earn Up to $6 Million in Private Sector

By Charlie Gasparino
Fox Business News
All of the good publicity flowing from the crackdown on insider trading has one of the nation’s top law enforcement officials looking at what he might do in the future, and he’s seeing a lot of green.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District, is telling friends that if he should leave his job today, he could earn as much as $6 million in the private sector, according to people with direct knowledge of these conversations. Bharara’s private statements come as speculation grows in Washington that the politically savvy prosecutor might also replace his boss, US Attorney General Eric Holder, if President Obama wins re-election.
A spokeswoman for Bharara wouldn’t deny the conversations about Bharara’s private sector ambitions — or the possibility that he might replace Holder.
To read more click here.

The government-imposed California dust bowl

Of all the problems within California — pension and budget deficits, high unemployment, an over-eager environmentalist agenda and a failed taxpayer-funded green energy firm — add a government-made dust bowl to the list.

Yes, California farmers who produce much of the produce that our nation depends upon are being strangled by a government imposed water shortage. To understand this situation, you first need to know that two-thirds of the state’s water comes from Northern California while two-thirds of California’s population is in the southern part of the state. But the most disconcerting part of the water problems in California involves the very middle of the state — the Central Valley.

The Central Valley can also go by another name: the salad bowl of the nation and quite possibly the world.
Agricultural production in the Central Valley of California accounts for $26 billion in total sales and 38 percent of the Valley’s labor force. Farmers in this area grow more than half the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts. In fact, if you buy domestic artichokes, pistachios, walnuts or almonds, there is about a 99 percent chance that they were all grown in California.

But in order for these products to grow, the Central Valley needs water — and the past few years the government has been withholding that vital resource.

Much of California’s water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the federally owned Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California State Water Project (SWP). To understand the size, scope and capacity of these water systems, with California boasting a population of roughly 37 million people, these two projects deliver water to more than 27 million people. The CVP alone provides water to more than 600 family-owned farms, which produce more than 60 high-quality commercial food and fiber crops sold for the fresh, dry, canned and frozen food markets.

However, since both projects are under government control, something of a water war has ensued in California between Central Valley farmers and an environmentalist-driven agenda. The federal government is retaining water in the Delta to protect a three-inch fish called the delta smelt and other salmon species in the name of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Therefore those who depend on California’s unique water systems are faced with an ever-diminishing supply and are forced to make some tough choices.
Get full story here.

An even higher price

Get permalink here.

New poll says Obama has fallen out of favor with millennials

By Rebecca DiFede

It’s no secret that a large basis of Obama’s election was his widespread approval rating among young people. Colleges all across the country sprung to life in an effort to support his campaign, and soon his likeness was as ubiquitous on campus as the red Solo cup.

Being in college during Obama’s campaign was like living in a product placement ad. Everywhere I looked, there was a person, place or thing sporting some form of Obama swag.

From students with sweatshirts and buttons, to buildings with banners and posters, and even the monitors in the student union were updated with news of his climbing in the polls. All of his speeches were shown on the big screen in one of the dining rooms, and people crammed in like sardines to catch the cleverly rehearsed snippets of his Harvard education.

When he finally arrived at my alma mater, American University, to give a speech, it was as if Jesus Himself had agreed to appear and perform miracles for anyone who could get in. Although the speech was not due to start until noon, a line began to form outside the arena around 7 AM, and stretched all the way across campus, and halfway down Massachusetts Avenue.

I, for one, was appalled. I couldn’t understand how students who could barely get it together to roll out of bed for their 2 pm classes could start standing in line at 7 AM complete with tents, blankets and board games. Especially to listen to what amounted to the musings of a political sock puppet. Did they know something I didn’t?
Get full story here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ex-Marine Kills 4 Homeless Men since Discharge from Military

Former marine, Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, accused of killing four homeless men in Orange County between December and January 2012.

It appears that the military isn’t for everyone, especially when it’s the Marines.  The Marines is responsible for being the first division of the armed forces that sees action first.  They are the first responders in war. They see the enemy head on and all the devastation that is a result of conflict.One marine came home and he was still reeling from the affects of being away at war.  Itzcoatl (itz-KWAH’-tuhl) Ocampo, 23, came home and killed four homeless people and was suspected of killing his friend’s mother and brother as well, until new evidence was produced.  So far, there is nothing to support a possible motive other than Ocampo may be suffering from mental illness, according to the Washington Post.

The former Marine has no previous record, so his actions are being investigated and possibly linked to his time in an Iraq medical battalion.  The prosecutor, Susan Price, said:
“It’s the simplest case of evil you’ve ever heard of. He has no record, but he’s a person who has hatred in him and had been bottling it up for some time.”
Read more here on this strange case that shook Orange County between December and January 2012.
-J.C. Brooks

Obama’s “Rules for Radicals” Health Care Buy

By Rick Manning

Not content with making the health insurance industry unprofitable, through rules and regulations set out in enacting Obamacare, the Obama administration released the first eight grants/loans under the Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan (CO-OP) program.
The CO-OP program was established under the Obamacare law to put into place one federal government selected group in every state that is supposed to provide an insurance alternative to those few companies that remain after the imposition of the law.

The grants/loans have raised the political antenna of Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government who said, “These grants/loans reek of political payola as one group, the Saul Alinsky-affiliated, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative of Wisconsin was formed in August, 2011 just three short months prior to applying for the taxpayer money. In true, Rules for Radicals fashion, Obama’s administration found this group worthy of receiving $56,416,000 in taxpayer largesse.”
Common Ground is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a group the radical Saul Alinsky founded, as reported by the Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee.

The provision of $56 million taxpayer funds by the federal government for health care organizing comes at a time when Wisconsin’s public employee unions are orchestrating a recall election of the Governor after failing in a retaliatory bid for power in the Senate last year. Wisconsin’s state government moved forward with changes in the state’s collective bargaining rules early in 2011 over the objections of the unions. Ironically, those changes have allowed the state to bring the budget into balance without having to lay off any public employees.
Get full story here.

The cause of limiting government looks bleak

By Adam Bitely

It seems like every presidential election cycle people get excited to nominate candidate that will roll back the expansion of government under the previous administration. For months, speculation of who the candidate will be that will stop the growth of government runs wild. But, as is always the case, reality sets in and those who thought they could stop the growth of government with a miracle candidate are left with choosing between the lesser of two evils.

2012 appears to be no different.

As it stands today, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are generating the most buzz for Republicans. With the GOP establishment lining up behind Romney and the social conservatives lining up behind Santorum, the media is focusing on these two candidates with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul fighting to get in the mix.
People concerned about the out of control spending in Washington should be concerned about Romney or Santorum being the alternative to Obama.

Santorum’s record on spending leaves much more to be desired. He voted multiple times to raise the debt ceiling, supported the largest entitlement expansion since the Great Society programs started in the 1960’s and supported increased spending throughout the federal government especially to the Department of Education. He was known as a “yes-man” for the Republican form of Big Government spending during the Bush administration. Now he is campaigning as a small government conservative, even though his record is that of a Washington big spender.

Romney is no better. A supporter of the Bush bailouts of Wall Street, Obama’s auto bailouts and the author of the blueprint for ObamaCare, Romney should give any person who wants to stop Washington’s spending addiction pause. Romney has famously flip-flopped back and forth on various positions causing many voters to question how he will act in office. As a candidate for President though, Romney is suddenly “severely conservative” — whatever that means.

Both Romney and Santorum have records that show that if elected, the spending machine in Washington will keep running just as it always has. These are two people, who like most politicians, will maintain the status quo.

This cycle of politics and politicians as usual seems never ending. But that is how the system has worked for hundreds of years. The voters that decide elections are never the base of a party, rather, the decisive voters are in the middle and force the candidates on each side to cater to them in the run up to November. This leads to the party nominees moving to their true spot in the middle and saying whatever it takes to get the votes of the political middle. That is why the U.S. system rarely sees politicians elected that are way out on the wings politically.
Get full story here.

Reagan's Assault on Big Government at Home and the ‘Evil Empire’ Abroad Should be Studied by Republican Presidential Candidates

By Kevin Mooney

Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech delivered on March 8, 1983 “re-moralized American foreign policy” and reversed and era of détente in foreign policy that had given the advantage to the Soviet Union, Prof. Paul Kengor of Grove City College explained during an interview with Americans for Limited Government (ALG) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Kengor, who is also a prominent Reagan biographer, said the speech had tremendous reverberations. It put the Soviet Empire back on its heels and help shifted the Cold War back in America’s favor.

The “evil empire” speech was delivered on March 8, 1983 and just a few weeks later on March 23 Reagan announced the “Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

“Reagan used his voice as weapon,” Kengor explained. “He destroyed this whole idea that there was somehow a moral equivalence to both sides and it made it plain and clear that America’s struggle against Soviet expansionism and Soviet communism was a just cause.

The same U.S. State Department officials who tried to strike out the "Tear Down this Wall" comment from Reagan's 1987 Berlin Wall address, were also scandalized by the "Evil Empire" speech.

Kengor served as the moderator for a panel entitled “Rendezvous with Destiny: What Can We Learn from Ronald Reagan in 2012.” Craig Shirley, author of “Rendezvous with Destiny” and Steven Hayward, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), also took part in the discussion.
Get full story here.

Race Matters: White Criminals Are More Likely To Be Pardoned Than The Minorities Who Are Locked Up…Blacks Have The Poorest Chance

Blacks In Prison Have Lowest Chance of Getting Pardoned
This is all thanks to your boy George “Dubya” Bush:
An independent investigation has found that white criminals seeking US presidential pardons over the past decade have been nearly four times as likely to succeed as minorities, The Washington Post reported. The newspaper said Saturday the review was conducted by ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism.
ProPublica’s review examined what happened after president George W. Bush decided at the beginning of his first term to rely almost entirely on the recommendations made by career lawyers in the Office of the Pardon Attorney. According to the review, blacks have had the poorest chance of receiving the president’s ultimate act of mercy, the paper said. From 2001 to 2008, Bush issued decisions in 1,918 pardon cases sent to him by the Justice Department, most involving nonviolent drug or financial crimes, The Post noted.
He pardoned 189 people — all but 13 of whom were white, the report said. Seven pardons went to blacks, four to Hispanics, one to an Asian and one to a Native American. The Post quotes Fred Fielding, who served as Bush’s White House counsel, as saying the racial disparity “is very troubling to me and will be to (Bush), because we had no idea of the race of any applicant.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FBI Releases Files on 2002 Winter Olympics; Someone Raised Red Flag About $103,597 Overseas Phone Bill

By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Twenty-four days before the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, the FBI’s counterterrorism unit sent a memo to its agents in Utah.

The FBI had received a tip from an employee at a cell service provider that a customer had racked up a $103,597 phone bill by making calls to Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, as well as calls to and from Salt Lake City. The employee was worried the calls could be part of terrorist activities.

The employee sent her tip by email, and the text was included in the FBI memo.
To read full story click here.

Ex-FBI Chief Spokesman John Miller Has Returned to TV

John Miller/fbi photo
By Allan Lengel

In case you didn’t notice, John Miller, who headed the FBI’s public affairs office, and then moved on in 2009 to become assistant deputy director of intelligence analysis for the Office of Director of National Intelligence, has returned to TV.

The New York Post recently reported that Miller showed up on “CBS This Morning”.

“I thought the stars were aligned — the two wars were winding down, bin Laden was killed,” Miller told the Post. He was named a CBS News senior correspondent in October.

“I always knew I was coming back to journalism,” he tells The Post. “It was just a question of when and where.”

From 1995 to 2002, Miller was an ABC news correspondent and in 2002, he was promoted to co-anchor of “20/20.”

FBI Ditches “Anti-Muslim” Materials

By Danny Fenster

The FBI has tossed out more than 700 documents and 3o0 presentations related to Islam following complaints that the bureau was using training materials that were factually inaccurate or wrongly stereotyping the religion, reports the Detroit Free Press. The FBI plans to go public with new rules on how to vet future training materials as well.

Robert Mueller, director of the FBI, said he pulled the documents at a meeting with advocacy groups two weeks ago. “The steps taken by the FBI … are certainly welcomed,” Abed Ayoub, the national director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Friday. He and members of six other religious or ethnic groups met with Mueller in to discuss the matter in Washington, D.C., expressing opposition to training materials they considered anti-Muslim.

To read more click here.

NYPD Monitored Muslim Students More Extensively than Thought

By Danny Fenster

New York Police monitored Muslim college students far broader than previously thought, reports the Associated Press. Further, the monitoring was conducted at schools far beyond city limits, including Rutgers University, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. Officers even spoke with professors in Buffalo, 300 miles away from the city.

New York police even sent an agent undercover on a whitewater trip, according to the AP, “where he recorded students’ names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.”
Police spokesman Paul Browne offered a list of 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges as members of Muslim student associations when asked about the monitoring.
To read more click here.

Fan Gives Best Account of Whitney’s Funeral and Life Ever! (Video)

Willie Moore Jr. sets us straight on Whitney and what her funeral meant to us all.

Whitney Houston would be proud to know some of her fans personally.  But, this guy has got to be her No. 1 fan.  The very moment he begins to talk about her funeral, you get a little fearful of what is coming out of his mouth next.  But, his take on what happened that day and what her legacy truly is goes straight to the core of all that she was and all that she was to us…whether we knew her or not.

Willie Moore Jr. gives a humorous account of her funeral and legacy in a way that makes one feel as though they’re hearing Whitney’s thoughts at times and her mother’s at others.  He reminds us how we only knew her work, but not knowing her personally did not keep us from receiving the message of her.

At one point he even reminds us of how much American television has taken Jesus out of most programming…but not Whitney’s funeral!  It is a refreshing, light-hearted testimony on how her life affected him and others around the world.  He spoke about  her with love saying:
“A few bad chapters can’t ruin a whole book….Even in her death, she still was ministerin’! …Say what you want, Jesus was exalted today…I ain’t neeeever heard so many Jesus’s on mainstream TV…. Get your fresh start, so God can get the victory out yo life like he did with Whitney!”
Learn more about this young, ordained minister that is spearheading the Young Fly and Saved Movement through his ministry and music here. He is truly worthy of the award he received in 2010 for Excellence by Dr. Noel Jones for his commitment to young people. He is definitely “bridging the gap between the Church and the streets” if this is an example of his work. PREACH BOY!
-J.C. Brooks

Child Welfare Threatens White Couple May Lose Black Child (Video)

Plenty of aspects of the foster care and social service departments are flawed.  We have heard horrific stories of abuse, mismanagement, neglect and more.  But, the latest problem is the complicated issue of placing foster children or approving adoptions for couples who are not the same race as the child.
The agencies are supposed to adhere to the federal Multi-Ethnic Placement Act that states that “agencies can no longer routinely assume that placing children with parents of the same race is in the best interests of a child,” according to News Channel 3 in Virginia.  This is a notice to child welfare agencies that if they are caught discriminating there will be legal repercussions.

A couple in Norfolk, Virginia, Ben and Sarah FitzPatrick were threatened by their local child welfare agency that they may lose custody of their black foster child.  It appears that the couple rustled some feathers in the department when they reported negligence on the agency’s behalf for the death of a foster child.  They had the child with them, but the agency decided for an undisclosed reason to move the child.  The family the child was taken to “abused the child to death.”

After they went to the News Channel 3 with their story, a social worker wanted to meet with them about the interview they gave, so they were told.  They then came to their home and said that it would probably be in the child’s best interest to be placed with a black family.

Discrimination is discrimination, plain and simple.  That is not right and the department should have been exposed for their negligence that resulted in a child’s death.  The FitzPatricks said there were signs that the agency missed when placing the child with the abusive family. (When you see the couple, you will surely understand.)
Check out the report from News Channel 3.
  -J.C. Brooks

Bobbi Kristina Drug Use Feared During Disappearance After Funeral

Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown
The rash of foolish, irresponsible media attention to Bobbi Kristina has already begun.  Several media outlets are already reporting that Bobbi Kristina was found in a hotel using drugs after her mother’s funeral.  While Bobbi Kristina has had her problems with drugs, there’s no reason to feel that she would jump to this remedy after her mother’s funeral.  In fact, it would be more rational to think she would do the opposite.
According to the Daily Beast, a family spokesperson for the Houston family gave the most truthful account of Bobbi Kristina’s disappearance after her mother’s funeral saying:

“There was some confusion about Bobbi Kristina’s whereabouts last night for a short time, but she’s OK,” a Houston family spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “She needed some time alone.” The spokesperson says Bobbi Kristina isn’t on drugs and is just emotionally fragile at this time. “She is going through a very hard time as you can expect.”
Everything else sounds sensational and exaggerated.  Of course the family would be concerned if they couldn’t locate her after the funeral, but it was probably expected…it’s expected of any of us that might lose a parent we love. But, the media has let the games begin with ripping accounts from all types of sources.
The sources in this Daily Beast report read like a “he said, she said” report.  The sources are as follows:  ”source who was with the family when they received the news”; “a second source was told of the event from a member of the family”; “one source, a longtime family friend” or “a source at the funeral who witnessed the conversation” .  There’s more sources in this report than a crackhouse raid with a $25,000 reward.
Read the full report here.

New Museum to Shine Spotlight on Civil Rights Era

ATLANTA — Drive through any state in the Deep South and you will find a monument or a museum dedicated to civil rights.

A visitor can peer into the motel room in Memphis where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was staying when he was shot or stand near the lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where four young men began a sit-in that helped end segregation.

Other institutions are less dramatic, like the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Ga., where Jim

Crow-era toilet fixtures are on display alongside folk art.
But now, a second generation of bigger, bolder museums is about to emerge.

Atlanta; Jackson, Miss.; and Charleston, S.C., all have projects in the works. Coupled with the Smithsonian’sNational Museum of African American History and Culture, which breaks ground in Washington this week, they represent nearly $750 million worth of plans.

Collectively, they also signal an emerging era of scholarship and interest in the history of both civil rights and African-Americans that is to a younger generation what other major historical events were to their grandparents. “We’re at that stage where the civil rights movement is the newWorld War II,” said Doug Shipman, the chief executive officer for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a $100 million project that is to break ground in Atlanta this summer and open in 2014.

Click Here to Read

Republican Strategist Jokes about Killing President Obama

Republican Party Strategist Frank Luntz spoke at the annual Kent County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner Monday at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. During the speech, he had some interesting things to say about President Obama.

“I actually have a ‘Run, Barack, Run,’ bumper-sticker but I put it on the front of my car,” he said.
Luntz then shifted his sights to Clinton.

“Or, that of all the places Hillary Clinton could choose to live, she chose Chappaqua, New York,” he said. “Did you know Chappaqua is Indian for ‘separate bedrooms?’”

Maryland Teen Dies After Drinking Four Loko

A 13 year old Maryland teen died in a car accident after he drank a can of Four Loko with friends, said his family.
The teen, Michael Thomas Truluck, felt sick on the ride home and when he opened the passenger side door to throw up, he was immediately hit by a Ford Explorer. He died later at Franklin Square Hospital.

It is not yet clear who gave the teen the caffeine and alcohol fueled party drink, which is outlawed in its original formula in some states.

In its original formula, Four Loko is the equivalent of four beers and one cup of Starbucks coffee – a potentially lethal combination since the caffeine prevents drinkers from fully gauging how intoxicated they really are.

David Cross Admits to Snorting Cocaine Near President Obama at White House Correspondent’s Dinner

David Cross is telling all with his disturbing confession that he snorted cocaine just feet away away from President Obama at a White House event.
“It wasn’t even that much cocaine. It was literally the size of, I don’t know, a tick,” said Cross, who attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2009.
“I ducked under the table and did it. It wasn’t like I got high. The jolt was similar to licking an empty espresso cup. It wasn’t about that. It was just about being able to say that I did it, that I did cocaine in the same room as the President,” he told Playboy magazine.

Cross said in 2009 that snorting cocaine at the White House was all part of an ongoing dare and challenge game that he plays with his friends.

White House economic team never believed ‘stimulus’ would work

By Bill Wilson

Former White House Council of Economic Advisors head Christina Romer apparently never thought the $800 billion “stimulus” that was supposed to turn the economy around would work, a new book shedding light on the early days of the Obama Administration says.
A memo brought to light in “The Escape Artists” by Noam Scheiber shows Romer originally proposed a spending plan that totaled $1.8 trillion, but the figure was dismissed as politically infeasible by Larry Summers, Director of the White House Economic Council. Romer came back with a watered down proposal of $1.2 trillion, but that was left out of the final proposal brought before Barack Obama himself.

Nonetheless, even though the final proposal was a full $1 trillion short of what she thought would work, Romer penned the political document that justified the $800 billion figure. Romer’s “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment” warned that “The recovery plan needs to be large to counter the tremendous job loss that is likely to occur.”

Based on her methodology, she wrote, “the package contains enough stimulus that we can have confidence that it will create sufficient jobs to meet the President-Elect’s goals.”

Then Obama was promising to “save or create” 3 million jobs, a promise he fell way short of. Since he took office, the labor force participation rate has dropped from 65.7 percent to 63.7 percent, resulting in over 4.7 million people have been dropped out of the civilian labor force.

In fact, there were almost 142.2 million people employed when Obama took office. Now, that number dropped to a low of 137.9 million in Dec. 2009 and has only risen to 141.6 million since then. The economy is not even keeping up with the growth of the population, let alone reclaiming a single one of the lost 8 million jobs in this recession.
Get full story here.

Why Not Separation of Liberalism and State?

By David Bozeman

The idea that liberalism is a religion unto itself is by no means original. Still, how frustrating that America has been conditioned to regard traditional religious influences as the gravest threats to our liberty.
We have become so jumpy that even the most benign sentiments—like saying Merry Christmas — in the private marketplace, no less, are uttered in measured tones or watered down altogether (holiday trees, anyone?), lest a creeping theocracy swallow our Bill of Rights. But the truth is, liberals eschew religion in politics not out of any concern for liberty. Quite simply, they can't stand the competition.

Why is my freedom any less compromised if I must follow the edicts of Kathleen Sebelius as opposed to, say, Pat Robertson? The insurance companies must provide contraception. Must?
Liberals boast of their openness to abortion and unconstrained sexuality, but that is just a fig-leaf to cover their own statist leanings. Conservatives, according to the gospel of conventional wisdom, are too concerned with what goes on in our bedrooms. Still, liberals have the rest of your house pretty well covered. The left currently regulates, or would like to regulate: your light bulbs, the water flow in your toilet, your car's gas mileage, your health insurance coverage, your child's education, your retirement options, your fat intake, your salt intake, your child's school lunch, your right to own everything from guns to plastic grocery bags, etc., etc.

Of course liberalism is a religion. All of the qualities attributed to traditional faith equally apply to liberalism. It has its own prophets (Barack Obama), clergy (the mainstream media, many public school teachers), churches (public schools, public employee union halls), revivals (Occupy Wall Street, storming the Wisconsin State House), tithing (taxes, particularly on 'the rich') and behavior- altering predictions for the end of the world (Al Gore's award-winning 'documentary' An Inconvenient Truth).
While Christians tend to frown upon rampant sexuality and blasphemy, deadly sins and sinners against liberalism include: big profits, Wal-Mart, SUVs, the Boy Scouts, big oil, big pharmaceuticals, big insurance, McDonald's, right-to-work states, unrestricted speech on college campuses, talk radio not hindered by a fairness doctrine and feisty Alaska moms who run for public office. Ann Coulter said it best: "You haven't seen religious indignation until you've seen a liberal react to a lit cigarette in the no-smoking section."
Get full story here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Police Officer Allegedly Kills a Man Because of a 40 Cent Bribe

A trigger-happy police officer shot dead a passenger in a commuter bus in Lagos, Nigeria. The passenger, who was on his way to church, was killed because the conductor of the bus failed to give him a bribe of 40 cents (50 naira). The freaky officer opened fire on the bus as it zoomed off without submitting the disgraceful amount, which cannot buy you a bottle of Coca-Cola in Nigeria.  This has happened one too many times in Nigeria, in fact, the culture of impunity exhibited by the Nigeria Police has reached frightening heights that police officers blatantly brag about how they cannot be held responsible for killing innocent citizens. Various debates have gone on and on without any solution for curbing this culture of impunity. Shortly after the incident, a violent mob reportedly invaded the police station in the area but could not find any officer to vent their anger on; instead, scores of inmates were released from the cell.

Just recently also, a police corporal, Samuel Ojana in the eastern city of Nigeria, Ontisha, shot and killed a commuter bus driver for refusing to give him a bribe. As usual, news has it that the police officer has been dismissed and would face trail in a civil court. On the surface, this seems like the right step taken in the right direction, but then again may I disappoint you and let you know that previous extra-judicial killings by Nigeria police officers have gone in the same direction without proper justice meted out to them in the end. All we hear is, “it was an accidental discharge;” a statement that has since become a cliché.

It is rather unfortunate that the Nigeria Police is synonymous with inefficiency, impunity, accidental discharges…That is why I still wonder why some Nigerians decried the deployment of soldiers to quell the looming protest in Lagos during last month’s nationwide strike. It was rather glaring that the Nigeria Police would have at best killed citizens in the name of an accidental discharge.  I suppose if the Nigeria Police performed optimally or even averagely, the need for the soldiers would not have arisen in a democratic government. Many People have pointed to the idea of community or state policing as the best option to achieving effective policing. I would not say I am totally agreeing with that idea because merely introducing state or community policing with the present Nigerian structure would not solve the problem. The problems with the Nigeria Police are far more fundamental and rooted. A total over haul and appropriate training is essential. We have to tilt towards forensic policing to achieve optimal results; this can only be achieved with intensive training and re-orientation. Need I say that the police needs to be far more accountable than they presently are?

With a new Inspector General of Police in the helm of affairs, we can only hope policing gets better. The presidency has recently set up a police reform committee to over-haul the police force; we wait to see what would become of this committee. As they say, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just sincerely hope that the light would not eventually fade out and leave us with an even worse police. In the meanwhile, let the impunity stop and let justice be served on the trigger-happy police officers, at least, that can be a pointer to the fact that the reforms has come to stay.

TBS Cancels Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns”

TBS has reportedly dumped Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” in favor of “For Better or Worse”.   “For Better or Worse” has been picked up for 35 more episodes while “Meet the Browns” won’t be back for a new season.

Perry’s first sitcom, “House of Payne”, recently ended production but is still airing new episodes. All three Perry sitcoms were black, family oriented comedies.

According to a TBS press release, “For Better or Worse” finished the year as basic cable’s No. 1 sitcom of 2011 and the the No. 1 show on all of television with African-American adults.
Even though 35 episodes is a big pick up for a new show, it’s less than what “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” received. “House of Payne” was given 100 and “Meet the Browns” 90 after their initial test runs.

Kobe Bryant caught locking lips with estranged wife at LA Lakers game

Kobe Bryant was spotting kissing his estranged wife Vanessa on Valentine's Day, as she cheered him on at the LA Lakers game, sparking rumours of a reconciliation.

Vanessa had filed for divorce in December last year, citing 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason.
But on Tuesday, it became apparent that Vanessa Bryant and her basketball-playing husband Kobe could be getting back together, when she was seen supporting him at the game.

The glamorous 29-year-old star looked happy and relaxed sitting in the stands of the Staples Centre cheering the basketball superstar on to victory against the Atlanta Hawks, the Daily Mail reported.

They were later seen sharing a kiss in the tunnel on the way to the locker room.

According to TMZ, the couple, who got married in April 2001, are working on a reconciliation.

The news comes despite the recent news that the couple have sealed a property deal as a part of their divorce settlement with Vanessa set to take their three Newport beach homes.

Reportedly, even though Kobe and Vanessa have submitted all the essential documents, their divorce won't become final until mid-June.

Thus, they still have time to withdraw the papers.

However, despite last night's show of affection, the couple are not back living together yet, according to reports.

Whitney Houston Shines On Set Of ‘Sparkle’

Like mother and daughter: Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston star in the 2012 remake of Sparkle

The original 1976 movie starred Philip Michael Thomas, Irene Cara and Lonette McKee but Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks are bringing a modern hint of glamour to Sparkle.

The pair can be seen all glammed up in the first shot released from the film, a remake of the blockbuster about how a girl group experiences turmoil after one of their members turns to drugs and another achieves their desired fame alone.

Houston, 48, – who has struggled with addiction herself in the past - plays the role of parent Emma.

The legendary Whitney Houston looked a picture of beauty as she posed it up on the set of her new movie ‘Sparkle’, with actor Mike Epps.     

Starring Jordin Sparks, the remake of the 1976 movie (loosely based on the story of The Supremes) is also being executively-produced by the ‘Million Dollar Bill’ singer.

With filming commencing in Detroit this week, it appears the diva jumped straight in with the singing scenes. What did those on set say about her much-debated vocals?

Find out for yourself after the jump…

Republican? Democrat? What’s the difference?

By Rebekah Rast

The gap of opposing viewpoints between Republicans and Democrats in Congress is closing.
The fears of a Tea Party takeover in Congress from the 2010 elections are far gone, and in fact, should now be laughed at.

Republicans had their opportunity, as the leading party in the U.S. House of Representatives, to take a stand — the stand they promised they’d take to the American people — to fight against frivolous government spending, overregulation of the private sector and to put America back on a path to prosperity.

Where does the health of America stand two years after those promises were made?
The country now boasts a national debt of $15.3 trillion — now exceeding the national economy, which at the end of 2011 came in at $14.95 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The much-too-low unemployment rate touted by the Department of Labor of 8.3 percent is more accurately estimated to be closer to 11 percent. Also, in 2011, Congress increased spending from the year before, raised the debt limit by $2 trillion, and funded ObamaCare. And you can’t forget about Congress’ most recent move: extending the payroll tax cut along with unemployment benefits — with absolutely no way of paying for it.

For all of this to have happened the U.S. House, again with Republicans in the majority, had to agree to it — and that they did. What has happened that caused Republicans, who stand on a platform of fiscal conservatism and smaller government, to have seemingly forgone these values in exchange for the status quo? Why aren’t they standing up for the core conservative values on which they campaigned?
In an effort to not overlook what the Republican Party did accomplish these past two years: They have kept all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts intact to date, and well, it’s hard to think of much more.

Under this House Republican leadership, compromises have been few and more often than not the true conservative agenda has been put aside in order to appease Democrats in the Senate and White House.
How, two years after a huge nationwide movement like the Tea Party, has so much changed? Does getting a taste of the power and prestige of Capitol Hill strip a member of his core ideals? Does feeling the pressure of having to kowtow to leadership cause new members to buckle? Or maybe it’s the desire to keep ones job because, after all, two years really isn’t enough to accomplish all you want, right?! Or is it some kind of strategy, whereas after the elections if Republicans retain a majority in the House they can throw all these concessions in the face of Democrats and claim the nation hasn’t improved so now they get to do things their way?
Get full story here.

Greece In Ruins, Can It Ruin All Of Us?

Video by Frank McCaffrey
Get permalink here.

Food Police go after preschooler, confiscate homemade lunch for being “unhealthy”

By Rebecca DiFede

Turkey and cheese sandwich on multigrain bread, banana, potato chips and apple juice; sounds like a healthy lunch right? All food groups are represented, it seems balanced, and is quite typical of something a small kid would want to eat.

However, when state agents inspected the lunch of a four year old student at West Hoke Elementary in Raeford, North Carolina, they deemed that it was not compliant with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and required that she eat a school lunch. Which, by the way, consisted of fried, processed chicken nuggets.

These state agents from the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services were acting in compliance with regulations they claim have control over all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to conform to the USDA standards. This means they must contain one serving of meat, one serving of dairy, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables.

The lunch that the little girl’s grandmother packed her was completely consistent with that framework, and yet she was told it was insufficient and that she needed to get a new lunch, and charged a fee of $1.25 for her trouble. How insensitive, not to mention insane and outlandish to do that to a small child who has no idea about any of the concepts of nutrition, but only knows that what her grandmother made her was somehow bad for her.

The sheer notion that minions of the state are allowed to enter cafeterias and inspect homemade lunches is terrifying. What happened to the rights of the parent to decide what is best for their child? What about the money saving aspect of making lunches at home, only to run the risk of the uneaten lunch being sent home with a bill from the cafeteria?
Get full story here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Music Reviews-Otis Redding, ZZ Top, The Velvetones

Otis Redding
That's how strong my love is
I generally reject the idea that anyone was the best at anything when it comes to art or music. For me, art is about communication and transcendence. If someone can draw you into their world and show you something that you like that's really all that matters. I don't have the interest or the talent to say anyone is the best. There are however some artists who do tempt me to say that they are the best and Otis Redding is one of them. If someone wrote that "Otis Redding is the best soul singer that ever existed" could anyone disagree with that? I mean if you're not Al Green, David Ruffin, Wilson Pickett or Marvin Gaye, could you?  And if you mention D'Angelo or Mayer Hawthorne I'm going to throw something heavy at your head. Seriously. You should duck.

Unfortunately Redding's life was tragically cut short in a 1967 airplane crash that also killed most of the Bar-Kays. So we never got to hear everything that he was capable of doing.  He was really just getting started. I don't listen to a lot of modern R&B. One reason I don't, besides a generalized distaste for pseudo-disco, excessive melisma, synths and drum machines, is that I just haven't heard many modern male singers that have the kind of power and control that was exemplified by classic soul singers and most particularly Otis Redding. He was nicknamed "The Big O". (He stood 6-4 though judging by how some women carried on at his concerts there may have been other reasons for that sobriquet)

Ex-Atty. Gen. Meese Declines to Comment on Operation Fast and Furious

By Allan Lengel

The poor Daily Caller.

The conservative news website, which is bent on bashing Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr., couldn’t get the former Attorney Gen. Ed Meese to do the same, despite attempts. The website tried to get Meese to trash Holder or others in the Justice Department in connection with the flawed ATF operation known as Fast and Furious that let guns walk into Mexico with the hopes of tracing them to the cartels.

“Well I have not commented on it because unless you’re actually there in the Department of Justice knowing everything that went on, it’s very hard to comment on it,” Meese told TheDC. “We all know that it was, that it came to ruin, if you will, that it didn’t work out as it had been anticipated certainly and that there were a lot of problems with it, very serious problems, tragic problems in one case. But, more than that, I don’t know other than what I read in the newspapers so I can’t really comment in detail on it.”

Apparently, the fact that a Republican attorney general wouldn’t trash Holder or others in the Justice Department without knowing all the facts must have come as a surprise to the Daily Caller.

Popularity of Synthetic Pot on the Rise

By Danny Fenster

New trends indicate an increase in the use of dangerous synthetic drugs not currently covered under federal drug laws, reports Business Wire. The new drugs come from the cannabinoid family, closely related to marijuana.

“Simply making the new drugs illegal is not likely to make them go away,” said Dr. Barry Logan, Director of NMS Labs Designer Drug Initiative. ”There is now an established market for these products alongside traditional recreational drugs.”

“The latest trend we are seeing is the appearance of completely new drugs. These new drugs are different in design from the current synthetic drugs and alter the brain’s chemistry by amplifying the effects of normal brain chemicals, producing the same marijuana-like effects,” said Logan.
To read more click here.