Swipe launches KONNECT at Rs. 4,999 Exclusively on Snapdeal        

by Shrutee K/DNS 

India, 4th August 2017: Swipe Technologies, India’s leading mobile internet technology company, is all set to unveil brand new member in its popular KONNECT Series - Swipe KONNECT Power.  The slim and sturdy smartphone sports 5” HD IPS display and boasts enormous 3000 mAh battery.  The compelling feature rich Swipe KONNECT Power is competitively priced at Rs. 4,999 only. It will be available exclusively on Snapdeal from 7th August 2017.

Swipe KONNECT Power is driven by a powerful 1.5GHz quad core processor that runs on Android 6.0 OS for lag-free multi-tasking smartphone experience. It comes with 2 GB RAM plus 16 GB internal memory, expandable up to 32 GB and OTG support enhances the storage options. The new 4G VoLTE-ready KONNECT Power features 5” HD IPS display that allows users to enjoy cleaner & sharper visuals at the highest resolution. Besides, this device has a very sleek body that makes the phone very stylish in its looks. That’s not all. For the photography enthusiast, KONNECT Power comes with 8MP Rear Camera and 5MP Front Camera. The camera app also comes with lots of features to enhance the photography. The new phone gives an extended company to the user with its 3000 mAh battery, which is installed keeping in mind the daily lifestyle and usage patterns of young smartphone users.  Commenting on the launch of KONNECT Power, Mr. Shripal Gandhi, Founder and CEO of Swipe Technologies said: “Fulfilling aspirations of demanding Indians at affordable price is what differentiates Swipe from other smartphone players.  Our latest creation is yet another affordable device under the KONNECT series – KONNECT Power. It is designed for the aspiring youth of the country who requires long lasting battery that too with 2GB RAM yet the phone is light on pocket.”
Vishal Chadha, Sr.Vice President – Business said: “As part of our commitment to the vision of Digital India, we are keen to bring our consumers access to compelling technology products at great value. With Swipe Konnect Power, we are confident that this newest exclusive addition to our smartphone assortment will be well received by our customers”
Swipe KONNECT Power comes with a gorgeous design, and it has a smoother touch experience as well as comfortable grip. Customers will be able to enjoy a greater multimedia experience, as they can capture stunning photos and videos in virtually any lighting condition.
About Swipe Technologies:
Swipe Technologies is an innovation-centric mobility solutions company, having started its operations in July 2012. Within a short span of time, Swipe has become the leading tablet and Smartphone maker in India.   Swipe was started with an aim to bring exciting devices in the growing Indian market and today, it is the leading consumer brand with key innovations across products, pricing and customer support. Founded by technocrat Mr. Shripal Gandhi, Swipe raised $5 million in May 2014 from the Venture Capital firm Kalaari Capital. In the last three years, Swipe has won a number of accolades including the “Top 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurs of India” by The Economic Times, the “Most Innovation-driven Company in India” by World Brand Congress, and the “Most Innovative Start-up” by Franchise India, the “Best Integrated Campaign” by the World Brand and Congress& the “Best Youth Brand Tablet” by CNBC. Also, Swipe’s young founder Mr. Shripal Gandhi has been recognized as the “CNBC Young Turks” for his breakthrough strategies and innovation in the field of mobile communication technologies. For details, logon to www.justswipe.com

          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

..

Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017


'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.

..

One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.

..

Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017


'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.

..

Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017


'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..

..

..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


Context

(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?

..

..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”

..

The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

..

..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.

..

Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.

..

Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.

..

Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.

..

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..

..

..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..

..

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '



'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

..

..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

..

..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

..

The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.

..

The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.

..

Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.

..

..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

..

Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.

..

It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.

..

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.

..

In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.

..

As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.

..

Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016


Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'


'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          Congress slashing social security        
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          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 



 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.


On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 



They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 




At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 


Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred


His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM




An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.


BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 






He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.




Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.


Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information



Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 



Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.






The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 



The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.



An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 



In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 


About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.



They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.




In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.


He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

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Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
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Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
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New York City
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New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790


Editor’s Note: The Showalter grand jury is noteworthy in that forces for justice – Judge Joseph Dannehy, Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan and as many as 17 Connecticut State Police detectives – could only knock down some of the walls protecting New London Police, State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti, Asst. State’s Attorney Harold Dean, Judge Angelo Santaniello, former Mayor Harvey Mallove and others who escaped complete discovery. The cover-up continues to this day, highlighted by the suppression and disappearance of the grand jury transcripts.




The foundation for investigative reporting in this case was developed by John Peterson, who was managing editor of The Norwich Bulletin during the grand jury. The grand jury began hearing testimony on July 5, 1977
.








Special Prosecutor McGuigan became Chief State’s Attorney, then was fired after convicting appointees of the governor and many other public officials.

---
Chronology, Grand Juror Report, Follow-up Columns
Via
Law And Justice In Everyday Life, CT Law Tribune


F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

APPENDIX

THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


New London, Ct.

1973

December 24

Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

December 25

Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

1974

February 6

FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

February 7

Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

February 28

New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

April 20

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

April 23

Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

June 4

Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

June 10

Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

June 24

Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

July 2

Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

July 9

Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

July 10

Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

July 25

Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

August 6

Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

August 9

Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

August 15

Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

August 20

Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

August 28

The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

August 31

Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

November, 1974

After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

1975

January 24

A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

“We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

March 19-22

The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

- Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

- Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

- Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

- A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

July 12

The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

July 21

A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

November 8

The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

December 10

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

1976

January 6

Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

January 9

Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

February 19

In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

“The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

February 23

Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

April 2

Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

May 6

Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

August 6

State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

August 30

Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

September 1

Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

September 23

State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

November 23

Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

“I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

December 21

Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

“I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

“The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

December 24

Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

1977

January 4

Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

February 8

State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

April 18

Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

May 10

State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

May 18

State police again film and re-create death scene.

June 22

The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

June 23

More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

June 24

Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

July 5

The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

July 6

Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

July 7

Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

July 12

Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

July 13

New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

July 14

Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

July 19

The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

July 20

The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

July 21

Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

July 26

The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

July 27

The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

July 28

Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

August 30

New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

Peterson testifies for three hours.

August 31

The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

September 1

Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

September 2

Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

September 12

Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

September 18

Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

September 19

One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

September 26

Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

October 3

Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

October 11

Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

“They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

“Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

October 17

The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

October 24

The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

November 14

The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

November 21

State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

November 29

The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

December 7

The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

1978

Feb. 17 Report filed.

Feb. 22

Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.


    Find & Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial








  • more COOL JUSTICE








  •           Cravo e Canela | Scheila Carvalho        


    Desde 1985 no mercado, a Cravo & Canela Confeitaria é uma empresa familiar que tem como compromisso fazer com que seus clientes estejam sempre satisfeitos, dando-lhes atendimento personalizado.
    Composta por uma equipe especializada em confeitaria,comandada pela cake design Nadjane Andrade Azevedo,que durante quatro anos exerceu o cargo de presidente da Associação dos Profissionais de Culinária da Bahia.
    Participante de Congressos e Cursos Nacionais e Internacionais na área da confeitaria fina, instrutora de arte culinária desde 1988, realizando trabalhos junto a empresas
    nacionais e multinacionais por todo o estado da Bahia.

    A Confeitaria Cravo e Canela foram os responsáveis pelos doces personalizados que embelezaram o chá de fraldas da apresentadora Scheila Carvalho, no último dia 05 de Maio no Buffet Planeta Aventura, em Salvador










              Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

    UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           Hit-and-Run Chronology, Grand Jury Report & Follow-up Columns, Re; Library Discussion 9-22-16        

    Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial




  • Cool Justice Editor's Note:
    This post is primarily for patrons and guests of the Sprague Public Library, who might participate in a discussion on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. A link to announcements of that event is at the very bottom of this post. Thanks for reading, AT.


    Via
    Law And Justice In Everyday Life


    F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

    This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

    APPENDIX

    THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


    New London, Ct.

    1973

    December 24

    Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

    There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

    Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

    Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

    Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

    December 25

    Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

    In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

    New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

    1974

    February 6

    FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

    February 7

    Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

    During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

    February 28

    New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

    April 20

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

    On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

    April 23

    Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

    June 4

    Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    June 10

    Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

    June 24

    Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

    July 2

    Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

    July 9

    Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

    July 10

    Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

    July 25

    Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

    Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

    Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

    August 6

    Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

    Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

    August 9

    Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    August 15

    Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

    Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

    Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

    August 20

    Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

    August 28

    The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

    Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

    Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

    August 31

    Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

    November, 1974

    After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

    1975

    January 24

    A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

    “We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

    March 19-22

    The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

    - Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

    - Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

    - Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

    - A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

    The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

    April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

    July 12

    The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

    July 21

    A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

    November 8

    The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

    December 10

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

    1976

    January 6

    Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

    January 9

    Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

    February 19

    In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

    Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

    “The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

    February 23

    Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

    April 2

    Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

    May 6

    Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

    State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

    August 6

    State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

    August 30

    Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

    September 1

    Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

    Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

    September 23

    State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

    Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

    November 23

    Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

    “I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

    Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

    December 21

    Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

    John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

    “I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

    Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

    An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

    “The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

    December 24

    Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

    1977

    January 4

    Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

    McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

    February 8

    State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

    Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

    April 18

    Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

    The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

    May 10

    State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

    May 18

    State police again film and re-create death scene.

    June 22

    The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

    June 23

    More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

    June 24

    Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

    July 5

    The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

    Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

    The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

    Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

    July 6

    Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

    Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

    Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

    On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

    Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

    Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

    Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

    July 7

    Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

    Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

    A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

    July 12

    Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

    Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

    July 13

    New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

    The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

    McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

    Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

    There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

    July 14

    Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

    At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

    July 19

    The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

    July 20

    The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

    July 21

    Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

    A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

    July 26

    The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

    On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

    Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

    July 27

    The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

    Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

    July 28

    Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

    Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

    Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

    The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

    August 30

    New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

    Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

    Peterson testifies for three hours.

    August 31

    The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

    It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

    State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

    September 1

    Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

    September 2

    Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

    Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

    Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

    September 12

    Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

    Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

    September 18

    Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

    Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

    September 19

    One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

    Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

    September 26

    Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

    October 3

    Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

    The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

    October 11

    Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

    “They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

    I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

    “Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

    October 17

    The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

    In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

    State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

    October 24

    The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

    November 14

    The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

    November 21

    State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

    November 29

    The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

    Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

    Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

    Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

    Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

    In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

    In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

    Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

    In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

    In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

    Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

    December 7

    The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

    The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

    After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

    The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

    After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

    1978

    Feb. 17 Report filed.

    Feb. 22

    Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.







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    Would you believe the Library of Congress has a subject line for “Animals in Human Situations”? Searching the Library of Congress Digital Collections (get Library of Congress photo search tips here) helps you find old photos related to places and events in your family history. And once you find a photo you like, here are two good ways to find more pictures like it:

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              Ancestors in the CCC? Search Online Camp Newspapers from Virginia!        
    If your ancestor or other relative was part of the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps program, camp newspapers are great for learning about his experience. And it's getting easier to access CCC camp newspapers from Virginia (plus a few from outside Virginia).


    CCC workers, Library of Congress

    The Virginia Newspapers Project has announced that CCC camp newspapers from the Library of Virginia's collection, published from 1934 to 1941 by young men participating in the CCC, are being digitized on the Virginia Chronicle newspaper website. The papers were originally microfilmed by the Center for Research Libraries in 1991.



    The Camp Victory Crier, for example, was published in Yorktown, Va. Page two of this issue names staff including editor in chief Oliver J. Wilson, other editors, press men and reporters.

    Click here to browse the CCC newspapers already on Virginia Chronicle. To search these and other newspapers on the site, use the keyword search box on the home page or the Advanced Search, which lets you specify a date range and newspaper title to search.

    Here's a guide to the Library of Virginia's collection of CCC camp newspapers.

    Looking for more CCC history websites and old records of CCC camps and workers? See our genealogy Q&A on how to research a CCC worker on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.

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              Grants Are Now Available for Preserving WWI Memorials!        

    WWI Memorial in Jackson, Miss. (Library of Congress)

    Here's a project for your history- and preservation-minded genealogical society, civic group or scouting troop: The 100 Cities/100 Memorials matching grant program is accepting applications through July 10 (an extended deadline) for projects to adopt and preserve WWI memorials.

    Up to 100 WWI memorial restoration projects around the country will receive matching funds of up to $2,000 apiece from the US WWI Centennial Commission in Washington, DC, and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago.

    Any municipal government, organization or individual can apply. You'll find details and the application on the 100 Cities/100 Memorials website.

    World War I, also known as the Great War, began in Europe just over 100 years ago, July 28, 1914. The United States entered the war April 6, 1917, and an armistice ended fighting Nov. 11, 1918. The July 2014 Family Tree Magazine includes a research guide to records of World War I service, as well as a guide to tracing women who served as nurses and volunteers overseas and on the home front.

    Also find our downloadable guide to the top 10 WWI genealogy websites in ShopFamilyTree.com.


    WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
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              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

    Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

    Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
    We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

    We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

    Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

    The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

    Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

    What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

    This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
    Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
    What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

    The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
    Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

    The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

    This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

    Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

    Dog Training
              [Article] Contributors        
    Wolfgang Frey “Passivhaus 101: Sustainable Architecture from the Inside Out” The founder of the PH movement worldwide believes that Passive Houses are anything but passive. “Their ability to actively produce, consume, and manage their own energy belies an intricate sustainable system that utilizes our natural resources with very little carbon footprint,” he says. At the Demography Congress 2015, Frey received awards from three German Federal Ministries.
              [Article] Calendar        
    June 7–8 Thirty-Fifth Annual West Coast Energy Management Congress June 16–18 The Twenty-Eighth Annual Energy Fair
              Coming soon to a mobile phone dealer near you?        

    Next week the Mobile World Congress 2008 will start in Barcelona, Spain. This event, formerly known as 3GSM World Congress, is a combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a congress featuring CEO’s representing mobile operators, vendors and content owners from across the world. At this event, traditionally many new mobile
    + Read More

    The post Coming soon to a mobile phone dealer near you? appeared first on the web log of Evert.


              Tea Party Pennsylvania Bill would give patients more privacy control over health care        
    The bill also seeks to protect the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care.





    New federal legislation seeks to prevent government bureaucrats from interfering in private health care and guarantee patient rights to control health care decisions.





    Republican Congressman Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, R-15, and Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk are the cosponsors of the Medical Rights Act of 2009 bill, which was introduced Wednesday. The lawmakers co-chair the centrist GOP Tuesday Group.





    "As Congress begins to discuss how best to address America's health care challenges, we must protect the sacrosanct relationship between a patient and a doctor," Dent said. "One of the greatest strengths of our health care system is that Americans can rely on getting the care that they need when they need it."





    The bill prevents the government from rationing private health care and actions that interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, the congressman contends. It also would prevent the federal government from regulating the hiring practices of organizations that provide health care, such as hospitals and clinics.





    The bill protects the rights of patients to buy health insurance, or make any other arrangements to pay for their own health care. Several foreign countries and several current health care reform proposals substantially restrict this right, according to the bill.





    Additionally, the proposed bill would give Americans who get care under government health programs, such as Medicare, the ability to obtain health care outside the program.





    In the U.S., if a Medicare-participating doctor accepts payment for a service that would otherwise be covered under Medicare, the doctor is suspended from participating in the federal health program for the elderly for two years, according to the bill.





    "This substantially restricts the ability of Medicare patients to pay on their own if Medicare decides they are ineligible for a particular service normally covered by the program," according to the bill. "Not many doctors are willing to take that penalty, so this substantially (if indirectly) restricts the right of seniors and the disabled to access the health care of their choice."





    With Congress preparing to debate health care reform this summer, the men warned legislation allowing government involvement in health care decisions could have "dire consequences." They cite other public health programs in Canada and Britain as examples of how government involvement compromises quality.





    Long waits for care elsewhere





    In a news release, the men cited a 2008 Commonwealth Fund International survey that found most Canadians and British adults waited longer than four weeks to see a medical specialist compared with only 26 percent of Americans.





    They also cited long waits for care, based on a Heritage Foundation study that found 43 percent of Canadian patients and 15 percent of British patients received hip replacements within six months, compared with more than 90 percent of American senior citizens.





    About 30 percent of Canadians' health care is paid for through the private sector, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group of 30 countries that meets regularly to discuss global issues and make economic and social policies.





    The private payments are mostly for services not covered or partially covered by Canada's health program, such as prescription drugs and dentistry, according to the OECD.





    About 65 percent of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance and many receive it through their employers.





    Canada spends less of its gross domestic product on health care (10.4 percent, versus 16 percent in the U.S.) and performs better on two commonly cited health outcome measures - the infant mortality rate and life expectancy.





    A 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research report found the U.S. experienced a higher incidence of chronic health conditions than Canada, but Americans had somewhat better access to treatment for the conditions. Also, a significantly higher percentage of U.S. residents were screened for major forms of cancer.





    The need to ration health care resources in Canada is the reason most Canadians cited for unmet medical needs, where in the U.S., more than half of those surveyed cited health care costs as the reason for unmet needs, the agency found.


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              SeaWorld’s Tank Size Questioned by Congress, Thanks to the Little Film That Could, “Blackfish”        
    According to (CNN), “Over three dozen members of Congress want the government to ensure the humane treatment of orca whales and other marine animals in captivity, following an outcry sparked by the documentary “Blackfish.”” “The letter, released Thursday and signed by 37 Democrats and one Republican to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, cites outdated regulations protecting those
              Special 317: Samsung's Mobile World Congress Press Event        

    TWiT Live Specials (Video-HD)

    Samsung announces the Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

    Host: Leo Laporte

    Download or subscribe to this show at https://twit.tv/shows/twit-live-specials.

    Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this special presentation.


              Ignacio de Balderes        
    Ignacio de Balderes 
    Attributed to José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza 
    c. 1790 
    Oil on canvas, 45 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches 
    Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Mr. Harvey Truxillo, M141.2
    Born in Salamanca, Spain, in 1757, Balderes entered military service as a private at the age thirteen as a private. He was sent to West Florida to work as a surveyor and rose through the ranks. As a sergeant in 1779, he earned distinction by capturing a post at Pass Manchac during the Battle of Galvez-Town. Balderes was knighted by the king of Spain and given a large land grant near Pensacola. 

    Salazar painted many of Colonial Louisiana's prominent citizens, figures associated with the government, the military, and the church. Well-versed in the late Baroque style popular in Spanish colonies, Salazar was the first significant painter to work in New Orleans

    In the early 1790s, Balderes was a Sub-Lieutenant of the Grenadiers, Second Battalion of the Regiment of Louisiana, and commander at Balize, an outpost guarding the mouth of the Mississippi River. The single epaulette - which is in the Museum's collection - indicates his rank as a lieutenant. Balderes was respected for his zeal and leadership. Francisco Bouligny, his commander, wrote "I believe it is always fitting to provide officers of well-known courage, good conduct, assiduity and who are intelligent" with promotion when he became adjutant-major of the Third Battalion in 1793. Balderes eventually reached the rank of captain in 1798, and died in 1815 at the age of fifty-eight.

    His son Antoine became a lieutenant as well.  His children married into many families of Louisiana.

    References
    1. Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records, Department of Archives, v3, p66, Lafayette Public Library, 301 W. Congress St., Lafayette, LA 70501.

    2. Holmes, Jack D. L., Honor and Fidelity: The Louisiana Infantry Regiment and the Louisiana Militia Companies, 1766-1821, Birmingham, AL, 1965, p92, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Edith Garland Dupre Library, PO Box 40199, Lafayette LA 70504.

    3. Charles E. Nolan, editor, Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Vol 3, 1772-1783, p12, Lafayette Public Library, 301 W. Congress St., Lafayette, LA 70501, LA 929.376335 WOO.

    4. Churchill, C. Robert, Officers, Spanish and Natives of Louisiana, serving under Gen. Don Bernardo de Galvez in his Campaign Against the British, 1779, 1780, 1781, p11, Tulane University Library, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, 7001 Freret St, , New Orleans, LA 70118, Ph:(504) 865-5605.

    5. Granville W Hough, Spain's Louisiana patriots in its 1779-1783 war with England during the American Revolution, Midway City, CA, SHHAR Press, 2000, p29, Tulane University Library, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, 7001 Freret St, , New Orleans, LA 70118, Ph:(504) 865-5605.



              Index to the Vicente Sebastián Pintado Papers        
    A Finding Aid to the Collection in the Library of Congress.

    Surveyor general of Spanish West Florida. Correspondence, bills of sale, court
    transcripts, testimonies, surveys, notebooks, plats, land grants, maps, petitions, and other papers
    relating principally to Pintado's duties as alcalde, commandant, and surveyor general.


    Subjects
    Deeds--Alabama.
    Deeds--Florida.
    Deeds--Louisiana.
    Deeds--Mississippi.
    Land grants--Alabama.
    Land grants--Florida.
    Land grants--Louisiana.
    Land grants--Mississippi.
    Land tenure--Alabama.
    Land tenure--Florida.
    Land tenure--Louisiana.
    Land tenure--Mississippi.
    Real property--Alabama.
    Real property--Florida.
    Real property--Louisiana.
    Real property--Mississippi.
    Places
    Vicente Sebastián Pintado Papers 2Alabama--Maps, Manuscript.
    Alabama--Surveys.
    Florida--History--Spanish colony, 1784-1821.
    Florida--Maps, Manuscript.
    Florida--Surveys.
    Louisiana--Maps, Manuscript.
    Louisiana--Surveys.
    Mississippi--Maps, Manuscript.
    Mississippi--Surveys.
    Spain--Colonies--America.

              Vicente Sebastián Pintado - A Register of His Papers in the Library of Congress        

    Captain Vicente Sebastián Pintado, the royal surveyor for the Spanish government kept papers regarding the surveys and records of deeds and grants in Spanish Louisiana. After trading hands through other families, it eventually reached the Library of Congress. Here you can search through his material.



              Comment on Spring Into Action: Griffis Sculpture Park by carpinteyrofqe        
    The retrospective showcases more than 200 of Louboutin’s designs, stretching help to when he launched his mark in the early 1990s, and also gives visitors a glimpse into his creative process. A <a href="http://christianlouboutin-pascheronline.com/" / rel="nofollow">CHAUSSURES LOUBOUTIN PAS CHER </a> scene of the designer’s Paris atelier sits at the center of the showing, featuring a columnar list strewn with paints, sketches and shoes, as admirably as Louboutin’s trapeze hanging in a corner of the room. “I righteous wanted to due this doll-sized interest of the behind the scenes, which is in actuality a gargantuan delight in my profession,” said Louboutin during a hidden viewing of the show Monday evensong, when he was joined next to guests including Dita Von Teese and India Hicks. “What I ambivalent up doing is these beautiful things, but ahead that, there’s a group that is happening.” Surrounded by the shoe designs on display are innumerable of Louboutin’s all-out glamorous <a href="http://christianlouboutin-pascheronline.com/" / rel="nofollow">christian louboutin</a> pieces, such as party line pumps crafted in menacing lace and magenta-colored silk heels adorned with a develop of ruffles at the ankle and toe. From the archive, the Pensee, the Mary-Jane emphasize that Louboutin created in 1992, gives visitors a look at the opening shoe to sport his now-signature red sole. The exhibition also features the schemer’s darker side, with a dim segment spotlighting the fetish-inspired shoes that Louboutin created for a 2007 collaboration with peel director David Lynch. London-based make consultancy Household crafted the campy backdrop after the show. The shoes are displayed on a fairground carousel, a plate glass steeple and the red unique of a exclusively created 17-meter shoe. Donna Loveday, the exhibition’s curator, esteemed during a urge congress Monday that “theater and performance” are at the heart of the show. “It reveals the true artistry and theatricality of #8217;s] shoe designs,” said Loveday. The demo also explores Louboutin’s a variety of sources of guide, including proceed, transparency and architecture. Another cut up is staunch to showgirls, whom Louboutin described as “the first spur behind my shoes.” Putting together the express was an buddy experience, said Louboutin. “I not in reality organize my private survival from my professional vim,” he said. “So it’s a touch emotional to see bring into play function that’s wholly <a href="http://christianlouboutin-pascheronline.com/" / rel="nofollow">CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN PAS CHER</a> coupled to your familiar life.”
              Zinke Reconsidering Trump Support: 'We've got to have this conversation'        
    It didn't take long for several prominent Republicans to say they could no longer support Donald Trump's candidacy for president, after a 2005 recording of him speaking disparagingly of women became public Friday. On Saturday, Montana's Congressman Ryan Zinke, a strong supporter of Trump, issued this statement:
              ÙƒØ§Ù†ÙˆÙ†ÙŠÙƒØ§Ù„ و BQ ستكشفان عن أول أوبنتو تابلت يشغل تطبيقات X11 مباشرة        
    كانونيكال و BQ ستكشفان عن أول أوبنتو تابلت يشغل تطبيقات X11 مباشرة

    وأخيرا وبعد طول انتظار ، ستعلن شركة كانونيكال صاحبة أشهر توزيعة لينكس أوبنتو عن إطلاق أول أوبنتو تابلت أثناء معرض  MWC (Mobile World Congress)  والذي سيقام في 22 - 25 فبراير.
    الجهاز اللوحي الجديد سيعمل على نظام Ubuntu Touch والذي يستخدم الآن في العديد من هواتف أوبنتو ، وسيطلق بالتعاون مع شركة الاتصالات الاسبانية BQ .
    الجهاز اللوحي الجديد (إذا صدقت الشائعات) سيأتي بمعالج  MediaTek MTK 8163 Quad-Core ذي 64 بت ، وشاشة 10 بوصات ذات دقة 1080p ، وذاكرة 2 جيجا و بطارية 7,280 mAh
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              Dombeck receives Ansel Adams Award for leadership in protecting National Forests        

    WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will receive the Ansel Adams Award from The Wilderness Society Thursday night for his major role in protecting the national forests.

    "Mike was a game-changer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “He restored balance to the management of our 155 national forests, making clean water, recreation, and fish and wildlife priorities, as the law requires. He was the main architect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prevented logging and road building across 58.5 million acres of our national forests. It was the capstone of a quarter century of sterling public service with federal land management agencies.”

    A native of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, Dombeck served three years as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before President Clinton appointed him Forest Service chief in 1997. No other person has lead both of this nation’s largest land management agencies.

    Since leaving the government in 2001, Dombeck has been a University of Wisconsin System Fellow and a professor of global conservation at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also directs the Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

    “Mike was, in my view, the most independent chief that the Forest Service has had since Gifford Pinchot himself,” said Dr. Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington professor often described as “the father of modern forestry.” Pinchot was the first chief, serving from 1898 to 1910. “Mike broke out of the mold and did really innovative things. He did that by design and force of will,” said Franklin, a long-time member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council.

    “As our country grows, we continue to chip away at our wild places, losing acre by acre, day after day,” said Dombeck. “Protecting the remaining roadless areas of our national forests is perhaps this nation’s last opportunity to keep our few remaining wild places intact.

    “They are important habitats and anchor points for native plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. These remote areas provide some of the last best hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities with at least a measure of solitude. In today’s fast-paced society, these are the places where future generations might experience the land as their forefathers did. It has been a privilege for me to have a career working with people who care deeply about the health of the land. They are the ones who have earned this award.”

    The award that Dombeck will receive is named for the celebrated photographer who, until his death, was an outspoken advocate for safeguarding the nation’s natural heritage. “It is noteworthy that Mike is the third winner from Wisconsin,” Meadows pointed out. The award was presented to Congressman David Obey (D) in 2000 and to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson in 1990. Nelson served the state as a governor and U.S. Senator and spent the final 24 years of his life as counselor of The Wilderness Society.

    Other winners of the Ansel Adams Award include former Congressman Mo Udall (D-NM), former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.

    The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

    For a hi-res photo of Dombeck, contact tmiller@uwsp.edu.

    May 18, 2010

              REVELADO! “Indústria farmacêutica age como uma MÁFIA”, afirma o maior pesquisador de todos os tempos!        

    CLAUDIO AMORIM MED EMAGRECIMENTO

    Quando um cientista se atreve a criticar a indústria farmacêutica, imediatamente ele é também altamente criticado.

    Porém, com Peter Gotzche é difícil e praticamente impossível dizer no mínimo que seu comentário é duvidoso. Rarissimamente profissionais da medicina se atrevem a contestar com ele.

    Há mais de 30 anos este médico, professor e pesquisador dinamarquês tem trabalhado em regulação de medicamentos e ensaios clínicos para diversas indústrias farmacêuticas.

    Gotzche é também autor de mais de 70 trabalhos científicos na Big Five.

    É exatamente por toda esta gama de conhecimento que ele afirma categoricamente que “A INDÚSTRICA FARMACÊUTICA AGE COMO UMA MÁFIA”!

    Em seu mais novo livro “Medicamentos Mortais e Crime Organizado – Como a indústria farmacêutica corrompeu a assistência médica” (Editora Bookman), o pesquisador dinamarquês investiga minuciosamente as carências da ciência que justifica o uso de fármacos.

    Peter afirma que a indústria farmacêutica é imensamente poderosa e rica e que se trata de uma corrupção de longo alcance, o que envolve a manipulação de dados científicos até a participação de ministros da saúde no esquema.

    Desde que seu mais novo livro chegou ao mercado, inclusive em território brasileiro na versão traduzida para o português, a obra tem causado alvoroço e provocado a ira na indústria farmacêutica e no meio médico.

    Apesar de reconhecer os avanços da indústria farmacêutica na criação de drogas para tratamento de infecções, diabetes, doenças cardíacas e alguns tipos de cancro, Peter relata em seu livro dados que demonstram os riscos que muitos medicamentos causam à saúde e falhas na regulação de tais fármacos.

    No Congresso Mundial de Medicina de Família (Wonca), a maior conferência que a especialidade já realizou pra troca de informações e experiências sobre sistema de saúde, Peter Gotzche ministrou uma palestra e posteriormente concedeu uma entrevista à Folha.

    Resumo da entrevista de Peter Gotzche à Folha

    CLAUDIO AMORIM MED EMAGRECIMENTO

    O pesquisador foi questionado se já foi processado alguma vez pela acusação que faz quando compara a indústria farmacêutica ao crime organizado.

    Peter diz que não se trata de uma acusação, mas sim de um fato, vez que a própria indústria SABE que determinada ação é criminosa, errada e ainda assim continua agindo como sempre.

    Ele afirma que é justamente dessa maneira que a máfia da indústria farmacêutica trabalha e que todo seu trabalho é documentado. Seu livro revela as falhas de todo um sistema, da produção, da descoberta, da regulação e marketing das drogas.

    A respeito das drogas psicotrópicas o pesquisador diz que a psiquiatria é a área que mais existe um excesso de tratamento, diagnóstico e é onde os danos dos medicamentos são mais persistentes e debilitantes quando comparados aos benefícios.

    Já quanto às normas reguladoras, Peter afirma que não tem sido feito uma investigação eficiente quanto aos riscos e benefícios de determinadas drogas, já que os reguladores falam com a indústria farmacêutica e não com os pacientes; o que não tem como estudar a fundo os efeitos colaterais de certos medicamentos.

    Peter Gotzche acredita que é NECESSÁRIO uma melhoria no processo de regulação pelas agências que também precisam agir com mais transparência e independência, promovendo iniciativas que demonstrem as relações das indústrias farmacêuticas com profissionais médicos e outros especialista da saúde, periódicos científicos e associações de pacientes.

    A mensagem final que Gotzche, através da Folha, transmite para médicos e pacientes é que os profissionais da medicina devem prescrever menos medicamentos e as pessoas não devem confiar em pesquisas publicadas pela indústria farmacêutica.

    Ele continua dizendo que diversas drogas são ineficazes e muito perigosas; muito mais do que se imagina. Há muitos casos de pessoas que morrem devido a remédios que ingerem por prescrição médica, quando na verdade elas nem precisariam deles.

    Bom. Infelizmente esta é a VERDADE! “Indústria farmacêutica age como uma MÁFIA”, afirma o maior pesquisador de todos os tempos!

    E VOCÊ? Já ouviu FALAR SOBRE o MED: PROGRAMA REVOLUCIONÁRIO DE EMAGRECIMENTO DEFINITIVO!

    Um forte abraço.


              Senate Reauthorizes JJDPA, Setting Up a Conference Committee with the House        

    Before adjourning for the August recess, the Senate quietly passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, S. 860, by a voice vote. The bill reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, the authorization for which expired in 2007, and provides long overdue reform to the juvenile justice system.

    For as quiet as passage was, the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is notable. Last year, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who ridiculously once said that the United States has "under-incarceration problem," blocked a similar bill. In fact, he was literally the only member of the upper chamber who stood in the way of its passage.

    Sen. Cotton's objection to the bill was over the proposed phase out of the valid court order (VCOs) exception. A violation of a VCO would allow state and local judges to detain juveniles for status offenses -- actions such as curfew violations, truancy, and tobacco use that are offenses only because of the person's status as a minor. In some states, juveniles who commit a status offense and are subject to a VCO are detained with serious offenders, increasing a juvenile's risk of recidivism.

    The use of VCOs has been in decline nationwide. Last year, however, Sen. Cotton's spokesperson defended his intransigence, noting that Arkansas has one of the highest VCO use rates in the country. The use of VCOs in Arkansas had been in decline, dropping by roughly half between FY 2013 and FY 2014, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The most recent report from the Arkansas Division of Youth Services showed that 46 percent of youths who entered the states juvenile justice system had committed misdemeanors or violated probation for adjudicated for a misdemeanor. The cost of detaining a youth Arkansas is nearly $64,000 annually.

    Because Sen. Cotton wouldn't agree to allow JJDPA reauthorization to move in the Senate, the bill that would have reauthorized JJDPA died.

    The issue was given new life earlier this year in the new Congress. The House passed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, H.R. 1809, in May by voice vote. The House version of JJDPA reauthorization includes a phase of VCOs. The Senate, however, still struggled to get passed Sen. Cotton's strange desire to ensure that judges could essentially lock children up for status offenses.

    The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), offers key reforms. The bill reauthorizes JJDPA, prohibits the placement of juveniles in adult facilities, places a greater emphasis on evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, and increases transparency.

    Unfortunately, the bill doesn't include a phase out of the VCO exception, though it does prohibit the detention of juveniles who commit status offenses, with one exception -- if a juvenile violates a VCO. In short, Sen. Cotton got his way, and judges will be able to place children who violate VCOs because of a status offense.

    There is still an opportunity to address the concerns about the use of VCOs. Appointed members of the House Education and Workforce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee will likely enter into a conference committee and produce a final version of the bill that rectifies the differences between the two bills. If language phasing out the VCO exception in put in the conference report, it can't be amended from the floor of either chamber. The conference report is given a straight up or down vote.

    Hopefully, the House conferees will insist that the VCO exception for status offenses should be phased out in the conference report.


              The Best Part-Time Job in America        

    The fix is in. Did you know, Congress only works 33 percent of the year?

    The base salary for all rank-and-file members of Congress is $174,000, more than triple the median household income of the United States. In exchange for that generous salary, members of Congress work one out of three days.

    The House of Representatives was in session for only 18 hours a week in 2013. Members worked only 130 days in 2015. In case you needed more evidence that Congress doesn’t earn its salary, consider this: House and Senate members only worked eight days in April.

    Eight work days in a month, with an annual salary of $174,000. Can you imagine? Must be nice!

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the average American worker puts in more hours than a medieval peasant. Full-time U.S. employees use only 54 percent of their paid vacation days, sacrificing the rest for fear of falling behind or being replaced. The idea of a congressman skipping that much vacation is laughable, at best.

    I was raised to believe that how people spend their time is a direct reflection of their priorities. The United States holds more than $19 trillion in debt, not including unfunded liabilities. Our health care, immigration, and justice systems are in desperate need of reform. Public schools are underperforming, while families and small businesses are being taxed out of financial security.

    Where is our elected leadership? Clearly, they have other priorities.

    Members of Congress spend most of their time in their districts, schmoozing with donors, speaking at private events, and securing their next elections. The average House member spent $53,170 of taxpayer money on travel in 2013.

    These aren’t legislators, these are professional campaigners.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”


              Secure Digital Privacy With Sen. Lee's ECPA Modernization Act        

    Over 250 years ago, courageous colonists took up arms and defended the right against unlawful search and seizure in the American Revolution. Fueled by outrageous searches by British law enforcement, our founding fathers enshrined within our constitution the Fourth Amendment, which reads, in part: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”

    Sadly, government lost its way between then and now, spying on private information that it shouldn’t see. At the dawn of the internet era, Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a law establishing privacy protections for digital communications. But the law was written well before most people even knew what email was. Written for the technology of its time, ECPA permits warrantless search of stored electronic communications that are 180 days old. At that point, barely any electronics had high-memory capacity to store information like email does, so it wasn’t particularly egregious to assume old communications were abandoned. It’s a totally different story today, where email and digital communications have moved to the cloud, which has become the standard for data storage.

    Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) want to upgrade this archaic privacy-breaching law with the ECPA Modernization Act. This bill would erase the 180 days exception for law enforcement searches of electronic communications and replace it with the constitutional requirement of probable cause and a warrant. If the government obtains an individual’s communications through a third party provider, it must send a copy of its warrant to said individual within ten days. Without a warrant, law enforcement would have zero access to private electronic communications.

    The bill also establishes the same privacy protections for third-party geolocation information, an area left wide-open by existing law. Third party companies servicing devices and programs that track your location such as cell phone carriers or Snapchat will only provide geolocation information upon receiving a warrant. The person whose location is sought will be notified by mail within ten days.

    Occasionally, law enforcement claims that notifying the intended target of a warrant or criminal investigation could compromise effectiveness. For example, a suspect could destroy relevant records and evidence for a crime if they know that they are being targeted. Under existing law, law enforcement can request a “gag order” that stops a suspect from receiving a warrant notice. The ECPA Modernization Act would require law enforcement to provide specific facts proving that a gag order is necessary, a more stringent standard.

    Government’s respect for privacy has diminished over time, especially for electronic communications. The ECPA Modernization Act would ensure that Americans enjoy the same Fourth Amendment protections for digital communications as they do in the physical world.


              In Defense of Economic Noninterventionism         

    A recent Wall Street Journal article has surprisingly good news: US companies are seeing the highest profit growth in two years with “two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011.” This surprisingly comes not from policies pursued in Washington, but the hard work of the private sector.

    The fact that businesses and job creators can make such a phenomenal showing after years of regulatory uncertainty and continued political intervention reminds us of the power of the free market and that the best successes come from the work of the individuals, not collectivists in the public sector.

    Perhaps the best reminding of what the last eight years brought us was President Obama’s infamous 2012 campaign speech “If you've got a business, you didn't build that.” Throughout the course of his administration saw a creation of routine legislative and executive actions that were designed to both micromanage business and supposedly “create” jobs. Unfortunately, none of this had the intended success.

    Most prominently among the actions from the executive administration while Obama was presidents include significantly increased regulations. Among these have included the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS), Dodd-Frank, the stimulus package, and, most spectacularly of all, Obamacare. All of these added a large interventions and onerous barriers in the economy that failed to achieve their stated goal.

    WOTUS was probably one of the greatest power grabs by the EPA in recent history. The rule essentially sought to define “navigable waters” in the clean water Act which “brought nearly half of Alaska and a total area in the lower 48 states equivalent to the size of California under the CWA’s jurisdiction.” The proposal, had it not been blocked and rescinded, would have cost thousands of dollars for permits on land that was not previously under the EPA’s jurisdiction, delayed production since a permit can take up to months, and this would have resulted in reduced development and production as well as higher prices.

    Though the WOTUS rule was not fully implemented, regulations that did have a massive negative impact on the economy include the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    As implemented, Dodd-Frank imposed various new regulations on the financial sector, including creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designated firms as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), and instituted price controls on debit and credit card transactions. The result was a climate of over regulation with banks being incentivized to become as large as possible in the hopes of being bailed out while the CFPB became a revolving door for lobbyists and influence peddlers to regulate the market with little to no oversight.

    Unsurprisingly, one fifth of the banks in the U.S. banks, totalling 1,708, went under between the law’s creation and 2016, which is about one per day, and by 2015 five large banks controlled 50 percent of the banking industry.

    Outside of simple regulation, there was also so called “jobs creations” programs that were supposed to create jobs the President did not think businesses could such as the stimulus package. The program was sold as a job creation plan that would keep unemployment below 8 percent for the low price of $830 billion.

    The next four years were marked by above 8 percent unemployment while the money ended up being wasted on worthless projects, including trees in wealthy neighborhoods, a study of erectile dysfunction, and the failed company solyndra which was run by a bundler for the Obama campaign. To make matters worse, though unemployment eventually went down long after the stimulus’s implementation, the labor participation rate reached its lowest in 38 years which shows that people still weren’t working.

    However, the crowned jewel of overregulation and job destruction during the Obama administration was ObamaCare. Implemented to expand health insurance coverage, it has repeatedly failed to reach its goals as premiums went up, enrollment failed to reach its projections, and the legislation gave corporate welfare (including promised bailouts) to the insurance lobby. In the end, most of the coops failed and major companies pulled out of the exchanges, resulting in 1,000 counties, including five whole states, only having one insurer, a major failure in the goal of expanded coverage.

    Inevitably, the phenomenal intervention in the economy by President Obama failed to achieve the job creation while it instead made made doing business that much harder. With record breaking numbers of regulations, Obama was the first President since the Great Depression to never see 3 percent GDP growth.

    The Trump administration in the meantime has pursued a different approach than its predecessor. The Trump administration has seen sixteen regulations cut for every one it has created, had signed four resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulation within two months as President, and rolled back the clean power plan which could have cost $40 billion per year. All of this marks a significant change in policy that will greatly open up business opportunities and expand economic growth.

    However, policy alone does not explain why there has been high profit growth for the last two quarters. As the Wall Street Journal article admits, health care legislation and tax reform have been stalled in the senate. This has caused a climate of uncertainty which businesses have not been happy with.

    Nevertheless, they have instead moved on from Washington and instead remained focused on doing business. Political events seem to have taken a backseat to actual business as the number of S&P 500 companies have mentioned the President or his administration during conferences is down by a third as the research firm Sentieo found out. To be blunt, the involvement of Washington and government policy is not driving the current profit growth and the lack of involvement may actually be increasing it.

    For a better example of how reduced involvement can improve the economy, look no further than the Depression of 1920. At the time, war time debt had exploded, unemployment peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921, and inflation rates jumped above twenty percent. It had the potential to be even more catastrophic than the Great Depression that started in 1929.

    However, the policies pursued were entirely different. The federal budget was severely reduced from $18.5 billion in FY 1919 to $3.3 billion for FY 1922. Taxes at the same time were cut by about 40 percent.

    As a result, unemployment dropped to 2.3 percent by 1923 and a crisis had been averted. This was accomplished not by bailouts and and overregulation but by getting the government entirely out of the way. This is a radically different approach than was pursued during the financial panic of 2008 or even the Great Depression.

    Overall, there has been a repeated belief that government involvement has made economic advancement harder. As was stated by former President Reagan, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” President Kennedy noted the same when he said “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort — thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    It should come as no surprise then that business are fully prepared to run their own affairs and is best capable to address its own need, for as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon noted, “We’ve been growing at 1.5% to 2%...because the American business sector is powerful and strong and is going to grow regardless.”

    It remains the desire of others that the government should intervene in the economy to make improvements. However, this has always resulted in guaranteed failure. Be it raising the minimum wage in Seattle or increased taxation and regulations in Connecticut, the result is usually lackluster growth and decreased jobs. At the national level, Venezuela’s nationalization and China’s increased infrastructure projects have created the same results, which is to say none.

    As history and current events have shown time and time again, the best results come not from government involvement and micromanagement, but from the hard work of free individuals in free markets. More and more, the adaptability of businesses to their consumer’s demands and their ability to whether adversity in the marketplace has always been more efficient than the micromanagement the state perceives. As a result, sometimes the best thing to do is to have the government do nothing so that those who can make the economy better will.


              FreedomWorks' Member of the Month for August 2017: Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)        

    FreedomWorks is proud to name Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) as Member of the Month for August 2017. Rep. Franks has supported lowering taxes and voting for policies that contribute to FreedomWorks’ pro-growth agenda.

    Rep. Franks currently serves on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees. Before being elected to Congress, Rep. Franks spent his time working on children’s issues. He served in the Arizona State Legislature and later worked with the Governor as the cabinet-level director of the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children. Rep. Franks also had a hand in state and local advocacy, founding the Arizona Family Research Institute.

    With his conviction to protect the Constitution and support policies to shrink government by cutting wasteful spending and bureaucratic over-regulation, he has maintained a lifetime score of 92 percent on FreedomWorks’ Congressional Scorecard. Our scorecard is calculated by tracking the votes of members of Congress on key issues of economic freedom and individual liberty.

    In the 115th Congress, Rep. Franks co-sponsored H.R. 3167, the Debt Ceiling Alternative Act, sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.). This bill would hold the federal government accountable for the money it borrows from the American people. It would take a fiscally conservative stance in response to reaching the debt ceiling by requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to issue GDP-linked bonds to pay the principal and interest on public debt.

    Rep. Franks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, has also held a principled stance on healthcare reform He said, "The federal government is not known for its ability to keep entitlement spending under control. ObamaCare has been the perfect example of what healthcare looks like in the hands of an unimaginably large bureaucracy. Premium cost hikes have crippled American families, Medicaid is failing those most in need, and regulation is stifling innovation.”

    FreedomWorks is proud to honor Rep. Franks as Member of the Month for August 2017.


              FreedomWorks’ Bill of the Month for August 2017: Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act, H.R.2623        

    FreedomWorks is happy to announce that our Bill of the Month for August 2017 is H.R. 2623, the Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act, sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

    The federal government has played a significant role in the deterioration of our economy by applying burdensome and unnecessary regulations on the American people for decades. Rep. Meadows’ legislation is very simple and would hold our federal government to a new standard in which any new regulatory cost would be balanced by the elimination of an existing regulatory cost. It would also require federal agencies to repeal two regulations for any new regulation proposed.

    According to a recent study from 1980 to 2012 the economic growth rate has cumulatively decreased each year by 0.8 percent caused by burdensome regulations. These regulations stifle innovation by forcing businesses to invest in regulatory compliance when they could be investing in products and the American people. The study shows that a loss of $4 trillion, one-fourth of the economy in 2012 is the result of GDP loss associated with regulatory accumulation over the years.

    It is crucial that the American people have the freedom of choice within the marketplace and that economic growth is no longer held back by unelected officials creating new regulations in Washington, D.C. This bill would hold agencies accountable by requiring them to submit annual regulatory plans to the OMB. These reports would include new regulation proposals and require the calculation of the economic effects the regulations would have on jobs in the industry.

    It is time for the federal government to strengthen congressional and executive oversight of bureaucrats and make way for a pro-growth agenda. This bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. Don’t forget to ask your representative to support this legislation today.


              House Rural Broadband Caucus Urges FCC to Support TV White Space Broadband        

    Recently, the economic disparity of the urban-rural divide has garnered substantial attention, especially as it relates to Internet and technological expansion. Rural economies suffer from a lack of Internet connectivity relative to urban areas, with rural adults being 10 percent less likely to have broadband or smartphones than urban adults.

    The House Rural Broadband Caucus (HRBC), a group of legislators seeking solutions for the digital divide between rural and urban America, believe that TV white space broadband could help close this gap.

    The HRBC announced its support for TV white space broadband in a bipartisan letter signed by 43 members of the caucus sent today to the Federal Communications Commission. Among these members were conservative stalwarts, Reps. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Tom Garrett (R-Va.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Mark Meadows (R-S.C.). The HRBC sees TV white space as a solution for the lack of Internet service providers and expensive or non-existent cable deployment in rural communities.

    TV white space is unused high propagation radio frequency spectrum that, if allowed, could provide devices with Internet connectivity at low infrastructure costs. Technology companies believe that it could provide Internet connectivity through TV white space at 20 percent of the cost for cable broadband. The technology is proven, as hospitals, mega-churches, and schools already legally use white space spectrum for unlicensed devices.

    To create a private market for TV white space broadband, providers would need three available channels totaling at least 18 megahertz of unlicensed spectrum. The HRBC letter requests the FCC to set aside a third channel in addition to the two white space channels already authorized for unlicensed use. If the FCC were to accept such a proposal, rural Americans could see the cost of broadband access plummet.

    FreedomWorks Foundation has already filed comments with the FCC and wrote about the benefits of TV white space. In accordance with the HRBC, FreedomWorks believes that TV white space is a formidable market solution for expanding competition, lowering prices, and closing the urban-rural divide in connectivity.

    FreedomWorks supports the HRBC’s endorsement of TV white space broadband and urges the FCC to consider allocating an additional channel for unlicensed white space use.


              Don't Bring Back Glass-Steagall        

    An issue that has a tendency to come into the public consciousness from time to time is bringing back Glass-Steagall. Initially repealed in 1999 by the Financial Services Modernization Act, primarily known as the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, the law that separated commercial and investment banking has received renewed support with both party platforms during last year’s presidential election calling for it to be reinstated.

    There may be good intentions behind this desire, but the belief that the law would reduce recessions or prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail” is at best misguided and unnecessary while at worst it will cause unforeseen problems for the financial system.

    As stated above, Glass-Steagall is a law that requires a separation between commercial and investment banking in the financial sector. It was instituted in the 1930s during the great depression by Sen. Carter Glass (D-Va.) and Rep. Henry Steagall (D-Ala.) in the hopes that it would prevent banks from making risky decisions in the market. At the time, “more than 600 banks failed each year between 1921 and 1929,” so there was a serious desire to curb that.

    However, from the 1960s onward, the legislation faced erosion with congressional legislation and the Supreme Court rulings changing key sections of the bill, including reducing limitations on security purchases, the abolition of interest caps, and increased deference to regulatory agencies for the legislation. The most prominent and controversial change to the legislation came from the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed sections 20 and 32 of the legislation.

    To be clear, it did not eliminate many security limitations put on banks, but it did eliminate several restrictions by “allow[ing] for affiliations between commercial banks and firms engaged principally in securities underwriting, as well as interlocking management and employee relationships between banks and securities firms.”

    Such a move has received heavy criticism since Democratic President Bill Clinton signed it into law. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has held the repeal and alleged deregulation of the financial sector as responsible for the 2008 recession. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also stated, “Since core provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act were repealed in 1999, a culture of excessive risk-taking has taken root in the banking world, placing the financial security of millions of hardworking American taxpayers at risk.”

    Unfortunately, there are certain problems with the narrative that deregulation and the repeal of Glass-Steagall specifically caused the recession. First off, there is no history of deregulation in the past two decades in the financial sector. As was noted by the Mercatus Center, the number of banking regulations actually consistently grew between 1999 and 2008 despite the Glass-Steagall repeal which puts a major hole in the deregulation narrative.

    With that in mind, the Glass-Steagall legislation itself had very little to do with the 2008 financial recession. However, many of the institutions that had failed were not actually affected by the legislation period. Also, most of the institutions that did fail either received government incentives to provide risky loans (especially in providing housing loans to people who could not afford them), were still heavily regulated, and received guidelines or incentives from the central government for those risky loans.

    In addition, there is also evidence that Glass-Steagall did not reduce the banking failures during the depression which it was allegedly supposed to address. For an example, Canada did not pass a Glass-Steagall law during the recession despite facing similar issues to the US. Overall, Canada saw its GDP fall by 40 percent between 1929 and 1939, but not a single bank failed during the depression years and its banking system remained mostly intact.

    Another important point to keep in mind is that Glass-Steagall barely impacted the failing banks. Most of the banks that were failing were smaller in nature and had trouble diversifying due to government regulation. The banks that Glass-Steagall would have impacted were not the ones going under. In the end, Glass-Steagall would barely have the impact its proponents claim it would.

    Beyond that, the most replacing Glass-Steagall could do is stifle the banking industry. Some economists have speculated that the repeal softened the blow because it allowed more diversification of the market. Since less diversified firms made up for a larger number of failures during the 2008 financial crisis and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco credited diversification with being the reason Canada did not face bank failures during the depression, this does provide evidence that may have been a possibility.

    At the same time, the increased diversification has allowed more opportunities. Economists Jeffrey Rogers Hummel and Warren Gibson noted that banks like Wells Fargo and discount broker Charles Schwab opened up more services and opportunities for their customers at lower prices while former Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Illi.) noted that it would limit liquidity and make it harder to buy and sale assets. Overall, the unproven benefits of the legislation seem to not be worth the potential cost.

    This may seem surprising, but the US was the only country in the industrialized world to separate investment and commercial banking. The desire remains to prevent the creation of banks that are “too big to fail” but it seems to have largely failed to address that and has prevented useful diversification. Bringing it back will not prevent another crisis nor prevent banks from going under.


              The Weekly Fix: Double Standard        

    The fix is in. Did you know, corporations like General Electric Co. (GE) spend more money on lobbyists than they pay in taxes?

    The federal government currently taxes corporations at 35 percent. While many argue the rate is too high, you don’t hear companies like GE complaining about it. That’s because they aren’t paying it.

    Over the past 15 years, GE’s federal income tax rate averaged only 5.2 percent. General Electric paid no federal taxes in 2010, despite earning $5.1 billion in U.S. profits. Instead, the company claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

    Meanwhile, GE executives awarded themselves more than $75 million in compensation and paid lobbyists a total of $39 million that same year- all while laying off their own employees.

    How was this possible? It was an inside job. General Electric’s tax planning team includes former employees from the Treasury, IRS, and congressional tax-writing committees. GE doesn’t have a tax compliance team, it has a tax defiance team.

    This is how the revolving door of power works in Washington. Entry-level staffers move to our nation’s capital and work as “public servants” for a few years. They learn the rules of the game, then cash out in the private sector to help lobbying firms and corporations like General Electric manipulate the system.

    And the door spins ‘round and ‘round ...

    No wonder Fortune 500 companies are so quiet on the sidelines while grassroots America fights to reform the tax code. They’ve already cut a deal behind closed doors.

    With a Republican-led Congress and White House, there is a serious opportunity for tax and welfare reform in 2018. It’s time to finally level the playing field. Any serious GOP entitlement reform effort must begin with corporate welfare reform.

    Everyday families can’t afford entire teams of lawyers and lobbyists dedicated to avoiding taxes. We work hard, and play by the rules. Political insiders and corporate America should do the same.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”


              Key Votes on Amendments to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote on amendments offered to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, in the manner prescribed on each amendment below. As is always the case, FreedomWorks reserves the right to key vote any amendment brought to the floor for a vote.

    NO – Amendment #2: Sponsored by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), this amendment would prohibit funds provided by H.R. 3219 from being used to “propose, plan for, or execute” another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). A 2013 report by the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) estimated that the first four rounds of BRAC save approximately $8 billion annually. The 2005 BRAC is saving nearly $4 billion annually. This amendment against a new round of BRAC would prevent further cost-savings from becoming a reality.

    YES – Amendment #19: Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), this amendment would eliminate the CBO’s Budget Analysis Division. The amendment transfers the authority of the division to the Director of the CBO.

    YES – Amendment #20: Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), this amendment would make a 1 percent across the board rescission to the spending levels provided by H.R. 3219, with exemptions for Capitol Police and other security-related accounts.

    YES – Amendment #26: Sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), this amendment would reduce the appropriation to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) by more than $25.4 million.

    YES – Amendment #39: Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), this amendment would make a 1 percent across the board rescission to Division D of H.R. 3219 – the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

    YES – Amendment #40: Sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), this amendment would save taxpayers money by prohibiting inflated prevailing wage requirements established by the Davis-Bacon Act.

    FreedomWorks will count the vote on these amendments to the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score votes for amendments not listed above. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Support the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R. 3356        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and encourage him or her to cosponsor the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R. 3356, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.). This bill would require the Attorney General to develop an offender risk and needs assessment system and incentivizes offenders to lower their risk of recidivism.

    On a fiscal level, this bill simply makes sense. Right now, taxpayers are not getting a return on their investment. In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics an office of the Department of Justice tracked over 400,000 offenders in over 30 states after their release from prison. The study found that within three years 67.8 percent reoffended and in five years 76.6 percent reoffended. This failure rate is unacceptable, and Congress must change the direction by utilizing evidenced-based practices to reduce recidivism.

    Thankfully, the states – the laboratories of policy innovation – have shown that rehabilitative programming in state prisons reduces recidivism and enhances public safety. In 2007, for example, Texas began the first phase of its justice reinvestment initiative, using a data-driven approach to corrections to reduce recidivism. Crime in the Lone Star State is now at its lowest rate 1968. More than 30 states, including Georgia and South Carolina, have adopted similar justice reinvestment initiatives.

    The Prison Reform and Redemption Act would require the Attorney General to develop a post-sentencing risk and needs assessment. All prisoners in the federal prison system will be assigned recidivism reduction programming. The Bureau of Prisons would be responsible for the implementation of the risk and needs assessments for each prisoner and development of recidivism reduction programming.

    Each offender will be assessed for risk on an individual level to develop a comprehensive plan based on his or her need and probability of reoffending. Utilizing private public partnerships in this capacity would allow non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and private sector entities to build relationships and community for the most vulnerable citizens in our society. The bill would incentivize prisoners to reduce their risk of recidivism. For every 30 days of successfully completed recidivism reduction programming, prisoners will ten days of time credits. Prisoners can earn an additional five days, for a total of 15 days, after two successful risk assessment periods. Those prisoners who have are considered low or no risk of recidivism can earn an additional five days, for a total of 15, provided that their risk of recidivism doesn’t increase over two risk assessment periods.

    Certain categories offenders – including violent offenders, sex offenders, and terrorists – would not be eligible to earn time credits.

    The Prison Reform and Redemption Act would allow for great access to visitation and phone privileges, create a pilot program to address the heroin and opioid epidemic, and prohibit the use restraints of pregnant offenders unless the offender poses a serious threat. The bill would require the Bureau of Prisons to collect statistical and demographic information to be provided to Congress on an annual basis.

    Congress has fallen behind the states on this important issue. While other policy changes – such as sentencing reforms and reentry reforms – are needed, this bill would bring a key component of state-level success to the federal prison system, offering prisoners an opportunity for restorative justice while enhancing public safety. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and encourage him or her to cosponsor the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R. 3356.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Congress Should Lower Ridiculous Drug Prices by Passing CREATES Act        

    Perpetually increasing prescription drug prices ravage everyday Americans. Specifically, name-brand prices outpace inflation by about 50%, largely due to government-protected market power. A beacon of hope for reducing drug prices are the generic and biosimilar drug industries, which produces existing brand drugs and biologics drugs through distinctly cheaper methods. But big Pharma doesn’t want competition, so it does everything it can to block generic and biosimilar innovation. The CREATES Act, H.R. 2212, solves a loophole commonly abused by big pharmaceutical companies for unlawful market advantages in the emerging generics and biosimilars markets.

    Existing drug companies exploit the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) requirements for FDA approval of competitive generic and biosimilar products. This is an unlawful tactic to increase market-power. Biosimilars are a type of biologic drug – drugs manufactured from living cells – that mimic both the composition and the function of an existing biologic drug but employ cheaper production processes. Tragically, established producers prevent aspiring competitors from completing ANDA.

    To complete a generic or biosimilar approval process, applicants must acquire sample drugs from existing producers. This allows medical researchers to demonstrate that the functions and properties of the original brand drug and the new generic or biosimilar are, in fact, equivalent. Sadly, many brand companies refuse to provide samples to potential competitors, preventing them from gaining approval. Thus, innovative generics and biosimilars hit the market less frequently, trapping consumers with fewer options and higher prices. While this practice of abusing distribution networks is illegal, there are no enforcement mechanisms preventing it.

    Remember the damnable pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, who raised the price of a biologic AIDS drug Daraprim by over 5000% in one night? One of his profit-protection methods was to deny competitor applicants the samples they need to earn FDA approval. Competing with losers like Shkreli would be easy it if weren’t for this loophole. High school chemistry students reproduced Daraprim for less than $2 a pill compared to Shkreli’s $750.

    A similar monopolistic scam employed by entrenched pharmaceutical companies involves exploiting shared Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) procedures. Producers of existing brand drugs are sometimes required by the FDA to establish safety protocols that protect consumers from safety risks. The FDA encourages companies to share, or streamline, their REMS procedures for maximum safety and congruency among user experiences. If a person taking biologic drug X switches to biosimilar drug X, the shared procedure is supposed to ensure that there are no major differences in how this person safely consumes the drug. In a similar fashion to denying samples, big pharma often refuses to share REMS procedures. When a REMS program has previously been required, FDA cannot approve a generic or biosimilar until a shared REMS has been negotiated or the agency has been given sufficient evidence to waive the requirement. This imposes redundant and costly burdens on biosimilar producers, and ultimately delays market entry for far less expensive but equally safe drugs.

    Both of these tactics, refusal to share samples and failure to fairly negotiate shared REMS programs, establish de facto monopolies for original drug producers, but they’re easily fixed by the CREATES Act. Under the CREATES Act, generics and biosimilar manufacturers will be able to seek injunctive relief in court against companies that withhold samples or REMS information. This will improve competition with new generics and biosimilars, reducing prescription drug costs possibly as much as 40%. It will also help sustain Medicare Part D, the national deficit, and debt, by reducing government drug expenses by up to $5 billion per year.

    Congress should end illegal monopolies and help Americans afford their medications by passing the CREATES Act, all without increasing the size of government.


              Key Vote YES on H.J.Res. 111 to Cancel CFPB’s Giveaway to Trial Lawyers        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on H.J.Res. 111. FreedomWorks Foundation drove more than 15,000 responses to the CFPB against the rule during the comment period.

    This resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) would cancel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule. The final rule was published on Regulations.gov on July 19. While the CRA isn’t a panacea, it does provide a means for Congress to act as a check on out-of-control federal agencies.

    The CFPB’s arbitration rule is, in reality, a giveaway to trial lawyers. The rule ostensibly bans contractual arbitration clauses related to consumer financial products offered by banks and other financial sector firms. This severely limits consumers’ ability to enter into arbitration during disputes.

    Arbitration is an easier and quicker process for consumers to resolve issues, but lawyers don’t make much money from this process. The rule, however, will encourage trial lawyers to pursue more class-action lawsuits, which take longer and result in smaller payouts to consumers. But class-action lawsuits do bring in big dollars for trial lawyers.

    Class-action lawsuits can take two to five years to resolve, and the average payment is $32.35 per individual. These class-action suits, for which trial lawyers are paid an average of roughly $1 million, also drive up costs to consumers. By comparison, arbitration typically takes two to five months, with an average payment of thousands of dollars. It’s clear which process truly protects consumers.

    FreedomWorks will count the vote on H.J.Res. 111 on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Capitol Hill Update: July 24, 2017        

    Schedule:

    The House and Senate are in session this week.

    There are five (5) legislative days remaining for the House before the August recess and 53 legislative days remaining in the year. The Senate will supposedly work through the first two weeks of the August recess.

    House:

    The FY 2018 budget resolution, dubbed "Building a Better America," was marked up and approved by the Budget Committee on Thursday in a party-line vote. The budget would reduce the budget deficit by $6.5 trillion over the ten-year budget window and eventually come into balance in FY 2027, creating a $9 billion surplus.

    Perhaps one of the most important components of the budget is that it begins the reconciliation process for fundamental tax reform. There are also reconciliation instructions for 11 House committees to find roughly $200 billion savings or reforms in mandatory spending.

    The FY 2018 budget resolution isn't on the calendar for the week. It's unclear if House Republican leaders will bring it to the floor.

    Additionally, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, H.R. 2997, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) could come to the floor for a vote this week. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reforms the United States' out of date air traffic control (ATC) system. FreedomWorks has released a key vote in support of the 21st AIRR Act.

    On Monday, the House will consider 17 bills on the suspension calendar. Most of the bills on the suspension calendar related to veterans or active military issues. There are three bills on the suspension calendar that relate to small businesses and investment. The House will also consider the Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 3180, sponsored by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on suspension.

    There are three bills on the suspension calendar for Tuesday, including the Medicare Part B Improvement Act, H.R. 3178, sponsored by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and a yet-to-be-numbered resolution that will impose sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

    The House will also consider H.J.Res. 111, a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, to cancel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) giveaway to trial lawyers. The rule put restrictions on the use of arbitration to settle disputes over consumer products. This would lead to more class-action lawsuits, benefiting trial lawyers and hurting consumers. FreedomWorks has signed a coalition letter in support of H.J.Res. 111 and will likely include the vote on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard.

    For the balance of the week, the House will consider at least four more bills on the suspension calendar. The Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, will also come to the floor. This is the consolidated appropriations bill, or "minibus," for the Department of Defense, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Energy and Water. Like virtually every other bill to come to the floor this year under "regular order," the Make America Secure Appropriations Act is subject to a rule to limit or prevent amendments from the floor.

    On Thursday at 10:00 am, the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled "The Need for the Balanced Budget Amendment." The witness list for the hearing has not yet been announced. Twelve constitutional amendments have been introduced in the House that would require a balanced budget. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is the sponsor of two of them, H.J.Res. 1 and H.J.Res. 2. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the primary sponsor of H.J.Res. 15, is among the House conservatives who have introduced a balanced budget amendment.

    The committee and subcommittee schedule for the week can be found here.

    Senate:

    Presumably, the Senate will vote this week on the motion to proceed to the House-passed version of H.R. 1628. It's still unclear on what happens next. A vote to proceed to the House-passed version has always been the first step. The next step will be for an amendment to the bill that will substitute the language of either the Better Care Reconciliation Act or language similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, now called the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. FreedomWorks' key vote on the motion to proceed applies only if the base text that will be substituted is similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill.

    At least a few Senate Republicans have backed away from their votes for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, which was passed in December 2015 with the support of all but two Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins. Moderate Republicans who refuse to vote for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill have demanded $200 billion in Medicaid funding offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to get them to support the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

    Some parts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act are in limbo, however, as the Senate parliamentarian has apparently ruled that provisions limiting funding for Planned Parenthood and tax credits for plans that cover abortion will require 60 votes. Other provisions that may require 60 votes include the State Innovation Waivers. Many of these provisions can be altered to make them withstand a Byrd rule challenge, as was done in 2015.

    The Senate still has several nominees to consider and, on the legislative front, the FDA Reauthorization Act, S. 934; the National Defense Reauthorization Act; and the debt ceiling are among the items awaiting action.

    Separately, Senate Democrats are rolling out their "better deal" economic agenda today, which is a rehashing and repackaging of virtually every leftist policy proposal in recent years. The agenda is Democrats' attempt to find a message after a string of special election losses around the country.

    The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.


              Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act (H.R. 3220) Slashes IRS Waste        

    With Republicans controlling every branch of government, eliminating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) inefficiencies should be a no-brainer. Rep. Jason Smith’s (R-MO) Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act, H.R. 3220, will do just that. This bill eliminates wasteful tactics used in IRS audits and evaluations of tax disputes.

    When the IRS notices a discrepancy between an individual’s reported income and information from third parties, it issues a notice of deficiency. A notice of deficiency indicates that the taxpayer has 90 days to either agree to a proposed increase in tax liability or appeal to resolve the discrepancy by providing previously unreported information. Far too often, appeals processes are funneled into Tax Courts rather than the IRS’s own Office of Appeals established for this precise purpose. Litigation burdens both taxpayers and the IRS with unnecessarily expensive procedures.

    H.R. 3220 eliminates this tautology by establishing a legal right to have disputes heard by the IRS Office of Appeals before litigation is considered. It also creates stricter criteria for the IRS to designate cases for litigation, permitting only those involving recurrent legal abuses that impact many taxpayers, not just individual income disputes.

    Another wasteful practice fixed by this bill is the use of designated summons during corporate tax audits. A designated summons forces a corporation, or relevant parties, to appear before court and provide information. When ordered, a designated summons unilaterally and indefinitely suspends an audit process. Sometimes, the IRS uses these summonses to compel information from a corporation without evidence of wrongdoing or noncompliance. An indefinitely suspended audit process can last for years. Under H.R. 3220, the IRS will only authorize designated summonses when a corporation is notably noncompliant.

    Lastly, H.R. 3220 prevents the IRS from hiring outside lawyers to conduct or take testimony in a tax audit. The IRS has its own staff of government tax law attorneys for this purpose. One of the promises of the IRS Office of Appeals for deficiencies and audits is an objective and unbiased process. This is not possible when private firms, which have their own interests and clients, handle information explicitly intended for the government. H.R. 3220 rectifies this potential privacy breach.

    The Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act is a necessary reform that eliminates government waste, defends taxpayers’ legal rights, and protects privacy. There’s no justifiable reason to oppose any of these objectives, which is why a bipartisan group of cosponsors joined Rep. Smith in introducing this bill, four Democrats and three Republicans. If members of Congress support efficiency and accountability, they must support this bill.


              The Weekly Fix: Rules for Thee, but Not for Me        

    The fix is in. Did you know, members of Congress can exclude themselves from federal laws they don’t want to follow? Taxpayers are forced to play by the rules, while lawmakers in Washington get a free pass.

    The Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) of 1995 was created to remedy some of these injustices. In theory, the CAA requires members of Congress to abide by some of the same employment and workplace safety laws as any other business or federal government entity.

    But in reality, members of Congress continue to dodge their way around significant legislative policy.

    Congress has the power to kick you off your health care plan, yet lawmakers excused themselves from the ObamaCare exchanges. Congress requires federal agencies to provide citizens with internal records, yet lawmakers exempted themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, along with numerous other record-keeping and transparency laws (including whistleblower protections).

    Congress supports sending citizens to jail for insider trading, yet lawmakers are allowed to make stock trades based on non-public information. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to protect citizens from dishonest private sector CEOs, yet lawmakers shamelessly lie about the costs of their policy agenda.

    Not surprisingly, the Office of Compliance for the U.S. Congress revealed to the press that representatives often fail to produce records and information critical to investigations in a timely manner- or sometimes even at all. Compliance has no legal authority to subpoena information, leaving them at the complete mercy of legislative offices.

    Why are members of Congress so tone deaf? Because they aren’t living in the same reality as the rest of America. They are shielded from the consequences of their actions. Forget equal treatment under the law, the official slogan of the Legislative Branch should be: Rules for thee, but not for me.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”


              FreedomWorks Announces FreedomFighter Award Winners        

    FreedomWorks today announced the FreedomFighter Award winners for 2016. The FreedomFighter Awards recognize members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty. FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon and FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye presented the awards Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol Visitors Center. Photos of the individual presentations are available here.

    Eligibility for the award is based on votes on FreedomWorks’ Congressional Scorecard. In 2016, FreedomWorks scored key votes in favor of several issues, including repeal of ObamaCare through the 2015 reconciliation bill and the override of Obama’s veto, preventing IRS abuse and protecting free speech, protecting citizens from warrantless searches, spending cuts, and reducing regulation.

    “FreedomWorks activists across the country can be proud of these members’ votes last year. They showed a commitment to economic liberty and individual freedom,” FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said. “With a Republican in the White House and so many big legislative items on the to-do list in this Congress, including fundamental tax reform and reducing regulation, conservative grassroots activists are watching our scorecard to see who delivers on their campaign promises and who changes their tune.”

    “These defenders of liberty get this award to thank them for their critical votes on legislation important to our activist community,” FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye said. “This event allows us to thank them on behalf of our activists to thank these members and encourage them to keep fighting for limited government, lower taxes, and fewer unnecessary job-killing regulations.”

    FreedomFighter Award Winners for 2016 Voting Record

    Senate (5)

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) , Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)

    House (56)

    Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.V.), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.), Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)


              Jeff Sessions’ Push for Civil Asset Forfeiture Should Concern Conservatives        

    FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye released the following statement on the recent action from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to increase the power of law enforcement to confiscate property of people who are innocent until proven guilty:

    “Jeff Sessions' tendency to expand state power against people who have not been found guilty should concern conservatives. We've made real progress in curbing civil asset forfeiture in the states, and Sessions would usurp these reforms and take property from people who have never even been convicted of a crime.

    “The Justice Department’s own Inspector General raised serious concerns about the forfeiture program in a report in March, saying it lacks proper oversight. By expanding government power to take property without appropriate due process, even when state laws don't allow it, Sessions is signaling he answers to no one.

    “FreedomWorks calls on Congress to rein in our attorney general and pass aggressive civil asset forfeiture reform now."


              Ryots wronged, take protest to Delhi        
    Teaser: 
    As the TN farmers’ protest in Delhi enters its fourth week, all eyes are on the Centre which is not budging.
    Tamil Nadu farmers protest for drought relief in Delhi.

    A woman stands with a begging bowl and a placard strung around her neck. An old man shuffles along barefoot in the street at Jantar Mantar, the official site of a farmers’ protest in the heart of New Delhi. He finds his way through a group of farmers gathered at the protest site on a hot summer afternoon. Dressed in green loincloths, they are lying motionless on the road and the footpath exhausted after their meetings with the deputy speaker of Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in the past few days.

    These are farmers from Tamil Nadu on a protest which is in its fourth week. The drought situation on the Cauvery belt in Tamil Nadu has gone from bad to worse this year with the state witnessing the worst spell in 140 years from a poor northeast monsoon, as per the India Meteorological Department. The state government officially declared a drought in January 2017.

    “The Centre has not announced a drought relief package yet despite our long-standing protest. The High Court of Tamil Nadu has issued directions to the state government to write off all agricultural loans. But we will not budge from here till the Centre hears us out,” says Sivaprakash, a farmer from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu.

    Sivaprakash is a part of the group of over 100 farmers representing the ‘Desiya Thenidhiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam’ (National South Indian River Interlinking Sangam). They have been protesting at Jantar Mantar since March 14, 2017. “Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide given the drought conditions in the state which was preceded by the devastating cyclone Vardah. Even the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a detailed report from the state government on this,” says Sivaprakash. Earlier in January, the NHRC had taken suo motu cognisance of the media reports on the suicide of 106 farmers in one month in Tamil Nadu.

    Waiting for an ethical response

    With the government unmoved by their protest, members of the Sangam resorted to skull protest to intensify their agitation. “Through our skull protest, where we are displaying the skulls of farmers who have committed suicide in the wake of the drought in the state, we are seeking a drought relief package from the Centre. The skulls we are using in the protest symbolise our fate if the state does not help us out. Debt relief is being provided to the wealthy people. What about us, the farmers who have toiled so hard?” asks P. Ayyakannu, president of the Sangam, who hails from the Tiruchirappalli district in Tamil Nadu.  

    The state government had in February 2017 sanctioned a drought relief package of Rs 2,247 crore for 32 lakh farmers of the state. “The state government gave Rs 3,000 each as compensation for crop losses to those who depend on seasonal rain and Rs 5,465 per acre to those who depend on irrigation. How is that enough to make up for the losses we have faced?” Ayyakannu asks. “This is highly inadequate and we demand a drought relief package of Rs 40,000 crore from the Centre,” says Saravana Kumar Vasudeva, who belongs to a farmer family in Theni, Tamil Nadu. “We also want a waiver of loans, better support price for our produce, lower input prices and above all, solutions to water scarcity in the region," says Saravana.

    Natarajan who has come all the way from Karur in Tamil Nadu says, “I lost my crops to this drought and have an outstanding debt of around Rs 5 lakh from a nationalised bank. How will I repay this? I have no money left. Why can’t the government extend the waiver for loans from nationalised banks like they have done for cooperative banks?”

    “We wanted to make a representation to the prime minister about the agrarian situation in Tamil Nadu but even after 28 days, our representatives have not been granted an appointment. This only shows the government's claim that it is sensitive to farmers is hollow,” says Ayakannu. “Farmers would be forced to intensify their agitation unless the issue is settled,” he adds.

    Catching the people’s imagination

    Agitators at the protest site.The farmers from the Cauvery belt have been joined by farmers from the other states in the protest. “Our livelihoods have been destroyed. To drive home this point, we are using macabre elements in the protest like skulls, rats and snakes. We are carrying begging bowls, shaving half of our heads and staging mock funerals. We even stripped in front of the prime minister’s office yesterday. But other than the media, no one seems to be noticing us despite the gravity of the situation,” says Manohar Patil from Maharashtra who has joined in the protest.

    Some of their demands include setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and interlinking of the national rivers to deal with the lack of water in Cauvery. “Why can’t the Centre force the Karnataka government to release water from Cauvery when the Supreme Court has directed Karnataka to do so as many as seven times? The Center talks so much about Ganga but nothing on Cauvery,” says Saravana.

    “We are languishing here for days but the Centre has no interest in hearing us out. How do you think our families will survive with no income?” asks Natarajan. “Unable to repay our loans, we are left with no option but to rot in Delhi,” he says.

    “Our crisis deepened this year because Karnataka, in spite of the Supreme Court order, refused to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu,” says Kuppuswamy, a farmer from Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. Many agitating farmers are senior citizens and are also demanding a pension scheme where farmers over 60 years of age get Rs 5,000 each.

    Whose fault is it anyway?

    The Centre considers drought relief as the responsibility of the state. The state, on the other hand, has approached the Centre and sought an assistance of Rs 39,565 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund for drought relief. Following this, a central team has visited Tamil Nadu to assess the condition and has submitted its report. Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh plans to take it up at a high-level committee meeting soon. However, it may be difficult for the Centre to waive off loans for the Tamil Nadu farmers alone as there are other states too which are in a similar situation. Tamil Nadu farmers may get some financial assistance but will that solve the current crisis of farmer debts and suicides?

    Droughts are not just episodic in nature but are a structural problem. Drought or no drought, farmers will continue to fall in debt traps given their dependence on high-cost farming methods using fertilisers, pesticides, machinery and seeds. At the same time, crops are no longer fetching them remunerative prices from which they can profit. The answer to this crisis may be in adopting low-cost sustainable farming methods. Meanwhile farmers should be provided income security to wean them off the debt trap. Let’s wait and watch if the state responds well to the current crisis.

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              By: DickF        
    Josh, Great article! It goes along with something I posted about the 1996 deflation creating a crisis in infrastructure in oil producing equipment. The whole world - with the exception of the US, thank you Democrat congress - is expanding oil production as fast as it can yet there are still demand problems.
              Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List        
    This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.
     

    GARDENING & NATURE

    -De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


    AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

    -(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
    -(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
    -(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
    -Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
    -Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
    -Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
    -Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
    -McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
    -Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
    -Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
    -Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


    LABOR & SOCIAL JUSTICE

    -Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
    -Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
    -National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


    FICTION & POETRY

    -(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
    -(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
    -Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
    -Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
    -Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
    -Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
    -Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
    -Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
    -Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
    -Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
    -Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
    -Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
    -Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
    -Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
    -O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story(Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
    -Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
    -Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
    -Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
    -Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
    -Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


    HISTORY

    -(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
    -Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
    -Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
    -Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
    -De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
    -Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
    -Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
    -Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
    -Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
    -Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


    LANGUAGE & EDUCATION

    -Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
    -Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


    SCIENCE & MATH

    -Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
    -Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
    -Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)


              By: Gene        
    executive orders cant contradict laws passed by congress. Former republican gay man here. I know the other side well. If the dems have not given us all we want, the other side is the enemy. Period. Hate crimes, passed by liberal dems, and signed into law by him is NOT squat. He pushed for the end of DADT, and we fell short in the senate. Poor politics on several peoples parts, but not his alone. The youth I volunteer with, gay kids in the south, see this president speaking of us with dignity and respect, and it matters to them when he declares GLBTQ history month. The entire might of the religious right is arrayed against him and his party, and lots of bigoted people will easily fall for Republican attempts to use US and our causes as a reason to vote against them, but, we expect the real world of politics to just put itself on hold for us? It wont. Never will. He is the best we have ever had, and, sad to say with the "oh I wanted more...I just dont feel like working for any campaigns, and I am so disappointed he did not find a new presidential power to overturn things and make things just" attitude, the NEXT president will certainly be worse.
              L. A. is dying        
    My city has a tumor in its heart, a cancer that is threatening to destroy the host, destroy the state, destroy America.

    The government, more so, the members of congress in their infantile wisdom have handed over a large portion of Los Angeles to the Zombies. It has been named the zombie zone by elected officials and zombie homeland by the degenerate half dead monsters that infest it. Explained to the public as a way of reaching across the aisle and finding common ground on which to base human zombie relations, the zombie zone is a huge blow to humans. With one sinuous line of the governor?s pen, and the president Obazy smiling over his shoulder, a large swath of Los Angeles was given over to the zombies. The creatures flooded the area within days, and the humans that failed to leave beforehand were as cattle at the slaughter. Some humans remained behind to fight for their property, given away by the government without their consent or recompense; others did not have any means to leave, or anywhere to go. The feeding frenzy of the zombies was and orgy of screams heard all around the perimeter of the zone, yet most of America sat secure in their homes, blissfully ignorant of the happenings in the heart of L.A., denying that it could ever happen to them.

    Some citizens learned of what was happening, and in their outrage they went to their representatives in congress begged and demanded that something be done to help those trapped in the zombie zone. Their pleas were ignored. Other citizens begged for congress to send in the National Guard, and once again, congress remained resolutely silent.

    Within days, the zombie zone was declared human free, eradicated as if they were offending vermin. Some few humans clung to life and learned how to survive and fight in the zone. However, they were seriously outnumbered and lacked much to defend against the walking dead.

    I could not sit by any watch this horror without attempting to help, so I snuck in to the zone.

    Throughout my career as a costumed crime fighter, I haunted the night and protected those that ventured into that world. But night in the zombie zone was death for a normal human, so I explored the zone during the day, avoiding darkened areas, as I quickly learned this is where the zombies rested and would awaken at the lest amount of noise. I found that most zombies stayed in large groups and hunted as if in packs. But some, for what reason I cannot fathom, chose to be by themselves. It was one of these monsters I came across, and learned how to tune my fantastic goggle to read what I could from their near black soul. It was from this beast I learned what it took to kill a zombie.

    After my foray into the zone, I realized I would need a better mode of transportation than walking on foot. I went home and bought a 1945 Dodge power wagon and began making some modifications.

    I am the Mirrorman, I protect humans, I protect good citizens, and I hunt zombies. Your doom or triumph will be at your own hand.

              Indoctrination of the Youth        
    The city is hot. The temperature has slowly increased over the past few days, but that hasn?t stopped me from my chosen evening watch. Only a few weeks ago fires raged North west of here, fueled by unpredictable winds. People are starting to wake up to the hell this country is heading toward. I can only hope enough will wake up to the fact in order to stop the increasing tide of government control.

    Our youth is being indoctrinated to believe all capitalism is evil. They are being fed a diet of poison at the public schools. Before long kids will be turning in their parents for misdeeds against nature or animals, perhaps one day it will be a crime to have meat more than once a week, and some unlucky parent trying to raise a healthy young child will be turned in. Unfortunately it is not to hard to imagine, a young kid happy that they had meat twice in one week and telling a school friend, and that friend telling the teacher. The next sound would be the parent hearing the verdict of the judge.

    This country is not the one I was born in. I put on this costume to protect the innocent against criminals. I don?t know what side I?m on any more. When it become illegal to have meat more than once a week, should I start stalking the kitchens in the neighborhood? No. I will never in crouch on the personal liberties of an individual, I?ll leave that to our government.

    You may think I?m joking about having meat more than twice a week, but I?m not the seeds have already been sown. The youth in the public schools are already seeing videos produced by activists with one purpose in life, to see a government that controls every aspect of our lives. The video is out there its called ?The Story of Stuff?, and it?s dangerous it gives kids the wrong idea of capitalism, it tells them that having things is bad, that being warm in the winter and cool in the summer is bad, that having food to eat is bad.

    Sometimes I have to stop myself and laugh at the absurdity of this country.

    We can only have meat once a week, but already in congress they are passing a bill to set aside more meat for the zombies. They say this will keep them from killing normal humans. Appeasement didn?t work with Germany and it won?t work with the zombies. With the pro-zombie congress and president, normal humans are in dire straits.

    I am the Mirrorman, when I look into the soul of a normal human, with a wife a kid and a job. I see fear.

              Annual Mormon Book Review        

    Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

    Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.


    From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

    Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

    The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

    Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

    Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

    From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

    To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

    The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

    Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

    The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

    As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

    The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

    The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

    Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

    The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

    Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

    The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

    But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              McCain Time Out        
    In recent news, Senator McCain has decided to suspend his campaign in order to focus on the recent economic crises (which, I'd like to add, has made restaurant-goers really fucking testy). Letterman railed on the guy, saying that if McCain has decided to go back to Washington, he should let Palin campaign in his stead.
    Letterman put it well when he made a comparison to football— if your Quarterback is out of the game, you put in your second-string quarterback. But I feel like that analogy can be applied further to the McCain campaign, 'cus the man is treating the whole process like a game. He was down in the polls (9 points in an ABC/Washington Post poll and down 6 in a Fox poll) and wanted to make it look like he's a responsible senator (FYI, he's missed 412 votes in the current congress) so what did he do? He called a fucking time out.

    Obama will still be campaigning, and his camp has said that he'll still be debating (though against whom, I don't know...he'd rip Palin apart) on Friday (tomorrow! tomorrow! We'll see him! Tomorrow!). It's only a day away!
              Bernie Sanders: Poverty is a death sentence        
    During the “Brunch with Bernie” segment of The Thom Hartmann Show Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) discussed a recent congressional hearing he held on poverty in the United States. “We now have some 46 million Americans living in poverty,” he said. “And what a lo...
              Congress presses Obama to sell F-16 jets to Taiwan        
    WASHINGTON — US lawmakers across party lines stepped up pressure Thursday on President Barack Obama to sell F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan, with some accusing the administration of showing deference to China. “With over 1,600 missiles pointed directly across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan needs the me...
              Jared Lee Loughner ruled unfit to stand trial for shooting of Rep. Giffords        
    LOS ANGELES – A US judge ruled Wednesday that Jared Loughner was unfit to stand trial over charges he tried to assassinate a US congresswoman and killed six other people in Arizona, US media reported. Loughner had to be removed from court in Tucson after making an outburst at a hearing to decide if ...
              Comment on Alma Adams: Newest Member of the Congressional Black Caucus by rikyrah        
    I can't believe that I didn't know you were writing again. If anything is disappointing, it's the age of the newest member. We need younger blood in the CBC. Have nothing against this woman, but we didn't need anyone else over 55 in the CBC.
              Sad and Ashamed!        
    I am really sad and ashamed! I follow politics in detail especially since I have ran for Congress twice… so I take it pretty seriously. I see all the articles for one candidate then I see an article exposing the same candidate for do the opposite and mis-leading people about his record, or what’s in […]
              President Trump’s enemies list: Will you make it?        
    Richard Nixon’s enemies list was a black-tie affair. What a party! The twenty original names included such luminaries as film star Paul Newman, Congress member Ron Dellums, and journalist Daniel Schorr. Some powerful VIPs almost felt slighted not to make The List. The Nixon people later added scores of other individuals, as well as groups, […]
              Lights out: GOP stays in the house        
    There is a story buzzing around the internet, but hardly any news media outlets are covering it. Pelosi turns the lights out on the GOP after the GOP stayed in the house and refused to go on the 5 week vacation without proposing an energy vote. I can't find a video of this anywhere, however I turned on CSPAN last night and there was some footage before the democrats left the house. John Boehner was quite adamant about a vote on energy regulation, but democrats kept putting it off saying it would stop votes on other important bills, not energy regulation.

    You can see the article here about what happened:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0808/House_Dems_turn_out_out_the_light_but_GOP_keep_talking.html?showall

    I was impressed with the veracity in which the GOP finally went after the dems in the final hours of the day on Friday. It's historic. First, when a vote came to adjourn, the 50+ members of the GOP stayed. Then, Pelosi turned off the microphone; then the lights, then one of the GOP members somehow got the microphone back on, Pelosi turned it back off again.

    The GOP stayed for 5 hours talking about energy crisis and they are fed up. It's about time as the American public has been outraged about this issue for six months.

    The dems better listen, otherwise they are going to get wiped out. This issue crosses all party line barriers, and even many environmentalists are saying lets get energy independent with our own oil, wind and start using some natural gas too. You should see pickensplan.com if you are interested in that particular plan. It's quite good and will take time to implement, but a step in the right direction.

    Well, enough about this for now. Hopefully we get some real energy changes over the next few years, my gas bill is killing me now. . . any extra income I had goes in the fuel tank. Forget about saving any money or putting money into the property right now.

    I hope you all contact your congressman or senator and tell them how you feel. They are actually listening right now and know a revolt is in the works. The government can only ignore it's people for so long. I am surprized some nut-job hasn't gone out and whacked some of the liberal leadership in congress/senate who want to keep us dependent, want to raise our taxes, want us to just become Europe. Hey, at least it'd be a start. LOL BTW, congressional approval rating is less than 10%. Even Bush's approval rating is near 30%.

    Brock
              Happy 4th of July        
    This 4th of July is another time to celebrate our Independence. It was somewhat of a sombering year here in Chico, as the abundant wildfires had most fireworks cancelled. It was the first year in my life where Fireworks were not going to be displayed. At about 11pm my son ran downstairs as he saw some fireworks from his bedroom window. We all got in the car and drove towards the fireworks. It was the local Chico baseball team having fireworks at Nettleton stadium. We saw the last 2-3 minutes, the kids were happy and we went back home. This 4th of July was a trying day for myself and my family on a personal level as we had to take my 3 year old son to the emergency room when he drank something he shoulden't have. He is okay.

    We spent the day at home after this incident and laid low.

    Our national Independence is becoming an interdependence upon other nations in terms of borrowing money, and oil. It is becoming so apparent that oil is the lifeblood of this economy. The senate and congress better get their act in gear. Americans are actually becoming more united than I have ever seen when I talk to people. It isn't about the war any longer, it is about the slumping economy at home and the oil economy. I hope that you all speak to your friends and family about the oil crisis, and how we need to drill here, drill now. See newt.org for that information. We should make this our Oil independence day and declare to meet our own needs at home by whatever means necessary, ANWR, oil shale, etc. Thomas Jefferson never wanted us to be 'hocked' to a local banker who is in turn 'hocked' to a foreign banker. That's essentially what we have with Oil. Jefferson knew this situation would be disastrous for the republic.

    The doom and gloom surrounding the media's daily negative agenda provides a constant reason to be bitter and worried. That we should let our government fix this problem is their answer.

    I submit to you who read this blog and who are independent minded to not despair, but rejoice in the fact that you are making preparations and live your life in a manner that you can take care of yourself, and are not reliant upon the government. The agrarian lifestyle is going to re-emerge in the years to come. The US of A once was an agrarian country through the mid 20th century, where we all met our own needs. Look at the situation we now deal with when we move away from this mindset.

    I hope all of you had a great 4th of July. We should pray for this country and thank God for what blessings we have. Regardless of what CNN and the local newspapers will tell you, the USA is still the greatest country the world has ever seen, and we are blessed by it's people through their generosity, hard-working nature and conservative roots- not political leaders in the government who seek to have us become part of Europe.

    Brock
              Step 15: Attaching the Engine/Flywheel/Clutch to the Transmission        
    Description: Attaching the clutch disc and pressure plate to the flywheel/engine.

    Tools Needed: Wrenches, the two old bolts that connected the gas engine and transmission, starter block-off (from kit), Chain?

    Estimated Time: 1 - 3 hours.

    Caveats: None.

    Purpose of this step: This is the fully connected engine/flywheel/clutch/transmission, similar to what was pulled out of the car. This all goes in in one piece, then will be mounted where the old engine/tranny was mounted under the car (Next Step).


    I had the engine/flywheel/clutch assembly on one furniture cart and the tranny on the other. The ridged opening hole in the clutch has to match up in height with the shaft in the transmission and as you can see in the picture, I was off by a couple of inches. Figured that if the engine sat on some 2 by 4's on the cart, it would just about make up the difference. Also take note of the hole on the right side of the transmission where the starter used to be. That will be covered by a "starter blockoff" from the kit, since an electric starter is unnecessary with an electric engine.


    This was pretty close (balanced out with some cardboard under the tranny and I tried to slide the clutch spline onto the transmission shaft. I had a lot of problems getting this on. The shaft from the transmission would only go in part way. I spent a long time trying to get this on and finally took a break, at which point my neighbor happened to come by and told me some things about the Island of Malta, that intrigued me and I made a mental note about looking at it for a possible vacation destination in the future. Then I had some lunch. By that time, I was feeling pretty good, so I headed back out to try again. I also sprayed a little WD40 on the transmission shaft. Then I tried to connect the two again and:

    Voila!
    Either that break reinvigorated my determination or the WD40 did the trick. I'll never know for sure. Anyway,there are 4 bolts for the attachment. The two top bolts are the ones used to hold the gas engine to the tranny and two new ones supplied in the kit. Note also the starter block-off attached and covering the hole where the starter used to sit. There really isn't much else to it. Now, the manual suggests that you first bolt on a chain to use to lift the transmission up onto its connections under the car, then take that off and rebolt. I am going to try to hook it up without doing that. I think that the two furniture carts should help me set everything up. I am still waiting for the mount that was supposedly sent out by ElectroAutomotive, so I'll let you know how it went without the chain once I get the chance to try and hook it up.



    After finishing, I headed out to a ranch in beautiful Cayucos (the last of the surf towns 30 miles south of the Big Sur coast), to see Elizabeth Kucinich speak about her husband's run for president, impeachment and other subjects. She is an eloquent speaker (a Brit) and a beautiful woman. I hope her husband is successful with his current proposal in Congress.
              Republicans File Congressional Review Act Challenge to CFPB’s Arbitration Rule        

              People, including expats, should know their heroes.        
    Charles Rangel, D-NY, one of the two cosponsors of the FATCA bill.

    That's the man most concerned about Americans living and/or banking abroad and not paying taxes. Well, I am glad that for once a politician is legislating on something he is an expert on.

    A few years ago the man got caught renting 4 adjacent rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan. Those are meant to be primary residences, preferably for people of limited means. I don't know how he ever explained his burning need for having 4 primary residences.

    At the same time he filed a homestead tax break on his house in DC. AFAIK these are also meant for primary residences.

    In 2008 Rangel totally forgot to mention his rental income from an overseas villa to IRS. Oops. Got caught.

    Another thing he forgot was to disclose half of his assets and a bit of his income to Congress.

    Property taxes on a couple of his New Jersey properties also got forgotten. Shit happens, you know.

    A bit later he happened to violate the House gift rules by accepting trips to the Caribbean.

    The ethics trial of the House ethics committee found him guilty in 11 out of the 13 original charges.

    And yes, all of the above happened just after, just before, and right during the time when he was cosponsoring the bill that would interfere with the banking of several million Americans so severely that many of them would be abandoned by their banks, just to make sure that they are not hiding something.

    A question to New Yorkers: why is this ape still in Congress? Seriously, even among the candidates there must be somebody with more sense and fewer ethics violation.




              Important information for Jews        
    "The offering, sale and/or distribution of many of the products or services described on this website are not intended to any Jews. If you intend to obtain any product or service from OurBank that is described on this web site, you must first inform OurBank whether you are a Jew.

    This website and its respective contents do not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or a solicitation of any offer to sell any securities to Jews. Any brokerage and investment advisory services described herein are not intended for Jews. Furthermore, any solicitation on this web site of banking services (including accepting and/or soliciting deposits), insurance services, mortgage and/or consumer lending services or credit card services is not intended for Jews..."

    That's what I just got from my bank. No, the word is not "Jews", but it describes a population group to which I belong. The only reason I withheld the name of the bank is that many banks are displaying the same text, and they have not written it themselves. The word is "US persons", and the guilty parties in this case are the Senate and the House, with the special honorary mentions for  Max Baucus (D–Montana) and Charles Rangel (D–NY), the authors of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009.

    (US persons is defined as all US citizens and permanent residents resident in the US, some US citizens resident abroad - they are not saying who, and whether this actually applies to me, and any entity organized or incorporated under the laws of the United States).

    This particular law has raised the US citizenship renunciations by a factor of six, which should say something to our Congress, or would have if it weren't, as an old joke says, the opposite of progress.

    I am certainly not planning to renounce mine. Seriously, I'd rather vote for Mr. Rangel with a very big cactus, applied anally. But the first thing that comes to mind is banning the population register from identifying me as a US person to anyone, and lying to all the Finnish (and other non-American) financial institutions that I ever deal with that I am not in fact a US person. Funny thing - so far I have always been in compliance with all the US tax laws. Will there be a day when I choose not to report an account just because doing so would "out" me as an American to the bank that holds the account, and cause them to close that account? If that day comes, I will totally do that without feeling guilty in the least.


              Climate Change: The Evolution of the Deniers/Does Paul Ryan Hate His Grandchildren?        

    I went to the Mach for Science and then Drumpf pulled out of the Paris Accords. Causation or Correlation? I then posted about climate change (CC). That's caustation.

    1) Deniers:

      The deniers have gone through several phases:

    There is no CC

    There is CC but its not caused by humans.

    There is CC and its caused by humans but since China and India and other countries aren't doing anything about it, if only we do it will have no effect except to ruin our economy.
    (Counter argument: the effects of climate change are economically devastating- are insurance companies trying to pressure governments to do something about CC since CC's effects cause damage which hurts their bottom line?)

    Intermixed with these arguments have been:

    Just because 87% of all lung cancer victims  smoke, that's just a correlation. Maybe people the lung cancer gene is also the smoking gene. Correlation does not equal causation. OH, sorry, that's a flashback to the Correlation NOT causation arguments made by the Tobacco companies. Do they still believe that? Mike Pence does (see here). How can they stay in business? (here's how) ANYWAY, some are making the correlation NOT causation argument for why Polar bears are dying, etc.

    AND the classic

    Technology will bail us out. (This would be a better argument if it was followed by hence we will give lots of funding for such technology  which is NEVER what its followed by.)

    OKAY, so where are we in 2017?

    The economist had an argument about how Solar and Wind will soon be MORE cost effective than Oil and Gas- though we still have the problem of what happens on a cloudy, windless day- so we need technology to store (see here though its behind a pay wall). China and India ARE doing things about CC. How much? Effective? Hard to say- though both are really concerned with pollution.

    I predict the new argument will be:

    We're all doomed anyway so why take our economy down at the same time.

    Unfortunately this argument might be correct.

    (ADDED LATER- a commenter says that I conspicuously left out religious arguments to not do anything about CC.  I now conspicuously ask you to read his comment.)

    2) Take Paul Ryan. Please.
    Seriously-- I assume he KNOWS that CC really is a problem and the longer we put it off the worse it will be for his grandchildren, and perhaps his children. So why does he fight ANY attempt to even admit we HAVE a problem (And note there ARE some market-based solutions- a Carbon Tax, Cap and Trade.)  Some speculation

    a) Despite being smart he's in deep deep denial. Okay, but why is that? If you believe in small government then if something comes along that REQUIRES big government, you just DENY it since it does not fit into your world view.

    b) Paul Ryan hates his Grandchildren.

    c) Paul Ryan thinks that HIS grandchildren will be among the few people who survive and live in a VERY gated community. He's probably wrong about that as even those in gated communities will suffer the effects of CC.

    d) Paul Ryan is stuck. If he tries to do ANYTHING then it will not work AND he'll lose his speakership and possibly his seat in congress. And there are a large number of congressman and senators who feel the same way but they're all afraid to say. If they ALL said so then... they'd ALL lose their seat in congress. One of the downsides of politics is ending up STUCK on the WRONG side of history and KNOWING it. Well, at least there won't be much history left so he won't be stuck on the wrong side for long.

    3) Game Theory. I used to think that it was in NO countries SHORT term interest to do anything serious about CC (that is, do it alone) and hence we were all DOOMED! Doomed I say! And part of the problem is that if Country A emits greenhouse gases its bad for THE ENTIRE WORLD EQUALLY, and not for Country A in particular. But a few things make me more optimistic:

    Pollution is a here-and-now problem for China and India so they will tackle that. That somehow has to be part of the solution.

    Technology- as mentioned before Solar and Wind is catching up to Gas and Oil. (downside of technology- Fracking and oil extraction are also getting better and cheaper. Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory doesn't seem to be true) But the real advantage of Solar and Wind will be that you don't have to Extract and ship Oil (or Coal or whatever).

    4) I wrote that last positive point before President Drumpf. Having a CC denier in the white house means four more years of no action which sounds really bad- especially since the longer we put off doing something about the problem, the harder and more expensive it will be to slow down CC (Some ponders that Trump won't be that bad for the environment: here)

    5) Okay Bill, what would YOU do? Carbon Tax will give financial incentive for companies to curb Carbon emissions. And its simple. The Tax has to be high enough to have an effect. Another added bonus will be to help America pay down its deficit. ALSO more research into renewables. Oddly enough I would also recommend NOT forcing Gas to contain Ethanol- make Ethanol compete with Solar and Wind. (Recall that Ethanol is funded only because of the Iowa Caucus. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry, its too stupid to explain.) Some may disagree and have other ideas. Thats FINE- I would rather be having a debate about what to DO about the problem rather than one about whether or not there IS a problem. Though even a debate about what to do about the problem should be SHORT so we can begin DOING something.


              Camilo José Vergara: post-industrial cities        
    photograph of Packard automobile plant

    America's post-industrial cities have been photographed over the past 40 years - often repeatedly, as "time-lapse" sequences - by Camilo José Vergara. These documentary and artistic images are now archived at the Library of Congress, with 5,000 of the 10,000 photographs available online.


              Tech inflluencers lobbies Congress        
    Via Tech Crunch and WSJ a graphical display of the dollars flowing into the Capitol for lobbying activities of tech companies like Google, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Yahoo.
               Comparative analysis and functional implications of ligand dependent changes in estrogen- and thyroid hormone receptor expression in the developing cerebellum         
    Tóth, István and Johnson, Trudy Scalise and Győrffy, Andrea and Kiss, Dávid Sándor and Somogyi, Virág and Goszleth, Gréta and Bartha, Tibor and Frenyó, Vilmos László and Zsarnovszky, Attila (2011) Comparative analysis and functional implications of ligand dependent changes in estrogen- and thyroid hormone receptor expression in the developing cerebellum. In: 8th IBRO World Congress, 2011. július 14-19., Firenze.
              Al Gore - What We Need to Do        
    In a NYTimes op-ed yesterday, Al Gore noted that the same steps can heal our economy, our planet, and our national energy security. He's not the first to say it, but it is eloquent and if the former VP says it can be so, who are we to say it can't?

    It's may be too late already -- we may have already entered a feed-forward loop that will massively alter the ecology of the planet and it make it much less pleasant for humans to live here. But in case we haven't, we must take these steps now. There is no time to waste.

    --


    What follows is a five-part plan to repower America with a commitment to producing 100 percent of our electricity from carbon-free sources within 10 years. It is a plan that would simultaneously move us toward solutions to the climate crisis and the economic crisis — and create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced.

    First, the new president and the new Congress should offer large-scale investment in incentives for the construction of concentrated solar thermal plants in the Southwestern deserts, wind farms in the corridor stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and advanced plants in geothermal hot spots that could produce large amounts of electricity.

    Second, we should begin the planning and construction of a unified national smart grid for the transport of renewable electricity from the rural places where it is mostly generated to the cities where it is mostly used. New high-voltage, low-loss underground lines can be designed with “smart” features that provide consumers with sophisticated information and easy-to-use tools for conserving electricity, eliminating inefficiency and reducing their energy bills. The cost of this modern grid — $400 billion over 10 years — pales in comparison with the annual loss to American business of $120 billion due to the cascading failures that are endemic to our current balkanized and antiquated electricity lines.

    Third, we should help America’s automobile industry (not only the Big Three but the innovative new startup companies as well) to convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run on the renewable electricity that will be available as the rest of this plan matures. In combination with the unified grid, a nationwide fleet of plug-in hybrids would also help to solve the problem of electricity storage. Think about it: with this sort of grid, cars could be charged during off-peak energy-use hours; during peak hours, when fewer cars are on the road, they could contribute their electricity back into the national grid.

    Fourth, we should embark on a nationwide effort to retrofit buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting. Approximately 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States come from buildings — and stopping that pollution saves money for homeowners and businesses. This initiative should be coupled with the proposal in Congress to help Americans who are burdened by mortgages that exceed the value of their homes.

    Fifth, the United States should lead the way by putting a price on carbon here at home, and by leading the world’s efforts to replace the Kyoto treaty next year in Copenhagen with a more effective treaty that caps global carbon dioxide emissions and encourages nations to invest together in efficient ways to reduce global warming pollution quickly, including by sharply reducing deforestation.

    Of course, the best way — indeed the only way — to secure a global agreement to safeguard our future is by re-establishing the United States as the country with the moral and political authority to lead the world toward a solution.

    Looking ahead, I have great hope that we will have the courage to embrace the changes necessary to save our economy, our planet and ultimately ourselves.
              Take Action to Save our Healthcare!        
    Union members are joining hospitals, faith leaders and community groups to call on Congress to protect our healthcare and Medicaid. The current healthcare repeal bill would kick millions of Americans off of Medicaid, and would cut hundreds of millions of ...
              Second Second Tuesday Lunch-Up        
    This one is for phunniemee: Cafecito at 26 East Congress (Please let me know if you meant the one at 7 N Wells--I don't think you did--and I'll fix it). Shall we take our lunches to Grant Park or Pritzker Park? Also, I think for October, we're going to go to Eataly.

    Tue September 9 at 1:00 PM, Cafecito
              Transport services driven by data        
    ”Information has dramatically increased its role in society in recent years. Big data, mass data, very large data, raw data, open data, data analytics, digitisation...,” Trafi’s Information Director and Director General for Data Resources, Mia Nykopp, lists the various types of information that affect our lives. Trafi is actively involved in the 10th ITS European Congress in Helsinki, held on 16–19 June, 2014.
              An N.C. Congressman Tries to Defund the Congressional Budget Office        
    Possibly related: the CBO has said the GOP’s efforts to repeal Obamacare would cost tens of millions of people access to health care On Monday—the same day the president attacked political rivals in a speech to Boy Scouts and the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on a health care bill that no one had actually seen—Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus and representative of North Carolina's Eleventh Congressional District, proposed his own means of undermining democratic norms. His big idea: gut the Congressional Budget Office, the agency that has consistently projected that GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave more than twenty million Americans without coverage.…
              Commenti su Amendolara. Con il congresso cittadino nasce il circolo di Sinistra Italiana di Redazione Paese24.it        
    Le censure non ci appartengono. E' solo una questione di regole. Impari a rispettarle ed avrà lo spazio che merita. Saluti, Vincenzo La Camera
              Commenti su Amendolara. Con il congresso cittadino nasce il circolo di Sinistra Italiana di Michele greco        
    caro direttore al di là della discordanza fra mail e nome un pensiero è sempre un pensiero e no va censurato. Visto che non sono stato né offensivo ne volgare . Ribadisco tutto quello che ho scritto prima.
              Commenti su Amendolara. Con il congresso cittadino nasce il circolo di Sinistra Italiana di GIUSEPPE PAGANO        
    Condivido pienamente il chiarimento del direttore La Camera.Paese 24 dà l'opportunità a tutti i suoi lettori di commentare i vari argomenti trattati.Non esiste forma di democrazia migliore.Nella fattispecie,se il Signor Michele Greco non fosse persona reale.credo sarebbe meglio non pubblicare alcun suo eventuale commento.In democrazia non si ci maschera per esprimere il proprio pensiero.Al contrario,si deve avere il coraggio di dire ciò che si pensa sempre rispettanto il pensiero altrui.Ritengo che Paese24 è un giornale online libero e quindi aperto a tutti ,indipendentemente dal colore politico,purchè rispettosi, come ha tenuto a sottolineare il suo Direttore,delle regole.
              Cria o cargo em todos os municípios - PEC que prevê concurso de procurador na ordem do dia - Proposta, que vem tramitando no Congresso Nacional desde 2003, agora depende apenas de um parecer final        
    Proposta, que vem tramitando no Congresso Nacional desde 2003, agora depende apenas de um parecer final
              Solid Concepts Collaborates with AVEDA Congress 2013        

    Solid Concepts collaborated with Ray Civello, CEO of Aveda Canada, and designer Stephen Ma to manufacture 3D printed headpieces for AVEDA Congress 2013.

    (PRWeb October 30, 2013)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11278666.htm


              As Students Struggle to Pay Tuition, Schools Scramble to Trim Budgets         

    HOLLY SNIFF, who is the first person in her family to attend college, found out about making hard choices early on. "I really wanted to go out of state for school, but because of financial reasons I couldn't," says Ms. Sniff, who is now a sophomore at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

    For as long as she can remember, Sniff has been putting away money for her education. "I saved every dollar I was given as birthday presents or special treats as a child," she says.

    Those childhood savings along with summer earnings and additional financial help from relatives got Sniff through her first year of college. But tuition continues to rise, and Sniff, along with millions of other students, is struggling to keep up.

    At the same time, both private and public colleges and universities are moving beyond trimming at the margins to control costs.

    Many schools are freezing faculty salaries, suspending hiring, delaying building maintenance, limiting course offerings, and even cutting academic departments.

    Administrators are finding that they can no longer fund every project, department, or program. In the 1991-92 academic year, 57 percent of all colleges and universities were forced to reduce their operating budgets, according to an annual survey by the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

    At the University of Vermont, a budget committee's proposal to eliminate the School of Engineering led to an uproar and the eventual resignation of the university's president.

    AS state funding shrinks, public universities are being forced to increase class sizes and cut back on student services. Students at California's public universities have staged massive student protests against overcrowded classes and eye-popping tuition increases.

    Nationwide, public colleges raised their tuition and fees an average of 10 percent and private-college increases averaged 7 percent this year, according to the College Board's annual survey released last month.

    "Given the state of the economy and its impact on state budgets, many people expected much larger [tuition] increases this year, particularly in the public sector," says Donald Stewart, president of the College Board.

    The rate of increase for public-college tuition is actually down this year compared with last year's 13 percent rise. And private colleges held their increases to last year's rate.

    Yet that doesn't mean tuitions are gravitating back to earthly levels, warns Arthur Hauptman, a college tuition consultant.

    "What the public tuition number says is that the recession has eased a little bit," he says. "If things get better [in terms of the economy], you would expect to see some additional reduction in those numbers."

    In the '90s, Mr. Hauptman points out, there is much more competition for state funds than there was in the 1980s. Health care, prisons, and elementary and secondary education are all clamoring for funding.

    "Despite predictions at the beginning of the '80s that it would be a tough decade, it turned out to be a very good decade for higher education in terms of revenue growth," Hauptman says. "Every major revenue source for colleges grew in real terms during that time - federal, state, tuitions, endowments, sales, and services."

    And how were those revenues spent? Some faculty critics argue that the funds were spent on administrative bloat. "The fact is that in the '80s administrative staff at both private and public colleges grew much faster than the faculty," Hauptman says. "It is also true, however, that in the 1980s faculty salaries increased in real terms."

    Last year, Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D) of Colorado launched a congressional investigation into the skyrocketing cost of tuition at public colleges.

    "When it comes to college education, American families are paying more and getting less," she said. "Since 1980, the cost of sending our kids to college, a key part of the American dream, has doubled or tripled the rate of inflation every single year."

    The investigation found that the growing research orientation of public higher education has fed the spiraling tuition costs. The teaching load of professors dropped from the traditional 15 hours per semester to as low as six hours per semester at some institutions, according to the study.

    Pinning down the cause of increased tuition at either public or private universities isn't easy. Education is a labor-intensive enterprise that does not lend itself to productivity gains, administrators argue.

    "Because faculty salaries have lagged in the past and because of competition for faculty among universities and industry, faculty compensation [increases] now exceed inflation," points out Paul Locatelli, president of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.

    Yet it is possible to increase teaching loads, reexamine the length of the academic year, and de-emphasize research in an effort to gain productivity, argues Hauptman.

    "Colleges want to increase their resources; it's a natural inclination," he says. "If you read the college presidents' letters to the parents, you would assume costs are pushing tuition increases. But I think it's more that the revenues provided by the tuition hikes allow the schools to increase costs."

    Meanwhile, students like Holly Sniff are willing to work harder or borrow more in order to get a college degree. Sniff expects to have accumulated about $10,000 in loans before she graduates. "I think I'm better off taking out loans now and using my life savings so that hopefully in the future I can find a better-paying job," she says.

    Increased indebtedness raises the stakes for many students. "I'm not really concerned with it now," Sniff says, "but as soon as I graduate I'm going to have to get a good-paying job to pay off all of these loans."

    Become a part of the Monitor community


              New bill latest effort to tackle definition of joint employment        
    The definition of “joint employment” may be heading for another turnaround. Legislation introduced in Congress on July 27 takes aim at a 2015 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that raised the ire of many in the business community, especially employers that work with franchisees, contractors, and staffing agencies. The NLRB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision broadened […]
              e-commarketing show 2011        
    O e-commarketing show vai regressar a Lisboa já este ano. O elevado sucesso registado na 1ª edição vão certamente fazer-me regressar para participar neste evento. O e-commarketing show, é uma exposição profissional de comércio electrónico e publicidade interactiva, que regressa ao Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, nos próximos dias 13 e 14 de Outubro, para […]
              A SUMMER SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE TRUMP ERAHere’s a summer...        


    A SUMMER SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE TRUMP ERA

    Here’s a summer survival guide, 10 ways to relax during the era of Trump.

    1.  Take a day off from the news, one day a week.

     2.  Don’t get into an argument with a Trump supporter, especially if it’s a member of your family. Remember, there are more independents and non-voters than Trump Republicans. And the 2018 midterm election will be won on the basis of turnout.

    3.  Pay no attention to Trump’s tweets. They’re becoming increasingly bizarre and irrelevant.

    4.  Watch an old movie of biting political satire, like “Wag the Dog.”

    5.  But don’t watch “Doctor Strangelove.”

    6.  Join an Indivisible group near you and take action with them, attending a congressional town meeting and organizing others to contact your members of congress. It’s having an effect. Plus, it’s therapeutic.  

    7.  Drink lots of water and get plenty of exercise. Helps with the anger.

    8.  Read good books of fiction, like Harry Potter. Don’t read George Orwell’s “1984” or Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” or Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

    9.  Go to a county fair with your kids, and watch the pigs.

    10. Have a cookout with your neighbors and see what resources you yourselves can offer to your community. Start a tool collective or teach a class in a library or out of someone’s house. Tangible change can come from your hands, not only your votes. Remember, resistance works best when people come together and work together.         

    Have a great summer!


              Hill Republicans: Trump is Fritzing Out        
    This morning I phoned my friend, a former Republican member of Congress.Me: What’s going on?...
              THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEALSay you’re Vladimir Putin,...        


    THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEAL

    Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. Whether there was such a deal is being investigated. But if you are Putin and you did do a deal, what might Trump have agreed to do for you? 

    1. Repudiate NATO. NATO is the biggest thorn in your side – the alliance that both humiliates you and stymies your ambitions. Trump seemed intent to deliver on this during his recent European trip by bullying members about payments and seemingly not reaffirming Article 5 of the pact, which states that any attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all. (He’s backtracked on this since then, under pressure from Congress.)

    2. Antagonize Europe, especially Angela Merkel. She’s the strongest leader in the West other than Trump, and you’d love to drive a wedge between the United States and Germany. Your larger goal is for Europe to no longer depend on the United States, so you can increase your influence in Europe. Trump has almost delivered on this, too. Merkel is already saying Europe can no longer depend on America.

    3. Take the United States out of the Paris accord on the environment. This will anger America’s other allies around the world and produce a wave of anti-Americanism – all to your advantage. You’d also love for the whole Paris accord to unravel because you want the world to remain dependent on fossil fuels. Russia is the world’s second-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia, and biggest exporter of natural gas. And the oil and gas industry contributes about half the revenues to your domestic budget. And, hey, there’s also all those Arctic ports that are opening up now that the earth is warming. Trump has delivered on this. 

    4. Embark on a new era of protectionism. Or at least anti-trade rhetoric. This will threaten the West’s economic interdependence and loosen America’s economic grip on the rest of the world. Trump is on the way to delivering on this one.

    5. End the economic sanctions on Russia, imposed by the United States in 2014. Oil production on land is falling so you want to tap the vast petroleum and gas reserves offshore in the Arctic. In 2011, you and ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, signed a $500 billion deal to do this. But the sanctions stopped it cold. Trump has promised to lift them, but he hasn’t delivered on this yet, because he has got to cope with all the suspicions in America about his deal with you. Once it dies down, he’ll end the sanctions. In the meantime, he’ll give you back the two compounds that were seized by the Obama administration when the U.S. intelligence discovered you’d interfered in the election.

    And what might you have agreed to do for Trump in return? 

    Two things: First, you’d help him win the presidency, by hacking into Democratic Party servers, leaking the results, sending millions of fake news stories about Hillary to targeted voters, and tapping into voter lists. 

    Second, after he was elected, you’d shut up about your help so Trump wouldn’t be impeached and convicted of treason.

    In other words, if you did a deal, you both still have every incentive to fulfill your side of it. That’s the art of the deal.


               POLITICAL JUJITSU: NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs...        


    POLITICAL JUJITSU: NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

    As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

    Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill.

    With health care emerging as the public’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

    And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders.

    And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money.

    These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes.

    Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”

    That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican.

    If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.


              NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Republicans in Congress...        


    NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

    As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving in the opposite direction, toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

    Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. Both California and New York state are moving towards single-payer plans.

    With health care emerging as the pubic’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

    And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders. 

    And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money. 

    These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes. 

    Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. 

    An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican. 

    If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.


              THE CASE FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICEObstruction of justice was...        


    THE CASE FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

    Obstruction of justice was among the articles of impeachment drafted against both Presidents Nixon and Clinton. The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. White House tapes revealed Nixon giving instructions to pressure the acting FBI director into halting the Watergate investigation.

    Two weeks after Trump told Comey privately “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,” he had another private meeting with Comey in the Oval Office. After shooing out his advisers – all of whom had top security clearance – Trump said to Comey, according to Comey’s memo written shortly after the meeting, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

    Then on May 9, Trump fired Comey. In a subsequent interview with NBC Trump said he planned to fire Comey “regardless of [the] recommendation” of the Attorney and Deputy Attorney General, partly because of “this Russia thing.” Trump also revealed in the interview that he had had several conversations with Comey about the Russia investigation, and had asked Comey if he was under investigation.

    The federal crime of obstruction of justice applies to “[w]hoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law” in a proceeding or investigation by a government department or agency or Congress.

    As in Nixon’s case, a decision to support an “inquiry of impeachment” resolution in the House—to start an impeachment investigation—doesn’t depend on sufficient evidence to convict a person of obstruction of justice, but simply probable cause to believe a president may have obstructed justice.

    There’s already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin that impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump.


              New York's Attorney General Vows Court Action Against ACA Repeal        
    New York’s top elected Democrats rallied against the Republican Congress’s proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, saying they will take legal action, if necessary, to stop it. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, speaking before a crowd of unionized health care workers at Mount Sinai hospital, says if the plans to repeal and replace Obamacare in the GOP led Senate and House do become law, he will sue on behalf of New Yorkers. “I’ve developed a bit of a reputation since January as the guy who sues Donald Trump and the federal government,” Schneiderman said, to cheers. “Always on the merits, and boy, have we got a lot of merits on our side.” This is not the first time that Schneiderman has made the threat. The Attorney General said after the house passed its version of the Obamacare repeal and replacement that court action was likely. The AG says provisions in both the Senate and House plans to defund Planned Parenthood services, “would
              Q&A on GOP Health Care Bill        
    This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In Central New York, many thousands could be affected. Use this Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you. And stay tuned to WAER for continuing coverage of the GOP Health Care Bill from NPR. Loading...
              Trying again: Rep. Katko Says his Legislation Will Tackle Distributors of Synthetic Drugs        
    Syracuse-area Congressmember John Katko is trying once again to push through legislation aimed at plugging the pipeline of synthetic drugs. The bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation is the latest attempt to tackle the epidemic that continues to sweep the region and the nation. Congress has been trying for at least two years to help law enforcement catch up with the changing composition of the deadly substances. Representative Katko introduced legislation in the previous congress in December 2015. Senator Chuck Schumer called attention to the matter earlier that year, and introduced his own legislation last summer. Katko feels this bill will finally modernize the controlled substances act by streamlining the process of adding a newly identified compound to a list called Schedule A within 30 days. "Once it's on that list, what you can do is not only arrest people who are possessing with intent to distribute, knowing it's a controlled substance, you can go into head shops, go into stores,
              Gov. Cuomo Takes Active Role in Taking Back the House for Democrats        
    Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting involved in New York’s Congressional races. At a rally with House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, he vowed to help defeat the state’s republican members of the House of Representatives when they are up for election next year. House Democratic Leader Pelosi introduced Governor Cuomo at the rally of union workers at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. “We will remove you from office on November [7], 2018,” Cuomo shouted. “ And we are telling you those are not just words, you can bet your political life that New Yorkers will do just that!” While Cuomo says he’s working to defeat all of the state’s GOP congressional representatives, the governor directed his ire at Western New York Congressman Chris Collins and the Hudson Valley’s John Faso. The two angered Cuomo earlier this year when they successfully included in the House repeal of the Affordable Care Act a plan to force the state to take over billions of dollars in county Medicaid costs.
              About Jackie Robinson        

    Who was Jackie Robinson?

     

    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues, (aside from the 1880s, before the MLB was organized) he is most known for bringing social justice to baseball, which had seperate leagues for blacks (the Negro leagues) and whites for six decades. His character and skills are what helped him challenge the traditional basis of segregation, which was prevalent in all areas of American Life, and was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson was not just any other baseball player, he strived for success and achieved it, as he helped the Dodgers get to six World Series' and win it all in 1955. He was Rookie of the Year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and a six time All-Star from 1949-1954. He was then inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962 followed by all of MLB retiring the Jackie Robinson Jersey: number 42, in 1997, an honor reserved solely to Robinson. 

    Pre Baseball Life

    Jackie was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of farmers during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after his brothers Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae. He was named "Roosevelt" as a middle name, in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died earier that month. The Robinson's moved to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena, California after their father left them in 1920. Their mother worked various jobs to support them as they grew up in relative poverty even though Pasadena was considered an affluent place. They attended Washington Junior High School followed by Muir Tech High School. The Robinsons were superb athletes. Matthew was a silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics and he and Frank inspired Jackie to seriously pursue a career in sports. Jackie played on the Muir Tech football team as quarterback, basketball team as a guard, track team as a jumper, tennis team and baseball team as both a catcher and shortstop. In 1936, he won a Tennis Tournament and played in the Pomona baseball tournament all star team with fellow future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. 

    After High School, Jackie went on to Pasadena Junior College where he continued his involvement in sports. He also was elected to the Lancers, a local organization responsible for helping patrol school activities. In 1938, Jackie joined the All-Southland Junior College baseball team and was selected as that years MVP. He also received honors for his outstanding community service, even though he sometimes acted against those around him who seemed racist. While playing football for PJC, Jackie broke his ankle. A few days before Jackie's 19th birthday he was arrested for vocally disputing the arrest of a black friend of his. He quickly earned a reputation for being one who won't shy away from beligerrance in the face of racism.

    After graduating from PJC, Jackie's brother, Frank, was killed in a motorcycle accident which helped Jackie make a decision to move to L.A. where he could console Frank's family. Jackie decided to attend UCLA where he met is future wife, Rachel Isum, and won varsity letters in all the major sports. He won the 1940 NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump,jumping a whopping 24 Feet 10.5 Inches. Ironically, in that year, robinson batted .097 for the UCLA baseball squad. In 1941, he took a job with the NYA as an assistant athletic director, as it would have been impossible for him to get a job as a proffesional athlete due to the color barrier. Later that year he traveled to Hawaii where he had an opportunity to play for the racially mixed semi-pro Honolulu Bears' football team. After that season he would move back to L.A. to play for a local football team, not realizing that the US involvement in World War 2 would sidetrack him for a little while and end his short football career.

    Robinson was drafted to the Army in 1942 and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Throughout his 3 plus years in the Army, he was always treated as a subordinate by the White controlled military. He still managed to become a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined the Black Panthers Tank Battallion, the first Black tank unit to see combat in WWII. However, jackie was never in combat. After getting engaged to his College sweetheart, Rachel, he was sidelined after injuring the same ankle he hurt back in high school. He would finish his army service as a coach for army athletes until 1944 when he was discharged. While in the Army, Robinson made close ties with boxer, Joe Louis, as they helped each other struggle in the white dominated Army.

    In early 1945, after working some part time coaching jobs, Jackie received an offer from the Kansas City Monarchs to Play professional Baseball in the Negro Leagues. He signed a contract worth $400 a month as he played for the Monarchs for 1 Season. He played 47 games at shortstop batting .387. The Negro leagues were'nt for Jackie as he didn't like their unorganized style. Luckily he received a secret offer from the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to come to NY and play for their Minor League team. They offered him $600 a month on the condition that he would be able to take abuse from other players for being the only black, but contain himself from fighting back. Jackie accepted, and immediately left the Monarchs for NYC where he would marry Rachel Isum, who was in NY studying to be a Nurse. Jackie would start with the Dodgers' AAA club in Daytona Beach, FL that next season.

    Baseball Career

    In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball was first used in the 1946 season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

    After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

    The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

    Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

    Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

    Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

    Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

    Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage that year (second in the National League at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948, he hit for the cycle—a home run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

    Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby (who broke the color barrier in the American League on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige played for the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $120,914 today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

    In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

    That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the 1949 World Series.

    Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

    In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($338,091 in 2012 dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

    Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

    Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

    During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants, which the Dodgers lost.

    Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

    Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield, with Jim Gilliam, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

    In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis.

    In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

    In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash (equal to $299,192 today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look magazine two years previously,[165&91; his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.

    Legacy

    Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His&91; accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

    Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

    Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks than strikeouts (740 to 291). Robinson was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least 125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."

    "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." —Robinson, on his legacy

     

    Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.

    Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

    Post-baseball life

    Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

    Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

    In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown museum.

    In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos telecasts.

    On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.

    Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. Robinson was angered by conservative Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller's unsuccessful campaign to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. After the party nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona instead, Robinson left the party's convention commenting that he now had "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany". He later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966. Switching his allegiance to the Democrats, he subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1968.

    Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

    Family life and death

    After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

    Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

    Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack at home in Stamford, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway also runs through the cemetery.

    After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.

    Awards and recognition

    According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

    The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $470,522 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

    Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

    As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

    At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

    Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

    Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

    A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House, was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robinson also has an asteroid named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor.

    In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

    Career statistics

    YearTeamGABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOAVGOBPSLGTBSHSFIBBHBPGDPE
    1945 Kansas City 47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13       .387                  
    1946 Montreal 124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40   92 27 .349                 10
    1947 Brooklyn 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29   74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28     9 5 16
    1948 Brooklyn 147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22   57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8     7 7 15
    1949 Brooklyn 156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37   86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17     8 22 16
    1950 Brooklyn 144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12   80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10     5 11 11
    1951 Brooklyn 153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6     9 10 7
    1952 Brooklyn 149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6     14 16 20
    1953 Brooklyn 136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9     7 12 6
    1954 Brooklyn 124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a   7 13 7
    1955 Brooklyn 105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
    1956 Brooklyn 117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
    TotalsBrooklyn13824877947151827354137734197 740291.311.409.47423101049772113107
     Career155354941096173634267161867248   .316    97   

    a The sacrifice fly (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

    b Likewise, the intentional walk (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.

     


              12th Annual Scientific Conference and All Fellows’ Congress Kano 2017        
    Click here for details
              Congressman Adam Smith holding Town Hall Meeting in Tukwila Sat., July 29        
    Congressman Adam Smith is hosting a Town Hall event where constituents can meet and interact with the Congressman and voice concerns on the issues before Congress. WHEN: Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 10:00-11:00 am WHERE: Foster High School Performing Arts Center, 4242 S 144th St., Tukwila, WA 98168 RSVP: Please RSVP using Eventbrite or by […]
              State of the Industry: Looking ahead to 2014        
    Expanding access to FBI database, school security loom large for 2014
    12/18/2013
    Leif Kothe

    IRVING, Texas—The past year on Capitol Hill will be remembered for legislative inaction and partisan rifts so deep they culminated in a 16-day government shutdown. Time will tell if the inertia and division will persist in 2014, but the fact that it’s an election year promises to make things a little hectic for the security industry, John Chwat, director of government relations for ESA, told Security Systems News. 

    So what’s on the agenda in the face of the midterm turbulence? Chwat says the ESA will focus on four main priorities in 2014. 

    FBI Database Access

    It’s no secret that, from a legal standpoint, alarm companies enjoy the fact that a properly written contract produced by a qualified attorney generally ensures they end up on the right side of a court decision. Those in the industry are increasingly becoming aware that it’s in their best interest to avail themselves of an alarm attorney who knows the ins and outs of limiting liability and writing enforceable exculpatory clauses.

    It’s precisely the industry’s wariness of being exposed to litigation that underpins the ESA’s top priority in 2014, which is to get the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Judiciary Committee to pass a bill that would permit security companies in every state to access the FBI federal database. This, Chwat said, helps companies get a criminal background check on prospective employees, thereby limiting the legal risk they might absorb when, unbeknownst to them, they hire a convicted felon. 

    Passage of the bill, Chwat says, will “allow us to begin negotiation with the Justice Department to develop regulations to permit us access.”

    Right now, companies in about half the states do not have access to these federal records. The bill’s provisions were previously intertwined with the far more polarizing issue of gun control legislation, which gained traction after the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in Dec. 2012. The industry’s concerns are “distinct” from the gun control measures, Chwat says, and it is his hope that the bill will be passed once the industry’s specific requests for open access are unencumbered by the political baggage of gun control.

    At the ground level, the bill could have a substantial impact for companies in states that currently don’t have access to the database, Chwat says. “Then we can say members have vetted and done due diligence on all employees,” he said. 

    School Security

    Protecting schools is a topic that’s intensified at both the state and federal levels since the Newtown shootings in Dec. 2012. ESA is engaged with SIA in a joint effort to “secure federal support for school districts, through either a grant program or through funding directly,” Chwat said, to help them acquire certain types of security systems for elementary and secondary schools, including “monitoring, panic bars, door hardware, electronic security systems and CCTV.”

    Chwat conceded that limited funds might impede the progress of the initiative, but added that school security is going to remain a charged topic in 2014, and the joint effort with SIA could bear fruit. “We think we’ll be able to achieve something there,” he said. 

    Surveillance and Elder Abuse

    In 2014, Congress is set to vote on a 1,000-page bill, called the Older Americans Act Reauthorization bill. One major provision of that bill, Chwat said, pertains to elder abuse—an issue on which ESA has been on the forefront, and which Chwat himself has sought to amend. The amended provision would give relatives of nursing home patients the option to have CCTV systems installed in rooms. 

    “Surveillance is used in preventing child abuse and crime, so preventing elder abuse and nursing home abuse has become a hot topic,” Chwat said. 

    There’s a fair amount of momentum developing with the issue. In 2013, Oklahoma and Virginia passed laws similar to what ESA is proposing on a national level, Chwat said. Texas, New Mexico, New Jersey and New York all have pending legislation on the matter as well, he added.  

    Fire Legislation

    A pair of more “esoteric” bills concerning sprinkler installation is slated to be introduced in the coming year, Chwat said. Both pieces of tax-based legislation that could impact installers, the bills have garnered the attention of the ESA. 

    The first bill would provide tax expensing for the installation of sprinklers, while the second would offer a tax credit of up to $50,000 for the installation of sprinkler systems in historic landmarks. Chwat said the ESA has been in close interaction with the House tax writing committee, endorsing the organization’s longstanding belief that some semblance of balance between detection and suppression installation should be maintained. “We’ve made our positions known to the tax writing committee that we’re not in favor of these bills unless they have a balanced approach,” Chwat said.

     

              LBS och British Library        
    Idag har vi fÃ¥tt tvÃ¥ riktigt bra rundturer, förmiddagen pÃ¥ LBS  och pÃ¥ eftermiddagen pÃ¥ British Library (BL).
    LBS är beläget dels i den vackra byggnaden intill Regents park som ni kunde se pÃ¥ bilden jag publicerade igÃ¥r och dels i en byggnad vid Marlebone station, som är som en labyrint med  trappor och dörrar överallt! I den senare är biblioteket inrymt. Det slog oss att de hade massor av "silent areas" altsÃ¥ tysta omrÃ¥den. Hos oss har vi endast en tyst läsesal och där sitter endast nÃ¥gra fÃ¥ studenter. Här var det tydligen populärt.

    Biblioteket på LBS skall flyttas till ett gammalt stadshus om ca två år, så de var mycket intresserade att höra och se bilder på hur vi på våra tre olika bibliotek hade löst tysta läsrum, grupprum mm. Vi hade en session på knappt två timmar, då vi alla presenterade våra lärosäten, bibliotek och hur vi undervisar.

    Vi fick på eftermiddagen en riktigt gedigen genomgång av världens näst största nationalbibliotek (efter Library of congress). Vi fick gå runt i bland annat deras personalutrymmen och fick reda på att "the kings library" (bilden) används! Jag trodde det bara var en prydnad mitt i biblioteket. Ni ser på bilden att det faktisk är en bibliotekarie bland böckerna!
    I morgon är det val här i storbrittanien och det skall bli väldigt spännande!
    Mer information och bilder från vårt utbyte kommer i morgon.
    Vid ipaden:

    Lena


              Have Sanctions Become the Swiss Army Knife of U.S. Foreign Policy?        
    The Congress takes an important, positive step to reinforce Russian sanctions, but are we at r

              Very Troublesome        
    This is a Library of Congress record:

    Animal farm [by] George Orwell

    CALL NUMBER: PZ3.O793 An2
    Copy 1
    -- Request in: Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms

    -- Status: c.1 Missing - 08-20-2001
    CALL NUMBER: PZ3.O793 An2 FT MEADE
    Copy 3
    -- Request in: Main or Science/Business Reading Rms - STORED OFFSITE

    -- Status: Not Charged

              Missouri town still hates Jayhawks        

    Today in Midwestern news, the Missouri town of Osceola has passed a resolution asking that the University of Kansas retire the Jayhawk from being the school's official mascot.

    To understand why, you have to know a little about 19th-century U.S. history. Thanks to congressional compromises that allowed some new states and territories to vote on whether or not they'd allow slavery, Kansas and Missouri started fighting the Civil War about a decade before the rest of the country. Missouri was a slave state. Kansas' status was up in the air. The result was a series of cross-border battles and raids aimed at destroying free-state strongholds, retaliating against slave-state strongholds, and generally intimidating people on both sides of the fence. For a while, Kansas even had dueling free-state and slave-state capital cities, which drafted their own unilateral state constitutions and, occasionally, raided each other for official state documents.

    While the "Jayhawks" are today represented by a large, imaginary bird (and/or an alt-country band), they were, originally, the free-state militia. In September of 1861, this militia raided Osceola, killing at least a dozen men and burning a good chunk of the town. And the citizens of Osceola, it seems, are still pretty pissed about this and consider the mascot Jayhawk to be an example of Kansans rubbing salt in the wound.

    Along with suggesting that KU change its team name, the resolution calls on the University of Missouri to make sure the full story of the Border War is told and not just the story of William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kan., in August 1863. That attack featured many guerrillas shouting “Remember Osceola.”

    And the resolution calls on Missourians to stop spelling Kansas or KU with a capital letter, as “neither is a proper name or a proper place.”

    “I don’t expect them to do anything,” Rick Reed of Osceola, who brought the resolution to the aldermen, said of KU. “They are so arrogant and uppity.”

    Now, an arrogant and uppity KU alum might take this moment to remind the good citizens of Osceola that the attack on their city did not happen in a vacuum. Free-staters in Kansas, including in Lawrence, had been defending themselves against attack from within and without the state for several years before the Osceola raid. And that it is generally accepted that pro-slavery forces started the violence. She also might wonder aloud what the heck any of this has to do with Kansas being a proper noun.

    Or, your know, we could just acknowledge that a good deal of random violence happened on both sides. And it happened a long time ago. And neither Kansans nor Missourians are currently oppressing one another, nor particularly suffering from long-term fallout of that past violence. Nor does the name "Jayhawk" degrade any living people. So, maybe, this whole thing is just a bit silly.

    Thanks to Sarah and Justin Henning!


              The Beckoning of Nuclear War        
    SUBHEAD: A glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to our "national security" managers.

    By John Pilger on 4 August 2017 for JohnPilger.com -
    (www.johnpilger.com/articles/on-the-beach-2017-the-beckoning-of-nuclear-war)

    [IB Publisher's note: As much as Trump may not wish a nuclear exchange with Russia, he seems quite amenable to turning North Korea into an ashtray. World War III may begin in  Guam and relay to Hawaii on its way  to the US mainland. Here in Hawaii it may mean Duck and Cover!]


    Image above: Detail of original paperback cover of Nevil Shute's 1957 novel "On the Beach". From (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267542034087528868).

    In Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach" the US submarine captain says;
    "We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know and there's nothing to be done about it."
    He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

    The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The northern hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

    A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most buildings will remain untouched, some illuminated by the last flickers of electric light.
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper

    These two lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

    Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.

    Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the US Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless spectre descending on the last of the living world.

    I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world's second most lethal nuclear power.  There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

    The "sanctions" are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

    Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

    The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called "a noble cause" and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an "exceptional people"He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

    Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. "Listen up," he said. "We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom."

    At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.

    A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls "an eternal present".

    Harold Pinter described this as "manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."

    Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously "the left" are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.

    Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics", wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man - not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system - beckons great danger for all of us.

    While they pursue their fossilised anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardian suppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.

    On 3 August, in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a "Soviet agent"), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia. Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was "clearly unconstitutional".

    A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.

    This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the "national security" managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them "the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today".

    They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to instal an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia's "borderland" - the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people.  Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.

    In response, "partnership" is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin - anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon. Their history tells them to get ready.

    The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The US has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China's economic lifelines.

    The admiral commanding the US Pacific fleet said that, "if required", he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute's fiction.

    None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichés. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated.

    The urgency has plenty of precedents. In my film, The Coming War on China, John Bordne, a member of a US Air Force missile combat crew based in Okinawa, Japan, describes how in 1962 - during the Cuban missile crisis - he and his colleagues were "told to launch all the missiles" from their silos.

    Nuclear armed, the missiles were aimed at both China and Russia. A junior officer questioned this, and the order was eventually rescinded - but only after they were issued with service revolvers and ordered to shoot at others in a missile crew if they did not "stand down".

    At the height of the Cold War, the anti-communist hysteria in the United States was such that US officials who were on official business in China were accused of treason and sacked. In 1957 - the year Shute wrote On the Beach - no official in the State Department could speak the language of the world's most populous nation. Mandarin speakers were purged under strictures now echoed in the Congressional bill that has just passed, aimed at Russia.

    The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms "left" and "right" are meaningless. Most of America's modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.

    When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America's longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings - murder - by drones.

    In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the "reluctant liberal warrior", dropped 26,171 bombs - three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.  Having pledged to help "rid the world" of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

    Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama - with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side - who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the "deporter-in-chief".

    One of Obama's last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.

    Buried in the detail was the establishment of a "Center for Information Analysis and Response". This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an "official narrative of facts" that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war - if we allow it.


    Video above: "On the Beach" the complete 1959 movie from Nevil Shute's  novel. From (https://youtu.be/Ue8hC5qqMt4).

    .

              Oahu Rail may tax Outer Islands        
    SUBHEAD: Hawaii may seek higher state taxes to cover Honolulu Authority Rapid Transit cost overrun. 

    By Ed Wagner on 9 August 2017 in Island Breath -
    (http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2017/08/oahu-rail-may-tax-outer-islands.html)


    Image above: HART rail guideway car photo-op over Farrington Highway at Leokane Street near Waipahu Sugar Mill. From Civil Beat article below. Photo by Cory Lum.

    I hope the neighbor island folks reading this message are ready to fight the Legislature to help stop the biggest fraud ever perpetrated upon our people since statehood, the Honolulu rail boondoggle.

    Why should any of you help pay for this fraud? The state uses the argument that it helps other counties with [reasonable and legal] public projects so why not require other counties to help with this illegal and fraudulent one to continue the fleecing of our people and continue to cause irreparable financial harm to the people of Hawaii for another three or more generations, all to protect the profits of the wealthy, power elite?

    When will the people wake the hell up and rebel against our crooked and corrupt city and state government, the most corrupt in the USA, and stop this abuse of power?

    Public testimony will be accepted however, please avoid repetitive and duplicative testimony.

    Testimony must be submitted via email to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy at: (TRETestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov)

    http://www.ililani.media/2017/08/hawaii-legislature-seeks-public.html

    Rail Tax Presentation - 52 pages
    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3914769-Rail-Tax-Presentation-DRAFT.html#document/p8



    Oahu rail seeks more funds

    SUBHEAD: Lawmakers consider making Outer Islands help pay for Oahu's troubled rail project.

    By Nathan Eagle on 7 August 2017 for Civil -Beat 
    (http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/08/lawmakers-consider-having-neighbor-islands-help-pay-for-oahus-troubled-rail-project/)

    With a special session set for the end of August, the Hawaii Legislature will lay out several funding options for the public at a briefing next week.

    Hawaii lawmakers are weighing five options to provide funding to complete Honolulu’s over-budget rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana, including a statewide increase in the general excise and hotel taxes, according to a state Senate presentation obtained by Civil Beat.

    The Legislature plans to hold a special session later this month to try again to reach a deal on how to pay for the 20-mile, 21-station project, which is now estimated to cost $10 billion.

    Key House and Senate committees have scheduled a joint public information briefing Monday morning at the Capitol. The new options to fund the project, along with the choices under consideration before the Legislature adjourned in May, are expected to play a central role in the negotiations.

    The draft 52-page presentation, provided by a state senator Monday, lays the groundwork for a case to have Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties help fund Honolulu’s beleaguered project. It notes that Oahu subsidizes harbors, airports and highways on the neighbor islands.

    The presentation includes options to extend the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for Oahu; increase the GET surcharge for Oahu; extend the GET surcharge for Oahu and increase the hotel tax for Oahu; or establish a statewide GET surcharge and hotel tax increase.

    The Federal Transit Administration is kicking in $1.55 billion for the project. It could withhold some of those funds, particularly if the rail line has to stop short of its plan to go from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center. The project was expected to cost $5.2 billion just a few years ago.

    House Speaker Scott Saiki has said the city’s latest figures project a nearly $1.4 billion shortfall from now to 2024.

    The two chambers ended the session far apart. The Senate left with a bill to extend Oahu’s 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for 10 years, until 2037, to help complete the rail project.

    That’s the option Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the tourism industry supported.

    The House pushed a bill that would have allowed the GET surcharge to be levied for just one additional year, to 2028, while increasing the state’s 9.25 percent transient accommodations tax for 10 years.

    “In spite of our impasse during the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature understands the importance in crafting a legislative solution that will provide the City and County of Honolulu a dedicated revenue stream,” said Senate President Ron Kouchi in a press release announcing the public briefing.

    The briefing starts at 10 a.m., Monday, in the Capitol auditorium. The special session is set to run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1.

    See the draft presentation, which a state senator said was created by the Senate Ways and Means Committee at link below.

    (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3914769-Rail-Tax-Presentation-DRAFT.html#document/p4)



    Testimony on Failing Rail Project

    SUBHEAD: UH Law Professor says the cost of building the Honolulu Rail is getting out of hand.


    Video above: Retired UH Law Professor Randy Roth sums up rail project in 3 minute video. From (https://youtu.be/ZL9pIrxaA3Q).

    He also described the project as deliberate misrepresentation, deliberate fraud on this 30 minute ThinkTech Hawaii with Kelii Akina, President of Grassroot Institute. From (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmYlNOSy13a0NKNmM/view?usp=sharing).
    Whether one is Pro-Rail or Anti-Rail, there’s something virtually everyone in the state agrees about – the cost of building the Honolulu Rail is getting out of hand.

    Not only that, serious questions have been raised about how well the funds already invested in this project have been spent.

    Law professor Randy Roth, who has a long history advocating for the public good, appears on E Hana Kakou with Dr. Akina to discuss why it is time to hold our government leaders responsible for the progress of the Rail.

    ThinkTech Hawaii streams live on the Internet from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm every weekday afternoon, Hawaii Time, then streaming earlier shows through the night. Check us out any time for great content and great community.

    Our vision is to be a leader in shaping a more vital and thriving Hawaii as the foundation for future generations.

    Our mission is to be the leading digital media platform raising pubic awareness and promoting civic engagement in Hawaii.


    Rail Cost Spirals Out of Control

    SUBHEAD: Watch short video and sign the petition here to require a forensic audit of the rail.

     By Staff on 22 July 2017 for Grassroots Institute of Hawaii
    (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmRE8yWU9qZFRBUWc/view)


    Video above: Group seeks to audit the Honolulu rail project with "Where is our Money Going?" From (https://youtu.be/X8Fa2qr2djg).
     Longtime journalist Mark Coleman talked recently with ThinkTech Hawaii host Tim Apicella about his recent Grassroot Institute of Hawaii article titled “Honolulu rail clearly a fiasco,”and suggested that now would be a ideal time to subject the over-budget, behind-schedule project to an independent forensic audit.

    In particular, Coleman suggested that the state legislators use their upcoming special session to order such an audit, which would allow them to avoid extending or raising any state taxes until they have better information about why the city’s rail project has veered so far off track — while yet so much of it remains tobe built.

    The timing is apt, he told Apicella, because the City Council just approved selling bonds to fund construction of the rail through to next year, thus taking pressure off the Legislature to consider anything before it starts its regular session in January 2018.

    Coleman said transportation experts warned city officials years before the rail project was even started that it would be a “gigantic white elephant,” and by now it’s clear that just about everything that could have gone wrong with the project has — though nobody has a definite explanation as to why.



    Has HART committed federal crimes?

    SUBHEAD: Is falsification of federal documents, lying to officials to get $1.55B HART a crime?

    By Ed Wagner on 9 August 2017 on Google Drive -
    (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmNnI2bnJlV0o3TGM?usp=sharing)

    The people of Hawaii seek Congressional, DOJ, & FBI investigations into the following allegations against Mayor Caldwell, City Council, HART, Developer DR Horton, construction unions, Pacific Resources Partnership (PRP), DLNR, regarding the Honolulu rail project:

    Systemic fraud, waste, and abuse of power, violations of public procurement codes, violations of the Hawaii State Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine, violations of basic ethical and moral principles, perjury, deliberate falsification of Federal documents / lying to Federal officials, deliberate misrepresentation of facts, deliberate fraud, bribery, racketeering, malfeasance, graft, conspiracy to defraud, and criminal offenses directly related to obtaining $1.55B in federal funds for the Honolulu rail project.

    Those advocating for a forensic audit & investigations include former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano, retired UH Law Professor Randy Roth, UH Civil Engineering Professor, Panos Prevedouros, President of Grassroot Institute and OHA Trustee, Dr. Keli’i Akina, former Army War College faculty instructor, retired Col Al Frenzel, retired businessmen, 2 attorneys, an accountant, and concerned citizens.

    Dr. Keli’i Akina submitted testimony to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads regarding these issues.

    All major newspapers and TV networks around the country have been notified about the dire situation in Hawaii.

    It is argued that the City is jeopardizing its credit rating and solvency over this project and someone has to stop the bleeding, stop the irreparable hard this rail project is causing our people today, and for the next 3 generations, and folks in Washington seem to be turning a blind eye to this matter.

    In lieu of reviewing rail-related documents online, I request a formal meeting with a Honolulu FBI agent to discuss this urgent matter, a meeting to include those advocating for these investigations.

    Others have written to FTA, OIG, GAO, and Congress, and spoke to some officials. One high ranking official stated to one individual that perjury to obtain federal funds for rail appears to be involved.

    The Honolulu rail is likely a massive government cover up similar to Watergate, but called HARTgate.

    Please help us. This dire situation is reaching critical mass.

    Messages sent to Washington and FBI. The city deliberately falsified federal documents, lied to federal officials, and lied to the public. I encourage everyone to submit a request to the FBI to conduct an investigation.

    https://tips.fbi.gov/

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmeTdFazZNQW4zYkk?usp=sharing

    Please give these messages widest possible distribution.


    .

              Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It        
    Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It
    author: Lawrence Lessig
    name: Gwen
    average rating: 4.15
    book published: 2011
    rating: 0
    read at:
    date added: 2017/05/25
    shelves: to-read, research-nf
    review:


              Sinclair Broadcasting is Trump TV        
    SUBHEAD: The owner of  the most TV stations dumps Fox News to become Trump's mouthpiece.

    By Staff on 30 July 2017 for Common Dreams -
    (https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/30/classic-propaganda-sinclair-broadcasting-pushes-aside-fox-news-become-trump-tv)


    Image above: The Sinclair Broadcasting cut a biased deal with Jared Kushner and the Trump campaign. Now the Trump FCC is paying back the favor. From original article.

    “It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input”

    During the 2016 Presidential campaign, the Sinclair Broadcasting group cut a deal
    with Jared Kushner for “good” coverage of the Trump Administration, which seems to have paid off.


    Politico reported last December:

    Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 viewers[sic]— than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.

    With Fox News suffering several major setbacks in the past year, Sinclair Broadcasting is making moves to become the new giant of right-wing media. Many are now calling Sinclair 'Trump TV.'
    David D. Smith built Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. into the largest owner of television stations in the U.S. after taking over his father's television company (with his brothers) in the late 1980's.

    With David as president and CEO, the Sinclair Broadcast Group blossomed to 59 stations in less than a decade. By 2014, that number had nearly tripled to 162. Smith stepped down earlier this year and became executive chairman.

    The Smith family has heavily funded conservative Republican candidates. David Smith's Cape Elizabeth, Maine summer home, just 5 miles down the coast from Common Dreams' Portland office, regularly serves as a meeting place for right-wing politicians like Trump's HUD Secretary Ben Carson and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams.

    Journalist David Zurawik, who has covered local television for roughly thirty years, is speaking out against Sinclair Broadcasting Group. In a recent segment on CNN on Sunday, Zurawik said:
    “They come as close to classic propaganda as I think I’ve seen in thirty years of covering local television or national television. They’re outrageous! Whatever the White House says, you know, President Trump believes there was voter fraud and he sets up this commission to get data from the states and the states rightfully push back because it’s very intrusive data — Boris Ephsteyn’s piece on it ends with, the states should cooperate with President Trump.”
    And John Oliver took aim at the Sinclair Broadcasting group earlier this month, examining the far right station’s ownership of many local TV news stations:
    “National cable news gets a lot of attention with their big budgets and their fancy graphics packages. Meanwhile, local news often has to do a lot more with a lot less.”
    The Sinclair Broadcasting group has close ties to the Trump administration and is forcing local stations to air pro-Trump news segments. Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai rolled back a key Obama administration regulation that had prevented Sinclair from further expansion. The green light from the Trump administration allowed Sinclair to purchase 42 more local stations from the Tribune Media company, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households.

    Oliver went on to show clips of broadcaster Mark Hyman railing against “political correctness and multiculturalism”.
    “Hyman is a commentator and former executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Sinclair may be the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. Not only are they the largest owner of local TV stations in the country, they could soon get even bigger.”

    “If the opinions were confined to just the commentary or the ad breaks, that would be one thing. But Sinclair can sometimes dictate the content of your local newscasts as well, and in contrast to Fox News, a conservative outlet where you basically know what you’re getting, with Sinclair, they’re injecting Fox-worthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors, the two people who you know, and who you trust, and whose on-screen chemistry can usually best be described as two people.

    “You may not realize it’s happening because Sinclair and its digital news subsidiary Circa not only produce and send packages to their stations; they even write scripts that local anchors use to introduce the pieces. For example, this Tuesday night, anchors at Sinclair stations all over the country introduced a story about Michael Flynn like this.”
    Oliver's footage then showed multiple Sinclair broadcasters in different locales introduce a report about Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, by downplaying the investigation as just a “personal vendetta” against Flynn.

    They are called “must-runs,” and they are sent every day to all the local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting — video reports that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country must work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours.


    Today, the Portland Press Herald (Maine) reported:
    Marc McCutcheon of South Portland was watching WGME’s evening newscast as he has for half a century when something came on that shocked him.

    In the midst of the local news, a taped commentary from President Trump’s former special assistant Boris Epshteyn appeared on the screen, trumpeting the administration’s position with what he thought selective use and abuse of facts.

    McCutcheon, a small-business owner and political independent, describes the experience as “surreal,” “extremely jarring” and “so out of place with the friendly, local broadcast from news people I’ve come to trust over the years.” There was no rebuttal, no context, no alternate point of view – a situation he found concerning.

    WGME-TV (Channel 13) and WPFO-TV (Channel 23) each carry the segments nine times a week on orders from their owner, the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the nation’s largest owner of local television stations and an aggressive, unabashed disseminator of conservative commentary supporting the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

    “It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input,” says Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, a Washington-based group that opposes media consolidation. “The idea of having local stations offer an array of viewpoints is great, but what we get with Sinclair is one set of political leanings being broadcast everywhere.”

    Epshteyn, a 34-year-old Russia-born investment banker, is a friend and former Georgetown University classmate of the president’s son Eric Trump who ascended rapidly within Trump’s campaign.

    “Bottom Line With Boris” commentaries echo the White House’s own talking points. After former FBI director James Comey said in televised congressional testimony that the president had pressured him to let go of parts of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Epshteyn asserted to Sinclair viewers that Comey’s appearance had been more damaging to Hillary Clinton than the president.
    .

              Senator Cornhole Does The Wall Street Shuffle        
    It comes as no surprise to some of us that Texas' junior U.S. senator, John "Cornhole" Cornyn, is one of Congress' most servile right-wingers. But just how servile Sen. Cornhole is to the "repeal the New Deal" crowd on Wall Street wasn't quite apparent until the past week.

    In an e-mail to Texas MoveOn members, MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben of Austin wrote:

    You're not going to believe this.

    In the midst of an economic crisis caused largely by Wall Street greed, our senator skipped this week's vote on the stimulus plan so he could meet with —- wait for it —- Republican donors from Wall Street.

    Sen. John Cornyn wasn't just fiddling while Rome burned -— he was actually hanging out with the arsonists.

    He showed us that congressional Republicans aren't fighting for their constituents who got laid off or watched their retirement savings disappear or lost their health coverage. They're just looking out for their big-money corporate friends.


    Ruben went on to say that MoveOn mounted a radio ad campaign that has aired in a few Texas markets -- it's surprising that they could find any in this state -- and solicited for contributions to help fund the campaign. If you're interested in helping, visit MoveOn.org.

    For more details on the kind of right-wing pond scum Sen. Cornhole was cavorting with Monday, instead of being in Washington for the cloture vote on the stimulus package, here's a link to Ben Smith's blog on Politico.

    I have no doubt about how Sen. Cornhole would have voted had he been there -- against anything President Barack Obama advocates. But the point is, he was elected to represent Texans, not the Wall Street high-finance goons who are largely responsible for the nation's economic debacle.

    Here's your special Valentine, Texans, direct from loving Sen. Cornhole his own self. Just goes to show that being a right-wing Republican means never having to say you're sorry.

    But I'll say it -- Sen. Cornhole, you're sorry.
              House Stimulus vs. Senate Stimulus At A Glance        
    Propublica has a fantastic side-by-side comparison of the original House stimulus bill and the abortion produced by the Senate "compromise."

    Short version: to give big corporate welfare "tax cut" handouts to Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Pharma, Big Banks, Wall Street and all the other rich people who have been fucking over the middle class for the last thirty years, the Cowardly Democrats in the Senate agreed to make huge cuts in anything and everything that creates jobs by helping working families, including:

    aid to states, health care, education grants, repairing and building schools, repairing and building roads, public transportation, renewable energy research, unemployment insurance, repairing the electric grid, improving water and sewer lines, affordable housing, mortgage relief, expanding broadband access, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.

    If you're not so rich that a global economic meltdown won't affect you, then you need to email or call your Congressional representatives right now and tell them to support restoring the House stimulus bill.

    Click here for a quick way to send an email to your representatives, even if all you know is your zip code.

    All that's at stake is your job, your house, your kids' future, and, you know, the world.
              New GOP Rules for Discussing the President        
    We're still trying to get used to the idea of Democratic nominee Barack Obama actually being President of the United States.

    To help us get acclimated, the wingnut freakazoids have kindly provided criticism that follows the new GOP Rules for Discussing the President. Steve Benen explains.

    DEPT. OF POTS AND KETTLES.... Either the president's conservative critics have very short memories, or they assume we do.

    SNIP

    The irony is almost overwhelming. A loyal Bushie, who heard his boss spend years engaging in shameless demagoguery (see "clouds, mushroom" and "uranium, from Africa") based on nothing but neocon fantasies, believes presidents have to keep their rhetoric in check and never forget to be "truthful." Sure, Blakeman, tell us another one.

    Keep in mind, Obama's dire warnings about the economy are well grounded in reality. It's not "insane" to fear an economic collapse given the situation we're in. The president has a choice -- pretend the news isn't scary, or give honest assessments while vowing to act. Bush preferred the prior approach; Obama prefers the latter.

    What's more, have you noticed the bizarre double-standards we've seen emerge in recent weeks?

    When Bush uses over-the-top language to convince Americans about perceived security threat, he's being "presidential." When Obama issues dire warnings about the economy, he's being "pessimistic."

    When Bush ignores the congressional minority, he's being "principled." When Obama engages the congressional minority but declines to give them what they want, he's being "partisan."

    When Bush trashes constitutional norms, it's evidence of "seriousness." When Obama is in the Oval Office without a jacket, he's being "disrespectful to the presidency."

    When liberals criticize Bush during a crisis, they're traitors who are aiding and abetting the enemy. When conservatives criticize Obama during a crisis, they are doing their patriotic duty.

    Good to know.

              One Click to Reach Your Elected Officials        
    Want to demand your House representative or Senators take action, but don't know how to get an email address for them quickly? Rejoice! The Nation brings you the one-click Congress.

    Just fill in your zip code, and the site immediately reveals your President, Senators and House Representative, with links to each one's email. You can click on one of The Nation's suggested email topics, like Hold War Criminals Responsible, or compose your own.

    Use it tonight to tell Congress to pass the stimulus bill President Obama needs to save the country and the world.
              "Are These Folks Serious?"        
    From the Huffington Post, "President Barack Obama says the time for talk on an economic recovery package is over and "the time for action is now." "



    Speaking at the Energy Department, Obama made a fresh plea for the stimulus plan that the Senate is debating. He cited the latest bad economic news of jobless claims as another reason for quick action.

    He said: "The time for talk is over, the time for action is now."

    He also launched a shot at critics while talking about energy, questioning, "are these folks serious?"

    Now, I read the other day that critics of this plan ridiculed our notion that we should use part of the money to modernize the entire fleet of federal vehicles to take advantage of state of the art fuel efficiency. This is what they call pork. You know the truth. It will not only save the government significant money over time, it will not only create manufacturing jobs for folks who are making these cars, it will set a standard for private industry to match. And so when you hear these attacks deriding something of such obvious importance as this, you have to ask yourself -- are these folks serious? Is it any wonder that we haven't had a real energy policy in this country?

    For the last few years, I've talked about these issues with Americans from one end of this country to another. And Washington may not be ready to get serious about energy independence, but I am. And so are you. And so are the American people.

    During his speech Obama also issued a strong critique of the GOP's economic policies, even though he didn't utter the party's name. He told the audience that:

    In the last few days, we've seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read but you'd be very familiar with because you've been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They're rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems; that government doesn't have a role to play; that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough; that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges -- the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

    So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They've taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, and they've brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment. And now is the time to move forward, not back. Now is the time for action.

              Strong Unions = Strong Economy        
    The key component to the repugs' three-decade War on the Middle Class is the destruction of unions.

    It's no coincidence that the strongest middle-class economy in American history co-existed with the strongest union membership. From World War II to the late seventies, more than a third of workers in the U.S. belonged to a union. That membership assured them the decent wage and benefits that allowed one salary to support a family in middle-class comfort: a house and yard in the suburbs, two cars, nice vacations, college education for 2.5 kids.

    But an economy that expands the middle class contracts the rich. Corporate CEOs were only 10 or 20 times richer than their workers, instead of 100 or 1,000 times richer as they became after the repugs broke the back of unions.

    Last week, President Obama took several long strides toward restoring a union-strong economy.

    President Barack Obama signed a series of executive orders Friday that he said should "level the playing field" for labor unions in their struggles with management.

    Obama also used the occasion at the White House to announce formally a new White House task force on the problems of middle-class Americans. He named Vice President Joe Biden as its chairman.

    Union officials say the new orders by Obama will undo Bush administration policies that favored employers over workers.

    SNIP

    At the signing ceremony today, Obama said, "I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution. You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement."

    And to drive that point home, Teamsters President James Hoffa told reporters after the ceremony, "It's a new day for workers. We finally have a White House that is dedicated to working with us to rebuild our middle class. Hope for the American Dream is being restored."

    If you need more ammunition to refute the union-bashers, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich at TPMCafe explains Why We Need Stronger Unions and How to Get Them.

    Why is this recession so deep, and what can be done to reverse it?

    Hint: Go back about 50 years, when America's middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all the goods and services we produced. It was a virtuous circle. Good pay meant more purchases, and more purchases meant more jobs.

    At the center of this virtuous circle were unions.

    SNIP

    The way to get the economy back on track is to boost the purchasing power of the middle class. One major way to do this is to expand the percentage of working Americans in unions. Tax rebates won't work because they don't permanently raise wages. Most families used the rebate last year to pay off debt -- not a bad thing, but it doesn't keep the virtuous circle running. Bank bailouts won't work either. Businesses won't borrow to expand without consumers to buy their goods and services. And Americans themselves can't borrow when they're losing their jobs and their incomes are dropping.

    Tax cuts for working families, as President Obama intends, can do more to help because they extend over time. But only higher wages and benefits for the middle class will have a lasting effect.

    Unions matter in this equation. According to the Department of Labor, workers in unions earn 30% higher wages -- taking home $863 a week, compared with $663 for the typical nonunion worker -- and are 59% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance than their nonunion counterparts.

    SNIP

    Although America and its economy need unions, it's become nearly impossible for employees to form one. The Hart poll I cited tells us that 57 million workers would want to be in a union if they could have one. But those who try to form a union, according to researchers at MIT, have only about a 1 in 5 chance of successfully doing so.

    The reason? Most of the time, employees who want to form a union are threatened and intimidated by their employers. And all too often, if they don't heed the warnings, they're fired, even though that's illegal. I saw this when I was secretary of Labor over a decade ago. We tried to penalize employers that broke the law, but the fines are minuscule. Too many employers consider them a cost of doing business.

    This isn't right. The most important feature of the Employee Free Choice Act, which will be considered by the just-seated 111th Congress, toughens penalties against companies that violate their workers' rights. The sooner it's enacted, the better -- for U.S. workers and for the U.S. economy.

    The American middle class isn't looking for a bailout or a handout. Most people just want a chance to share in the success of the companies they help to prosper. Making it easier for all Americans to form unions would give the middle class the bargaining power it needs for better wages and benefits. And a strong and prosperous middle class is necessary if our economy is to succeed.

    Read the whole thing.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....

              Progressive Progress in the Economic Stimulus        
    As the Senate girds for battle over the repug-sabotaged economic stimulus, Talking Points Memo brings us a reminder of the progressive priorities that made it into the House bill and deserve saving in the Senate.

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus just released a memo that offers a worthy counterpoint to our discussions today about the Republicans' baldly misleading message on the stimulus.

    The Progressives have rounded up elements of their proposed $1 trillion stimulus that ended up making it into the Democratic leaders' final bill, in part or in whole. It's a list that's worth remembering while tax cuts seemingly dominate the airwaves.

    The highlights of the memo are after the jump:

    • Unemployment benefits (UI) extension. Cost = at least $12.7 billion

    • Anti-hunger provisions

    * SNAP - 20% temporary increase in maximum food stamp level above the FY2009 level for two years. Cost = approximately $24 billion and increase in funds for state food stamp administrative costs Cost= $250 million;

    * WIC - increase funding to make up for shortfall not covered in the current Continuing Resolution. Cost = $450 million and increases for management information system and related infrastructure improvements. Cost = $50 million;

    * School meals - provide a 15% increase in funding for breakfast and school lunch programs. Cost = $1 billion;

    • Medicaid payments to states (FMAP). Cost = at least $15 billion

    • LIHEAP assistance to provide low-income Americans relief from higher energy costs. Cost = at least $5 billion

    • Job creation via down payment on rebuilding America's infrastructure and schools, starting with massive investment in commercialization of green technologies and related job training that promote environmental protection and energy independence. Cost = at least $100 billion

    ** In general:

    • No funds for Iraq or Afghanistan wars and no funds for defense procurement.

    • Prevailing wage to be paid for jobs created and upholding of Davis-Bacon Act

    These are, of course, just a downpayment on the long list of repairs to the New Deal and Great Society needed after three decades of repug destruction.

    But if these provisions remain in the final bill and President Obama signs it by Darwin Day, then I'd say we're well on our way to recovery.

              Some Bucking Up For Us Hand-Wringers        
    Bob Cesca at HuffPo reminds us that the repug rejection of the stimulus bill isn't the first time Barack Obama has seemed defeated, only to come roaring back in victory, and it probably won't be the last.

    There's a killer web graphic that was created back in the post-Republican Convention days while everyone was writing spasmodic, breathless "Obama should [fill in the blank]" blog entries and "Oh crap! We're gonna lose!" newspaper columns.


    SNIP

    The web graphic is actually a photograph of Barack Obama from his Invesco Field acceptance speech. In it, he's looking directly into the camera with an expression of fierce determination on his face -- his teeth gnashed in an Eastwood snarl, his left hand gesturing as though he's kung fu fighting his way through an oversized cinderblock made of SlapChop-minced Republican skulls.

    The large, white text superimposed at the top reads: "Everyone chill the fuck out." The text at the bottom exclaims: "I got this!"

    Sure enough, two months later, we watched as this liberal African American man with the noble yet politically unusual name "Barack Hussein Obama" defied the odds and won red states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana and the commonwealth of Virginia.

    Fade out the roaring crowds at Grant Park. Dissolve to late January.
    The economy continues to creep nearer to the crumbling ledge of yet another Depression -- if it isn't there already. And yet the Republicans who very nearly shoved us over the ledge are prancing around as if their collective Reaganomics don't stink.

    SNIP

    Their political audacity, while never surprising, always seems to confound expectations and defy logic. Having relegated themselves to the status of a regional, minor party due to their unserious, fear-mongering wedge politics and well-documented record of disastrous policy-making, they remain so hubristic as to crap their cages and demand a seat at the Big Boy Table, as if they're the majority party in Congress -- as if they somehow earned an equal voice in this thing by way of their awesome record on the economy.

    They haven't. It's only due to the magnanimity of the president that they haven't been completely steamrolled on this recovery bill. Magnanimity which, by the way, isn't nearly as plentiful or renewable as the Republicans might think.

    SNIP

    Altogether, it might appear as if the Republicans are using their ridiculousness as a means of duping the president -- hectoring him into capitulation and therefore allowing the recovery bill to be sabotaged with their taint. And when the sabotaged bill fails to help the economy, they'll blame the president. David Sirota outlined this strategy the other day, and while events might seem to point in this direction from time to time, there isn't much evidence to indicate that President Obama is naïve enough to be flimflammed by these very obvious Republican political tricks. Put another way, if you and I can spot the scams, I'm sure he can too. Though, it's important that the Republicans think they can sucker punch the president the same way they've sucker punched Senator Reid over and over.

    The president's "I won" remark indicates that there's a limit to both his benevolence and his tolerance for Republican silly season hackery. "I won" means that he won't be played and he won't be taken advantage of. But the Republicans have miscalculated and misinterpreted the president, believing that "bipartisanship" means Democratic capitulation. Save for a few concessions in an otherwise massive spending bill, President Obama isn't calling for any half-and-half bipartisan compromise on this or anything else so far. His process with the Republicans is all about attaining some civility in the tone of the debate -- not caving. There's a difference. And in that process, the president is looking increasingly presidential as his style is contrasted against the smallness of the Republicans.

    Recent history has proved that the president's Chess Match style will require a little more patience than we're accustomed to in order to see the endgame -- to see how this all plays out. And while it's crucial to keep a clear eye and critical mind, there's a lot of comfort in that web graphic from last September. Chances are: he's got this.

    Read the whole thing.
              President Obama Is Too Nice to Kentucky        
    President Barack Obama is a much better person than I could ever be. If the Democratic governor of a Democratic-registered state that had nevertheless voted overwhelmingly for my republican opponent in the last election begged me for help to get his backward state out of an emergency they had basically created themselves, I would not have been this nice:

    President Barack Obama last night approved Gov. Steve Beshear's request for an emergency Presidential Disaster Declaration that will expedite assistance to people in need across the commonwealth.

    "President Obama called me last night to express his concern about the plight facing our state and many of our people. I appreciate the president's quick response to our request for a disaster declaration," Gov. Beshear said as he traveled throughout Western Kentucky to meet with local officials and survey damage to the region. "We will move quickly to bring power generators, communications equipment and debris removal equipment into the region to help restore power and protect our people in their time of need."

    No, indeedy, I would not have been nice at all. I would have said something like this:

    "Well, Steve, I see the mess you're in and it certainly is a nasty one. But I notice Kentucky had almost exactly the same mess six years ago, and its Democratic leaders made all kinds of promises about burying power lines to make sure this never happened again. Kentucky didn't keep a single fucking one of those promises, did it, Steve? Nope, it sure didn't. And here you are, in a shit hole any idiot could have predicted would happen again with the next ice storm.

    "I really would like to help you, Steve, but I've got these Congressional republicans, including four house members and two Senators with KY next to their names, raking me over the coals for wanting to give money to people who don't deserve it. You know, people who promise to do better but don't, people who waste the opportunities they're given to improve themselves. I would just have a hard time explaining to Mitch and Jimbo and Eddie and Hal and Geoff and Brent why I'm helping that notorious welfare queen Kentucky when we all know she's never going to change her behavior.

    "And even if I didn't care what the republicans thought, I've got the actual Democratic majority in Congress that would throw a hissy fit if I gave federal emergency status to a state the majority of whose registered Democrats voted just three months ago to re-elect the obstructionist, evil republican minority leader in the Senate.

    "So you have my sympathy, Steve, but my hands are tied. See if you can't get your state to sit up straight and fly right for a while, and maybe elect a few actual Democratic candidates next year, then we'll see about letting you have a little money. Until then, you're on your own."

    As a Kentuckian with no electricity since Tuesday and no hope of getting any in the foreseeable future, I am grateful that President Obama did not turn his back on the sure-to-be-ungrateful Commonwealth. But I wish he had found some way of using the Declaration to cudgel some sense into our state's so-called leaders.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....
                      
    From Collectanea comes the news that the Library of Congress has a blog.
                      
    New Member Pictorial Directory: 110th Congress. Get your pictures of the new members of Congress. There is also a link for the whole Congress.
              State of the Union Watch Party        
    Join fellow LBJ and Texas alumni on January 20th to watch President Obama address Congress. We will be joined by special guest, former Clinton Press Secretary, Mike McCurry, who will give remarks about what it was like to work on a State of the Union speech and answer questions. This event is being supported in part … Continue reading
              Microsoft Live Webcast Mobile World Congress 2015        
    Today at 8:30am CET Microsoft started their press conference from the Mobile World Congress 2015 at Barcelona. Stephen Elop and his Team presented two new Lumia devices, the 640 and the 640 XL. Two new affordable devices with interesting specs. Both devices are upgradable to Windows 10. And this was the most important part of [...]
              After 5 Weeks Of Haggling, Congress Inks Bipartisan VA Bill        
    Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


              Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In        
    Veterans across the country are still waiting too long for medical care, a situation that drove the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week.

    Now Republicans and Democrats in Congress are competing to pass laws they think will fix the problem of medical wait times and other problems at the VA.

              Come and see us at Mobile World Congress!        
    By Chris Buerger Grab a pen and write down this number: Hall 2, booth 2C04 – this is where you’ll find the Wind River booth at Mobile World Congress (MWC). Mobile innovation comes alive at demonstrations. At this year’s MWC event,...
              ALERT: Potential DNC Chair’s Dark Past Finally Exposed… Spread This Everywhere        

    Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim in Congress, may be the next Democrat National Committee Chairman. There’s just one, big problem, however, and that is how the media have refused to cover the dark past of Ellison — namely his ties to the Nation of Islam and radical Islam. The liberal media have…

    The post ALERT: Potential DNC Chair’s Dark Past Finally Exposed… Spread This Everywhere appeared first on Conservative Tribune.


              After Low-Key Lobbying Effort, Trump Says He Was 'Let Down' By Senators        
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypALjI7MEWI Blindsided by the latest collapse of a Republican health care bill, President Trump took to Twitter to voice his frustration. Trump complained of being "let down" by a handful of Republican lawmakers. And he insisted that the fight over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is not over. Trump had just finished discussing health care with seven Republican lawmakers over dinner Monday when Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas — who were not at the meeting — announced they would be voting against the measure to repeal and replace Obamacare. With two other Republican senators already on record in opposition, the Monday-night development effectively killed the Senate bill. Trump acknowledged he was caught off guard by the latest GOP defections. "For seven years, I've been hearing repeal and replace from Congress," Trump said. "And then when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don't take advantage of it. So
              Re: An N.C. Congressman Tries to Defund the Congressional Budget Office        
    Meadows is a hack. he is not worthy of his job.....2018 lets get rid of these crooks.
    Posted by Tony D
              Re: Bills in North Carolina, Congress Target Companies That Boycott Israel        
    More conservative Communism. What part of freedom of speech do these imbeciles not understand...The right to protest...Is an American right...But republicans those so called champions of the constitution are in an all fired hurry to destroy our rights to further their aggression against descent.
    Nothing remotely American or in the interest of freedom do any of these idiot republican lawmakers support..The republicans are pro corporate and anti working American....These idiot GOP assbags would change and subvert all our laws to squash any resistance to their draconian and dangerous agendas...They are truly tyrannical in their politics and the fact they support that big idiot Trump proves they have no morals, ethics, humanity, And completely devoid of any honesty or the ability to tell the truth..Facts and truth scares the hell out of republicans and they run and hide from it they are deceivers.
    They fear voters and that is why they are so concerned about a non issue of voter fraud...Republicans are the only frauds.
    Posted by Tony D
              GOP Senators Postpone Vote On Health Care Bill        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And let's bring another voice now into the conversation. NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been covering this debate for years and years and years... SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: (Laughter). INSKEEP: ...And is here with us and has been listening to Matt Schlapp. Scott, what did you hear there that was noteworthy? HORSLEY: Well, he is right that Republicans have spent more time demonizing Obamacare than they have really selling their own plan. And part of the challenge is philosophically, the Republicans, at least in Congress, envision a health care system where the government plays a smaller role, where there is more consumer skin in the game, that is, consumers bear more of the responsibility. They feel like that'll inject market forces and help to keep costs down. But you have a president, Donald Trump, who has been marketing great care at low costs for everyone. Everyone's going to be taken care of. So there is a
              GOP Sen. Susan Collins Firmly Opposes Senate Health Care Bill        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026. That's only slightly fewer than a House version that passed last month. This forecast comes as Senate Republican leaders press for a vote on the bill later this week, and it has already led one Republican senator to firmly oppose the bill. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, these numbers come from the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan bean counters on Capitol Hill. So where do they think these coverage reductions are coming from? SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Ari, the biggest drop would be in Medicaid. Remember, Obamacare expanded Medicaid. This bill would shrink it. And the forecasters anticipate by 2026 you would have 15 million fewer Americans getting their coverage through that safety net program. They're also anticipating a drop of about 7 million people getting coverage
              GOP Senate Bill Would Cut Health Care Coverage By 22 Million        
    Updated at 8:10 pm ET Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026. That's only slightly fewer uninsured than a version passed by the House in May . Monday's report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could give moderate senators concerned about health care coverage pause. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was quick to register her opposition to the bill. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote on the bill this week, before senators head home for the July Fourth recess. With Senate Democrats united in opposition, Republicans can afford to lose only two votes on their side and still pass the bill. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who is up for re-election next year, had already expressed reservations about the number of people who could lose coverage under the GOP bill. Four other Republican senators have complained that the bill doesn't go far enough in rolling
              Shooting Highlights Role Of Capitol Police         
    Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET Members of the protective detail for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., are being hailed as heroes Wednesday, shining a spotlight on the little-known police force that guards the Capitol and prominent members of Congress. If not for the presence of the U.S. Capitol Police officers, authorities say, the toll could have been much worse when a heavily armed gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice just outside Washington early Wednesday. "Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told MSNBC . Although the practice was taking place in Alexandria, Va., across the Potomac River from the Capitol, police were on hand to protect Rep. Scalise, the majority whip and No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives. "I'm sure it made a significant difference," said Tim Slater, the FBI agent overseeing the investigation. Authorities say two members of the Capitol Police force, Special Agent Crystal Griner and Special Agent David
              Unlocking Cell Phones and the White House Petition        

    It used to be that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) had an exception which allowed unlocking cellphones (i.e., unlocking the phone from carrier exclusivity through the use of an unlock code — purchased from a third-party or obtained directly from the carrier).  However, in October of 2012, the Librarian of Congress decided that this exception was no longer valid, and...

    Unlocking Cell Phones and the White House Petition, by Douglas Moran, originally appeared on GearDiary - Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006!.

    Note: If you are subscribed to this feed through FeedBurner, please switch to our native feed URL https://geardiary.com/feed/ in order to ensure continuous delivery.


              Ten Years Later: Foster Care, Again         

    IN late June, Congress marked the 10th anniversary of its enactment of sweeping legislation to reform the nation's child welfare system and provide foster children with greater legal safeguards. The law resulted in many significant improvements. But forces unleashed in the '80s demand a renewed commitment to these children. The ``Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980'' was designed to reduce foster care placements by providing services to families at risk. The law also established procedural protections, including a case review system and due process guarantees, to protect children from languishing in foster care.

    Ten years later, approximately 500,000 children live in the foster care, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. An increasing number are repeat placements. The number of children in out-of-home care could rise top 840,000 by 1995, if present trends continue.

    Children, families, foster parents, and caseworkers have become victims under the current, overburdened system. A 12-year-old former foster child testified before Congress that he'd had so many different placements that he couldn't remember them all. A mother told us she placed her son in foster care to get him the services he badly needed.

    In Florida, a caseworker was recently convicted of child abuse for returning a two-year-old to parents who drowned the toddler because she had not been toilet trained. Caseworkers have repeatedly testified that they are understaffed and overworked. In trying to determine whether to return a child to its parents, caseworkers are now damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    When the 1980 law was enacted, crack cocaine was unknown. Eight years later, over 100,000 children were born exposed to cocaine. That number could rise to 4 million by the end of this decade. The victims of crack and other drugs are prime candidates for the foster care system. In New York City, crack was a factor in nearly 9,000 child neglect cases last year - over three times as many as in 1986. In California, over 60 percent of drug exposed babies have been placed in foster care, and nationwide many more have become ``boarder babies'' - abandoned in hospitals by parents too sick, or too strung out, to care for them.

    AIDS, virtually unknown in 1980, today infects hundreds of children who are abandoned and in need of care. Another leading cause of children entering the child welfare system in the '80s was child abuse. Reports of abuse have more than doubled since a decade ago, with over 2.2 million reports last year.

    And a decade ago, the scourge of homelessness was only a minor concern. Today, families with children are one of the fastest growing groups among the homeless, and those children are prime candidates for foster care. In fact, some social-service agencies have compelled homeless parents to give up their children in order to qualify for shelter.

    These factors were compounded by massive cuts in federal ``safety net'' child welfare and housing programs. With the ink barely dry on the 1980 foster care law, the new Reagan administration sought to repeal it and let state and local governments handle the mounting crises on their own. When Congress wouldn't let that happen, the Department of Health and Human services tried de facto repeal: funding for preventative services was opposed, state plans went unreviewed, and few audits were conducted despite growing evidence of fiscal mismanagement and soaring costs.

    Fortunately, some counties and states have initiated family preservation programs to reduce dependence on foster placements, often with financial support from foundations and the private sector. Many have demonstrated success. Only 2 percent of the families served under Maryland's Intensive Family Services program, for example, required out-of-home placement.

    But many states and localities can't afford their own programs to compensate for federal indifference. Legislation we recently introduced will direct greater resources toward family preservation and will assist states in developing proven, cost effective services to keep families together - such as pre-placement, reunification, post-adoption and after-care assistance, and strengthened due process protections for foster children and their parents.

    It is a sad commentary on the state of domestic policies that the best action Congress can take to commemorate the 10th anniversary of our foster care law is to pass a new bill to fulfill the promise of the original reform. Sad, yes; but it would be irresponsible to allow hundreds of thousands of children to languish without a place to call home.

    Become a part of the Monitor community


              Orpheus - Orpheus (1968)        

    IX

    Tan sólo aquel que levantó la lira,
    incluso entre las sombras,
    puede expresar, entre presentimientos,
    la alabanza infinita.

    Tan sólo aquel que comió con los muertos
    la adormidera, la de ellos,
    no volverá a perder
    el más leve sonido.

    Aunque el reflejo del estanque
    se desvanezca muchas veces
    sabe la imagen.
    Sólo en el reino doble
    se volverán las voces
    eternas y suaves.

    Rainer Maria Rilke - Los Sonetos a Orfeo


    Hay pocos personajes mitológicos tan atractivos como Orfeo, ese semidiós que bajó a los infiernos por amor, acción que ninguno de nosotros, simples mortales, está dispuesto a imitar. Hijo del dios Apolo y de la musa Calíope, recibió de sus padres los dones de la música y la poesía. Su talento era inconmensurable: al tocar la lira maravillaba a seres humanos y dioses, e inclusive conseguía que la mismísima Madre Naturaleza detuviera su constante discurrir para deleitarse; su voz, mientras tanto, era hermosa y según se cuenta, logró anular el embrujo que producían las sirenas. El mito de Orfeo fue revivido por infinidad de poetas y también por músicos populares: Tom Jobim y Vinicius de Moraes comenzaron a trabajar juntos en la composición del soundtrack de "Black Orpheus", la película de Marcel Camus (1957); "Orpheus" fue el título de una de las primeras composiciones de Scott Walker, incluida en el disco "Images " de Walker Brothers (1967); Nick Cave se burló de la historia de Orfeo y Eurídice en "The Lyre of Orpheus" (2004); Marc Almond cantó "Orpheus in Red Velvet" en "Enchanted" (1990), uno de sus mejores discos; mientras que David Sylvian le dedicó una de las canciones del maravilloso "Secrets of the Beehive" (1987). Orpheus representó al mito de manera implícita, pero antes de contar su historia debo referirme al sunshine pop, y al hacerlo, abriré ante ustedes las puertas de un mundo maravilloso.

    Desde 1966 a 1969 se concibió una nueva forma de hacer pop. Harpers Bizarre, Millenium, The Ballroom, Sagittarius, The Yellow Ballon, The 5th Dimension, The Free Design, Spanky and Our Gang, The Association, The Arbors, The Sunshine Company, Harper's Bizarre, The Peppermint Rainbow, Eternity's Children, The Moon, Fun & Games, The Collage, Mark Eric, Peppermint Trolley Company, Chamaeleon Church, Orpheus por supuesto y, tangencialmente, The Beach Boys, The Left Banke, The Merry Go-Round (el primer grupo de Emmit Rhodes), The Zombies y Honeybus fueron los protagonistas de este movimiento. Ellos, junto a los productores Gary Usher, Van Dyke Parks, Bones Howe, Curt Boettcher y Alan Lorber -deudores del Brill Building Sound, de Burt Bacharach, de Phil Spector- concibieron un sonido barroco, colmado de arreglos sofisticados y melodías luminosas. Estos nombres fueron rápidamente olvidados, tal vez por el triunfo de la psicodelia más rockera (Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane) o por el surgimiento del soft-rock (Bread) Lo cierto es que los encantos del sunshine pop eran demasiado refinados como para interesar a la audiencia.

    I

    Dicen que tanto pesa el oro del reino subterráneo
    que no pueden erguirse las cabezas abrumadas por sus coronas,
    las excesivas joyas no permiten levantar las manos,
    los brazos sonoros de pulseras, desfallecen.

    ¿Como puede atravesarlo una muchacha con una herida en el pie?

    Dicen que el polvo de rubíes sofoca la atmósfera de aquel reino:
    antiguo, denso polvo que proviene del lento, interminable
    roce de la joya y el metal,
    pero que nunca habrá de aligerarse...

    ¿Como podrá el sonido de una lira atravesarlo?

    Dicen que la luz no existe allí,
    pero de vez en cuando una oscuridad más leve se insinúa
    en la angustiada, legendaria y convulsa oscuridad,
    descubriendo por un instante, turbiamente,
    la eterna, casi inmóvil sesión de la Corte,
    los cortesanos aplastados por el peso dorado de sus mantos,
    las damas sin aliento bajo el peso de sus oscuras guirnaldas
    de rocas sangrientas,
    los párpados vencidos, apenas entreabiertos.

    Orfeo, ¿como puede ella atravesarlo con una herida en el pie?

    Tennessee Williams - Orfeo desciende


    Luego de vivir numerosas aventuras, Orfeo se radicó en Tracia. Allí conoció a Eurídice, ninfa del bosque, e inmediatamente se enamoró de ella. Se casaron, y vivieron felices hasta que su esposa tuvo un incidente con Aristeo, hijo del dios Apolo, quien trató de abusar de ella. Al tratar de escapar de su acosador, la ninfa fue mordida por una serpiente, y a partir de ese instante el averno fue su morada. Desolado por la pérdida, Orfeo decidió ir a rescatarla. Deslumbró a cada uno de los guardianes que encontró a su paso con la belleza de su canto, hasta que finalmente llegó ante la presencia de Hades y Perséfone, los dioses del infierno. Hades, tal vez influido por su esposa, tuvo un inédito gesto de misericordia y accedió a que Eurídice retorne a nuestro mundo, pero antes puso como condición que Orfeo no voltee a mirarla durante su viaje de regreso: "Debes confiar en que te estará siguiendo. Hasta que ambos no se encuentren de nuevo en la Tierra, no debes mirar hacia atrás, o tu viaje habrá sido en vano", dijo Hades. Nuestro héroe aceptó la cláusula y comenzó su retorno hacia el hogar a través del sendero tenebroso, mientras Eurídice lo seguía, guiada por el sonido de su lira. Esta vez el itinerario por el infierno fue mucho más arduo, ya que Orfeo se debatía entre la alegría del reencuentro y el terror por los horrores que sufría su esposa. Cuando, por fin, divisó un hilo de luz que penetraba las sombras corrió hasta encontrarse fuera de la oscura caverna, y emocionado, se dio vuelta para encontrar la mirada de su mujer. Nunca sabremos si lo hizo por impaciencia o porque desconfió de los dioses infernales, lo concreto es que Eurídice, que todavía no había alcanzado a traspasar el umbral del averno, comenzó a desvanecerse. Al darse cuenta del error, Orfeo intentó estrecharla entre sus brazos, pero fue en vano: la musa había desaparecido para siempre. Todo intento posterior de rescate fue estéril, y no volvió a recibir respuestas a sus súplicas, tampoco a su canto... A partir de ese momento, se dedicó a vagar por Tracia, acompañado sólo por su lira.

    II

    Bien está recordar tus prodigios en el reino de la luz,
    las voces del abismo y la floresta creadas por tu canto,
    el alterado curso del río como un brazo que se dobla
    bruscamente,
    los momentos que hiciste perdurar con la dulce vibración
    de una cuerda que pulsaste...

    Pero aquellos prodigios eran naturales junto a los que
    intentas
    en el reino subterráneo
    y éstos no podrás lograrlos.
    No, no podrás lograrlos.

    Pero tú, tú mismo, debes aprender lo que nosotros por
    fuerza sabemos:
    que algunas cosas, por naturaleza, no pueden realizarse;
    solo cabe anhelarlas, tratar de hacerlas y luego darse por
    vencido.

    Y tú, tú mismo, debes aprender lo que nosotros por
    fuerza sabemos:
    la fatal atracción por la caída que a nuestro mundo
    gobierna,
    el descenso inmediato del manantial que brota.

    Ahora, Orfeo, arrástrate, arrástrate, avergonzado fugitivo,
    vuelve la espalda al agrietado muro de ti mismo, a ese
    muro que se desploma.
    Pues no eres tú las estrellas que en el cielo dibujan la
    forma de una lira,
    sino el polvo de que han sido desgarrados por
    las Furias.

    Tennessee Williams - Orfeo desciende


    Orpheus es uno de los grupos menos conocidos del sunshine pop; inclusive, su nombre suele ser omitido en las antologías del género. Para conocer el génesis de esta banda, deberemos remontarnos al año 1964 cuando Bruce Arnold y Jack McKennes -ambos guitarristas y vocalistas- formaron el dúo de folk The Villagers en su Boston natal. Luego de años de actividad, durante el verano del amor conocieron al productor Alan Lorber, cambiaron su nombre por el del protagonista de este post y consolidaron su sonido con la incorporación de Eric "The Snake" Gulliksen (bajo) y Harry Sandler (batería). A finales de 1967 completaron la grabación de un disco debut que publicaron al año siguiente. MGM, el sello editor, aprovechó los lanzamientos de Beacon Street Union y Ultimate Spinach para promocionar a los tres grupos como parte de un hipotético "Boston Sound", algo que no fue particularmente efectivo –ni cierto- ya que las coincidencias entre estos grupos eran mínimas. "Orpheus" es una travesía cuyo único fin es la belleza; una obra de arte que nos ofrece veintiseis minutos de ensueño, conjugando hits categóricos (“I've Never Seen Love Like This”, “I'll Stay With You”, “I Can't Find The Time To Tell You”) sunshine (“Lesley's World”, “Congress Alley”, “Music Machine”) psicodelia (“Never In My Life”) y baladas atemporales (“Door Knob Song”, “The Dream”). Las diáfanas voces de Arnold y McKennes se conjugan con los exuberantes arreglos de cuerda -gentileza de The New York Philharmonic- con una naturalidad extraordinaria.
    Ese delicado equilibrio entre sencillez y elaboración, entre levedad y profundidad, está tan logrado que aún hoy resulta excepcional.

    XXII

    Somos los errantes.
    Pero el andar del tiempo
    tomadlo como nimiedad
    en lo que siempre permanece.

    Todo aquello que corre
    habrá pasado ya;
    pues sólo lo que queda
    nos inicia.

    No echéis, muchachos, el valor
    a la velocidad
    ni al intento de vuelo.

    Todo ha descansado:
    tiniebla y claridad,
    flor y libro.

    Rainer Maria Rilke - Los Sonetos a Orfeo


    A “Orpheus” (1968) le siguieron “Ascending” (1968) –que incluía covers de The Zombies ("She's Not There") y The Left Banke ("Walk Away Renee")- y “Joyful” (1969), dos bonitos discos de sunshine pop, aunque mucho más convencionales que su estupendo debut. En 1970 la banda se separó y Bruce Arnold formó Two Foot Lamb Door junto a Steve Martin y Elliot Sherman. “Orpheus 4” (1971) registra el material de este nuevo grupo, hacedor de un soft-pop convencional aunque muy agradable. A principios de este año Bruce Arnold publicó un nuevo disco llamado “Orpheus Again” que aún no he podido localizar.

    Track List:
    01. I've Never Seen Love Like This
    02. Lesley's World
    03. Congress Alley
    04. Music Machine
    05. Door Knob Song
    06. I'll Stay With You
    07. I Can't Find The Time To Tell You
    08. Never In My Life
    09. The Dream

              Support Acupuncture        
    Support Acupuncture. Write a letter by following the link below. http://aaaom.rallycongress.com/
              Tuesday, August 1, 2017        
    Dr. Ron Paul Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Former congressman and three-time former presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Now in his early 80s and still going strong, he served almost a quarter-century in Congress representing Texas’s 22nd district between 1976 and […]
              Patent Reform Bill Clears Congress        
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              Area advocates worry about sequestration effect on regional non-profits        

    The automatic federal budget cuts that are slated to go into effect in March would have a big impact on programs that help the poor and elderly in Syracuse.  Advocates for these programs are urging Congress to do something to prevent the across-the-board spending cuts knows as sequestration.

              Schumer: compromise is key to avoiding fiscal cliff        

    The focus in Washington, D.C. is now on the so-called "fiscal cliff," which describes the automatic budget cuts and tax hikes that are scheduled to go into effect at the end of the year if Congress and the president don't come to an agreement to reduce the deficit.  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is among those saying that the election was a mandate for compromise.

              Is Congress Targeting S Corporations?        
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              JUDGES AS JACKASSES: DEATH PENALTY        
    NEBRASKA JUDGES AS JACKASSES: THE DEATH PENALTY

    To:  Governor Pete Ricketts, his cabinet & staff
            Nebraska Catholic Bishops, staff and parishes

    Nebraska Supreme Court
    Nebraska Legislators & staff
    Nebraska County Sheriffs
    The Police Officers' Association of Nebraska
    Attorney General Doug Peterson & staff        
    Nebraska County Attorneys Association
    Nebraska Crime Commission
    U of Nebraska Law School
    Colleges & Universities Throughout Nebraska

    Media throughout Nebraska 

    Distributed 11/4/16

    Re:  "We Nebraska judges support retaining repeal of the death penalty", Local View, Lincoln Journal Star, 10/31/16  (1)

    Subject: More Anti Death Penalty Nonsense: Clueless and/or Willful Ignorance? Nebraska Judges 

    From: Dudley Sharp 

    Judges As Jackasses 

    Nationally, many (hopefully most) of us have been appalled by the series of judicial sentences, over the last few years, wherein we have witnessed  judges giving extremely light sentences for rapists (2) and for a 16 year old drunk driver, who killed four innocent people, injuring 9 more, 2 severely, with that judge giving no jail time, based upon the judge honoring the "affluenza" defense, that being incarceration being too harsh for someone who grew up spoiled and rich (3). 

    All, horrendous decisions, contrary to any basic understanding of justice. 

    Irresponsible judges have been a problem, as long as there have been judges. 

    How Irresponsible Are the Non-Magnificent 7 (NM7)? 

    Enter the referenced anti death penalty op/ed, by 7 retired Nebraska judges (4), the NM7,  presenting their own level of irresponsibility , contrary to justice.

    This NM7 represent 4% of the state District Court and state Supreme Court justices who have served in Nebraska, in the post Gregg v Georgia (1976) era, generally viewed as the beginning of the modern death penalty era in the US. 

    Let's see how irresponsible the NM7 are: 

    Keep two things in mind . . .

     1) There is one constant  -  Judges are the case managers,  in charge of both timing and costs, pre trial, trial and on appeals. 

    2) These jackass NM7 judges never mentioned the innocent victims murdered - a common anti death penalty "oversight" (5).  

    3) The NM7 state, "Our legal experience has led us to conclude that the death penalty is an unworkable and failed policy." 

    Proof of the NM7's irresponsibility: 

    Most know this to be false, as I suspect the NM7 do, as well. 

    One wonders: Are the judges clueless and/or willfully ignorant? Ask them. 

    The NM7 blame the death penalty, when we all know that it is not the policy that has failed, but those, like the judges, who have failed to responsibly manage that policy. Governors, attorney generals, legislators and correction officials, also share, in that responsibility, or irresponsibility  . . . as do the citizens who allow such incompetents to continue being paid with their tax dollars. 

    There is no legal nor rational reason why death penalty appeals, should take longer than 2-3 years, on average,  within each of the state supreme court, the federal district and circuit courts - or 6-9 years, total, on average. Cases, rarely, go to SCOTUS. 

    The NM7 are the case managers, denying their own responsibility for failing both justice and the citizens they work for. 

    It seems, nearly, always the case, that government officials, employed by the citizens, blame everyone or everything, but themselves, for their own irresponsibility. These NM7 judges and the death penalty are no different. 

    ====== 

    It has been nearly 20 years since Nebraska's last execution, while the other death penalty states have executed nearly a thousand murderers.  Why? Irresponsible Nebraska officials, inclusive of the judges.  

    Nationally, from 1984-1988, when double digit executions began, it took 6.6 years of appeals, on average, prior to execution, nationally (6).

    6.6 years. 

    ====== 

    4) The NM7 state: "In the four decades since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, states have tinkered with death penalty statutes, repeatedly promising that they can fix them. The evidence is clear that they cannot." You cannot design an efficient system of capital punishment, which delivers punishment swiftly, while also avoiding the risk of executing the innocent.  States that hold onto the death penalty end up with a government program that fails on both these fronts – it is inefficient and makes mistakes."

    Proof of the NM7's irresponsibility: 

    The NM7's statements are, blatantly, false. 

    Since 1976, Virginia has executed 112 murderers, representing 70% of those so sentenced and has executed them within 7 years of full appeals on average, with not even a hint of an innocent executed (7) - very efficient, no "mistakes". 

    Virginia's last execution, Oct. 1, 2015, was after 5 years of FULL appeals. 

    If Virginia can do it so can all states. 

    The roadblock? Most often, irresponsible judges (6), as well as others, who have all failed both their citizens and justice. 

    Innocents are better protected, in three ways, by the death penalty than with a life sentence (8). 

    One wonders: Are the NM7 clueless and/or willfully ignorant? Ask them. 

    ====== 

    Pennsylvania judges/jackasses, both state and federal, are very obvious in their efforts to stop the death penalty in that state. With some 420 death sentences since 1973, there have been only 3 executions. Why? Because the judges will only allow murderers who waive their appeals to be executed. 

    Any murderer, sentenced to death in Pa. will never be executed as long as they continue appeals, because the judges will not allow appeals to end or they will overturn the sentence. 

    It is a blatant and obvious fight against the law, by the judges, aka dictators in robes. 

    ====== 

    5) The NM7 state: "The death penalty prolongs and adds uncertainty to the legal process, often harming murder victims’ families. More death sentences are overturned than end in an execution. For those few death sentences ending in an execution, the average wait between conviction and execution is more than 15 years, and sometimes much longer (as we have seen in Nebraska)." 

    Proof of the NM7's irresponsibility: 

    The NM7 dead wrong, again. 

    The death penalty does not prolong itself nor does it add uncertainty to itself nor does it harm murder victims' families, by itself - it takes the judges, like these NM7, as other of the citizens' employees, to do all of those irresponsible, harmful things. Government policies are managed - or mismanaged - by the employees of the citizens, inclusive of the judges, as the NM7 jackasses well know.

    95% of murder victims families support the death penalty (9). 

    One wonders: Are these NM7 judges clueless and/or willfully ignorant? Ask them. 

    ====== 

    California judges/jackasses --  Since 1977, California has executed 1.4% of their death row murderers, after an average of 18 years on death row.The last 5 murderers executed have averaged  22 years on death row. 

    It will only get longer, based upon the horrendous irresponsibility of Ca judges, a continuing disaster usurping the law . . .  unless folks stand against them. 


    California's jackass judges are, obviously, trying to kill the death penalty. 

    ====== 

    6)  The NM7 state: "Despite promises to the contrary, politicians cannot dramatically expedite this process. Because of past mistakes, death penalty cases must go through a complex federal appeals process, which state lawmakers can't change. Death penalty cases thus force murder victims’ families to endure a prolonged and uncertain legal process. For them, the death penalty is a false promise." 

    Proof of the NM7's irresponsibility: 

    This is, clearly, false. Politicians, with earnest resolve, as Gov. Ricketts, can work with judges, the attorney general, legislators, prosecutors, defense counsel and citizens to produce a responsible death penalty system, as we all know and as occurs in other states. 

    We also know that irresponsible anti death penalty politicians and judges will do all they can to drain as much time and money out of their citizens, in order to make sure that our worst murderers live, as detailed, throughout.

    As with Virginia and Texas, if those states can produce responsible death penalty protocols, so can Nebraska, as can all states.

     With or without mistakes, all cases must go through the federal courts, so the NM7 statement is bizarre.

     One wonders: Are these NM7 judges clueless and/or willfully ignorant? Ask them. 

    ====== 

    Colorado -  "A Colorado study in 2013 found that death penalty cases took more than five years on average to complete, compared to 1 1/2 years for cases involving life without parole." (10) 

    Understand, that is 5 years for pre trial and trial, only, not appeals. How irresponsible are Colorado judges/jackasses? 

    In contrast, we have: 

    John Allen Muhammad , the DC sniper, was arrested on October 24, 2002, his Virginia trial began on October 14, 2003, he was sentenced to death on November 24, 2003 - 13 months after arrest . . .

     and the prosecution called more than 130 witnesses and introduced more than 400 pieces of evidence. (10) 

    and this mass murderer was executed in Virginia on November 10, 2009, after 6 years of FULL appeals. (10) 

    and then we have  Colorado judges and many other irresponsible state judges/jackasses doing all they can to increase costs to destroy the death penalty, as is obvious. 

    ======

     7) The NM7 state: "The death penalty wastes resources that should go to measures that actually reduce crime. Death penalty cases are more complex, take more time, require more lawyers, and therefore cost more money. There is no valid evidence that the money spent on the death penalty impacts murder rates. It is imperative, then, to dedicate our law enforcement dollars to measures that – unlike the death penalty – actually reduce crime." 

    Proof of the NM7's irresponsibility: 

    We can see why the NM7 jackasses blame the death penalty as a waste of resources, when it is the judges, themselves, as others, who create that waste - not the death penalty, as easily known and demonstrated, as herein. 

    There is no legal nor rational reason for the death penalty to cost any more than life without parole (7), as demonstrated. 

    Never has it been shown that any criminal sanction, any negative prospect and any negative outcome did not deter some. Never. (8) 

    One wonders: Are these NM7 judges clueless and/or willfully ignorant? Ask them. 

    ====== 

    Kansas -   "The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the last seven attempts by (The Kansas Supreme Court)  to reverse the convictions of murderers and predators. If the nine robed jurists in Washington consistently overrule Kansas’s highest court, it’s not only embarrassing to the state—it’s evidence that these justices are making up the law." (11)

    " . . . the U.S. Supreme Court found the Kansas Supreme Court had misapplied the Constitution. But each of these cases is emblematic of a broader pattern of lawlessness that merits voting against retaining these justices." (11) 

    "As the late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote just weeks before his untimely death, “Kansans ... do not think the death penalty is unconstitutional and indeed very much favor it, which might suggest that a retention election that goes before such people would not come out favorably for those justices who create Kansas law.” (11) 

    When justices " . . . thwart the application of criminal law by rewriting the laws the people's representatives passed, they undermine the sovereignty of “we, the people” and replace it with “we, the enlightened judges.” Removing them from office does not politicize the courts — the justices’ choice to impose their politics already did that. Voting them out is the only way to restore impartiality and the rule of law . . ."  (11) 

    " . . . vote corruption out and the law back in." (11)

    ====== 

    8) The NM7 state: "The death penalty puts innocent lives at risk of execution. As judges, we strove to ensure that the innocent were protected and the guilty held accountable. At the same time, we recognize that judges and others in the criminal justice system are fallible. It is simply too much to expect perfection in any human institution – which is what the death penalty demands, since it is impossible to bring back the wrongfully executed. The more than 155 death row exonerations nationwide, and wrongful convictions of the Beatrice 6 here in Nebraska, make clear that the death penalty should have no place in our fallible justice system." 

    The jackass NM7 avoid reality: 

    There is no proven actual innocent executed in the US, after the 1930s (8, 12). 

    Just since 1973: 

    Some 16,000 actual innocents have  been murdered by those known murderers we have allowed to murder, again - recidivist murderers (8); 

    Some 400,000 actual innocents have  been murdered by those known criminals we have allowed to harm, again - recidivist criminals (8). 

    The 155 "exonerated" has been a very well known fraud (12) since 1998, when the numbers started at 69. Basic fact checking reveals there might be 36 removed from death row based upon actual innocence, that being about 0.4% of those sent to death row in the modern era - none were executed.

     Did the NM7 fact check, anything? 

    It appears unlikely that the jackass NM7 can tell us where innocents are at risk in our "fallible justice system". 

    Maybe they could hazard a guess?! 

    One wonders: Are these NM7 judges clueless and/or willfully ignorant? Ask them. 

    ====== 

    ". . .  in California, appeals attorneys are not appointed (by judges) for three to five years. (Those attorneys, then, allowed by judges) to take four years to learn the case and file their appeal. Attorneys for habeas appeal (through the federal courts) are not appointed (by the judges), on average, until eight to 10 years after the death sentence." (6) 

    California judges/jackasses are, obviously and intentionally, killing the death penalty, in conflict with the law. 

    ======

    In 1996, the US Congress passed the Anti Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), part of which was supposed to quicken death penalty appeals. 

    Every year since then, the average time of appeals, until execution, has been  greater than in 1996 (10.4 years), with the longest being 16.5 years, (2011) (6). 

    Apparently, judges didn't like the AEDPA and have taken a stand in conflict with the law -

    The judicial move against the death penalty became even more obvious. 

    ====== 

    THE END.  


    1) Found here: http://journalstar.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/local-view-we-nebraska-judges-support-retaining-repeal-of-the/article_f8977528-c3b7-5f83-b02b-cf6ecd61f4cf.html 


    2) https://www.google.com/#q=horrible+judges+sentencing+rape+cases 


    3) watch the video
    What Is Ethan Couch's 'Affluenza': An Explainer, Gillian Mohney, ABC News, Dec 30, 2015, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ethan-couchs-affluenza-explainer/story?id=36011293 


    4) Retired judges/jackasses:  Nebraska Supreme Court Justice William Connolly, District Judge Stephen A. Davis, District Judge Sandra L. Dougherty, District Judge Patrick Mullen, Douglas County; District Judge Ronald Reagan, District Judge John Hartigan, District Judge Merritt C. Warren. 


    5) Anti Victim: Anti Death Penalty Movement
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anti-victim-anti-death-penalty-movement.html 



    6) Judges Responsible For Grossly Uneven Executions
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/11/judges-responsible-for-grossly-uneven.html 


    7) See Virginia Saving Costs with The Death Penalty
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/02/death-penalty-cost-saving-money.html  


    8) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-death-penalty-do-innocents-matter.html  


    9) 95% Death Penalty Support by Loved Ones of Capital Murder Victims
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2016/03/95-death-penalty-support-by-capital.html  


    10)  see paragraph 3, sections B. Judicial Roadblocks and C.2. 128% INCREASE IN APPEALS TIME and paragraphs 4 and 6, within 

    Courts, states put death penalty on life supportDeath Penalty: 
    HOW MEDIA MURDERS THE TRUTH
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2015/09/courts-states-put-death-penalty-on-life.html 


    11) Kansas' Judges Should Be Recalled Before They Do Any Further Harm BY T. ELLIOT GAISER, PJ Media,  AUGUST 24, 2016,
    https://pjmedia.com/election/2016/08/24/kansas-judges-should-be-recalled-before-they-do-any-further-harm/?singlepage=true 


    12) a) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty StrategyREAD SECTIONS 3&4 FIRSThttp://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-innocent-frauds-standard-anti-death.html 
        
         b)  The 4.1% "Innocent" on Death Row: More Nonsense

              The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing        
    This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, including the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT), the 2017 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2017 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare's financial condition, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and the future outlook.
              Searching for Savings in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations        
    In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This issue brief provides a short history of this proposal, describes various approaches, and assessments of their potential savings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and considers the prospects for action in the future.
              The Cultural Cold War by Frances Stonor Saunders        
    The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

    This book provides a detailed account of the ways in which the CIA penetrated and influenced a vast array of cultural organizations, through its front groups and via friendly philanthropic organizations like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.

    The author, Frances Stonor Saunders, details how and why the CIA ran cultural congresses, mounted exhibits, and organized concerts. The CIA also published and translated well-known authors who toed the Washington line, sponsored abstract art to counteract art with any social content and, throughout the world, subsidized journals that criticized Marxism, communism, and revolutionary politics and apologized for, or ignored, violent and destructive imperialist U.S. policies. The CIA was able to harness some of the most vocal exponents of intellectual freedom in the West in service of these policies, to the extent that some intellectuals were directly on the CIA payroll. Many were knowingly involved with CIA “projects,” and others drifted in and out of its orbit, claiming ignorance of the CIA connection after their CIA sponsors were publicly exposed during the late 1960s and the Vietnam war, after the turn of the political tide to the left.

    You can freely download this important book for your personal reading in PDF via this link or buy The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters at Amazon

              Horror Headlines: Wednesday December 29th, 2010        
    In Real People News: 

    Jesus has arrived my friends and he picked the roof of a Kansas City family's car as his landing spot. Just in case he isn't the actual messiah though the family is trying to find the rightful owner of the little bundle of heavenly joy. But still, I think he's here and we all better look busy.

    If you're going to proclaim yourself as "Nurse of the Year" then you might want to avoid having a dinner in your own honor. Apparently you can go to jail for something like that. Good to know!

    News Bullet: 

    I have to say, based on the new images from the 3D flick "Behind the Walls" I thought I might be into it. Then I found out it's a French movie. Then I found out it's about a girl who travels to a spooky town to write a book. French and books don't add up to movie fun, they add up to boring cheese parties where you talk about novels. That's not fun for anyone.

    After Dark Originals will hit theaters on January 28th and I couldn't be more excited. The festival will showcase 8 different films from the horror genre with different themes. What those are I'm not sure but the promo has a guy hammering nails into his hand so that's a positive. For us, not for him, it's got to suck for him.

    Well this is heartwarming. "The Exorcist" has been added to the official National Film Registry by the The Library of Congress. Which means even after World War 3 there's going to be nothing left but cockroaches and "The Exorcist". Well those and apparently "Saturday night Fever" too but lets hope the bombs get that one.

    UFO International productions, the same people that brought you "Lake Placid 3", have put out a long ass synopsis and poster for their new film "Vampire Nation". I refuse to read the plot of the film but my guess is it has something to do with a country overrun by vampires and the 80's pop star who I thought was dead that's going to fight them.


              President Barack Obama 2013 Inauguration Speech        
    2013 Presidential Inauguration Day - Preparati...
    2013 Presidential Inauguration Day - Preparation - Capitol Building (Photo credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks)





    Today President Barack Obama gave what will be known as a historic speech as far as LGBT Americans are concerned. It was the first time the word gay was used in an inaugural speech and it was used to speak about the need for equality. I was happy that my daughter was there in D.C. to hear her President speak so positively about her family. It was an amazing speech that drew on the fact that it was given on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and made comparison to the civil rights struggles, women's rights and rights for gay Americans. It will be exciting to see how this sets up the State of the Union address and this coming session of Congress. While I believe the President will not do the work for us, he may be willing to be a more active advocate for us. But, I do believe that this President likes to see the American people involved in the process. He wants to see us use our voices and do everything we can to be heard and help to move our elected officials to take action. We must continue to lead this fight. However, the President is clearly in our corner.

    Watch the President's speech. Full transcript follows the video




    The remarks of President Obama, as released by The White House and prepared for delivery: 
    Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: 
    Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: 
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." 
    Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. 
    For more than two hundred years, we have. 
    Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. 
    Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers. 
    Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. 
    Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune. 
    Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society's ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character. 
    But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today's world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. 
    This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together. 
    For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. 
    We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed. 
    We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
    We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries — we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared. 
    We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well. 
    We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully — not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice — not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 
    We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. 
    It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. 
    That is our generation's task — to make these words, these rights, these values — of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time — but it does require us to act in our time. 
    For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today's victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall. 
    My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction — and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. 
    They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. 
    You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country's course. 
    You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. 
    Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. 
    Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.




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              When Are You Going to Run for Office        
    I have been volunteering with the Human Rights Campaign for 10 years. Over the years one of the most popular questions I am asked is, "When are you going to run for office?" My response is always the same, "I would love to do that some day." The ball has been in motion. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience over the last decade. I have met some amazing mentors that have had a huge impact on me.

    A friend of mine told me that the Victory Fund would be hosting their candidate training in Phoenix in February. This was my chance to move the ball a little further down the field. I have seen how the Victory Fund has been instrumental in helping open LGBT candidates win election across the country. One key race they played in this past election cycle was in Arizona's Congressional District 9. They were able to help get Kyrsten Sinema elected and become the first open bisexual in Congress.

    I have decided to attend the training. I'm very excited with the opportunity to learn how I can be successful as an LGBT candidate and make a bigger impact in my community. They Victory Fund is running a contest that I am participating in to have my expenses paid for the training. I would love your support. Just click here and vote for me. Feel free to let others know that I'm in the contest and be part of my team in making this happen.

    I appreciate the encouragement my readers have given me over the years. Your support means a lot to me. While the answer to when I am going to run for office is still unanswered, after this training I hope the answer will change. I hope I will be able to say, "Soon."

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              Perspective        
    Perspective, it's an interesting thing. Two days ago the citizens of North Carolina voted to ban gay marriages. The next day President Barack Obama becomes the first sitting President to say that he supports marriage equality. Some say the President came forward a day too late. We won't know if it would have made a difference or not. However, for some the perspective is a state lost. For others the perspective is a country won. What all agree on is that the President did a historic thing in coming out in favor of marriage equality. From some people's perspective his actions might even be considered heroic

    Go to today. I helped put together an event for the Human Rights Campaign to benefit the Maryland Marriage Fund to help keep marriage equality in that state. Governor Martin O'Malley was the special guest at the event. Governor O'Malley was able to show incredible leadership in helping to bring marriage equality to his state. Now that its there, he is continuing to lead the fight against a ballot measure to remove it. His conviction to make sure the LGBT community in his state is shown the same dignity and freedoms as anyone else is truly inspiring. I would guess that the perspective of many in the LGBT community in Maryland is that he is a hero.

    The person that introduced the Governor was former Arizona State Senator and current candidate for Congress in Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema. Sinema has been a leader in the LGBT community for years and is known for having led the only successful campaign to defeat an anti-LGBT marriage amendment in the country. Her ability to make things happen for the LGBT community in Arizona has been remarkable. I have had the pleasure to work with her on many projects over the years and for me personally, she is a hero. That is my perspective.

    So why would someone from Arizona host an event like this? Why send money in a very important election year out of the state? Perspective. It is not likely that Arizona will repeal its constitutional ban on gay marriage. The only way Arizonan's are going to see marriage equality is by enough states having it that the Federal government takes action and the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed. So from our perspective here this is how we bring marriage equality to our state - one state at a time across the country.

    So my perspective of heroes this week have been of President Obama, Governor O'Malley and Congressional Candidate Kyrsten Sinema. So it surprised me when I received this post on my Facebook




    Perspective. One never knows who is watching and the impact your words and actions have on them. This is not the first time someone has shared this type of sentiment with me. However, each time it catches me off guard. I mean come on, who am I? I am not the President or a Governor. How can I possibly be a hero? Perspective. You see most of the time when I hear this it comes from our youth. While I know that the time I give is not only for myself but to make a difference in the lives of many others, I forget that people actually get that too. I gotta say - it makes all the defeats and struggles worth it. To know that I am giving our youth inspiration and hope is a very humbling experience. It also fuels me to keep going.

    The funny thing is from my perspective the youth today are heroes. They are so brave to come out or to be an ally for their friends that do. I can't wait for today's youth to be in the lead and take this fight for equality to a whole other level.

    A lot has happened in the last two days. I think I have a new perspective on a few things.
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              The Importance of Community Events        

    Yesterday I had the honor of speaking at the 4th Annual March for Equality. The event is hosted by Central Arizona Rainbow Education (C.A.R.E.). It kicks off with a march and then goes into a festival. The theme this year was the importance of community and I was asked to speak on the importance of community events. It was a great day and I wanted to share the speech with you all here:


    It is an honor to be here today. The 4th Annual March for Equality is an event that gives us a chance to come together – create awareness about the injustices that face the LGBT community and participate in a festival that allows us to celebrate who we are. Our community loves events. From Prides to parades – from dinners to the drag shows – we have community events constantly. The events are important to our community. Not just as fundraisers and time to see each other but because of the direct impact they have had on our movement.

    The famous lesbian poet and activist, Audre Lorde once said, “Without community there is no liberation.” I couldn’t agree more. A perfect example of this is the Stonewall Riots. On June 28th, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn, known to many as the only gay bar in NY City. But this riot wouldn’t end like the others. See these individuals had found a place where they could meet, they could dance, they could drink, they could establish a sense of strength in each other. They were not alone. That night the patrons of the bar fought back against the police. Within days, gay rights organizations formed and within two years there was a gay rights organization in every major city across the country. This small bar community led to visible communities all across the country. On the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots the first Gay Pride March was held and is a tradition that we honor by marching today and each time we attend a Pride event.
    While Pride marches and festivals let us celebrate and provide an opportunity to be visible in the society we live in, Marches also allow us to show our strength and to let our voices be heard. In 1979, the first March on Washington was held. The purpose was to nationalize the gay movement, which had previously been focused on local struggles. The event had approximately 100,000 participants and included a Congressional Lobby Day and organizational trainings. Having such a large number of LGBT and allied individuals participate in the March showed that our community was not willing to be in our closets. The LGBT community was willing to fight publicly for our rights. When the next March on Washington was held in 1987 more than 500,000 people participated. This March was held on Oct. 11th – which has become known as National Coming Out Day. To date there have been five Marches on Washington by the LGBT community. Each one has strengthened our community and our voice.
    So whether the community event happens in a bar or on the National Mall they have importance. The event has importance because it reminds us that we are not alone - that we are all fighting for the same thing - that there is strength in numbers. Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams said, “I have inherited a belief in community, the promise that a gathering of the spirit can both create and change culture. In the desert, change is nurtured even in stone by wind, by water, through time.” What a powerful statement – to believe that a community can come together to create and change culture. That’s why I am so excited to be here today. To watch as our Arizona LGBT community comes together to change the culture of our state to a place where LGBT individuals are no longer discriminated against. To look out and see so many faces looking to create that culture. This is a critical time for our movement. Our visibility and the visibility of our allies have never been more important. So thank you for being here today and for being an active part of our community and I will see you at the next community event!

              Giffords Steps Down, Sets Bar High        
    English: Official portrait of United States Re...
    Image via Wikipedia





    Today, in a video message, Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords announced she will be stepping down from office to focus on her recovery this week. Giffords was shot in the head on January 8, 2011 while conducting a Congress on  Your Corner event in Tucson.





    In my opinion, this is just another example of her bravery during her recovery. I had a very good friend suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 1998. It was recommended to her not to make any big life changes for a year so that she could get a good feel of what progress could be made. The first year tells a lot about someone's recovery from a TBI. Gabby's progress has been amazing, miraculous in fact. But the fact remains that with TBIs there is always a before and after. Things will never be like before and you won't know what the after looks like for a very long time. Bravery is looking at the after and realizing, this is a new life now - what will I do with it.

    Seeing Gabby so full of life in this video - so strong - only shows that there will be a lot in her after. She has the best medical team around her and such a strong family support system that I have no doubt she will continue to make progress in her recovery. However, it is so clear that Gabby's dedication to her constituents is so strong that she would want them to have the best representation they could. In my opinion she is making this choice at the right time after giving her recovery a good period of time to see where she could be.

    Gabby will continue to serve Arizona. She will be someone for us to always look to as to how to be a public servant. She has set the bar high and I only hope those in office now and those yet to come will strive to reach for that bar.
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              Kyrsten Sinema Announces Run for Congress        
    English: Senator Kyrsten Sinema
    Image via Wikipedia





    After months of waiting the maps have finally been drawn for the Congressional districts in Arizona. There has been a lot of discussion around the new district - CD 9. Today the first person threw their hat into the race. State Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat,  announced today that she will enter the race.

    Senator Sinema has been a strong advocate for the LGBT community. The biggest example came in 2006, when she led the organization Arizona Together, to become the first and only successful effort in the country to defeat a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage.

    Per election rules, Sinema has submitted paperwork resigning her job as State Senator, thereby focusing on the campaign full time. The main battle will probably come in the primary with some other well known Arizona Democrats strongly thinking of entering the race. Representative Ben Quayle lives in District 9 but has said he will most likely run in CD 6 since it is more Republican leaning. It is not a require to live in the district you represent at the Congressional level.

    Watch Sinema's announcement video below then go to kyrstensinema.com for more information on her campaign.



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              In HRC Speech, Obama Says, "I'm Going to Continue To Fight Alongside You"        
    Last night, President Obama spoke at the Human Rights Campaign's Annual Gala Dinner. While many people have been critical of President Obama and feel he has not done enough for the LGBT community, the fact is he has done more for our community than any other President. HRC endorsed President Obama for the 2012 election a few months ago. While some felt this was too early, I personally don't see an issue with it. Clearly, his record shows he is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. Besides, what are they supposed to do = endorse Michelle Bachmann? One highlight of the speech was when President Obama called out the Republican Presidential hopefuls for ignoring a recent incident at one of their debates. A gay soldier sent in a video question asking if they planned to undo Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Members of the audience booed the soldier. The Republicans made no mention of it. In his speech last night the President made this comment on the incident, "We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since. You want to be Commander-​in-​Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient." Here is the full video of the speech. The written transcript follows the video.




     





    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary

    Remarks by the President at the Human Rights Campaign's Annual National Dinner

    Washington Convention Center
    Washington, D.C. 
    7:26 P.M. EDT
     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  It is great to be back.  (Applause.)  I see a lot of friends in the house.  I appreciate the chance to join you tonight.  I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga.  (Laughter.)  She was wearing 16-inch heels.  (Laughter.)  She was eight feet tall.  (Laughter.)  It was a little intimidating.
    Now, I don’t want to give a long speech.  Cyndi Lauper is in the house.  I can’t compete with that.  (Applause.)  But I wanted to come here tonight, first of all, to personally thank Joe for his outstanding years of leadership at HRC.  (Applause.)  What he has accomplished at the helm of this organization has been remarkable, and I want to thank all of you for the support that you’ve shown this organization and for your commitment to a simple idea:  Every single American -- gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender -- every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society.  It’s a pretty simple proposition.  (Applause.)
    Now, I don’t have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle.  I don’t have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights -- Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school.  Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality.  So you know what we have to do; we’ve got more work ahead of us.
    But we can also be proud of the progress we’ve made these past two and a half years.  Think about it.  (Applause.)  Two years ago, I stood at this podium, in this room, before many of you, and I made a pledge.  I said I would never counsel patience; that it wasn’t right to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for others to tell African Americans to be patient in the fight for equal rights a half century ago.  (Applause.)  But what I also said, that while it might take time –- more time than anyone would like -– we are going to make progress; we are going to succeed; we are going to build a more perfect union.
    And so, let’s see what happened.  I met with Judy Shepard.  I promised her we would pass a hate crimes bill named for her son, Matthew.  And with the help of my dear friend Ted Kennedy we got it done.  Because it should never be dangerous -- (applause) -- you should never have to look over your shoulder -- to be gay in the United States of America.  That’s why we got it done.  (Applause.)
    I met with Janice Langbehn, who was barred from the bedside of the woman she loved as she lay dying.  And I told her that we were going to put a stop to this discrimination.  And you know what?  We got it done.  I issued an order so that any hospital in America that accepts Medicare or Medicaid -– and that means just about every hospital -– has to treat gay partners just as they do straight partners.  Because nobody should have to produce a legal contract to hold the hand of the person that they love.  We got that done.  (Applause.) 
    I said that we would lift that HIV travel ban -- we got that done.  (Applause.)  We put in place the first comprehensive national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS.  (Applause.) 
    Many questioned whether we’d succeed in repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  And, yes, it took two years to get the repeal through Congress.  (Applause.)  We had to hold a coalition together.  We had to keep up the pressure.  We took some flak along the way.  (Applause.)  But with the help of HRC, we got it done.  And “don’t ask, don’t tell” is history.  (Applause.)  And all over the world, there are men and women serving this country just as they always have -- with honor and courage and discipline and valor.  We got it done.  (Applause.)  We got that done.  All around the world, you’ve got gays and lesbians who are serving, and the only difference is now they can put up a family photo.  (Laughter.)  No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.
    I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.  There’s a bill to repeal this discriminatory law in Congress, and I want to see that passed.  But until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts.  I believe the law runs counter to the Constitution, and it’s time for it to end once and for all.  It should join “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the history books.  (Applause.)
    So, yes, we have more work to do.  And after so many years -- even decades -- of inaction you’ve got every right to push against the slow pace of change.  But make no mistake -- I want people to feel encouraged here -- we are making change.  We’re making real and lasting change.  We can be proud of the progress we’ve already made.
    And I’m going to continue to fight alongside you.  And I don’t just mean in your role, by the way, as advocates for equality.  You’re also moms and dads who care about the schools your children go to.  (Applause.)  You’re also students figuring out how to pay for college.  You’re also folks who are worried about the economy and whether or not your partner or husband or wife will be able to find a job.  And you’re Americans who want this country to succeed and prosper, and who are tired of the gridlock and the vicious partisanship, and are sick of the Washington games.  Those are your fights, too, HRC.  (Applause.)
    So I’m going to need your help.  I need your help to fight for equality, to pass a repeal of DOMA, to pass an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill so that being gay is never again a fireable offense in America.  (Applause.)  And I don’t have to tell you, there are those who don't want to just stand in our way but want to turn the clock back; who want to return to the days when gay people couldn’t serve their country openly; who reject the progress that we’ve made; who, as we speak, are looking to enshrine discrimination into state laws and constitutions -- efforts that we’ve got to work hard to oppose, because that’s not what America should be about.
    We’re not about restricting rights and restricting opportunity.  We’re about opening up rights and opening up opportunity -- (applause) -- and treating each other generously and with love and respect.  (Applause.)
    And together, we also have to keep sending a message to every young person in this country who might feel alone or afraid because they’re gay or transgender -- who may be getting picked on or pushed around because they’re different.  We’ve got to make sure they know that there are adults they can talk to; that they are never alone; that there is a whole world waiting for them filled with possibility.  That’s why we held a summit at the White House on bullying.  That’s why we’re going to continue to focus on this issue.  (Applause.)  This isn’t just “kids being kids.”  It’s wrong.  It’s destructive.  It’s never acceptable.  And I want all those kids to know that the President and the First Lady is standing right by them every inch of the way.  (Applause.)  I want them to know that we love them and care about them, and they’re not by themselves.  That’s what I want them to know.  (Applause.)  
    Now, I also need your help in the broader fight to get this economy back on track.  You may have heard, I introduced a bill called the American Jobs Act.  (Applause.)  It’s been almost three weeks since I sent it up to Congress.  That’s three weeks longer than it should have taken to pass this common-sense bill.  (Applause.)  This is a bill filled with ideas that both parties have supported -- tax breaks for companies that hire veterans; road projects; school renovations; putting construction crews back to work rebuilding America; tax cuts for middle-class families so they can make ends meet and spend a little more at local stores and restaurants that need the business.  
    Now, you may have heard me say this a few times before -- I’ll say it again:  Pass the bill.  (Applause.)  Enough gridlock.  Enough delay.  Enough politics.  Pass this bill.  Put this country back to work.  (Applause.)  HRC, you know how Congress works.  I’m counting on you to have my back.  Go out there and get them to pass this bill.  (Applause.)  Let’s put America back to work.
    Now, ultimately, these debates we’re having are about more than just politics; they’re more about -- they’re about more than the polls and the pundits, and who’s up and who’s down.  This is a contest of values.  That’s what’s at stake here.  This is a fundamental debate about who we are as a nation.
    I don’t believe -- we don’t believe -- in a small America, where we let our roads crumble, we let our schools fall apart, where we stand by while teachers are laid off and science labs are shut down, and kids are dropping out.
    We believe in a big America, an America that invests in the future -- that invests in schools and highways and research and technology -- the things that have helped make our economy the envy of the world.
    We don’t believe in a small America, where we meet our fiscal responsibilities by abdicating every other responsibility we have, and where we just divvy up the government as tax breaks for those who need them the least, where we abandon the commitment we’ve made to seniors though Medicare and Social Security, and we say to somebody looking for work, or a student who needs a college loan, or a middle-class family with a child who’s disabled, that “You’re on your own.”  That’s not who we are.
    We believe in a big America, an America where everybody has got a fair shot, and everyone pays their fair share.  An America where we value success and the idea that anyone can make it in this country.  But also an America that does -- in which everyone does their part -- including the wealthiest Americans, including the biggest corporations -- to deal with the deficits that threaten our future.  (Applause.)
    We don’t believe in a small America.  We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders -- one of whom could end up being the President of the United States -- being silent when an American soldier is booed.  (Applause.)  We don’t believe in that.  We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens.  (Applause.)  We don’t believe in them being silent since.  (Applause.)  You want to be Commander-in-Chief?  You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.  (Applause.) 
    We don’t believe in a small America.  We believe in a big America -- a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America -- that values the service of every patriot.  (Applause.)  We believe in an America where we’re all in it together, and we see the good in one another, and we live up to a creed that is as old as our founding:  E pluribus unum.  Out of many, one.  And that includes everybody.  That’s what we believe.  That’s what we’re going to be fighting for.  (Applause.)
    I am confident that’s what the American people believe in.  (Applause.)  I’m confident because of the changes we’ve achieved these past two and a half years -– the progress that some folks said was impossible.  (Applause.)  And I’m hopeful -- I am hopeful --
    AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Fired up!
    THE PRESIDENT:  I’m fired up, too.  (Laughter.)  I am hopeful -- (applause) -- I am hopeful -- I am still hopeful, because of a deeper shift that we’re seeing; a transformation not only written into our laws, but woven into the fabric of our society.
    It’s progress led not by Washington but by ordinary citizens, who are propelled not just by politics but by love and friendship and a sense of mutual regard.  (Applause.)  It’s playing out in legislatures like New York, and courtrooms and in the ballot box.  But it’s also happening around water coolers and at the Thanksgiving table, and on Facebook and Twitter, and at PTA meetings and potluck dinners, and church socials and VFW Halls.
    It happens when a father realizes he doesn’t just love his daughter, but also her wife.  (Applause.)  It happens when a soldier tells his unit that he’s gay, and they tell him they knew it all along and they didn’t care, because he was the toughest guy in the unit.  (Applause.)  It happens when a video sparks a movement to let every single young person know they’re not alone, and things will get better.  It happens when people look past their ultimately minor differences to see themselves in the hopes and struggles of their fellow human beings.  That’s where change is happening.  (Applause.)
    And that’s not just the story of the gay rights movement.  That’s the story of America -- (applause) -- the slow, inexorable march towards a more perfect union.  (Applause.)  You are contributing to that story, and I’m confident we can continue to write another chapter together.
    Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.) 
    END
    7:45 P.M. EDT

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              Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Certified        
    Photo by Pete Souza



    Today, President Obama signed the certification that will lead to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" finally being gone on September 20, 2011. Some were not happy with the delay in certification, however, for a change like this in the military I am very satisfied with 7 months.

    There has been a lot of information coming from the White House today and I wanted to share some of that. 
    First is the press release from President Obama.


    THE WHITE HOUSE
    Office of the Press Secretary
    __________________________________________________________________________
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    July 22, 2011

    Statement by the President on Certification of Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

    Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality.  In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met.  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days—on September 20, 2011. 

    As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness.  Today’s action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal.  As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country.  Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.

    I want to commend our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war.  I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition.  Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans.


    Next is an email sent by the President to organizations like HRC and individuals who worked hard to make this victory possible. 
    Last year, I visited Afghanistan. I was there to thank our men and women in uniform, the brave Americans who have given so much on behalf of this country and who make me so proud to be Commander-in-Chief.  At one of America’s bases there, I was shaking hands and taking pictures, walking along a pretty tight crowd of service members.  A young woman in uniform pulled me into a hug.  She leaned in close so I could hear her over the noise and whispered, “Get ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ done.” 
    I said to her, “I promise you I will.” 
    A few weeks later, after a struggle that lasted almost two decades, I signed a law to repeal this policy.  I signed it with absolute confidence in our men and women in uniform, in their professionalism and in their capacity to adapt to this change, just as they have adapted and grown stronger with other changes throughout our history.  And I signed this repeal knowing that our military would be stronger – and our nation safer – for the service of patriotic gay men and women who would no longer have to live a lie in order to defend the country they love. 
    Today, in accordance with this law, I signed the certification that will end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” once and for all.  The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also have certified that the military is ready for the repeal.  Sixty days from now, on September 20th, the repeal will be complete and gay men and women will be able to serve their country openly. 
    On that day, I’ll be thinking of the young woman I met in Afghanistan.  And I’ll be thinking of the countless others like her, straight and gay alike, who love this nation and the ideals for which it was founded, and who have signed up to serve so that we might all live in freedom and uphold this simple creed: we are all created equal. 
    Thank you for helping to make this victory for our country possible. 
    Sincerely,
    Barack Obama

    Finally I wanted to include a copy of the actual certification document



    This is a great day. The end to this awful law finally has an expiration date.





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              My Letter from Senator McCain        






    I love politics. I enjoy contacting my elected officials by email, phone, letters, etc. I want to participate in the governing process. I believe it is one of our most import responsibilities as citizens to do. We must do more than just vote. We must make sure that our elected officials know how we, as their constituents feel on the issues that matter most to us.

    The tough part is I live in Arizona. I am happy to say that I live in a district where I actually feel the representation I have in the State Legislature is good. I am also very pleased with my Congressman, Ed Pastor.

    Then you come to Senator Jon Kyl and Senator John McCain. I would say their representation lately couldn't be farther from my views. Although I know when I call their offices or write to them it is a long shot that they will be on my side, I do it anyway. You see, for me, these are the people it is most important I reach out to. I must continue to let them know I am here and they represent me.

    I recently emailed Sen. McCain and asked him to support the Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I know of two other constituents that support this - Cindy McCain and Meghan McCain. Since these two constituents are family and can't seem to sway him on this I know it's a long shot. Plus this is not the first time I have engaged the Senator on this issue. I have met with his D.C. staff in the past to discuss this issue on several occasions. I have also called his office and sent other emails on numerous occasions over the years.


    Today I got a response from Sen. McCain.

    From: senator@mccain.senate.gov
    Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1:07 PM
    To: Kathy Young
    Subject: Correspondence from Senator McCain


    June 15, 2011

            Dear Ms. Young:


            Thank you for contacting me to express your views on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I appreciate hearing from you.

            Recently, I was saddened to learn that the Obama administration instructed the Department of Justice not to defend any legal challenges to DOMA. I believe, like most Americans, that the institution of marriage should be protected and defined as a union between a man and a woman. It is this definition and only this definition that acknowledges and supports the vital and unique roles played by mothers and fathers in the important job of raising children.

            For this reason, I do not support the dismantling of an institution that is the very foundation of our society, and replacing it with newer and more flexible understandings that are of questionable public value. I will continue to promote unions that have traditionally provided the basis for stable families and committed relationships.

            Again, thank you sharing your thoughts on this issue. You can be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind should any legislation pertaining to DOMA be considered by the full Senate. Please feel free to contact me in the future regarding this or any other issue of concern.

                                              Sincerely,


                                              John McCain
                                              United States Senator


     
    There was no surprises in this response. Still hard to read. Still hurtful. In no way surprising.
     
    In the future Senator McCain will get another email from me asking him to support the repeal of DOMA. It won't surprise him. It may annoy him that I didn't seem to hear his answer. 
     
    Because the thing is it's his job to listen to me. It's my job to keep speaking to him. I will use different words and I will try different stories to convince him that recognizing my relationship has great public value instead of  something that to him is "of questionable public value." The point is, when my kids are old enough to understand the fight for equality and they ask me what I did to help protect my family, giving up will not be part of the story.





               Mitt Romney: 20 Things You Never Knew!! ……..(Allegedly!)         
    Mitt Romney: 20 Things You Never Knew!! ……..(Allegedly!)

    Mitt Romney: 20 Things You Never Knew...
    .
    Submitted by: Rob Gotobed
    Regular
    Keywords: mitt romney mitt romney meme relatable romney romney out of touch mitt romney quotes memes President debate Clinton Congress sex America wives Barack Obama nude sex tape Hot Girls women wedding twilight family guy Facebook USA twitter Mexican Harry Potter funnyordie
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               Obama to Sell Southern Whites in Africa         
    Obama to Sell Southern Whites in Africa

    Obama to Sell Southern Whites in Africa
    "Today I'm announcing a new plan to sell Southern white people to African countries. They will be transported in period-accurate ships from ports in Georgia and Mississippi. Now, we probably won't be able to fit as many 300 pound lard-asses in these old ships, but we're committed to making as many trips as necessary."
    Submitted by: ERICH ORIGEN
    Regular
    Keywords: obama africa obama africa trip southerners congress politics parody obama administration
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              New Part B Buy-and-Bill Data: Physician Offices Are Losing to Hospital Outpatient Sites        
    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the independent agency that advises Congress on the Medicare program, recently released its June 2017 Data Book: Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program. The report is a 201-page wonktastic data dump. Chapter 10 focuses on prescription drugs.

    In 2015, the most recent year available, Part B spending on drugs reached $25.7 billion. Hospital outpatient sites now constitute more than one-third of Medicare spending and have been crowding out physician offices. Part B payments to physician practices are growing much more slowly than payments to hospitals.

    For some time, I have been tracking the evolution of the buy-and-bill system for provider-administered drugs. These new data confirm my predictions that physician offices’ will account for a declining share of the buy-and-bill market. Still unknown: Is this good or bad for patients?
    Read more »
            

              Understanding CMS’s Surprising Reimbursement Cut for 340B Hospitals        
    Last Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shocked everyone with a proposal altering a small part of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. CMS proposed reducing reimbursement for certain Medicare Part B drugs purchased by 340B-eligible hospitals: from Average Sales Price (ASP) plus 6% to ASP minus 22.5%. Hospitals will also have to identify 340B claims with a new modifier.

    Below, I highlight the most important 13 pages of CMS’s 664-page proposal. I also offer some observations and commentary on the proposal.

    For context, I also include the new background memo for today’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing: Examining HRSA’s Oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The memo highlights the many negative findings from government watchdog agencies.

    Like it or not, change may finally be coming to the out-of-control 340B program. Let’s hope Congress can get the program refocused on genuine safety-net providers and financially needy patients.
    Read more »
            

              Drug Channels News Roundup, June 2017: Amazon, Whole Foods, 340B, DIR Fees, Provider-Sponsored Health Plans, and Kaiser        
    Happy 241st birthday, America! Before you launch your July 4 festivities, please enjoy these Drug Channels fireworks:
    • My $0.02 on how Amazon-Whole Foods affects Amazon’s pharmacy ambitions
    • Congress starts to get serious about the 340B program
    • CMS finalizes reporting on pharmacy-related DIR fees
    • A reality check on provider-sponsored health plans
    Plus, Kaiser provides a hilarious look at the hospital of the future…as seen from the 1950s!

    P.S. Follow @DrugChannels on Twitter for my daily curated selection of news and commentary.
    Read more »
            

              Ahead of July 4th, MADD Reminds Public That Drunk Driving Is Still the Biggest Roadway Threat        

    As families and friends across America make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with barbecues and beach outings, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Tom Udall and Congresswoman Nita Lowey want to remind everyone that drunk driving is still the biggest killer on our roadways.

    (PRWeb June 29, 2017)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/06/prweb14473781.htm


              Path Toward Citizenship or Legalization        
    Originally Published: The Hill’s Congress Blog, August 30, 2013 Controversy over a path toward citizenship is the most important roadblock to immigration reform. Many conservatives oppose a path to citizenship because it’s unfair to reward law breakers with citizenship.  Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Ida.) said, “People that came here illegally knowingly – I don’t think they […]
              Pre-Existing Conditions: How the New Proposed Healthcare Plan Could Deny You Coverage        

    Pre-Existing Conditions: How the New Proposed Healthcare Plan Could Deny You Coverage Congressional Republicans are dead-set on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, seemingly without regard for making improvements to the system. The President’s promise was more people covered with better care at less cost. That is not what the new GOP proposal would […]

    The post Pre-Existing Conditions: How the New Proposed Healthcare Plan Could Deny You Coverage appeared first on Cliffside Malibu.


              Only now does it occur to me... STORYVILLE        
    Only now does it occur to me... a few things about STORYVILLE.

    STORYVILLE is the only feature film to be written and directed by Mark Frost, co-creator of TWIN PEAKS. I watched it because I am a TWIN PEAKS die-hard. Here's what I learned:

    #1. It can't decide whether it wants to be a John Grisham-style courtroom drama or a Cannon Film. Think that sounds ridiculous? Then just let me lay the plot synopsis on you, and you can tell me the exact point where Grisham gives way to Golan-Globus:

    Clay Fowler (James Spader) is a young Louisianan whippersnappuh and ace lawyer running for Congress.

    There's all sorts of corruption and family history and bayous and rockin' chairs and microfiche––


    Most films of this kind make you wait about an hour for the microfiche montage sequence, but STORYVILLE delivers it in the opening shots of the movie!

    and there're backroom deals and suspenders and an irascible performance by Jason Robards,

    and pathos exuded by Woody Strode in browline eyeglasses,

    but then––ladies and gentlemen, just when you think you're watching THE CLIENT or THE PELICAN BRIEF, James Spader finds himself in hot water (literally) when he is blackmailed after being videotaped having sex with a martial arts instructor in her studio's (ninja) hot tub:

    And this is after they've already 'sexy-sparred' like Grace Jones and Christopher Walken in A VIEW TO A KILL.


    A VIEW TO A KILL meets A TIME TO KILL?

    Allow me to reiterate two things. One: I am not making this up. Two: ninja hot tubs are a staple of 1980s cinema, and I don't know why. I call them "ninja" hot tubs and not "martial arts" hot tubs (or even "jiu jitsu jacuzzis"), because they first appear in the Cannon classic REVENGE OF THE NINJA, where three separate hot tubs involving ninjas are made integral to the plot. In Cannon's NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, a ninja hot tub makes a notable appearance as a site of possessed ninja murder. In BLIND FURY (not a Cannon film, but starring Cannon's Sho Kosugi), there is a climactic martial arts and swordfighting duel over a hot tub. Later on in STORYVILLE, Spader returns to the scene of the ninja hot tub and battles a martial arts assassin. What does all of this mean? I was hoping you could tell me.



    #2. If you're looking for TWIN PEAKS, you found it... (kind of).

    There's a small town, quirky characters, and a dead body floating in the water in the opening scenes.

    He's dead... Wrapped in... the clothes he was already wearing, I guess. 

    It shares with TWIN PEAKS its casting director (Johanna Ray), cinematographer (Ron Garcia), production designer (Richard Hoover), set decorator (Brian Kasch), second-assistant director (Randy Barbee), and co-producer (Robert D. Simon).  It features a small, weirdo role for Catherine Martell herself, Piper Laurie:

    and a villainous turn (obviously) by Renault brother Michael Parks:
     
    who is sort of playing the same corrupt cop he played in THE HITMAN, though in this role he is permitted both the Cannon flourish of beating up James Spader while wearing a terrifying mask:
    as well as the Grisham flourish of testifying in a courtroom that the judge "will not allow to turn into a circus!"
    Michael Parks was a national treasure, by the way.

    In closing, this is a strange (and, I'll be honest, often mediocre) little movie that may find appreciative viewers among TWIN PEAKS enthusiasts, hot tub fans, Grisham die-hards, and, I daresay, aficionados of the Southern Fried Crawdad-Lickin' Sleaze-O-Rama genre.
              Montclair State Receives $2.5 Million U.S. Department of Education Full-Service Community School Grant         

    Montclair State Receives $2.5 Million U.S. Department of Education Full-Service Community School Grant

    More than 1,000 Families at Two Orange, New Jersey Schools to Benefit Annually from On-site Programs and Services at First University-Assisted Community School in the State

    Release Date: Janurary 23, 2014

    The U.S. Department of Education announced a five-year, $2.5 million award to Montclair State University to help fund the conversion of two low-performing Orange, New Jersey schools into University-Assisted Full-Service Community Schools (UAFSCS) – the first such schools in New Jersey.

    The funds will flow directly into the two schools to support a myriad of much-needed academic and enrichment programs and social and health services that will benefit more than 1,000 families each year.

    “This is a great honor for the Orange Public School District,” said Superintendent of Schools Ronald C. Lee. “I am excited about the opportunity that this award presents to Orange and the impact it will have on our community. We are extremely grateful to Montclair State University for supporting and believing in Orange and enabling us to cultivate positive change in the district through such things as a health clinic and other needed resources for our families.”

    Since 2008, Congress has invested $30 million in program grants led by partnerships among school districts and community-based organizations. The University was one of nine awardees selected from a pool of 147 applicants nationwide. The nine awardees represent 26 new community schools, including the two Orange, New Jersey schools in a range of urban and rural locales that will add to the 64 schools previously established in 38 states.

    “The range of partnerships and communities represented here demonstrates the increasing attention that educators and community leaders are giving toward community schools,” said Martin Blank, director of the Coalition for Community Schools. “We look forward to working with all awardees to share resources and connect them with our community school leaders as part of nationwide peer learning network.”

    In 2009 the Orange Public School District opened their first Full-Service Community School thanks to the generous support of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Montclair State University was an active partner from the beginning of this initiative. In 2013, Montclair State launched the Orange Community School Initiative (OCSI) to help empower and engage community members of Orange, New Jersey’s Rosa Parks School and Oakwood Avenue School, both of which are kindergarten through seventh grade schools. Funded with a two-year grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and support from the NJ Commission for National and Community Service, the University and Orange Public School District helped lay the foundation for a university-assisted community school model. Under this innovative model, public schools function as vital neighborhood centers that provide comprehensive educational and social services through local partnerships.

    “This is an incredibly transformative process for the schools, communities and the University,” said Bryan Murdock, the grant’s principal investigator and director of Service-Learning and Community Engagement at Montclair State. “Under the community school model, public schools function as neighborhood centers, around which local partnerships can be developed. The goal of a university-assisted community school is to engage community-based organizations along with the resources of the entire University (students, faculty, staff and alumni) to implement and sustain services and initiatives centered on a holistic approach to promoting the well-being and development of children, their families and the wider communities.”

    “The Department of Education grant will help us further align University expertise and resources in a broad community engagement strategy to address pressing educational, social and economic needs of the Rosa Parks and Oakwood school communities by uniting community and faith-based organizations, governmental agencies and the business community in common purpose,” said Murdock. “It will also help fund critical programs and services for students and families in the schools.”

    Murdock anticipates that over the next five years, 1,145 children and their families each year will be provided with services that support their academic and non-academic needs and aspirations by focusing on family engagement, in-school and after-school support and community partnerships.

    The grant will help to fund a variety of community-centered initiatives, including pediatric and dental clinics; mental health services; high-quality early learning programs; remedial education academic and enrichment activities; mentoring and youth development programs; and community service and service-learning programs. It will additionally support special programs that help chronically absent, truant, suspended or expelled students; provide adult education classes, such as high school equivalency, ESL and computer instruction; and supply career counseling services.

    Last year, approximately 200 Montclair State students took part in the OCSI initiative, including service-learning students, Bonner Leader AmeriCorps members, student interns, full-time AmeriCorps members from the University’s Environment, Education and Community Outreach, or EECO, program and other student and staff volunteers. University students along with multiple curricular and co-curricular units, divisions, academic departments and programs from across the University will continue to be actively engaged in the project over the next five years.

    “It is clear that the OCSI provides an excellent opportunity to engage the University beyond the campus,” noted Murdock. “We hope the Full-Service Community School grant will provide a larger platform to deepen and broaden our interdisciplinary academic and co-curricular engagement while contributing to meaningful community change.”
     


              State Dept Told ‘Friendly’ AP Reporters About Missing Hillary Emails Before Congress        
    'Just spoke to State'
              Will E.U. Court's Privacy Ruling Break the Internet?        

    In 2012, a bevy of internet companies and web sites waged a successful campaign against bills in Congress -- the PROTECT IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) --  meant to combat copyright privacy. In the face of this opposition, the proposals were dropped (although their legacy survives). One of the major claims by the opponents was that the bills would "break the Internet" by requiring the disabling of URLs and removal of online links to sites that include unauthorized uses of copyrighted materials (although not all agreed with this assessment).

    Now, the European Court of Justice has issued a decision (summary) that could require search engines to remove links to online information about individuals that is "no longer necessary in the light of the purposes for which they were collected or processed." The court's decision does not discuss how the removal of these links should be accomplished.

    The court's decision stemmed from a case brought by Spanish citizen Mario Costeja González, seeking removal from a newspaper's web site images of pages from January and March 1998 that included announcements for a real estate auction stemming from attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts owed by Costeja González. He complained to Spain's Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (Spanish Data Protection Agency; AEPD) (Spanish site; English resources), seeking removal of the information from the paper's website and from Google's search results.

    AEPD held that the newspaper need not remove the material, since it published it under a legal directive. But it upheld the complaint against Google, saying that Costeja González had the right to shield the information from public view via the search engine. Google appealed to Spain's Audiencia Nacional (National High Court). That court sought an advisory opinion from the European Court of Justice -- the highest court in the European Union -- regarding the applicability of EU privacy laws to the case.

    European law embodies a concept of privacy that is in many ways alien to American law, and would be unconstitutional under our First Amendment. This includes a right to bar or recover for publication of true but "private" information that is readily available publicly, and a right to shield dated information, often referred to as a "right to be forgotten."

    The question before the court was whether the EU directive embodying these notions (Directive 95/46) applied to Google. This, in turn, depended on whether Google could be considered a content provider. The court held that it was, even though the information that Google collects and displays in its search results is already published online by someone else. Since Google is a content provider, the court held, it is obliged to follow the privacy directive.

    Inasmuch as the activity of a search engine is therefore liable to affect significantly, and additionally compared with that of the publishers of websites, the fundamental rights to privacy and to the protection of personal data, the operator of the search engine as the person determining the purposes and means of that activity must ensure, within the framework of its responsibilities, powers and capabilities, that the activity meets the requirements of Directive 95/46 in order that the guarantees laid down by the directive may have full effect and that effective and complete protection of data subjects, in particular of their right to privacy, may actually be achieved.

    Google Spain SL v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), Case C‑131/12 (E.C.R. May 13, 2014), para. 38.

    The court also ruled that Google was subject to Spain's jurisdiction, including its law applying Directive 95/46, because of Google's web site directed at the country (www.google.es). The court rejected Google's argument that it was Google, Inc., in the United States that performed the indexing and search functions at issue, rather than the Spanish subsidiary: "Since that display of results is accompanied, on the same page, by the display of advertising linked to the search terms, it is clear that the processing of personal data in question is carried out in the context of the commercial and advertising activity of the controller’s establishment on the territory of a Member State, in this instance Spanish territory." Id., para. 57.

    After finding that the directive applies to Google, the court held that the search engine could be ordered to remove links to the objectionable material from search results for Costeja González's name.

    [I]n order to comply with the rights laid down in those provisions and in so far as the conditions laid down by those provisions are in fact satisfied, the operator of a search engine is obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name links to web pages, published by third parties and containing information relating to that person, also in a case where that name or information is not erased beforehand or simultaneously from those web pages, and even, as the case may be, when its publication in itself on those pages is lawful.

    Id., para. 88.

    The irony -- expressed in the last sentence above -- is that the court also observed that the newspaper that posted the notices of the auctions in the first place could not be required to remove those postings because they were published "solely for journalistic purposes," which is included within "the right to receive and impart information" guaranteed in Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and referenced in the directive.

    The court justified the different treatment of the newspaper and Google by staing that "first, the legitimate interests justifying the processing may be different [for the newspaper and the search engine] and, second, the consequences of the processing for the data subject, and in particular for his private life, are not necessarily the same." Id., para. 86.

    Indeed, since the inclusion in the list of results, displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name, of a web page and of the information contained on it relating to that person makes access to that information appreciably easier for any internet user making a search in respect of the person concerned and may play a decisive role in the dissemination of that information, it is liable to constitute a more significant interference with the data subject’s fundamental right to privacy than the publication on the web page.

    Id., para. 87 (emphasis added).

    The court acknowledges that these "rights override ..., not only the economic interest of the operator of the search engine but also the interest of the general public in finding that information upon a search relating to the data subject’s name. "  Id., para. 97. The court adds that this may not be true in the case of a promient person in public life, which may mean that the public interest in disclosure would outweigh that person's right to privacy.

    But since Costeja González is not a public person, he may request removal of the articles from Google's search results even though he cannot request removal of the same articles from the newspaper's website. Again, this would not be the case under United States law, regardless of the plaintiff's status as a private or public figure. In the U.S., privacy law generally does not provide a remedy for the dissemination of true information that is already publicly available; moreover, the compelled removal of such information would raise serious issues under the First Amendment as prior restraints on speech.

    The case now returns to the Spanish Audiencia Nacional for a specific decision in Costeja González's case, which can be appealed to Spain's Supreme Court. But the EU court's decision is binding on member states of the European Union, and could lead to more efforts by Europeans to have embarrassing or other material removed from web search results, even when the original site containing the material has no obligation to remove it.

    Google has stated that it is "analys[ing] the implications" of the ECJ ruling, but requiring the modification of search results in response to what will likely be a flood of complaints from residents of EU countries puts Google in the difficult (if not impossible) position of either managing these complaints at significant cost or taking a blunderbuss approach to removal of content. And would such results persist outside the EU? Content filtering by country is not a new concept, but this ruling has the potential to create a dramatically different Internet in Europe.

    There could also be a significant impact on the news organizations that, as the ECJ acknowledges, have the right to publish this information. The ECJ, in its ad hoc balancing of interests, seems blind to the fact that news organizations depend on search engines and other online intermediaries in order to reach their audiences. Allowing the subjects of news coverage to use these intermediaries as a choke point because the intermediaries are not themselves journalists threatens the primary benefit of the Internet -- namely, the networked dissemination of information.

    Operating on the Internet has always posed challenges in complying with the laws of multiple countries. Search engines in particular have had problems in the past dealing with Great Britain's privacy laws, France's laws against Nazi memorabilia, and China's web restrictions. But this ruling by the European Court of Justice might just be the straw that breaks the camel's -- or the Internet's -- back.

    Eric P. Robinson is co-director of the Program in Press, Law and Democracy at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He has taught media law and ethics at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Baruch College, and the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was also Deputy Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Courts and Media. He has also been a  staff attorney at the Media Law Resource Center and a legal fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In addition to his posts here, he maintains his own blog at bloglawonline.com.

    (Image courtesy of Flickr user The.Rohit pursuant to a Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0 license.)

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              Revised DOJ Regs Protect "Members of the News Media," But What Does That Mean?        

    On February 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice released its long-awaited revisions to 28 C.F.R. § 50.10, the DOJ's regulatory guidelines (the "Guidelines") regarding investigations and prosecutions of members of the news media. The prior version of the Guidelines came under fire last year, when it was revealed that the DOJ had, without prior notification, obtained two months of telephone records from 21 phone lines used by the Associated Press. These records had the potential to reveal confidential sources and other sensitive information relating to ongoing journalistic investigations. At that time, I wrote about weaknesses in the Guidelines' protections against unwarranted interference with journalism.

    In the wake of these revelations, the DOJ announced that it would revise the Guidelines to provide significant new procedural protections for the press. I'll let others review the provisions of the new Guidelines in detail; for now, I want to point out one critical omission. Although the Guidelines extend certain protections to "members of the news media," they (like the prior version) still contain no affirmative definition of that term.

    Instead, the only way in which "members of the news media" are defined is through exclusions. A number of these exclusions (predictably) relate to persons acting as agents of a foreign power, plotting terrorist activity, et cetera. More problematic are the implications of the following provision:

    A Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division may authorize, under an applicable [Privacy Protection Act] exception, an application for a warrant to search the premises, property, or communications records of an individual other than a member the news media, but who is reasonably believed to have "a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast, or other similar form of public communication."

    28 C.F.R. § 50.10(d)(6). The phrase "person reasonably believed to have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast, or other similar form of public communication" is how a journalist is defined in the Privacy Protection Act of 1980. The Privacy Protection Act was passed in response to concerns about the use of search warrants to invade newsrooms, and the inadequacy of Fourth Amendment standards for issuing warrants in the face of the special concerns raised by government investigations of journalists. Wisely, the Privacy Protection Act did not attempt to define journalists in terms of their organization or employment, but instead in terms of their function; this has enabled the Act to be flexible in responses to changes in technology and the journalism industry.

    We still do not know what "members of the news media" means in the new DOJ Guidelines, but (by the way the above provision is phrased) we know that it is more restrictive than the functional definition of the Privacy Protection Act. This should give independent journalists significant pause. When government agencies attempt to define a journalist, they tend to adopt either an employment-based approach or a functional approach; the DOJ now seems to be eschewing a functional definition (or at least one as broad as in the Privacy Protection Act).

    Moreover, apart from the single provision quoted above, the new Guidelines do not protect anyone who is not a "member of the news media"; in particular, they do not protect against the use of legal demands to third party carriers for communications records. This leaves journalists unaffiliated with a news organization on potentially unstable ground with respect to the security of their communications against secret government inquiries.

    Jeff Hermes is the Director of the Digital Media Law Project.

    (Image courtesy of Flickr user Peter Eimon pursuant to a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.)

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              Iran a `threat` to US national security: Pentagon        

    Washington: Claiming that Iran is a "threat" to the America`s national security, a top Pentagon official has told the lawmakers that the country is determined to prevent the former from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    "Iran is a threat to US national security in many ways, not simply their move toward the potential to develop a nuclear weapon," General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Congressional hearing on Monday.

    "I choose my words carefully, because the intelligence community has not yet come to a conclusion that they intend to build a nuclear weapon, but they`re certainly preserving and building on their options to do so, which should be of concern to all of us and is," he said in response to a question.
    "We have been very clear as a nation that we are determined to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon because it would be so destabilizing to the region. But they are also active in cyber. They`ve got surrogates all over the region and all over the world. They proliferate arms. They are a disruptive influence globally. And so I do consider them a threat to our national security," Dempsey said.

    The US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, said the US remains focused on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    "It`s certainly giving them options to move in that direction," he said when Senator Lindsay Graham asked: "Do you think what they`re doing with the centrifuges is designed to produce weapons material or just peaceful power?"
    PTI

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              NASA was hacked 13 times last year        

    Washington: NASA said hackers stole employee credentials and gained access to mission-critical projects last year in 13 major network breaches that could compromise US national security.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Inspector General Paul Martin testified before Congress this week on the breaches, which appear to be among the more significant in a string of security problems for federal agencies.

    The space agency discovered in November that hackers working through an Internet Protocol address in China broke into the -network of NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory,

    Martin said in testimony released on Wednesday. One of NASA`s key labs, JPL manages 23 spacecraft conducting active space missions, including missions to Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

    He said the hackers gained full system access, which allowed them to modify, copy, or delete sensitive files, create new user accounts and upload hacking tools to steal user credentials and compromise other NASA systems. They were also able to modify system logs to conceal their actions.

    "Our review disclosed that the intruders had compromised the accounts of the most privileged JPL users, giving the intruders access to most of JPL`s networks," he said.

    In another attack last year, intruders stole credentials for accessing NASA systems from more than 150 employees. Martin said the his office identified thousands of computer security lapses at the agency in 2010 and 2011.

    He also said NASA has moved too slowly to encrypt or scramble the data on its laptop computers to protect information from falling into the wrong hands.

    Unencrypted notebook computers that have been lost or stolen include ones containing codes for controlling the International Space Station, as well as sensitive data on NASA`s Constellation and Orion programs, Martin said.

    A NASA spokesman told Reuters on Friday the agency was implementing recommendations made by the Inspector General`s Office.

    "NASA takes the issue of IT security very seriously, and at no point in time have operations of the International Space Station been in jeopardy due to a data breach," said NASA spokesman Michael Cabbagehe.

    AIR FORCE SCRAPS IPAD PURCHASE

    In a separate development, the U.S. Air Force said on Friday

    it had scrapped a plan to outfit thousands of personnel with second-generation iPad tablet computers from Apple Inc, but denied the reversal was because some of the software it wanted on the devices had been written in Russia.

    Two days ago, news website Nextgov raised questions about a requirement that the 2,861 iPad2s come equipped with GoodReader, an electronic document display program written by an independent Russian developer.

    The devices were to be used to store and update flight information, regulations and orders, according to procurement documents.

    "The cancellation was not the result of any concern about GoodReader," said Matt Durham, a spokesman at the Air Force Special Operations Command.

    He said the cancellation of the six-week-old order followed a decision that the procurement should not have been reserved for small businesses.

    The military and other branches of government have been putting an increased emphasis on "supply-chain security" as they try to make sure that hardware, software and other components have not been tampered with by other nations.

    This has proved challenging because so many parts come from overseas. Even American companies often contract for programming work abroad.

    Mike Jacobs, who headed the National Security Agency`s program for defending U.S. equipment, said in an interview he had killed a major procurement of encryption software within seconds after learning that a U.S. supplier had included a small amount of Russian-made code.

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              Fat Americans pose a threat to national security: Generals        

    Washington: Increasing rates of obesity among young Americans could undermine the future of the US military, with potential recruits increasingly too fat to serve, two retired generals said on Friday.
    "Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military," generals John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, both former chairs of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a commentary.

    Obesity disqualified more potential recruits for military service than any other medical factor, the two former commanders wrote in the Washington Post.

    The two generals urged Congress to adopt legislation that would ensure better nutrition in schools, offering children more vegetables, fruits and whole grains while cutting back on foods with high sugar, sodium and fat content.

    "We consider this problem so serious from a national security perspective that we have joined more than 130 other retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders in calling on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation," wrote the commanders, part of a non-profit group called "Mission: Readiness."

    The warning came amid growing concern that childhood obesity has turned into an "epidemic," affecting a staggering one in three American youngsters.

    A study released in March warned more American children are becoming extremely obese at a younger age, putting them at risk of dying decades younger than normal-weight children and of suffering old-age illnesses in their 20s.

    The US military also faces a problem with troops already serving who are overweight, with some soldiers losing out on promotions because of their failure to meet fitness standards.

    Although the military enjoyed record-breaking recruitment levels last year, officials say the growing problem of obesity could present a serious problem for recruitment efforts over time.

    The two retired generals endorsed a plan by President Barack Obama`s administration to increase funding by one billion dollars a year over ten years for child nutrition programs.

    Investing in nutrition made sense as the country was already spending 75 billion dollars a year on medical costs associated with obesity, they said.

    Citing figures from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the commentary said the proportion of potential recruits who flunked their physical tests because they were overweight has jumped nearly 70 percent since 1995.

    Shalikashvili, who led the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997, and Shelton, who held the same post from 1997 to 2001, cited school lunch legislation passed in 1946 as a model.

    Military leaders at the time recognized that poor nutrition reduced the pool of qualified candidates for the armed forces, they said.

    "We must act, as we did after World War II, to ensure that our children can one day defend our country, if need be."

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              Fat Americans pose a threat to national security: Generals        

    Washington: Increasing rates of obesity among young Americans could undermine the future of the US military, with potential recruits increasingly too fat to serve, two retired generals said on Friday.

    "Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military," generals John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, both former chairs of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a commentary.

    Obesity disqualified more potential recruits for military service than any other medical factor, the two former commanders wrote in the Washington Post.

    The two generals urged Congress to adopt legislation that would ensure better nutrition in schools, offering children more vegetables, fruits and whole grains while cutting back on foods with high sugar, sodium and fat content.

    "We consider this problem so serious from a national security perspective that we have joined more than 130 other retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders in calling on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation," wrote the commanders, part of a non-profit group called "Mission: Readiness."

    The warning came amid growing concern that childhood obesity has turned into an "epidemic," affecting a staggering one in three American youngsters.

    A study released in March warned more American children are becoming extremely obese at a younger age, putting them at risk of dying decades younger than normal-weight children and of suffering old-age illnesses in their 20s.

    The US military also faces a problem with troops already serving who are overweight, with some soldiers losing out on promotions because of their failure to meet fitness standards.

    Although the military enjoyed record-breaking recruitment levels last year, officials say the growing problem of obesity could present a serious problem for recruitment efforts over time.

    The two retired generals endorsed a plan by President Barack Obama`s administration to increase funding by one billion dollars a year over ten years for child nutrition programs.

    Investing in nutrition made sense as the country was already spending 75 billion dollars a year on medical costs associated with obesity, they said.

    Citing figures from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the commentary said the proportion of potential recruits who flunked their physical tests because they were overweight has jumped nearly 70 percent since 1995.

    Shalikashvili, who led the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997, and Shelton, who held the same post from 1997 to 2001, cited school lunch legislation passed in 1946 as a model.

    Military leaders at the time recognized that poor nutrition reduced the pool of qualified candidates for the armed forces, they said.

    "We must act, as we did after World War II, to ensure that our children can one day defend our country, if need be."

    Bureau Report

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    Yes
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    Fat Americans pose a threat to national security: Generals


              NAACP report documents racist current in Tea Party        

    Adrienne,
    I have decided I do not want to get into a back and forth with you. Whatever I write will be distorted. Readers can read my post and your reply and decide for themselves whose points they consider valid.

    You imply that I am calling you personally a racist because I have written about the racist strand in the Tea Party. You really need to read more carefully.

    The recent NAACP report meticulously documents this racist current. I suggest you read it. A summary and links can be found at http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/4957-naacp-relea...
    From the report:

    Earlier this week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights announced their intent to release a report entitled, Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of its National Factions.
    Released on Wednesday, October 20, the report focuses specifically on six major Tea Party groups: FreedomWorks, 1776 Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots, ResistNet, and the Tea Party Express. Co-authored by Leonard Ziskind and Devin Burghart. It ultimately concludes that the Tea Party movement is “permeated with concerns about race” and that the individual Tea Party groups “have given platform to anti-Semites, racists, and bigots.”
    According to the introduction, “This report documents the corporate structures and leaderships, their finances, and membership concentrations of each faction. It looks at the actual relationship of these factions to each other, including some of the very explicit differences they have with each other. And we begin an analysis of the larger politics that motivate each faction and the Tea Party movement generally.”
    The report meticulously outlines alleged “racist” and ethnocentric tendencies in Tea Party organizations as it proceeds through a variety of chapters: "Introduction"; "Local Tea Party Chapters"; "Origins of the Tea Parties"; "Tea Party Nation At A Glance"; "Tea Parties — Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse"; "Tea Party Patriots At A Glance"; "Who is an American? Tea Parties, Nativism, and the Birthers"; "Tea Party Express At A Glance"; "Correlation Between Unemployment Levels and Tea Party Membership?"; and "FreedomWorks At A Glance."
    The chapter entitled “Tea Parties-Racism, Anti-Semitism, and the Militia Impulse” is perhaps the most troubling. It begins:
    This section of the Special Report compiles opinion polling data, documents significant examples of racist vitriol on the part of the Tea Party leaders, shows incidents where well-known anti-Semites and white supremacists have been given a platform by Tea Partiers, and analyzes the attempt by white nationalist organizations to find new recruits in Tea Party ranks.
    However, much of the cited material includes the presence of Confederate battle flags, signs that read “America is a Christian nation,” and “racist caricatures of President Obama," all of which are presented as indicators of “racism.” Another instance of racism addressed in this section are “venom (and spittle) directed at African-American Congressmen during the health care debate,” an incident which has long since been proven to be wholly exaggerated.

    Karen Bojar


    http://www.the-next-stage.com/


              PESQUISA: Se não fosse trágico, seria cômico!        

    A ONU resolveu fazer uma pesquisa em todo o mundo.

    Enviou uma carta para o representante de cada país com a pergunta:

    "Por favor, diga honestamente qual é a sua opinião sobre a escassez de alimentos no resto do mundo".

    A pesquisa foi um grande fracasso. Sabe por quê?

    - Todos os países europeus não entenderam o que era "escassez".

    - Os africanos não sabiam o que era "alimento".

    - Os cubanos estranharam e pediram maiores explicações sobre o que era "opinião".

    - Os argentinos mal sabem o significado de "por favor".

    - Os norte-americanos nem imaginam o que significa "resto do mundo".

    - O congresso brasileiro está até agora debatendo o que é "honestamente".

              TIRIRICA PALHAÇO???        
    Galera, aí vai um recado do TIRIRICA...
    ... e pensar que eu ria da cara dele!!!

     
    O grande parlamentar brasileiro TIRIRICA foi diplomado em 17/12/2010.


    Salário: R$ 26.700,00
    Ajuda Custo: R$ 35.053,00
    Auxilio Moradia: R$ 3.000,00
    Auxilio Gabinete: R$ 60.000,00
    Despesa Médica pessoal e familiar: ILIMITADA E INTERNACIONAL (livre escolha de medicos e clinicas).
    Telefone Celular: R$ ILIMITADO.
    Ainda como bônus anual: R$ (+ 2 salários = 53.400,00)
    Passagens e estadia: primeira classe ou executiva sempre.
    Reuniões no exterior: dois congressos ou equivalente todo ano.
    Mensalão: A COMBINAR!!!
    Custo médio mensal: R$ 250.000,00
    Aposentadoria: total depois de 8 (oito) anos e com pagamento integral.
    Fonte de custeio: NOSSO BOLSO!!!


    Dá para chamar ele de palhaço?

    Pense bem, quem é o palhaço?

    Nem é preciso dizer...


    BOPE: R$ 2.260,00 Para arriscar a vida;
    Bombeiros: R$ 960,00 Para salvar vidas;
    Professores: R$ 728,00 para preparar para a vida;
    Médicos: R$ 1.260,00 para manter a vida;
    E um deputado federal? Ganha R$ 26.700,00 para ferrar a vida do Brasileiro!



    "Não viva para que a sua presença seja notada,
    mas para que a sua falta seja sentida..." Bob Marley

              Monarchy in the age of New Labour        


    Peter Hitchens:


    "...Anyone who tries to discuss the political role of the monarchy is immediately banged over the head by tedious quotations from Walter Bagehot (it helps a lot if you know this is pronounced Badjot), who for some reason is believed to be the last word on the subject, thanks to some 19th-century scribblings that have become famous. He limited the functions of the monarch to muttering hesitant advice, and perhaps warnings, into the ears of ministers. This is taken as a sort of gospel on the subject.

    And this might have worked in the dead era when the British establishment was run by gentlemen. Though don't be so sure. George V exerted all his influence to obtain a peaceful settlement in Ireland in 1921, which few can object to, but was he entitled to do so? He may well have gone beyond his powers in helping set up the National Government of 1931. Edward VIII came close to causing complete constitutional catastrophe. George VI utterly disgraced himself when he publicly lauded Neville Chamberlain's catastrophic surrender at Munich in 1938, an error he atoned for later but which oughtn't to be overlooked, ever. It is not often enough remembered that George VI and his Queen (the future Queen Mother) invited Chamberlain on to the balcony of Buckingham Palace to bathe in the cheers and admiration of a gigantic, deluded crowd, the whole embarrassing scene illuminated by the only anti-aircraft searchlights then available in London.

    There are a couple of interesting fictional reflections on this that are worth looking at. George Macdonald Fraser's 'Mr American', one of his few non-Flashman books, contains an well-observed and historically well-informed depiction of Edward VII and examines the cunning and shrewdness that monarch used to keep pre-1914 Britain from flying apart. Constantine Fitz Gibbon's enjoyable and bitter Cold War thriller 'When the Kissing Had to Stop’ has some cunningly-described scenes as various highly responsible and senior persons try to use the traditional safeguards of the British constitution to prevent a pretty obvious coup d'etat. In an entirely believable way, they all persuade themselves that they are powerless to act until it is too late, and the putsch, with all its terrible consequences, succeeds.

    Princecharles_1 Why does this matter? I think our obsession with 'democracy' as the only thing that makes government legitimate tends to blind us to the importance of other things. Why do we make such a fetish out of universal suffrage? If you had a choice between liberty and democracy - which are by no means the same thing, which would you pick? If you had a choice between the rule of public opinion and the rule of law, which would you pick? Are we safer with both Houses of Parliament 'elected' by party machines, or with at least one House whose members are immune from 'democratic' party pressure?

    Actually, pure democracy would be unbearable, since every politician, to survive or prosper, would have to be a crowd-pleasing Blair type (actually, this now seems to be more and more what we have got).

    Even assuming that we could reconstruct something like a decent education system, it is hard to see how a state governed purely by the popular will could be anything other than a corrupt anarchy, or a demagogic dictatorship. The purest product of mass democracy since it came into being was Adolf Hitler - whose National Socialists would have won an absolute majority in the Reichstag under our first-past-the post system, by the way. This isn't an argument against that system( which I favour) just a warning against being complacent.

    Mass opinion can prevent good actions, as well as stimulating bad ones. It was American democracy, and the fervent campaigns of the America Firsters, that prevented Franklin Roosevelt from aiding Britain against Hitler. US public opinion was dead against involvement in a European war, and it's still not clear what would have happened if Hitler hadn't declared war on the USA after Pearl Harbor.

    So most serious wielders of power in democratic states devise ways of frustrating, or getting round the 'people's will' which they praise in public. Mostly, these days, these anti-democrats are of the left. In the US, a largely liberal elite has for decades been using the unelected third chamber of Congress - the Supreme Court - to pass radical social legislation. In Canada, left-wingers who could never get anywhere in parliamentary politics have exploited the 'Charter of Rights and Freedoms' to do the same sort of thing.

    And the European Convention on Human Rights gives liberal judges and the lawyers the same power to intervene here. The balance of our mixed constitution, partly as a result of this, has tipped heavily towards the Left. Parliament, especially the House of Commons, is now the servant of a left-wing governing party, not at all its master. So who or what can speak for tradition, for conservative opinions, for private life and family, for inheritance and continuity? Certainly not the Tory Party, which flatly refused to defend the hereditary principle against the attacks of Baroness Jay (who just happened to be the daughter of Jim Callaghan, and had no other visible qualification for her grand post as Leader of the Lords, in one of the best jokes of the 1990s).

    That Tory failure to defend heredity was a warning to the British people and the monarchy that worse was to come. We all actually value inheritance - we expect to leave, or be left our goods and wealth in legally enforceable wills. We all know that we inherit important characteristics and gifts from our parents, and hope to pass such things on. Our state, with its memory and experience stretching back a thousand years, inherits each generation the principles of law and justice and liberty wrought by centuries of experience and combat. So what is wrong with a Head of State who embodies this idea?

    Nothing, except that he or she gets in the way of the Left's desire for total control over the state, especially over the things previously regarded as politically neutral and so loyal to the crown - the civil service, the armed forces and the police. All these bodies are now increasingly politicised. I think that the moment is approaching when the monarchy has either to assert itself or be abolished. The danger is that, in asserting itself, it may get abolished as a punishment, while being slandered as unrepresentative, elitist etc. It will be a very difficult and risky moment..."


              U.S. debt rating to be downgraded. Again!        
    According to Merrill, the boneheads in Congress will again fail to agree on a plan that will put us on a healthy financial track. Unbelievable.

    31 Vote(s)
              Berating Bigotry: Religious And Policy Groups Respond To Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim Hysteria