Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The GOP takes the NRA's agenda too far.

..."Stand your ground is the dumbest law ever put on the books." Wille Meggs, Florida State Attorney.

The people responsible for the Stand Your Ground law are former Gov. Jeb Bush and NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. Bush signed Stand Your Ground into law in 2005. Hammer has defended the law....

...On February 26, seventeen year old Trayvon Martin (click title to entry - thank you) was gunned down by Sanford Florida resident George Zimmerman. Martin was shot once in the chest by Zimmerman. The young man was found lying dead in the street, in possession of nothing more than a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.
The young man's assailant was not arrested for the killing of Martin. He is protected by the 2005 stand-your-ground law, signed into action by then Governor Jeb Bush. The law has been used as a defense in 93 cases and has been successful in most of those cases. 
The stand-your-ground law gives carte blanche to anyone who feels threatened.  It allows them to use deadly force if they believe they are in jeopardy. Justifiable homicides are said to have tripled since the law's inception. Jeb Bush, called the law a "good, commonsense anti-crime" bill.  The question is, good for who?...

Governor Jeb Bush (right) shares a light moment with Governor Mitt Romney (left) and chief financial officer candidate Tom Lee (center), during a campaign stop in Daytona Beach, Thursday.  (PHOTOS by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel 

Five years since Florida enacted "stand-your-ground" law, justifiable homicides are up (click here)

By Ben Montgomery and Colleen Jenkins, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Sunday, October 17, 2010

Billy Kuch is pictured in the hospital after he was shot in 2009. He drunkenly stumbled to the door of the wrong house at 5 a.m. 

...If history serves, the gunman stands a very good chance in court. The case may not even make it to trial.
That's because of Florida Statute 776.013(3), which took effect five years ago this month. The old law gave you the right to protect yourself with deadly force inside your home. The 2005 law gives you the right to protect yourself in a park, outside a Chili's, on a highway — just about anywhere.
You need only to "reasonably believe" that pulling the trigger or plunging the knife or swinging the bat is necessary to stop the other person from hurting you.

Reports of justifiable homicides tripled after the law went into effect, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Last year, twice a week, on average, someone's killing was considered warranted....

...But the law has also been used to excuse violence in deadly neighbor arguments, bar brawls, road rage — even a gang shoot-out — that just as easily might have ended with someone walking away.

Has it cheapened human life?

Miami's police chief made a prediction shortly before the law took effect:
"Whether it's trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn't want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house,'' Chief John Timoney told the New York Times, "you're encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn't be used.''
Four years later, Billy Kuch got drunk, so drunk that at 5 a.m. one day he stumbled to the door of the wrong house in a look-alike neighborhood and tried to open it, twice....

...Arthur Hayhoe read about Billy Kuch in the newspaper. The executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence added another file to his growing stack. This shooting wasn't far from his own home.

Hayhoe says the law turns Florida into the Wild West.
"What in the hell is our state government doing passing a law encouraging our citizens to solve disputes with guns?" he said. "This is the right-to-commit-murder law."
Florida was the first of more than 20 states to allow people to defend themselves with deadly force anywhere they had a right to be.
Credit the National Rifle Association. Backed by the influential organization, the "stand your ground" legislation won broad support from lawmakers and praise from then-Gov. Jeb Bush as "a good, common-sense, anticrime issue."...

...In 57 of them, those who used force were either not charged with a crime or the charges were dropped by prosecutors or dismissed by a judge before trial. Seven other defendants were acquitted.
Some people fought off intruders in their homes or businesses, which would have been allowed even before the "stand your ground" law.
The use of force resulted in 65 deaths....

Mexican earthquake on Pacific coast similar to two years ago.

Magnitude 7.4 OAXACA, MEXICO (click here)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
18:02:48 UTC

Magnitude 7.2 BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO (click here)
2010 April 04
22:40:42 UTC

Magnitude 7.2 temblor caused by same tectonic shifts that created Baja Peninsula (click here)
Richard A. Lovett
for National Geographic News
Published April 5, 2010
The magnitude 7.2 earthquake that jolted northern Mexico and Southern California yesterday afternoon was the first big earthquake to occur on this particular fault system since 1892, scientists say....

It seems to have a wide spread shake pattern.  I can't help but wonder the relationship between this quake and the rather complicated quake in 2010.

March 20, 2012 2:25 PM

7.4 quake hits near Acapulco, Mexico (click here)
...A pedestrian bridge collapsed and crushed a microbus in Mexico City, but there were still no reports of deaths. A building in the neighborhood of Condesa appeared to be on the verge of collapsing.

The quake was felt strongly in southern Guerrero state, where the epicenter was located about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the city of Ometepec. Neighboring Oaxaca state also shook heavily, including with two aftershocks.

Governors in both states reported on their Twitter accounts that there were not major reports of damage....
The two quakes could be related through the Cocos Plate and North American Plate.  The seismic activity, 7.4 and 7.2, seems to similar to exclude that potential.


New data shows El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake was simple on surface, complicated at depth (click title to entry - thank you)

...The El Mayor–Cucapah earthquake happened along a system of faults that run from Southern California into Mexico, cutting through the Cucapah mountain range and across the Colorado River delta. This system of faults forms a portion of the plate boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. Two main segments of the fault tilt downward steeply from the surface at opposing angles: the northwestern half angles downward beneath the Mexicali Valley, whereas the southeastern half angles away from the valley.
In a standard model, transform plate boundary structures—where two plates slide past one another—tend to be vertically oriented, which allows for lateral side-by-side shear fault motion. In the case of this quake, however, lead author Shengji Wei, a postdoctoral scholar in geophysics, and colleagues showed that the 120-kilometer-long rupture involved angled, non-vertical faults and that the event was initiated on a connecting extension fault between the two segments....

August 11, 2011
PASADENA, Calif.- Like scars that remain on the skin long after a wound has healed, earthquake fault lines can be traced on Earth's surface long after their initial rupture. Typically, this line of intersection is more complicated at the surface than at depth. But a new study of the April 4, 2010, El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in Baja California, Mexico, reveals a reversal of this trend. Superficially, the fault involved in the magnitude 7.2 earthquake appeared to be straight, but at depth, it's warped and complicated.

The study, which was led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory geophysicist Eric Fielding serving as a coauthor, is available online in the journal Nature Geoscience....

Rove's American Crossroads wants to contest Bob Kerrey's roots and rights.

Kerrey vs GOP: ‘The Nebraska Way’ (click title to entry - thank you)
Posted on March 19, 2012
By Joe Jordan
Nebraska Watchdog
OMAHA — Those three little words are now part and parcel of Bob Kerrey’s bid for the U.S. Senate: “The Nebraska Way.”...
Everyone had to know this one was coming.
Nebraska Republicans will challenge Kerrey residency in court  (click here)
By MARGERY A. BECK/The Associated Press
Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 1:05 pm

...the U.S. Constitution requires only that senators be a resident of the state they serve by the time they're elected....
...Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and 1992 Democratic presidential candidate, is seeking the seat he held for two terms from 1989-2001. The seat is now held by Sen. Ben Nelson, the state's lone congressional Democrat....

Kerrey complains about tone of residency ruling (click here)
Mar 19, 2012 12:30pm
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey objects to the way Nebraska's Republican Secretary of State John Gale handled questions about his residency.
Kerrey sent Gale a letter Monday complaining about the four-page opinion the Secretary of State issued Friday affirming Kerrey's right to vote and run for office in the state.
Kerrey says Gale raised unnecessary questions about his right to vote and made comments that seemed designed to fuel partisan attacks against the former governor who lived in New York for the past decade. Kerrey decided last month to return to Nebraska and run for his old Senate seat.
Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Neal Erickson said Monday that Gale stands by the ruling he issued last week and wouldn't comment on Kerrey's letter.

Sustaining a happy marriage, even for the poor, frequently means being intimate without childbearing, yet...

...across the USA in cities where it would be popular to victimize poor women there are decisions like this being made.

Women don't need the political backlash.  They need the freedom to handle the responsibilities of relationships and family.  Raising a family is not a political event.

County to reconsider family planning grant (click title to entry - thank you)

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners at its April 2 meeting will reconsider the county Health Department's request to use state funding for family planning supplies, which suddenly turned controversial this week after the board refused the funds.
Chairman Ted Davis Jr., in an email sent Wednesday afternoon to county officials, instructed the county manager to schedule a discussion and public hearing about the health department's request on the agenda for the April 2 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m..
The board voted unanimously Monday to refuse $8,899 in state bonus funding for the health department, which planned to use the money to buy intrauterine devices (IUDs) – a form of birth control inserted directly into a woman's uterus.

It isn't as though less than $9000 is flooding the market in Wilmington, NC.  The devices are not inexpensive to purchase, but, they are far less expensive to use than 'the pill.' The IUD is another 'imagineering' abortion measure by the political Right Wing Political sect.  IUDs prevent implantation, so if abortion is defined as a lack of viable implantation, then tubal pregnancies are abortions, too.
The IUD (click here) is the most inexpensive long-term and reversible form of birth control you can get. Unlike other forms of birth control, the IUD only costs money in the beginning. The cost for the medical exam, the IUD, the insertion of the IUD, and follow-up visits to your health care provider can range from $500 to $1,000. That cost pays for protection that can last from 5 to 12 years, depending on which IUD you choose. In general, the Mirena IUD costs more than the ParaGard. 
From "The American Pregnancy Association:"

How effective is an intrauterine device? (click here)

The intrauterine system possesses a failure rate of less than 1%. This means that fewer than one out of every 100 IUD users will become pregnant during the first year of use. You should take a pregnancy test if you are experiencing any pregnancy symptoms.

Posted: 03/20/2012 9:37 am
So I sat down and wrote to him. This is the letter I sent him: (click here)

Dear Governor Romney,
I don't ordinarily write letters to politicians. We've never met. I'm a single mom living in Florida, and you have a pretty full plate.
My teenage daughters are on Spring Break this week, and I want to spend all the time I can with them. But first I'm reaching out to you because I am so troubled by comments you made this week. I was surprised and alarmed to see video of you saying, "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that," during a discussion about the federal budget.
Governor Romney, Planned Parenthood saved my life. I know what it would mean to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood....

Why is the rest of the world willing to do what should be done when the USA cannot?

Who’s Afraid of War Crimes Prosecution? – Cheney cancels Toronto speaking event (click title to entry - thank you)  

by James Corbett
March 16, 2012
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Elizabeth, have cancelled a planned speaking engagement at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre next month, citing safety concerns. According to the president of the promotion company that booked Cheney for the April 24th speech, “He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high. They specifically referenced what happened in Vancouver.”
The reference is to a fierce protest of Cheney’s speech in British Columbia last September which necessitated the use of Vancouver riot police and kept Cheney locked inside the speaking venue for seven hours while crowds were dispersed.
Cheney is not the first credibly accused war criminal from the Bush Administration to cancel a speaking arrangement due to concerns about popular protest or even arrest.
In early 2011 former President George W. Bush was forced to cancel a trip to Switzerland to speak at a fundraiser for the United Israel Appeal after it was revealed that a number of human rights groups were planning to prosecute Bush for war crimes, including contravention of the Convention Against Torture to which the United States is a signatory....

Fortune Names Halliburton to ‘Most Admired’ List (click here)

In its March 19 issue, Fortune magazine will publish its annual World’s Most Admired Companies list for 2012. Halliburton is rated as fourth in the world for the “Oil and Gas Equipment, Services” sector.
Companies are evaluated based on innovation, people management, social responsibility and global competitiveness, among other attributes. The rankings are based on a survey of about 15,000 senior executives, outside directors and industry analysts.

It is a limited list. Halliburton is fourth on the Oil and Gas Equipment MOST ADMIRED. It is still 'most admired,' though. Does there have to be candidates with exploitative and shady operations on the list in the absence of any decent companies? 

There is little work Halliburton did in Iraq that was admired, yet alone most admired.  When is this self-stroking and hubris going to end with Wall Street. Moral is moral. Halliburton doesn't even come close. Maybe the MOST ADMIRED TRUTH about Wall Street is they are NOT moral!

Fortune's Most Admired Oil and Gas Equipment List (click here)

Brazil Chevron oil leak charges to focus on safety - Ya think? (click title to entry - thank you)

Chevron have already been fined $100m for November's oil spill 

(Picture Below) In this handout image released by Chevron on March 19, 2012, containment equipment is pictured in the Frade Field, in the waters of the Campos Basin in Rio de Janeiro state. A Brazilian prosecutor plans to allege this week that Chevron and Transocean should not have drilled a deep-water well that leaked in November, legal documents showed, giving a glimpse into expected criminal charges that could slow the rush to develop Brazil's vast offshore oil wealth. The allegations are part of police and prosecutors' reports being used to assemble criminal indictments against oil company Chevron, drill-rig operator Transocean, and 17 of their executives and employees.

When considering how reasonable these charges are to the crimes involved and reflecting on the blatant disregard of safety with the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion that caused the deaths of eleven people and the largest environmental disaster in US History.  If the Congress doesn't want to hold Tony Hayward responsible in a criminal court, then maybe Congress out to be held over in a criminal court!

RIO DE JANEIRO | Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:04pm EDT

(Reuters) - A Brazilian prosecutor plans to allege this week that Chevron and Transocean should not have drilled a deep-water well that leaked in November, legal documents showed, giving a glimpse into expected criminal charges that could slow the rush to develop Brazil's vast offshore oil wealth.

The accident cracked geological structures in the reservoir and oil will continue leaking from the field until it is emptied, the prosecutor Eduardo Santos de Oliveira told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday.

The prosecutor's comments expanded on his investigations and police reports being used to assemble criminal indictments against U.S. oil company Chevron, drill-rig operator Transocean, and 17 of their executives and employees.

The documents, obtained by Reuters, provided the most detailed look yet at possible causes of the oil leak off Brazil's southern coast. They also outline why prosecutors are seeking criminal charges for what industry watchers note is a relatively small spill at a well that was approved for drilling by Brazilian regulators....

If the determination by the Brazilian government teaches the global community anything, it is that deep water drilling is not taken seriously, the expertise of the industry is lacking and there needs to be STANDARDIZED, INTERNATIONAL regulations adhered to in order to prevent collapse of the global fisheries.

The world is getting smaller and the ability to feed it CANNOT be altered any further by oil companies with complete disregard for human life over profits!

In an ocean environment one mile down, it has been proven there are no safe practices.  It is hideous to consider drilling in extreme environments is even reasonable.

The Ryan Plans have no moral content. They destroy the American Dream and Promises.

By Larry Cohen
04/29/11 08:48 AM ET 

...We can reduce the amount of money we need to spend on healthcare for seniors, and for everyone else, but penalizing our aging adults and raiding Medicare is not the way to do it. The fiscally responsible approach must include policies that keep people healthier now, in order to reduce the demand for medical care throughout their lives....

Does the nation WANT to see their healthcare dollars actually delivering health care?  Then there are ways of doing that or Americans allow "Death by Health Insurance Company?"

...That approach is prevention.
The Ryan plan doesn’t focus on any of the drivers of health costs, and it doesn’t make anyone less sick. Its magical thinking simply reduces the flow of money available for treatment and care, while failing to address the healthcare costs that will get passed along to families and businesses. This is detrimental to our nation and the deficit. If, instead, we reduce the number of people injured and ill in the first place, we won’t just save money. We will save lives....

Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes – are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year. They account for 75% of the nation’s health spending. Focusing on prevention can both improve the health of Americans and help control health care spending. In fact, a report from Trust for America’s Health entitled Prevention for a Healthier America concluded that investing $1 in proven community-based programs could yield a return of $5.60....

Ryan's proposals are OLD and have no meaning anymore, but, they are stated over and over and over as if it matters.  The GOP have no ideas and no answers.  Any confusion about that?

Wellness Based Healthcare: Prevention, Intervention and Innovation for Chronic Disease (click here)
Published on 25 April 2010 

Creating a wellness-based healthcare system is the focus on a new series of articles published by American Health and Drug Benefits, a peer reviewed journal. They cover a wide spectrum of topics on how to build and support prevention and wellness, particularly for chronic conditions. The ideas and information are particularly timely given the array of prevention and wellness initiatives in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):...

The snow that sublimed into water vapor is evident in the UNISYS Water Vapor Satellite of the North and West Hemisphere Today.

March 20. 2012
UNISYS Water Vapor Satellite of North and West Hemisphere (12 hour loop at title to entry - thank you)

Any confusion about this?

Tornado warning in Texas, water rescue call in Okla. as heavy rain rolls across central US (click here)

By Associated PressPublished: March 19

OKLAHOMA CITY — Heavy rain fell across parts of the nation’s midsection Monday, forcing at least one motorist stranded in high water to call for help, while others braced for storms that could bring hail and tornadoes over the next few days.
A tornado warning spanned part of Texas, and flood warnings stretched from southeast Texas north through western Missouri....

Ryan sees a nation in decline, I see a party in decline. Same ole, same ole ideology. No ideas. No answers.

March 19, 2010

1050 am est

The GOP Budget and America's Future

The president's budget gives more power to bureaucrats, takes more from taxpayers to fuel the expansion of government, and commits our nation to a future of debt and decline.

Less than a year ago, the House of Representatives passed a budget that took on our generation's greatest domestic challenge: reforming and modernizing government to prevent an explosion of debt from crippling our nation and robbing our children of their future.
Absent reform, government programs designed in the middle of the 20th century cannot fulfill their promises in the 21st century. It is a mathematical and demographic impossibility. And we said so.
We assumed there would be some who would distort for political gain our efforts to preserve programs like Medicare. Having been featured in an attack ad literally throwing an elderly woman off a cliff, I can confirm that those assumptions were on the mark....