Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Americans die of gun violence by twenty times than any other country." Lisa Bloom

Piers Morgan. 

I thought I was disoriented or something because I couldn't find anyone reporting or discussing the shootings today. Then Mr. Morgan was talking about it and I was relieved someone was at least as sane as I was.

56 minutes ago
Miami (AFP) - A 71-year-old retired policeman (click here) was refused bail after allegedly shooting dead a fellow moviegoer in Florida for using text messages with his phone, authorities in the US state said.
Curtis Reeves, a retired police captain from Tampa, was being held on suspicion of second-degree homicide after he opened fire on Chad Oulson, 43, Monday at a cinema in Wesley Chapel, Florida, Pasco county judge Lynn Tepper said.
The police report said Reeves fired one shot from his .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun after the two men exchanged words over Oulson's use of his smartphone shortly before a screening of military action film "Lone Survivor."...

The man carried his weapon with him into a movie theater to watch the movie, lost his temper and killed someone over the use of a cell phone. Amazing. This is what we have come to in this country. We don't value human life the way we should anymore. It used to be the worst anyone could do in a theater or library was to say, "Shhhhhh" and it would embarrass the other person and they would stop their annoyance. Now, why bother causing embarrassment, end it. What is incredible to me is that the man probably expected to finish watching the movie after he silenced the 'problem.'
I have been trying to win at Ms. Pacman for decades. 
I have yet to beat it.
Now that is what I call loyalty to a product.

Another school shooting.

How does a junior high student carry a shotgun into the school? In a backpack? 

I was in Best Buy recently. Just looking around and I was astounded at the lack of choice of games for X-Box. They were all violent in content.

What ever happened Mario Brothers and the Princess?

Video games really need to be less 'life like' and insert an aspect to their programs that insure the consumer this is PRETEND, especially in the violent venue. The Gaming Industry are literally raising their consumers. The folks purchasing these games started out when they much younger with Mario Brothers and the Princess and have now graduated to sincere violence. These consumers have always been gamers since they were young.

As these consumers grew out of their childhood programs the Gaming Industry grew with them. Nothing like playing GI Joe as an adult in a faux venue that mimics life while waving Mario good-bye.

Jan. 13, 2014

Microsoft created a Black Swan moment in its new, (click here) somewhat scary Xbox One ad, which follows a man who is so immersed in his gaming experience that he can no longer tell if the injuries he receives in the game are real or fake. ”If it were any more real, it would be real,” the spot’s tagline reads....

There is some serious obstruction to California's high speed rail.

According to those that oppose the project the entire cost has to be secured before it can proceed. Those that oppose state there is no private monies to contribute. It would seem that is not the case.

The state is up against a deadline for spending the monies supplied by the federal government. I would think with private interest willing to invest, the federal dollar deadline could be extended until the court ruling could be appealed.
California's planned bullet train moves ahead despite a recent court challenge, according to Ben Tripousis, who heads the Bay Area segment of the $68 billion project.
...Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny (click here) on Nov. 25 rejected a request from the High-Speed Rail Authority to sell $8 billion of the $10 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2008. Kenny said state bullet train planners were wrong to determine it was “necessary and desirable” to start selling the bonds....
...Gov. Jerry Brown has budgeted $250 million for the high-speed rail project this year, money he said will come from the state’s cap-and-trade program.
That public money, Tripousis said, will help attract private investors that are needed to pay for the project. Tripousis said China, Japan and other foreign countries with bullet train systems have expressed interest in operating some aspects of California’s bullet train....

Christie doesn't travel outside the USA, does he?

By Jenna Portnoy
The Star-Ledger 
on May 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM, updated May 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM

...Tom Wilson, (click here) a former state Republican chairman, said that although there might eventually be residual benefits, for now Christie is giving more than he’s getting from politicians eager to share a stage with him.

"You stand next to someone whose light is a little brighter than yours so you can come out of the shadows and capture some of that," Wilson said....

A friend of mine lives in Hightstown, New Jersey. He has a small transportation business. Freight hauler. He receives shipping containers out of Port Elizabeth and delivers them throughout New Jersey and along the I-95 corridor. He has several trucks.

In 2008, after the global economic collapse a customer cancelled all their shipments to the USA because the company believed their product was an option in purchasing and not a staple to consumers. The product was flower bulbs out of Holland. That company was 40% of his business and that income just stop cold except for 30 days worth of receipts. He had to reduce his liability in employee numbers and returned to driving one of the trucks himself.

The business has recovered somewhat, but, he still drives from time to time when he never did before. I can't help but wonder why Governor Christi isn't engaged in talks with other nations in Europe to increase trade, both import but also export. He seriously needs to look at how much trade returned to the New Jersey ports after 2008. If the import/export isn't balanced and hasn't returned to healthy levels he needs to find trade partners to encourage product production in New Jersey for export in exchange for importing products to his state. Most every Governor does that. I am fairly confident Europe would love to increase their economy while striking a trade deal with New Jersey. 

Interesting. He is focused on domestic politics. I would think if he was seriously interested in running for federal office, especially the Presidency, he would have logged some time oversees. Fort Dix and McGuire AFB are still in NJ, aren't they? He doesn't visit New Jersey soldiers and veterans in hospitals? Many Governors do.

There is every reason in the world to disagree with Governor Christi's policies, but, it doesn't require character assassination.

Governor Chris Christie is no different than any other Republican in the USA. He sees dedicated monies to public employees and wants to get his hands on it. They can't stand it and they covet it in ways that would increase the wealth of the Plutocracy. Bush and Cheney did and people rarely realized they were being robbed while running around terrified for their own lives.

He basically set up every Democrat in the chamber for being the enemy of school children. Why? Because he wants to get his hands on more pension funds and now he is hacking away at 'earned sick time.' He made everyone feel guilty that the monies in vast amounts, up to $880 miillion in sick time banks to public employees, can be moved to make every child successful.

He is brilliant. No doubt in my mind. The Dems need to address the topic of education in NJ and how it is going to move forward to insure the success of the majority of children in their state. Look, the statistics about Camden is a crime all by itself. Something has to be done. He wants to do it. I am confident every Democrat in New Jersey wants to do it, so they need to find a way.

He wants to address crime. I applaud him because he reaches into his experience as a US Attorney and otherwise to propose changes in sentencing, placing the power to protect the public on a case by case basis in the hands of judges. It is brilliant. It is not only brilliant, it is CONSTITUTIONAL according to the USA Constitution. 

He didn't demand the legislature to put guns on the street or in the hands of terrified citizens at every turn, in parks, in schools, on university campuses. I sincerely think he knows better and while he uses emblematic bills, such as the one regarding ammunition before his election, he knows more guns mean for crime and more deaths by homicide and suicide.

He wants to return every citizens' loss because of Sandy back to them. I believe him. The legislature needs to take the initiative to seek out reasons why that hasn't happened by now and pass legislation that knocks down walls and return citizen's value back to them. Normality is important to those citizens as well as the economy of New Jersey.

I think he gave a great speech. He recognized rather incredible people during that speech. He was real, but, Christi is always real. He takes his responsibility seriously and speaks to every person as if they are the only person in the room. He isn't a phony.

His tactics are rather incredible. He pit Democrats in defense of public employees against the 'idea' there are public employees on sick leave receiving six figures 'while sick.' Well, yeah. If their lives while working received a six figure salary they will need those same funds when sick. Won't he? I am not wishing anything on him, but, I don't believe he works for minimum wage, does he?

He doesn't want to raise taxes to pay the bills New Jersey faces, so he is looking at large amounts of funding sitting in RESERVES and believes they are best spent on bills rather than the future AND the promises the state made to them. The Democrats face the exact same problems the Governor points to. It isn't enough to simply disagree with him, but, they have to have alternative methods of solving the problem. They need to validate the problem the Governor points to is real, promise to solve the problem and then propose a solution that can achieve the same outcome with better and different methods.

People want their problems solved and not postponed. Every parent wants their children to move into their own American Dream and not pay off bills that belong in previous generations. 

I think New Jersey has a great Governor. As a Governor he is focused on solving problems for the state and he sincerely believes the monies spent on public employees is the wrong thing to do. Okay, so he believes it is the wrong thing to do, but, there are legislators that feel differently. The Governor found a solution, it is up to the Democrats to refute it and propose a better alternative. When the people of New Jersey begin to write and phone the Governor's office with demands to accept the Democratic alternative while including some of his directives; then you've got a functional state government. 

He also addressed the scandal within his administration at first breath. I congratulate him. I am sure it wasn't easy to do. The facts are yet to be realized and the limits on the laws regarding this scandal may prove to seem inadequate to voters and legislators both. Well. He didn't see the problem before it occurred, right? 

The Fort Lee issue is a bigger problem than just New Jersey and to that end there needs to be a review of what occurred so the Port Authority can better address this from happening again. Apologizing isn't enough. The legislators should be taking the information received in investigations and apply them to change the law governing the Port Authority so it doesn't happen again. If there were laws broken and those that broke them did so willfully and maliciously there will be charges filed and their response is going to be required. Any criminality will be known, but, that occurs in time and while the public has to be reminded this is a problem; they don't need to hear it every day or every week. Seeking to be judge and jury is unethical and needs to be avoided. Either the law works or it doesn't. Either way, the truth will win out and that is what is important.

It seems as though Governor Christi put a challenge before the people and their legislators today. I am confident they are all up to the challenge and I wish them great success.

Doesn't Wall Street realize they have to live on this planet along with their consumers?

...More than 200 organisations across the EU, including the TUC, Greenpeace and War on Want, have written a joint letter to European and American trade negotiators demanding the removal of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process from the final treaty....

What good is sovereignty if a country can't enforce the law of the land? Wall Street is horrible. Wall Street is one of the most anti-social capacities a government needs to protect their citizens from and this is what is transpiring. I can't believe the USA is part of this disgusting practice.

Do you know what this does? It promotes offshoring. In other words if a company puts their company headquarters in the USA they can play games with regulations in Europe.

This demands that Europe relinquish their sovereign right to care for it's citizens in a meaningful way. THAT is sovereignty. Amazing.

Forget Wall Street. Small, local business is the best option for any commodity in any country. No doubt in my mind. It maintains quality of life within a country and provides employment along with quality consumer products. The EU and the Brits are taking this far too lightly. Why would a country pass laws that will result in lawsuits? That makes sense? That is hideous. Why pass laws that will add to the cost of conducting government and business? 

The Brits and the EU are bargaining with the ability of the courts to return their sovereign rights in the face of international agreements that sell out to Plutocrats. That is not good governance. Increasing the cost of doing business by encouraging lawsuits to defeat consumer protection laws increases the cost of the products. The cost of the lawsuits will be passed on to the consumer and increase prices. The cost of the courts to hear these lawsuits increases the cost of government. Why do that in the first place? Makes absolutely no sense and it assaults sovereignty.

I am ashamed of my government for participating in these disgusting and damaging practices by Wall Street. I don't consent to this agreement. It is simply "W"rong.

Tuesday 14 January 2014
Britain’s freedom to tackle climate change,(click here) protect consumers or guarantee a publicly run NHS could be jeopardised by a trade deal being negotiated between Europe and the US, MPs and pressure groups have warned.

Under a draft plan supported by the European Commission, multinational firms would be given wide-ranging powers to sue EU governments that adopt public policies deemed to “discriminate” against free trade.

Campaigners warn that similar trade deals elsewhere in the world have resulted in countries being sued for adopting policies in the public good – such as anti-smoking measures – because they were deemed to penalise foreign investors. These include Australia which is currently being sued by Philip Morris for introducing plain cigarette packaging, and Canada, which is being sued by US drugs firm Eli Lilly for revoking patents on drugs on the grounds that their benefits may have been overstated....

The Georgia Republicans in the US and State government are worried the US will bankrupt the US Treasury on Medicaid.

Gov. Nathan Deal (click here) said Tuesday that he will not expand Georgia's Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act — which would have provided an estimated 650,000 low-income Georgians with health coverage. Above, Francel Kendrick works at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Posted: 7:08 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012
By Daniel Malloy
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

...“No, I do not have any intentions of expanding Medicaid,” Deal said. “I think that is something our state cannot afford. And even though the federal government promises to pay 100 percent for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter, I think it is probably unrealistic to expect that promise to be fulfilled in the long term, simply because of the financial status that the federal government is in.”...

...“Consumer patient advocates obviously feel very, very strongly that this is the opportunity of a lifetime to address the intractable and abysmal health access and outcome indicators we have in Georgia by covering some of the uninsured,” said Cindy Zeldin, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future.
But U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., called Deal’s decision “smart.”...

...Timothy Sweeney, the director of health policy at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, which advocates for new revenue sources over budget cuts, said the fuss is too great over a relatively small portion of the state’s yearly budget. The estimated $450 million yearly tab would have been 2.3 percent of Georgia’s most recent budget of $19.3 billion.
“That is hardly a number that should be considered blowing a hole in the state budget,” Sweeney said. “And it doesn’t look at the impact beyond the expansion on the economy of those billions of dollars going to health care providers, the impact on the health care system of a dramatic reduction of uncompensated care and making the system more efficient.”...
In all honesty, it doesn't look like bankruptcy to me. The Republicans have very strange priorities. 

Posted: 7:47 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2014
By Misty Williams
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

More than half of Georgians (click here) in a new AJC poll say that all or at least parts of Obamacare should be repealed, but an even larger proportion believe the state should expand Medicaid.

The poll, conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Abt SRBI Inc., measured the views of registered voters across the state last week.

While 53 percent favor repeal of the law, or at least parts of it, 57 percent of Georgians said the state should expand Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act — something Gov. Nathan Deal has so far decided not to do.

The health care program for the poor would take in an additional 650,000 people if the state expanded it....

Posted: 4:56 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2014
By Misty Williams
...The NAACP and other liberal groups (click here) staged the “Moral Monday” rally, an offshoot of a movement that started in North Carolina. One of the group’s goals is to promote Medicaid expansion in Georgia.
“Make them hear you,” North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber told the crowd. “Don’t make a deal with injustice. Do what is right.”...

Here we go with really lousy Republican Priorities and their political misguidance to the public. The Washington Post (click here) is reporting the new budget released to fund the government for the rest of the year cuts $1 billion from the "Prevention and Public Health Fund. Below is a statement by the "Prevention and Public Health Fund":

The United States (click here) has the potential to have one of the healthiest populations in the world, but we currently spend too much and achieve too little. Our per capita health spending is more than twice the average spent by other industrialized nations, but we rank 24th out of 30 such nations in terms of life expectancy. Also striking is the fact that only 3 percent of our health care spending is focused on prevention and public health, when 75 percent of our health care costs are related to preventable conditions.

The Affordable Care Act took an important first step toward addressing these issues by creating a mandatory fund, the Prevention and Public Health Fund. By law, the fund must be used “to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public health care costs.”...

One of the most important aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to promote good health and preventive care to BEND DOWN THE CURVE of the cost of USA health care. The very last place Congress should be cutting spending are those programs designed to bring down health care costs. In bringing down the cost of health care there will be monies returned to the USA economy to support other economic venues and expand further the opportunities for American employment, saving and achieving the American Dream. Republicans have really lousy priorities that feed Wall Street and deprive the American people their opportunities to be happy and live an enjoyable life. Differently stated, the Republicans feed Wall Street at the expense of "Quality of Life" of citizens of this country.