Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ultimately there is only one person responsible for the GW Bridge closure and that was Mr. Weinstein. He acted on an e-mail where he stated, "Got it." 

If your supervisor told you to drink arsenic, would you do it?

Mr. Weinstein drank the arsenic and that is why he is declaring Fifth Amendment protections because there are laws in place that he may have broken. He is not in contempt of court because if he were charged with crimes after giving testimony without immunity the words he spoke in the hearing would be used against him. His use of Fifth Amendment protections was appropriate.

The rest is politics. It just is. Mr. Weinstein had the authority to stop the actions and he didn't. He could have approached anyone involved in the chain of command and stated, this is a public hazard and I won't be a part of it and if you want to cost me my job, I'll take it to the press. Just that simple.

Doug Stanglin
USA Today
January 16, 2014

A newly formed special state committee (click here) investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal issued 20 subpoenas Thursday, including several to key staff members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The legislative committee sent subpoenas to 17 individuals and three institutions. None was immediately named.

Assemblyman John Wisinewski, who is leading the investigation, said no names would be revealed until the recipients were officially served. That could happen Friday.

A New Jersey Senate committee is also investigating whether Christie's top advisers orchestrated or covered up lane closures near the bridge for political purposes....

Anyone involved in this are basically spectators to his actions. Whether or not the conspiracy exists? Who knows? It could have been a scheme cooked up over cocktails at a victory party. But, the only person that can be charged with a crime is Mr. Weinstein.  If further disclosure proves to embarrass other people then it their political reputations they have played with in a silly game of hubris.

Impeachment involves crimes or misdemeanors. I don't believe no matter how high the conspiracy goes there are any crimes in it.

The way I see this is simple. The subpoenas will provide information as to the 'intentions' of Mr. Weinstein to decide whether or not HIS ACTIONS were based in revenge or a true traffic study and the reasons there was a study at all. Other than that they are not going to serve the public's interests except in deciding who 'also' was involved.

The Port Authority employees should have and in one instance acted to end the project. They are responsible as well.

The State of New Jersey can expedite the entire mess by charging Mr. Weinstein with whatever crimes they believe he committed and then get on with the trial. There will probably be a plea bargain and then it is over. But, Bridgette has no liability here, except, she was involved in hubris and an agreement on when this should take place. But, she answered to Weinstein in this instance because she reminded him of the actions of the day. She basically is his secretary at this point. 

A cc to the Governor doesn't mean he ever saw it and if he did I would imagine without someone coming forward to state as much, he would have to find out what the closing was all about and then act on the memo. He wasn't going to undermine his own appointee and he wasn't going to micromanage the Port Authority.

Conspiracy to commit? Considering there were basically only, and yes only, inconvenience to motorists there is nothing here to charge in a conspiracy. 

Where the incident takes color is in civil lawsuits for any actual damages the decision to close the lanes caused. But, the inconvenience of motorists is not a crime. Even if New York believes they lost revenue, that is not a crime unless it was intended to cause fiscal damage to New York in a specific way. 

I wish everyone the best of luck. 

The USA cannot afford to lose more jobs to the TPP.

The Washington Post

Struggling retail giant J. C. Penney (click here) Wednesday announced it would close 33 under-performing stores - including the store in Exton Square Mall in Chester County - slashing 2,000 jobs in the process.
The other Pennsylvania stores that would close are in Hazelton and Washington. Two stores in New Jersey also are affected, in Burlington and Phillipsburg, as well as a store in Salisbury, Md.
Most of the stores that will close are in smaller cities, where there may be few other retail alternatives and the loss of a J.C. Penney anchor store could be a blow to area malls. Among the cities losing a store is Salisbury, Md., and Bristol and Norfolk in Virginia....

The USA is suffering from poor corporate leadership. Hedge fund billionaires don't know how to make a company profitable or even sustain it's market share. They know how to destroy companies and rob pension funds, but, when it comes to actually managing a company sustainable and profitable it is out their reach. I mean, look at the banks. Quick cash, that is the only thing hedge fund billionaires are good for. They love corporate junk yards.

The sincere problem with these million-billionaires is that they don't recognize the corporate junk yards they should pursue. They target any company with sizable pension funds and then create junk yards out of them. Many companies were gobbled up by the SuperRich for fast cash in order to do more of the same.

The 0.1 percent and the 1 percent are a real problem. They are altering the world and any sustainable economy. So long as they are reaping greed they don't care about the rest of any economy. They have the money to literally destroy a countries economy. That is why local economies are so very important. It keeps an economy real and within reach of the people that rely on it. Local economies will reel in the SuperRich from destroying the global economy AGAIN. It is a defense strategy against the SuperRich and Corporate American with poor leadership and it sincerely works.

With JC Penny imploding in small cities, the small business owner can again gain market share and open their shops again. The implosion of JC Penny is a good example of the destruction to date of these corporations. I can't wait for the Mom and Pop Stores to be wall to wall in the USA, again.

By Joseph Guinto
November 2o13

On August 12 of this year, Bill Ackman, (click here) a silver-haired hedge fund billionaire, sat in front of remote-controlled cameras in the black-backdropped studio where PBS’ Charlie Rose show is filmed and quietly began defending himself.
Ackman, a 47-year-old New Yorker, had acquired a $900 million stake in Plano-based J.C. Penney Co. Inc. in 2010 and gained a seat on the company’s board. Then he aggressively pushed the iconic, 111-year-old department-store chain, founded in 1902 by the son of a Baptist preacher, to radically reinvent itself. Ackman urged his fellow board members to oust longtime CEO Mike Ullman and to replace him with Ron Johnson, the savant behind both Apple’s Genius Bar and the computer company’s sleek retail stores.
But Johnson’s tenure at the top of J.C. Penney was anything but tidy. Sixteen months later, the company’s stock had cascaded nearly 50 percent, 19,000 employees had lost their jobs, and sales had fallen by more than 25 percent—an almost unheard of slide for a major retailer. The board, Ackman included, fired Johnson in April and rehired Ullman. Then, by August, Ackman was publicly calling for Ullman to be fired again. “In my opinion,” Ackman wrote in a letter to the board that he released to the media, “Mike is overly optimistic about the near-term future of J.C. Penney.” Ackman also accused his fellow board members of dragging their feet on finding a replacement for Ullman, who he insisted was only supposed to be an interim CEO upon his return.

Canada's Prime Minister Baird dismisses the environment (climate) as important.

This is tar sands oil before it is then again processed to create a type of oil that will actually move through a pipeline.

By Andrew Mayeda and Jim Snyder
January 16, 2014

...President Barack Obama (click here) said in June he wouldn’t approve the project if it significantly worsened carbon pollution.

“U.S. energy independence is too important,” Baird said in his speech, to explain why a decision on the pipeline is needed. “The environment is too important. Our economies are too important.”...

Why is it when elected government officials fail at an economic uptick, they always fall back on exploitation of natural resources of their country? If the Canadian economy was humming along, this wouldn't even enter the dialogue. It is corruption and greed, plain and simple. The filthy rich can never get enough.

The USA is already energy independent. We don't need Canada's oil sludge. Besides it is a highly immoral form of energy. Unfortunately, the Canadian government had no will of their own when former Vice President Cheney put pressure on them to develop further tar sands. That was TAR sands.

A Canadian Prime Minister doesn't need to put his corrupt relationship with the US Chamber of Commerce and the petroleum industry on the backs of Americans, he can own it all himself.

...President Barack Obama said in June he wouldn’t approve the project if it significantly worsened carbon pollution.
“U.S. energy independence is too important,” Baird said in his speech, to explain why a decision on the pipeline is needed. “The environment is too important. Our economies are too important.”...

Baird's status with Canadians is falling due to the lack of movement against the Climate Crisis. With Canadians turning against the Tar Sands and the pipelines Baird is under more pressure to demand completion from the USA. His cronies are seriously worried the Canadian people will elect people to office that can finally take their worries about the Climate Crisis seriously.

By Theophilos Argitis
Jan. 15, 2014
...Canadian support (click here) for the $5.4 billion link between Alberta’s oil sands and U.S. Gulf Coast refineries has declined to 52 percent in December from 68 percent in April, while opposition has increased to 40 percent from 28 percent. The survey of 1,000 Canadians taken between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16 has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, according to the Ottawa-based agency....

November 18, 2013
Vancouver, Toronto – Although Canadians continue to expect governments to take the lead on climate change, (click here) they appear to be losing confidence in their leaders, according to a survey released today by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.
It found that a majority of Canadians accept the reality of climate change due to human activity, and that the number who believe in the conclusiveness of the science continues to grow. Most Canadians believe something can be done to address climate change, including shifting energy requirements from fossil fuels to cleaner renewable forms of energy....
These are some of the key findings of the survey, released as government representatives from around the world gather in Warsaw, Poland, for the United Nations climate change summit....

John Kasich is ultimately responsible the folly of his executions.

There needs to be an investigation into cruel and unusual treatment. This is not a prison resilient to tried and true methods of execution. This was a human experiment with drugs never approved for this level of lethality.

Executed Ohio killer Dennis McGuire took 15-minutes to die with never-before-tried drugs (click here)

The two drug combination was used for the first time on the convicted killer and rapist, who stabbed pregnant woman Joy Stewart to death in 1989.

January 16, 2014

Lucasville, Ohio - A condemned Ohio inmate appearted to gasp several times and took more than 15 minutes to die Thursday as the was executed with a combination of drugs never before tried in the U.S.

Death row inmate Dennis McGuire made several loud snorting or snoring sounds during one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999.

Ohio officials used intravenous does of two drugs, the sedative midazolam (Versed, a very short acting preoperative sedation/anxiolysis with anterograde amnesia, used in procedures requiring light sedation) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid which is a man-made compound similiar to morphine.) to put McGruire to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant woman, Joy Stewart....

Versed is a benzodiazepine in the same family as Valium or lorazepam (Ativan). It is never intended to lethal purposes. Below is the prescribed amount for sedation. It frequently is administered during minor procedures in a hospital such as a triple-lumen catheter placement. Vital signs are monitored with patients during these procedures. The drug wears off after 12 to 15 minutes. Recovery from the anesthesia is extremely quick and why it is used.

<55 years without premedication: 300-350 mcg/kg IV injection over 20-30 seconds; wait 2-3 minutes to evaluate sedative effect after each dose adjustment; may use increments of 25% of initial dose PRN to complete induction; may use up to 0.6 mg/kg total dose in resistant cases, but such dosing may prolong recovery

What Ohio is doing is PLAYING with the potential of these drugs to overdose the inmate in order to end his life. Overdosing does not end a life, it suppresses the respiratory centers and even slows heart rate, but, overdosing to end a life usually requires high levels of a drug and Versed is rarely known to kill anyone from an overdoes. In the fifteen minutes that it took for this inmate to die Versed had already worn off.

Dilaudid is a pain reliever. It works similar to morphine in adhering to opiate receptors of the central nervous system. Basically, it diminishes the signals to the brain that interpret pain. It is like a blocking agent. The higher the does the more molecules available to adhere to the opiate receptors. What Ohio is attempting to do is overdoes the inmate to provide enough effect to suppress respirations and heart rate to induce death. There is no known amount of Dilaudid to cause death. It is highly individualized as to how much Dilaudid is required to kill someone.
Dilaudid, like morphine, is processed out of the blood stream through the liver. The liver when eliminating these drugs reacts as if they were toxic. The liver will create higher levels of cells to eliminate the understood toxin.

The liver actually produces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as it experiences toxins. That is what causes 'drug resistance' best understood with cancer sufferers. They will need higher and higher amounts of the drug in order to achieve the pain relief they are seeking. The reason for the higher doses in such people is because the liver produces more of these organelles to remove the 'toxin' faster and faster. It is a survival mechanism of the human body.

The inmate may have been exposed to prior doses of Dilaudid or may have been a drug abuser, therefore, he probably had developed more ER, thus the ineffectiveness of the drug used to facilitate death.

There is no research that proves Dilaudid will cause death at any dose. People who abuse drugs can die of Dilaudid overdoes, BUT, that is because they understand their own bodies resistance to the drug and can take enough to commit suicide or they took too much unwittingly to achieve better pain relief. But, for a physician to be able to write a one time dose that would cause the death of a patient doesn't exist.

The execution today was a human rights abuse and in violation of USA law which prohibits cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners and in their execution sentence.

What occurred today was GUESSING. There is absolutely NO RESEARCH on the amount required to kill a human being. There is no way to know because everyone's physiology is different and their exposure to these drugs makes for and unpredictable outcome.

Good-bye and good riddance. McKeon finally realizes his old world ideas require retirement.

McKeon has no definition for PEACE. He has only one focus: "...our new security strategy."

He sees war as forever. He views the military industrial complex as necessary and grossly underfunded. He has no intention of proceeding in peace. He believes in nation building globally to insure the USA national security. He isn't leaving because there are far to few moderates in the US House. He is leaving because he isn't effective in pushing a far more aggressive stance by the USA globally. He is pouting. The tears are for himself and his belief system.

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) (click here) issued the following statement after hearing the delivered testimony of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker today before the House Armed Services Committee on the status of the "surge" and of our new security strategy.

“Much has changed in Iraq since General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker last addressed Congress seven months ago, and the success is undeniable.  The ‘surge’ is working; overall violence in Iraq is down; political reconciliation is rising, and the Iraqi government and citizens are taking on greater responsibility each day.

Today’s testimonies were candid and honest assessments of the success of the counter-insurgency efforts of our troops.  While we heard very positive news from our military leaders, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker made it clear that challenges remain.  From here, it will be critical for Congress to work together and support our troops in policy, funding, and resources to keep the momentum of success moving forward...

McKeon and the Heritage Foundation (click here)

The F-35 Love Affair.

Matthew McKillip
May 7, 2011
In the opening address (click here) of Heritage’s Protect America Month, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) praised the two companies for putting their own money on the line and embracing free-market principles.
Even without additional funding from the Pentagon, GE and Rolls-Royce will continue to develop an alternative Joint Strike Fighter engine, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee announced in a speech at The Heritage Foundationthis week.
“Instead of lobbying for the final 20 percent needed to finish the engine, the GE team has committed to funding the engine for Fiscal Year 2012 on their own dime,” McKeon said. “They believe in their engine and they believe in competition. Thanks to their willingness to compromise, we’ll break up a monopoly and potentially harvest billions in savings, while fielding a more capable, more robust fighter jet — all at zero cost to the taxpayer.”...

Dick Cheney is alive in the US Senate. Forget the sanctions simply declare war.

I've never thought of the US Senate as stupid, but, it may be the case. The Iranian people have put their best citizen as President of their country to find a way to peace with the rest of the world and the USA Senate kicks sand their face. I really think the politics in the USA is so completely ridiculous it is no longer a good partner to their allies.

There are innumerable organizations stating the negotiations with Iran are making strides they never expected so early in the talks. The Iranian people have spoken and there is absolutely no concrete reason to continue to impose harsher sanctions. Enough already. The Iranian people are the ones at the diplomatic table, not just 'one man from Iran.' 

President Rouhani is a gift to the world by the Iranian people. He is very capable of bringing about a resolution to skepticism that Iran is seeking nuclear war. It is time to get this done. The US Senate is not engaged in leadership, but, the same dogmatic politics that have destroyed the democracy in this country since Bush robbed the election of 2000 from the people of the USA. Get over it.

On Line: 15 January 2014 17:20
In Print: Thursday 16 January 2014

Sixty-two U.S. organizations (click here) delivered a joint letter to the Senate on Tuesday urging it to oppose new Iran sanctions legislation, S.1881, that they say would “critically endanger the possibility of a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear standoff with Iran.” 
The letter, organized by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Win Without War, was signed by progressive groups including CREDO, and Daily Kos; pro-Israel groups including Americans for Peace Now and J Street; and religious organizations including the United Methodist Church, according to the NIAC’s website.  
The letter comes just two days after the United States, Iran and other members of the P5+1 agreed on terms to implement the Joint Action Plan over Tehran’s nuclear program struck in November....

National Iranian American Council
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Win Without War
Adventist Peace Fellowship
American Baptist Churches
American Friends Service Committee
American Values Network
Americans for Peace Now
Augustinians Province of St. Thomas Villanova
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
Center for Interfaith Engagement, Eastern Mennonite University
Center for International Policy
Come Home America
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Council for a Livable World
Daily Kos
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding
Evangelicals for Social Action
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Franciscan Action Network
Global Exchange
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
International Civil Society Action Network
Islamic Society of North America
J Street
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Maryknoll Office For Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
Muslim Public Affairs Voice
Muslims for Progressive Values
New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
On Earth Peace
Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Pax Christi International
Peace Action
Peace Action West
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Progressive Democrats of America
The Shalom Center
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
Society of the Divine Savior - American Province
Tikkun/The Network of Spiritual Progressives
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
U.S. Province of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit
Veterans for Peace
Women’s Action for New Directions
Young Democrats of America

A person needs to be able to read before learning other skills.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) (click here) is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy. PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as problem solving. PISA emphasizes functional skills that students have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling. PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries and is conducted in the United States by NCES. PISA was first administered in 2000 and is conducted every three years. The most recent assessment was in 2012....

  • Percentages of top performing 15-year-old students (those scoring at level 5 or above) in reading literacy ranged from 25 percent in Shanghai-China and 21 percent in Singapore to nearly 0 percent in 3 education systems. In the United States, 8 percent of U.S. 15-year-old students scored at proficiency level 5 or above, which was not measurably different from the OECD average of 8 percent. The U.S. percentage was lower than 14 education systems, higher than 33 education systems, and not measurably different than 12 education systems. The percentage of top performers in reading in the United States overall (8 percent) was higher than the state of Florida (6 percent), but lower than Massachusetts (16 percent) and Connecticut (15 percent) (figure R1a, table R1b)....
Sports is different from Physical Education. Sports is a long term commitment by a student that takes them into extra-curricular activity and removes them from study and homework.

...the USA was ranked 24th in reading, 28th in science, and 36th in mathematics. (click here)

1. There is almost no sports in the best schools in the world: Although all of these countries love sports and excel at some, sports is separate from school. It is not a part of the core mission of school. The problem is that sports can sometimes, if you don't constantly keep it contained, eat away at the mission of school, which is supposed to be education.

2. Although the systems and the structures are quite different in each country, the one thing that's true, with respect to the countries which produce the best education systems, is there's a psychology that says school is hard. You have to spend a lot of time at it. You have to work hard. You have to succeed. It's almost exactly the same attitude many of us take toward sports, which they take toward academics. There is a big contest at the end, not everyone is going to win — to get better, critically, you have to practise and work harder.