Friday, January 24, 2014

There isn't anything there. Or better stated, "There is no There There."

The US Attorney may have a focus no one can even imagination. The subpoenas issued two days after the New Jersey Panel request could be a method to simply check the accuracy of the NJ Committee's finding. No one really knows, what is being conducted.

...After talking to local and state officials today, (click here)  MMM understands that the federal money for Sandy Relief is flowing dripping through four sources; FEMA, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) which administers relief for homeowners, the New Jersey Economic Development Agency(EDA) and County Governments which are administering Hazard Mitigation Grants.  The Hazard Mitigation Grants are funded by FEMA and distributed to the counties by the State Office of Emergency Management.

Hoboken’s clean up and repair money would not have been administered by the Christie Administration.  That money comes directly from FEMA.  Hoboken was approved for almost $6 million from FEMA last May, according to a report in HobokenPatch.   The $127 million in requests that Zimmer referred to on Up with Steve Kornacki is for Hazard Mitigation, that would be administered through the Hudson County Executive and Board of Freeholders, and new projects that would be considered by EDA.

FEMA reimburses municipalities directly for clean up and repairs.  While a great deal of the clean up and repair expenses have been approved by FEMA, most of that money has not been paid to the municipalities yet.  Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan said that his borough has only received about 40% of its approved FEMA reimbursements so far. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said his borough’s iconic boardwalk rebuilding has not yet been reimbursed by FEMA.  Both mayors said their projects have been approved and they anticipate the money, but it is a slow bureaucratic process. Another municipal elected official who asked not to be quoted said that Highlands’ 40% reimbursement from FEMA sounds very high compared to what other towns are seeing, and that Highlands must be further along in the process than most.

Middletown Township Committeeman Tony Fiore, who was mayor during Sandy and the first year of recovery said, “There has never been any quid pro quo suggested from anyone in the state with regard to Sandy money. Middletown has received some of its clean-up money and we’ve been approved for a $375 thousand planning study, but haven’t seen that money. Other than that, the only money Middletown has seen is $1.5 million in SHRAP grants, which is federal money we received from the County to help residents pay their bills.”

“It’s taking way too long for Sandy money to flow,” Fiore said, “but that’s because of federal and state bureaucracy.”

Doherty said Belmar has an application worth about $3 million with EDA that has been in process for months, but that he does not expect an answer until late April....

The entire premise that the Christi Administration was conducting quid pro quo relies on a Mayor that does not have the respect of other New Jersey mayors facing similar problems post Sandy.

In most circles I am aware of, that is called peer review.

In regard to the hiring of Mr. Sampson by the Rockefeller Group is a strategic decision simply because of all the other projects attempted in NJ they were turned away. There were several, Hoboken is not the only one. The Rockefeller Group was not having much luck in any development project in New Jersey. Mr. Sampson is their lawyer. He was advocating for a development project to move forward. Should Mr. Sampson have recused himself? I don't know. That is more or less about trials, not letter writing. 

Jeremy Bieber appears outside of the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center following his son's arrest on Thursday.(click here)


If Justin's father has influence with him, he needs to see that his son is properly in rehab.

Justin Bieber has a problem with addictions. It is better he was arrested than to repeat the mistakes of people like Elvis and those that surrounded his life.

The GOP has found a new low. It is disrespectful.

Uncle Sugar Wants You

Good news out of California.

Microstamping is another tool for police investigators to discover the criminals. But, the rightwing gun rightists want to prevent that from happening.

“Forensic testing of ammunition used in a crime is the most effective way of tracing criminal activity.” (click here)

- Former Republican Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger

...A technology called “microstamping” has made comprehensive ballistic identification a reality. Microstamping technology utilizes lasers to make microscopic engravings on the breech face and firing pin of a gun. As the gun is fired, a code identifying the weapon’s serial number is stamped onto the cartridge. This enables police to trace a gun without ever physically recovering it. A traced firearm is a valuable lead in a criminal investigation, because investigators can then connect that weapon to its first purchaser, who may become either a suspect or a source of information helpful to the investigation....

Smith and Wesson states it will effect profits. So, let me get this right. Smith and Wesson believes most of their semi-automatic weapons end up at crime scenes?  For real. The only reason NOT to comply is that Smith and Wesson's profit margin depends on criminals purchasing their products or there are straw purchasers for the criminals that prefer their products. Does Smith and Wesson actually have market research to that effect?

There is every reason for honest citizens that keep weapons for self-protection to like this law. There is simply no way their weapons can be misidentified as a weapon at a crime scene unless it was stolen. So, I don't get it. Why would any gun manufacturer object to protecting innocent people be they gun owners or the victims of gun violence? I find that very odd.

January 24, 2014 12:05pm EST
By Chloe Albanesi 

...Gun makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger Co. (click here) said this week that a new California law requiring semiautomatic pistols to be equipped with technology called microstamping could result in fewer of their weapons available for sale in the state.
"Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms," the company said in a Thursday statement. Ultimately, California's mandate "will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents."...

It is the manufacturer's choice to withdraw their product. Fine then. It is NOT the new law that is forcing these guns out of the California gun market. So, let's get that straight.

A new gun law proponents (click here) say helps law enforcement has driven Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger out of California, and affirmed the suspicions of firearms rights advocates that the measure is really about making handguns obsolete.

The two companies have announced they will stop selling their wares in the nation's most populous state rather than try to comply with a law that requires some handguns to have technology that imprints a tiny stamp on the bullet so it can be traced back to the gun. The companies, and many gun enthusiasts, say so-called "microstamping" technology is unworkable in its present form and can actually impair a gun's performance.... 

...“The microstamping mandate and the company’s unwillingness to adopt this so-called technology will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents....

How it works.

...Microstamping (click here) represents a significant improvement over existing ballistic identification technology. Through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) program, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) currently deploys Integrated Ballistics Imaging System (IBIS) equipment and technology to state and local law enforcement agencies for use in comparing ballistic evidence found at crime scenes....

This is the same O"Keefee strategy. O'Keefe and Huckabee are coming out at the same time; they have somewhat different audiences.

Recently on Bill Maher, Mary Matalin explains the labido of Republican women in that, "...Tucker Carlson is hot." Go figure. Who knew?

According to "People Magazine" Tucker Carlson didn't make the "Sexiest Man Alive 2013." Sorry, Mary, Carlson is an alternate reality.

Look up "man" in the dictionary, (click here) and you'll see a photo of Elba next to the entry. We kid – we think – but the 41-year-old Brit really is the picture of masculinity with his strong features, deep voice and towering height (he's 6'3"!). He's a bit of a troublemaker – his road to fame was dotted with some slightly naughty behavior – but it seems all is forgiven when he smiles. Not that he minds the bad-boy reputation. "The way I live my life, I'm two drinks from being in the tabloids every day. I'm no national treasure," he told Esquire U.K."I'm a f–ing [dirty] rude boy!" Rarr!

The backlash against the comments by Governor Cuomo isn't isolated to his comments.

The Right Wing is even CREATING 'character' issues with State Senator Wendy Davis.

O'Keefe is at it again. Let's get something straight, O'Keefe is NOT a documentarian. He is a cartoon artist.

The rightwing is attempting to get a foothold for 2014 over this issue. I don't find Governor Cuomo's comments offensive. The rightwing is causing huge problems in the USA. The Pro-Life 'bit' is just part of their song and dance that when candidates are elected cause all kinds of problems including credit ratings changes for the USA.

Governor Cuomo is 'sufficently' correct to say it.

It is no different than the complaints in California about adding fluoride to water. That has been SOLID public policy for generations, but, the rightwing will state 'I have a right NOT to have it in my water, therefore, no public policy.' That complaint is not about fluoride in water, it is about public policy in spending. If the rightwing doesn't want fluoride in their water then go buy water without it. Why? Because the MAJORITY of the people in this nation BENEFIT from the public policy that adds fluoride to their water. That's why. The USA and democracy in general RECOGNIZES the need of the MAJORITY.

Now, tell me the rightwing loves the USA Constitution, because I am still trying to find the focus by them that tells me that. The Pro-Life movement is like the obstructionists in the Senate. They actually believe the minority has right to power that inhibits the nation.

The attack on Governor Cuomo is a nationwide strategy.

The rightwing prankster (click here) and documentarian whose videos have drawn blood at ACORN and NPR, says his organization is being harassed by the state of New York.

Do extreme conservatives pranksters and videographers have no place in New York State either?
Late last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ignited a firestorm of criticism in right-wing media when he told a public radio host that  “extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay … have no place in the State of New York.”
Cuomo was referring to the prospects of far-right political candidates in the deeply Democratic Empire State, not the prospects of his own far right constituents. Nevertheless, conservative talkers like Sean Hannity said they were moving out of state, conservative bloggers called for a boycott of state businesses and products, and New York Republicans demanded an apology.           
An interesting aspect of manipulating facts about human health. A study of let's say 1000 patients proves there are carcinogens in a product. But, when DILUTED by a much larger population the result is far more diffuse.

The Saccharine Brain Tumor Outbreak was the day of Dick Howser.

By George Vecsey
Published: February 22, 1987
YES, Dick Howser conceded, (click here) there were a few changes in the manager who won the World Series in 1985. He does not remove his cap in public these days, and his uniform has been altered because he has lost 17 pounds.
''Don't do it the way I did it,'' he added, with a twinge of baseball irony. ''Do it some other way.''
He is not recommending two operations for brain cancer, although he does not mind admitting he came out of the first operation ''looking for the Lord'' ahead of any of the loved ones in his life.
''I'm just glad that happened to me at 50 and not 60 - or when it's too late,'' Howser said yesterday, back in his workplace....

The way carcinogens in food is discussed with the public is in isolation as if this was a novel event. The bigger picture is rarely seen except by crack pots screaming at the top of their lungs.

Understanding the toxicity of flavoring is a bit more complicated than just pointing fingers at one substance.

This is a study from 2004. The compounds used in flavorings are highly organic. They react easily with human body chemistry. The 'components' that make up these compounds break down and are distributed throughout the body as if a nutrient. 

EFSA Journal(2004) 166, 1-44

...According to the default MSDI approach, the six flavouring substances in this group have intakes in Europe from 0.0012 to 3.1 microgram/capita/day which are below the threshold of concern value for both structural class I (1800 microgram/person/day) and structural class II (540 microgram/person/day) substances....

The reason I bring this up is because 'additives' to foods have been under fire for a long time. They are known to create carcinogens within the body chemistry. Perhaps one might recall the outrage over saccharine some time ago. It was proven to cause brain tumors. At one point in the USA there was an epidemic spoken of in the circles of neurosurgeons, but, that understanding never made it into the public conscience. I know these conversations were taking place because I witnessed one at the Cleveland Clinic.

Is there an association between artificial sweeteners and cancer? (click here)

Questions about artificial sweeteners and cancer arose when early studies showed that cyclamate in combination with saccharin caused bladder cancer in laboratory animals. However, results from subsequent carcinogenicity studies (studies that examine whether a substance can cause cancer) of these sweeteners have not provided clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans. Similarly, studies of other FDA-approved sweeteners have not demonstrated clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans.

In the day of saccharine popularity there were so many tumors the neurosurgeons had a 'population' of patients that enabled a better understanding of the best treatment of these monstrosities and treatment regimes were refined and reclassified in many instances. Some of the rarest form of tumors showed up in larger numbers and then better understood.

It is my opinion this understanding of caramel color is an opportunity to view the entire idea of chemical manipulation of food.

This is the entire title of the study I referred to above.

Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in contact with Food (AFC) on a request from the Commission related to Flavouring Group Evaluation 11 (FGE.11):

Aliphatic dialcohols, diketones, and hydroxyketones from chemical group 10

(Commission Regulation (EC) No 1565/2000 of 18 July 2000)

(Adopted on 9 December 2004)

4-methylimidazole or 4-MeI is the compound being regulated in the article in the LA Times, however, it is not found in nature. It is a synthesized final product that results from a manufacturing process.

There are many 'specific' organic reactions known within the understanding of ORGANIC CHEMISTRY. They are reactions known as laws of chemical reactions. They are consistent and result in the same reaction time and time again. They are somewhat vital in the 'creation' of pharmaceuticals. But, in this case they are also used in the production of food products.

4-Methylimidazole is synthesized by using two methods. Either Debus-Radziszewski synthesis (reactions of methylglyoxal with ammonia and formaldehyde) or by reacting hydroxyacetone and formamide in ammonia.

In this particular reaction the "imidazole" is the parent compound that makes caramel coloring possible.

Imidazole is an organic compound with the formula (CH)2NCH. It is a colourless solid that dissolves in water to give mildly alkaline solution. In chemistry, it is an aromatic heterocycle, classified as a diazole and as an alkaloid.

Now I can go on and on with this description, but, at some point a working knowledge of organic chemistry is necessary to understand why these 'ingredient compounds' are so dangerous.

The point it this. Anytime a reaction results in a food additive there is always the possibility it is toxic over time to the body resulting in carcinogens. Why take additives into your food unless it is found in nature such as iodine in table salt?

This isn't the first time Caramel Coloring has been viewed as a carcinogen.

CSPI Says Artificial Caramel Coloring is Quite Different from Real Caramel (click here)

February 16, 2011
WASHINGTON—The “caramel coloring” used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned, according to a regulatory petition filed today by the Center for Science in the Public Interest....

January 23, 20146:53 a.m.
Caramel color is an additive (click here) that gives your bubbly soda that distinct amber hue.
But some of the artificial coloring also contains a potentially carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole or 4-MeI.
Although there are no federal limits on its use, California added the chemical to its Proposition 65 list of carcinogens in 2011. That required any food or beverage to carry a health warning label if it exposed consumers to more than 29 micrograms of 4-MeI a day.
A study released Thursday by Consumer Reports magazine says at least two soft drinks come close to breaking that rule: Pepsi One and Malta Goya....

Dr. Chalfin is one of the two Directors of "Center for Science in the Public Interest." They were the first to announce the dangers of 4-methylimidazole in 2011.

Dr. Lynn Silver Chalfin, Sonoma County's health officer (click here) for about a year and a half, announced her resignation this week in e-mails to co-workers and health care colleagues.
Silver Chalfin, 55, said Friday she was taking a public health job in the Bay Area but was not at liberty to disclose the position.
“I love the county. It's an amazing place,” she said, adding that she hopes to collaborate with Sonoma County on health issues in the future.
Silver Chalfin's last day in the job that pays $202,555 a year will be Dec. 5.
Silver Chalfin said her departure has nothing to do with her strong advocacy for a controversial plan to put fluoride in most of the county's drinking water.
“I'm definitely not leaving because of fluoridation,” she said, calling it “an absolutely correct and important public health policy.”...

Snyder is hopeless. He hasn't got a clue to what he is doing.

3:05 PM, January 23, 2014

...The proposal dovetails (click here) with two other immigration plans Snyder offered in his State of the State speech last week: opening an Office for New Americans to attract and help immigrants better adjust to life in Michigan and designating the state as an Employer Based or EB5 center to expedite visas and permits for immigrants who want to open businesses in the state with investments of at least $500,000 and 10 employees.

“Let’s ask the federal government to change regulations to bring in highly skilled immigrants to the state,” Snyder told the Free Press on Wednesday. “We’d like to see 50,000 immigrants over five years coming to live and work in Detroit.”...

First he removes democracy from Detroit with an emergency manager, then he asks the court to close out pensions and now he wants to repopulate Detroit with immigrant labor. And Why? Because he believes ANY immigrant is more intelligent and more ambitious than any American.

What jobs?

Detroit has got jobs? 

Then advertise through employment offices and agencies around the country and have Americans fill the jobs and settle in Detroit.

This plan of Snyder's is bizarre. He expects to go to DC and have the law changed so 50 thousand visas are dedicated to, not just Michigan, but one city. Amazing. The people of Michigan can't possibly put him back in office. He hasn't got a clue to what he is doing. As a private sector CEO the brain trust of Michigan was enough for him to sell a company grown by Michigan grad students to a major Wall Street pharmaceutical firm. But, when it comes to giving jobs to that very brain trust in Michigan or otherwise in the USA he wants immigrants to fill the city of Detroit.  

I think I've heard it all now. I think this closes the book on new schemes of politicians. Snyder is a very strange man that actually is burdened by the very thought of democracy. He really needs his own little island so he can be dictator. Maybe an artificial one like "Palm" in Abu Dhabi. Given this is Michigan he could call his island "Melting Pot Peninsula." He could locate it on Lake Superior between the USA and Canada.

"The Century Foundation" has a blog entitled, of all things, "Reinventing Detroit." This is their vision for Detroit.

JULY 22, 2013
...But today’s news of a new study (click here) on economic mobility from researchers at Harvard and Berkeley shows that effective solutions could be far simpler.
The study, which found Detroit to be below average in the likelihood of its citizens experiencing upward mobility, establishes several commonalities for governments that do it well. Mixed-income neighborhoods, strong civic engagement, and good schools and public transportation are all elements of environments that allow poor people to become middle- and upper-middle class.
So while right-sizing and urban farming are both interesting proposals, it’s clear there are several far more practical solutions Detroit could seek to get itself back on its feet post-bankruptcy. Here are four relatively quick fixes:...
Mixed Income Neighborhoods does not mean Snyder goes on a fishing expedition to find immigrants with wealth to populate and build a new city. It means THE STATE invests in the redevelopment of a city to provide vital infrastructure for people to begin again.

1. Implement “tax choice”
2. Reinstate the residency requirement
      Make Detroit city workers live in Detroit.
3. Incentivize land-use transfers
4. Create a regionally focused transit system
      Transit advocates have proposed shiny new toys like a light-rail system for Woodward Avenue.
It’s a sexy subject, but Detroit’s biggest transit issue is far more mundane than a lack of trains. It’s that, for political and geographic reasons, there isn’t one single bus system serving the Detroit area. DDOT runs the buses within the city, while SMART, a separate authority, operates routes within the near suburbs and from those suburbs to downtown Detroit.
The problem with this arrangement is that many of the Detroit area’s major employment centers are actually in the suburbs, as this map from the organization Reconnecting America shows. If a commuter lives in Detroit but works in Warren or Dearborn, taking public transportation to their job requires changing bus systems at the city limits.
He has not got one clue about what he is doing.

Immigrants. Did any of them attend Michigan State or the University of Michigan? Maybe Snyder can start there.

He has a major US city with the Mayor and Council mostly mute to any future plans for it. He has instilled bankruptcy on a major US city and now he has a dreamscape of magically wonderful immigrants ready to be picked from a tree to make their dreams come true in Detroit.

The new immigrants are to come bearing gifts to Snyder of a half a million a piece. 50,000 immigrants coming to Detroit with a half a million each. That would be $25,000,000,000 US. $25 billion for Snyder to build his city on the hill. Amazing. Simply amazing. I didn't know the USA immigration department asked for a down payment of $500,000 in order to apply for a Visa.

The corruption his man sees as legitimate is unbelievable.

Why would any business person simply believe "If they built it, they would come?" That is the problem in Detroit. There is a very poor economic base. If immigrants came into a blighted and depleted city in hopes of making their dreams come true, they simply end up as bankrupt as the city is.

The way it usually works, is that the city and/or state has a reinvestment plan and offers entrepreneurs the opportunity of grants or matching funds to reinvigorate the economy.

I have to admit, if nothing else when Snyder dreams he dreams big. Well, there he goes outsourcing hope. Detroit is not Monacco, governed by Prince Albert where immigrants can wager in hopes they will not lose their half million. I realize there is a casino or two in Detroit, but, last I looked they weren't seeking immigrants to come to their tables with a half million US in their fists.