Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Climate Crisis is real and our carbon sinks are in trouble.

Steve Connor
January 26, 2014

Tropical rainforests (click here) are becoming less able to cope with rising global temperatures according to a study that has looked back over the way they have responded to variations in temperature in the past half a century.

For each 1C rise in temperature, tropical regions now release about 2 billion extra tonnes of carbon-containing gases – such as carbon dioxide and methane – into the atmosphere, compared to the same amount of tropical warming in the 1960s and 1970s, the study found.

Rising levels of man-made carbon dioxide could stimulate the growth of tropical vegetation by providing them with extra “carbon fertiliser” but scientists believe this beneficial effect is probably being outweighed by the detrimental impact on forest growth caused by the extra heat and drought resulting from higher CO2 concentrations.

“What we are seeing is that the tropical forests in particular are becoming more vulnerable to warming and we expect this to continue because we expect to see more warming in the future,” said Professor Peter Cox of Exeter University, a co-author of the study published in the journal Nature....

The oceans can become acidic if they are viewed as a ready source as a carbon sink. But, the protections and monitoring of forests are vital. The cost of the Climate Crisis is astronomical. The funds we spend on protections of our public lands and forests provide enormous returns.

Read more here:

The (US) Forest Service strategy for dealing with climate change is based on 20 years of targeted research and a century of science and management experience on public and private forest land. As a result, the Agency has highly skilled and experienced land managers, internationally recognized climate scientists, and a body of peer-reviewed scientific information for developing responses to climate change. The Forest Service strategy includes:

  • Helping forests adapt to climate change
  • Managing forests to increase the carbon dioxide they capture and store
  • Using forest products to reduce and replace fossil fuel energy
  • Maintaining a research program
  • Reducing the Agency’s environmental footprint

Conservation is important. Beauty is important. Public lands are very important. They need protection for all the right reasons.

Have you seen the yellow lady’s slipper orchid blooming at Indian Cave State Park? (click here) Have you created a bird that has the right adaptations needed to survive? Did you know that cattle can help butterflies? Thanks to the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund and those who donate to it, you can learn and experience these wonders of nature.

Last June, biologists trekked through Indian Cave State Park looking for the elusive yellow lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum). Common elsewhere, Nebraska has these orchids in only a handful of locations in the woodlands along the Missouri River, and we had not seen it at Indian Cave for decades.

Crews have been intensively managing the park’s woodlands by removing invasive species, conducting prescribed burns and thinning trees. The woods are now more open, and one orchid was found.
Biologists later found 72 orchids following the survey. Biologists will continue to track the orchid and other species to learn how the change in management is affecting the wildlife and plants at the park. We will use this knowledge to benefit the widest array of biodiversity while helping the rare species....

The Associated Press
January 26, 2014

YAKIMA, Wash. — U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings (click here) says he wants to reform the Endangered Species Act, a federal law designed to protect imperiled species from extinction.
The Republican from Pasco heads the House Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering significant changes to the landmark 1973 legislation.
Hastings tells the Yakima Herald-Republic ( ) it takes too much of an economic toll, leaves too much room for litigation by environmental groups and lacks an emphasis on getting species recovered and off the list.
Proponents of the law say it is working well and that calls for reform are actually a move to weaken protections.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, told the newspaper he doubts the proposed reforms will succeed.
Hastings' push for reforms is supported by many industry organizations such as the Washington Farm Bureau.

USA gun deaths

I am sure the community remembers the body count diagram by Slate after the Sandy Hook Shooting. The staff at Slate have retired the site and it is moving to a violence archive project.

By Dan Kois

But as time went by (click here) and the interactive was discussed, questioned, and cited, this provocation also became a kind of experiment. How many deaths were being reported on, and how many were falling through the cracks? Why was it that no single source was collecting this data in real time? In other words, we wanted to know if an interactive like this can actually be valuable as something besides a provocation—whether crowdsourcing can produce real-time data and whether that data is useful and complete. (Hoping people might use our data for their own research purposes, we made it available as a downloadable file.)...

An interesting article from 2012 that noted car deaths are declining at an incredible rate, but, gun deaths are not. Automobile manufacturers seek to make their products exceptionally safe. The US government requires deadly features of cars to be recalled. But, when it comes to guns, their use and public safety there is little to no interest by many elected to government.

Dec 19, 2012 2:23 PM ET

Guns and cars (click here) have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. By 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based on the 10-year average trend. ..

In 2011 an article appeared in "The Atlantic" and it stated:

...While the causes of individual acts of mass violence (click here) always differ, our analysis shows fatal gun violence is less likely to occur in richer states with more post-industrial knowledge economies, higher levels of college graduates, and tighter gun laws. Factors like drug use, stress levels, and mental illness are much less significant than might be assumed.

It was a purely statistical analysis of many factors that add up to gun violence in USA communities.

...What about politics? It's hard to quantify political rhetoric, but we can distinguish blue from red states. Taking the voting patterns from the 2008 presidential election, we found a striking pattern: Firearm-related deaths were positively associated with states that voted for McCain (.66) and negatively associated with states that voted for Obama (-.66). Though this association is likely to infuriate many people, the statistics are unmistakable. Partisan affiliations alone cannot explain them; most likely they stem from two broader, underlying factors - the economic and employment makeup of the states and their policies toward guns and gun ownership....

How smart is it for political figures to actually discuss guns as a right so much as a problem?

January 20, 2014, 9:43 p.m.
People who have ready access to a firearm (click here) are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded.

Though men and women with firearm access were about equally likely to take their own lives with a gun, the latest research turned up a gender gap when it came to homicide. Compared with all adults without access to a gun, men with firearm access were 29% more likely to die in a gun-related homicide. But the analysis found that a woman who had a gun in or available to her household was close to three times likelier to die by homicide.

Previous studies have found that three-quarters of women who are killed with a gun die in their home, and that women typically know their assailant. That suggests that women who live in homes with a firearm are more likely to be gunned down in a domestic dispute or by an abusive partner, the research team wrote in their study, published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine. But the group did not venture an explanation for why men with gun access were not much more vulnerable than other adults....

They have to be able to read before they can do anything else.

VIRGINIA HAS (click here) made strides in enabling poor children to attend pre-kindergarten classes, which are widely credited with improving learning skills, including reading readiness. But some of the state’s biggest school districts, particularly in Northern Virginia, have been slow off the mark. The worst laggard, by far, is Prince William County.

With 85,000 students, Prince William is the second-largest school system in Virginia and among the 40 biggest in the nation; its annual budget is nearly $1 billion. Yet it has managed to find funding for just 4 percent of the 4-year-olds who are eligible under a state-subsidized program to attend pre-K classes. No other large school system in Virginia comes close to such disregard for the disadvantaged.... 

with the economic collapse of 2008 that allowed justification for spending cuts, it is time to put the funding back into our children.

...That sounds like an excellent return on investment, but the county pleads poverty. Neither the Republican-led Board of Supervisors (which is all white) nor the Republican-led county School Board seems moved by the fact that Prince William’s least advantaged children are getting a raw deal.

Nor is the state blameless. Just before the recession hit, then-Gov. (now Sen.) Timothy M. Kaine bumped up the funding for Virginia’s pre-K program to $6,000 per pupil, starting in 2008. He also shifted the funding formula to help schools in areas with high costs of living, especially Northern Virginia. But since then (and despite four straight years of budget surpluses), per-pupil funding has remained frozen, despite periodic attempts by lawmakers in Richmond to increase it.

The result is that Virginia chips in less for poor children to attend pre-K than does Maryland or the federal Head Start program (both of which pay $8,000 per pupil), and much less than the $9,327 per pupil that the state would pay if it were intent on providing a high-quality preschool education, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University....

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 11:16 pm 
Updated: 10:36 pm, Sun Jan 19, 2014.

Strides have been made in an effort to lower child obesity rates, (click here) but plenty of work remains, especially for children who weigh in at the top of the scales, national and local health authorities say.

Based on recent reports, including one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of childhood obesity has declined in many states, with decreased levels among low-income children 2 to 4 years old in 19 of 43 states and U.S. territories.

Obesity rates stayed at the same level in 21 states from 2008 to 2011, based on findings of CDC researchers who analyzed the weight and height of almost 12 million children in that age group.

Another report, based on about 800 children who self-reported their activities and had physical exams as part of the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey, found that only 1 in 4 children ages 12 to 15 meet recommendations of an hour or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day.

Dr. Bruce Phillips, who has a family practice in Plainville and has delivered generations of babies at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, said that while attitudes about childhood obesity are changing, it remains a struggle, particularly for youngsters who have the most weight to lose....

...At every age group, (click here) African Americans have one of the highest incidences of diabetes in the United States, with over 20% of African Americans between 60 and 74 years old having the disease. The rate of type 2 diabetes is growing fastest in ethnic minorities, including African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans. The disease is most prevalent among Native Americans in the southeastern United States, with 27.8% of the population affected. On average, Native Americans, including Alaska Natives, are 2.2 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age (Figure). The demographics are even more striking among children of minority groups where the rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing rapidly as compared to the rate in their white counterparts. African Americans account for 75% of all childhood cases of type 2 diabetes, whites less than 25%. The reverse is true for childhood cases of type 1 diabetes: whites account for 82%, while African Americans are only 18% of the total case...

Findings (from CDC)

  • Each year, more than 13,000 young people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes begins when the body develops a resistance to insulin and no longer uses the insulin properly. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar.
  • Health care providers are finding more and more children with type 2 diabetes, a disease usually diagnosed in adults aged 40 years or older.
  • A statistically significant increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents was found only for American Indians.
  • The epidemics of obesity and the low level of physical activity among young people, as well as exposure to diabetes in utero, may be major contributors to the increase in type 2 diabetes during childhood and adolescence.
  • Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents already appears to be a sizable and growing problem among U.S. children and adolescents. Better physician awareness and monitoring of the disease’s magnitude will be necessary.
  • Standard case definition(s), guidelines for treatment, and approval of oral hypoglycemic agents (to lower blood sugar) are urgently required for children and adolescents.

Our Veterans

Posted:   01/23/2014 01:00:00 AM EST
DEREK CARSON, Staff Writer

BURLINGTON -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (click here) spoke with reporters across the country via teleconference Wednesday, describing and praising his most recently proposed bill. 

The omnibus bill, which was introduced to the Senate last week, is entitled the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefit and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014, which would end recent controversial cuts to pensions of military retirees under the age of 62, as well as create numerous other increased benefits for veterans. 

"This is one of the most comprehensive pieces of veterans legislation in decades," said Sanders of the bill, which he touted as largely bi-partisan effort of the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs, of which Sanders is the chairman. 

"This bill addresses many of the concerns veterans groups have brought forward, and in a very comprehensive way," he said. 

Sanders said hundreds of thousands of service members from Afghanistan have returned to the United States with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a traumatic brain injury. He also pointed to reports that show that almost three times as many Vietnam veterans took their own lives after returning home than died during the war. "These service members have paid a very high price for their service. We have to do everything possible for them and their families," he said...

Sexual Assault

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hi, everybody. (click here) This week, I called members of my Cabinet to the White House to deal with a challenge that affects so many families and communities – the crime, the outrage, of sexual violence.
Sexual assault is an affront to our basic decency and humanity. And it’s about all of us – the safety of those we love most: our moms, our wives, our daughters and our sons.

Because when a child starts to question their self-worth after being abused, and maybe starts withdrawing… or a young woman drops out of school after being attacked… or a mother struggles to hold down a job and support her kids after an assault… it’s not just these individuals and their families who suffer. Our communities – our whole country – is held back....

The average across the spectrum of our military is between 25 to 30 years old. The respect for each other is important. When the Gillibrand bill passes into law, the integrity of our military will be intact. Currently, our young soldiers are willing to be victims of each other to maintain their careers. That has to end. A soldier should never be a victim, especially of their country's policies. What pride to they actually feel when they are respected by each other.

Demographics of Active US Military (click here)

Army 18.3 % 48 % 25.6 % 7.9 % 0.7 % 29
Navy 18.6 % 46 % 26.3 % 8.3 % 0.8 % 29
Marine Corps 36.9 % 46 % 14 % 3.1 % 0.2 % 25
Air Force 14.4 % 46 % 28.3 % 10 % 0.6 % 30
Coast Guard 12.2 % 48 % 27 % 12 % 1 % 30

Student Loans

Is it true the government makes a profit on student loans? (click here)
The Congressional Budget Office regularly releases projections on the costs of various loan programs. The latest calculations show that in fiscal year 2013, for every $1 lent to new borrowers, Direct Subsidized Loans are expected to bring in $1.14 in revenue, and Direct Unsubsidized Loans will bring in $1.40 in revenue. Of course, these are just estimates. For example, if borrowers have access to attractive refinance options to take advantage of historically low interest rates, these revenues would go down.
It’s worth noting that the Congressional Budget Office calculates these estimates in a way that may not include all of the operating costs of administering the loan program, so it can’t be exactly compared to the way a bank might account for its profits and losses.

The reason there is more lending for students is because of income inequality. More students come from lower incomes than before in modern history.

 The Associated Press, AP  
10:35 a.m. EST 
January 26, 2014

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (click here) on Sunday is renewing a call for legislation that would allow student borrowers to refinance their federal student loans at lower interest rates, urging President Barack Obama to push the effort in his State of the Union speech Tuesday.
The New York Democrat said there’s currently about $1.2 trillion in student loan debt nationwide — and the average New York graduate owes more than $27,000.

“We must strengthen our middle class families instead of forcing New Yorkers deeper into debt,” she said in a statement. “Keeping a high-quality education in New York affordable is the right thing to do.”
Last May, Gillibrand introduced the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act, legislation she said could affect nearly nine in 10 federal student loans by allowing borrowers who have a higher interest rate to refinance at a fixed rate of 4 percent. Most rates for federal student debt are higher than 6 percent, she said....

Wealth distribution.

Jul 30, 2013 10:23 AM ET

...The homeownership rate in the second quarter (click here) was unchanged from the prior three month period, according to Census Bureau data released today. It will hit bottom at about 64 percent in the next year as families leave the foreclosure pipeline and enter rental homes, according to a May analysis by London-based Capital Economics Inc. It’s currently the lowest in almost 18 years after averaging about 64 percent for 30 years through 1995.

First-time buyers and minorities are among the groups that have seen the sharpest declines since the crash. While property ownership among senior citizens was little changed at about 81 percent, the share below age 35 that own a home fell to about 37 percent from almost 42 percent five years earlier....

New Vocabulary - Industrial Espionage - Think Carlyle

January 26, 2014, 3: 50 PM

BERLIN - The U.S. National Security Agency (click here) is involved in industrial espionage and will grab any intelligence it can get its hands on regardless of its value to national security, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden told a German TV network.

In text released ahead of a lengthy interview to be broadcast on Sunday, ARD TV quoted Snowden saying the NSA does not limit its espionage to issues of national security and he cited German engineering firm, Siemens as one target....

Edward Snowden worked for the government before being hired by Carlyle. He didn't mind doing the work for the government, but, when he launched into a career with Carlyle for a six figure salary it opened his eyes to whom the USA actually was protecting and it wasn't just our borders.

In my opinion, Edward Snowden came to realize how manipulated Americans had become to the ambitions of corporations. He didn't expect to learn what he did when he went to the highest private bidder. 

Oh. By the way. This practice by Wall Street. Companies like Carlyle. The practice by Wall Street hasn't ended. So when President Obama rolls back the invasiveness of the NSA he also needs to roll back the permission of Wall Street to do the same thing. We don't want any of it. NONE of it. We don't want Carlyle to invade our space either.

Edward was online recently. The video is at the website above.

Al Qaeda compliments of Bush and Cheney. Was it Petraeus that stated, "They are

...That split, (click here) in June, was a watershed moment in the vast decentralization of Al Qaeda and its ideology since 9/11. As the power of the central leadership created by Osama bin Laden has declined, the vanguard of violent jihad has been taken up by an array of groups in a dozen countries across Africa and the Middle East, attacking Western interests in Algeria and Libya, training bombers in Yemen, seizing territory in Syria and Iraq, and gunning down shoppers in Kenya....

France had the correct approach. They rely on intelligence and seek to dissolve criminal components in these numerous and small nations. They are returning to a presence in the region of 3000 troops.

The map to the right is Africa. The dark band is the Sahel region. 

By Press TV
January 26, 2014

French Defense Minister (click here) Jean-Yves Le Drian says the country is to expand its military presence in Africa’s Sahel region.
“This redeployment will cover about 3000 troops which we are about to reorganize and re-deploy all over the area,” Le Drian said in an address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. on Friday.
The Sahel spans 5,400 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.
“I wanted to say all this to you because we think that the intervention in Mali is not enough. We have to go beyond,” he added.
France began a major military intervention in its former colony in January, citing concerns about the growing influence of militants in northern Mali and a rebellion by Tuareg separatists that threatened the French-backed Malian government.

“We have to protect ourselves against different risks, new risks and especially, tomorrow, against the risk of a Libyan chaos,” said the French minister.

The map to the right is the concentration of world aid to the region. These people know suffering all too well. Engaging is war is something that comes natural to them for the violence within their impoverishment. Additional killing in the way of a full scale war will only 'institutionalize' death and it's accompanying economy.

Stability and suppression of violence is what these people need. They don't need more guns or The West to launch large scale plans of attack. The people are not the problem, the institution of the fight for resources is the problem. They need stability, not more chaos.

The defeat of so called al Qaeda does not require a world war. Not even close. I am sure we will be leaving Afghanistan.

The USA is best left out of the civil wars in Iraq and Syria. The body count would be higher if The West were involved. Far higher.

Assad has to give up the idea he will be able to maintain Syria in a Pre-Civil War status. It is too late for that. We has to stop killing the Sunni Muslims.

By Christopher R. Hill
Special to Gulf News
Published: 20:00 January 26, 2014

...What is happening in Anbar (click here) is nothing less than a fight for the existence of Iraq in its current borders. As much as Iraq’s Sunnis fear for their future, the Shiite majority, now overseeing the untested proposition of a Shiite-led Arab state, also have reasons to be fearful. Even paranoids have enemies. While Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki should devote more effort to negotiating and compromising with the Sunni community than he has to cracking down on its leaders and activists, he nonetheless has before him the daunting task of consolidating a Shiite-led Iraqi state with no natural allies in the rest of the Arab world....

...police and military checkpoints are beginning to look like border crossings, essentially cutting off Sunni-dominated Anbar from the rest of Iraq. And while those internal checkpoints are being reinforced, the actual border with Sunni-dominated parts of Syria is becoming more porous by the day....

The map to the left is not Iraq, it is Syria and the religious distribution within the country.

The war in Iraq was fought completely "W:"rong by the USA. The most brutal battles were in Al Anbar. Why would that be? 

The Middle East often divides between religion and/or ethnicity. The resistance in Al Anbar is long lived once the Shi'ites won elections within the central government. The USA fought the Iraq War as if the USA Civil War to unit it under one sovereignty.
When the USA entered Iraq is began to destabilize the entire region. One has to accept there were tensions throughout the region before realizing Iraq triggered the aspirations of generations within the Shi'ite and Kurdish people.

The map to the right is the language distribution in Syria. The most obvious division exists between Kurds and the rest of the nation.

Al Anbar is is the majority of Syria. There are Shi'ites along the coast of Syria where Russia has a port. The north of Iraq and Syria are Kurds. This unrest was boiling below the surface for a long time. It was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.

When the USA entered Iraq is completely changed the face of authority in the country. With that began the emergence of a shift in the 'lines in the sand.'

The more The West puts forward a military front in these nations, the stronger the opposition become and the more al Qaeda will be viewed as an important authority. Al Qaeda erupts when the people are struggling to win their fight. The people don't want war. They want peace, but, they are willing to fight for it on their terms.
The State of the Union won't be given by George W. Bush, but, the song struck me as common ground shared by many people around the world. Is there any question the changes in the USA during the time of that president has caused nearly intractable damage. 

Can the USA claim it is the same beacon of peace and prosperity as it was 15 years ago?

I admire President Obama for realizing the pain of the USA and a global community in sincere loss of the USA as it existed for so long. He has been fighting for the return of our great nation.

The nation has been able to identify problems that were never discussed in past Executive Branch administrations. Even, Former President Clinton wasn't willing to discuss issues such as income inequality. He came into office to recover the economy. He had very little to work with ir from the previous four decades of Republican rule of our economy. If Former President Clinton ever stated, "I am going to return economic viability of the Lower Middle Class, but, for cryin' out loud there is little here that is going to be upward mobility," it would have deadlocked the Republicans in Congress to cause greater pain to the people of the nation during his presidency. Instead, there were more millionaires in the USA during the Clinton presidency than ever imagined and those millionaires hired other Americans.

I found this graph interesting. It is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Harry S. Truman - 1945 thru 1953

Dwight D. Eisenhower - 1953 thru 1961

John F. Kennedy - 1961 thru 1963

Lyndon B. Johnson - 1963 thru 1969

The US unemployment rate was fairly static during these years. 

Richard M. Nixon - 1969 thru 1974 

It at the beginning of this presidency and the end of the Johnson presidency a new reality was beginning to emerge. Job losses. Not worker unemployment, but, job losses.

Gerald R. Ford - 1974 thru 1977

Jimmy Carter - 1977 thru 1981

Ronald Reagan - 1981 thru 1989

George H. W. Bush - 1989 thru 1993

At the end of the Bush presidency a new trend in the American worker erupted. The words Discouraged Workers, Marginally Attached Workers and the chronic Part Time Worker with multiple jobs.

William J. Clinton 1993 thru 2001

The US unemployment rate dropped continually across all sectors during these years .

George H. W. Bush - 2001 thru 2009

 The US unemployment began to creep up again and started an old pattern in all sectors.

Barak Obama - 2009 to present

2008 hit and the unemployment rate across all sectors spiked, it has been dropping ever since.
It is Sunday Night

 "State Of The Union" by Rise Against (click here)

If we're the flagship of peace and prosperity
We're taking on water and about to fuckin' sink
No one seems to notice, no one even blinks
The crew all left the passengers to die under the sea

Countdown, to the very end,
Equality, an invitation that we wont extend
Ready aim, pull the trigger now,
In time you firmly secure your place in hell

State of the union address,
Reads war torn country still a mess
The words: power, death, and distorted truth
Are read between the lines of the red, white, and blue
Countdown, to the very end,
Equality, an invitation that we wont extend
Ready aim, pull the trigger now,
In time you firmly secure your place in hell

Your place in hell
Your place in hell

'Guilty' is what our graves will read,
No years, no family, we did
Nothing (nothing) to stop the murder of
A people just like us

Holy smokes, Michigan actually beat Michigan State. That is earth shaking.

AP Sports Writer
January 25, 2014 

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nik Stauskas (click here) made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:12 left and finished with 19 points and freshman Derrick Walton Jr. scored a season-high 19, lifting No. 21 Michigan to an 80-75 win over No. 3 Michigan State on Saturday night to remain the only Big Ten team without a conference loss.
The Wolverines (15-4, 7-0 Big Ten) went on a 10-0 run late in the game to take control and held on to win for just the second time in 15 games at the Breslin Center.
The Spartans (18-2, 7-1) had won 11 straight since losing to North Carolina at home.
Michigan State’s Gary Harris scored a career-high 27 points and didn’t get much help offensively from his team that was without two of its best players.

Last time I saw these two play, Michigan had a good game, but, they ran it all in the first quarter. Their endurance caused their loss. They played hard the first quarter and the other three quarters were dominated by Michigan State. Well, congratulations, they have been working hard.
“It could have been bankruptcy, if something major had happened. . . . You can see your whole life and your whole family fall totally apart,” said Arnold Gamage, a lobsterman in Maine. His old monthly premium was $800. It’s now $480.

By Chelsea Conaboy 
Globe Staff
January 26, 2014

...Many who struggled (click here) without insurance are getting it. Others with poor coverage have found better plans. Some whose policies cost a lot, yet covered little, have obtained more comprehensive coverage that — with government subsidies — often costs less.
About 3 million people have signed up for a private health plan through the online insurance exchanges, a senior US health official said Friday. More people are newly enrolled in Medicaid in states expanding that program, which provides coverage to people with low incomes....

...In New England, more than 91,000 people have signed up for private plans through the federal health law....

...More than 1 in 3 health plans sold in the state’s individual market had a deductible of $7,500 or higher, according to a 2011 analysis.

Many of those plans will be prohibited under the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurance to cover at least 60 percent of expected health care costs for a typical patient.

Gamage dropped his coverage early last year. With lobster prices low, he and his wife were forced to gamble on his heart.

“It could have been a nightmare,” he said. “It could have been bankruptcy, if something major had happened . . . You can see your whole life and your whole family fall totally apart.”...

Dennis Rodman needs to remain in the USA. His Passport needs to be pulled for his own good.

I am serious. One of the statements about his behavior in North Korea is that he was drinking too much. Well, guess what? The North Korean dictator is on a rampage.

Knock off Dennis. 

Published time: January 26, 2014 12:27
All blood relatives of North Korea’s (click here) erstwhile number two, who was executed a month ago, have apparently suffered the same fate, says the S. Korean Yonhap news agency.

Once all powerful, Jang Song-thaek was the ‘regent’ while Kim was still too young to govern after Kim Jong-il’s death. He was executed on December 12, 2013 at the age of 67, after making an alleged attempt to stage a military coup and dethrone his nephew.

Now Kim Jong-un is believed to have ordered the total elimination of his uncle’s biological relatives to demonstrate decisiveness and to clamp down on mutiny with an iron fist, “multiple” sources in Pyongyang told the Seoul-based Yonhap news agency....
I have just one question about the latest shooting in Maryland. What violent video games was this American playing?

Nearly all of the murderers in these circumstances have a violent game they play that dehumanizes their killing. 

In isolation these games appear to have no effect on the view of young adults about society. However, where that young person has the opportunity to carry out the violence while suffering from self-hatred, these games facilitate their actions. 

They are also sexualized from the point of view, young men tend to act in violent ways more often than do young women. As a rule these games are played by men and not women. These games tap right into the definition of  masculinity in the USA. I mean they aren't handing out flowers to folks, now are they? They don't attempt diplomacy in a suit at a table of strategic language and contract. This is about the masculinity of guns and a superior meaning of their use. 

These games don't portray that guns are misused in our society at all. 

Then enter stage right Smith and Wesson objecting to microstamping and one has to wonder how many guns are actually used for the purpose of self-defense and sport in the USA. Sports hunting is on the decline, but, the sale of guns are astronomical to that reality. 

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it."

-- Mother Teresa

The slaughter of dolphins in Japan is NOT a traditional culture.

These are motor boats. There is nothing traditional about motor boats. Tradition enters into an fishing when the 'chance' of catching a marine mammal equates to when it was done long ago. 

Besides that not all these dolphins are used for consumption. There are many dolphins SOLD for a lot of money. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with tradition.

The United States is sensitive to Aboriginal Hunting. There is an Alaskan tribe that hunts their native waters for whale. They take what they will use in the village that year and use traditional methods for their hunt.

The American Native tribes don't use factory ships either. Everything is done by hand with the involvement of the entire village.

Associated Press 
July 3, 2012 
Alaska's three-member (click here) congressional delegation says the International Whaling Commission has extended catch limits of bowhead whales for Alaska Eskimo subsistence hunters.
The six-year extension was approved Tuesday at the IWC's annual meeting, which is taking place in Panama City this year. 

The current Alaska bowhead limits were set to expire at the end of the year.
A statement released by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission says the IWC adopted catch limits allowing Alaska and Russia Native hunters to land as many as 336 bowhead whales from 2013 to 2018.

The AEWC says annual limits adopted are the same as they have been for the past 15 years. 

Under the current 2012 bowhead quotas, 75 strikes were distributed among 11 Alaska whaling villages and seven were allocated to Russia's Chukotka Natives.

Read more here:

Japan is practicing the slaughter of an endangered species. It has nothing to do with traditional anything.

Posted by Dan Gilgoff
National Geographic News in Ocean Views
January 20, 2014

...Most notably, newly installed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy sounded a note of alarm,  tweeting: “Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries.”...

...But Barry says there is documentation (click here) showing the Taiji Whale Museum, which trains and brokers many dolphins from the Taiji hunt, has in the past sold Taiji dolphins abroad for as much as $150,000 each....

...The steady demand for Taiji dolphins from Japanese marine parks has prompted three Japanese conservation groups–Elsa Nature Conservancy, Help Animals, and Put an End to Animal Cruelty and Exploitation (PEACE)–to renew a call for the World Association Of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) to ensure that members of the Japan Association Of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) stop acquiring wild dolphins from the drive hunts....