Wednesday, May 07, 2014

This is the reality of the USA infrastructure across the country. There is no room for explosive railcars with problems this profound.

I don't have to look any further than the color of the land and realize there is a lot of sand in this soil. There is nothing that can be changed here. Soil is soil. If it fails, it fails. This collapse of American soils is happening all over the country.

Naphtha is the problem with the explosions. Canadian crud is the problem. It is not safe. If is not safe for use period. It is not safe for the environment or human life. It should not be transported by any means. 

Trucks transporting paint thinner are labeled with codes to indicate what they are carrying and there is some infrastructure like tunnels where they are not allowed to go. I doubt seriously large quantities of naphtha travels across the USA in trucks. The only commodity one will find of naphtha in trucks or rail cars is that of packaged containers and not large qualities  How many explosions does the American consumer hear about regarding paint thinner? 

A warehouse fire.

By Amy McConnell Schaarsmith Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An industrial building in Mount Pleasant (click here) is fully engulfed in fire that is causing multiple cans of paint thinner housed inside to explode, according to Westmoreland County safety officials.
The building, which is owned by sheet metal manufacturer EHC Industries, is located at 319 Westec Dr., according to county public safety spokesman Dan Stevens.

When fire crews from Mount Pleasant, Hempfield, East Huntington and the Westmoreland County Hazardous Materials team arrived shortly after the fire was called in about 4 p.m., the building was already consumed by heavy fire, Mr. Stevens said....

The statistics indicate there are deaths due to fire and explosions, but, they are not necessarily related to naphtha either. But, rail explosions are related directly to naphtha.

The statistics show (click here) that there are over 15,000 people injured each year from fires and explosions and there are more than 3,000 people that lose their lives as a result. Tim Caress and Caress Law Group have extensive experience in handling cases involving fires and explosions, and we fully understand the complexities and challenges that these cases present.
The statistics also show that 81 percent of fire deaths are due to residential fires and this is also the leading cause of fire injuries. The numbers further show that as many as 23 percent of fire injuries happen when people are trying to get out of a house that has caught on fire. This is because in a structure fire it can be as little as 60 seconds that you have to be able to evacuate safely. There are an estimated 39 percent of injuries that occur while people are trying to put out residential fires or control them....

The problem with rail car explosions across the USA is naphtha. That does not exonerate pipelines. Large quantities of naphtha are  dangerous. Naphtha is corrosive to metal and pipes. 

, Volume 337, Issue 4, pp 382-388
J. Garcia-Anton, J. Monzo, J. L. Guinon, D. Gomez, J. Costa

Corrosion in heat-engines (click here) has been attributed to some undesirable sulfur compounds present in petroleum naphthas, fuel-oils or gasolines. The corrosivity of these petroleum products is measured by means of the ASTM D-130 copper strip test, which is based on discoloration of a standard copper strip immersed into the petroleum products at 50°C for 3 h...

Who is to say the naphtha in the rail cars isn't eroding the pipes of the car and causing leaks. Or is naphtha eroding the seams of the tank? The answer is probably yes to both of that possibility.

August 2006
The article reports (click here) that British Petroleum (BP) has closed its Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Alaska after monitoring techniques discovered that corrosion reduced pipeline wall thickness by 70 percent in some places. The inspection also discovered a five-barrel oil leak on the same line. Because of the facility shutdown, BP faces pipeline supply problems and lack of skilled workers to do the installation.

Corroded pipelines shut down Prudoe Bay. The oil at Prudoe Bay wasn't Canadian Tar Sands crud, it was crude oil. Crude oil contains naphtha, but, in far less percentage than the Tar Sands mixture. About two thirds less.

What are corrosion pits? (click here)
Corrosion pits are very localized corrosion defects, or small ‘pits’ in the metal of the pipe. Pitting corrosion, unchecked, can result in a pipeline leaking. Operators have criteria to assess pits. Canadian codes require pits to be repaired when they reach 80% of the wall thickness. European codes allow up to 85%. In-line inspection tools (known as intelligent pigs-see below) are used to detect pits and/or cracks.

The industry knows and Canada knows the corrosive and explosive PROPERTIES of crude oil and that of the higher percent mixture of Canadian tar crud. This is not new. This is not a discovery now that rail cars are exploding. The industry knows all this. 

There are books written about it.  (click here) Corrosion eats away at profits, too. Does anyone think the petroleum industry doesn't understand it's product? How many decades has this industry been punching holes in the ground? A long time. I am quite sure they know all about the problems in those rail cars, pipelines and trucks. Ask if they care.

Baltimore, MD--May 1, 2014--This is the scene, photographed from the St. Paul Street side, of the aftermath of a landslide which occurred Wednesday on 26th street between St. Paul and Charles Streets. Crews are on the scene removing debris and vehicles from the site. staff photo/Barbara Haddock Taylor (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

May 05, 2014
By Kevin Rector
The Baltimore Sun 

The initial cleanup of a landslide that spilled half a city block  onto CSX Transportation tracks in Charles Village last week was paid for by the railroad. The city, meanwhile, issued hotel and grocery vouchers to displaced residents and began processing claims for damaged property, including the eight parked vehicles damaged in the wall collapse.

The petroleum industry knows it is pushing the USA and Canadian infrastructure to breaking. They know it. They don't care. People have died. They don't care. They continue to push the infrastructure to breaking. If they continue to push the infrastructure to breaking they impress on the people and electorate they have to surrender to the demands of the petroleum industry. But, that won't stop it. Building another pipeline is not going to stop the abuse. 

Baltimore City Transportation Director William Johnson discussing the results of sonar tests conducted on North Charles and St. Paul Streets around the area of the street collapse on East 26th Street.
Credit P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Engineers (click here) hired by Baltimore City officials found there were no major defects beneath Charles and St. Paul Streets near 26th Street after parts of that street collapsed onto CSX tracks.
Results of sonar tests were released Wednesday afternoon by the city Department of Transportation.
Transportation Director William Johnson said the tests discovered minor anomalies on North Charles Street at 26th Street. He described them as shallow pooling of water below the street surface.
“It’s probably going to be a future pothole unless the water gets out of there before it freezes and thaws,” said Johnson....

Does the petroleum industry care about your drinking water? No. That is the responsibility of a citizen's government. Does the petroleum industry care about the safety of the public? No. That is responsibility of the citizen's government. What has the government done to tort law? Now. Who has the government in their back pocket, the petroleum industry or the American people? 

Why should the petroleum industry care about anything except profits and greed. The Canadian Tar Sands is not about NEED; it is about greed.

When is the Second Amendment not the Second Amendment? When it is the NRA propaganda.

This is ridiculous. There are all kinds of guns imported to the USA. Some of the them very powerful guns and powerful semi-automatic weapons. So, because Democratic politicians believe this is a real answer to uncontrolled gun violence, the NRA is censoring the USA consumer.


By Adrianne Jeffries
On a recent Thursday night, (click here) Maryland gun store owner Andy Raymond set up a video camera in front of a wall of rifles and sat down with a bottle of whiskey and a cigarette. He rested his tattooed arms on the glass counter, which contained more guns, and leaned toward the camera. It was time to undo the mess he’d made. “I’m Andy from Engage Armament,” he said, tapping his cigarette into a shot glass. “There’s been a lot of drama today here.”

The drama was over the Armatix iP1, a compact, .22 caliber, 10-round pistol made in Germany. The iP1 is a “smart” gun, meaning it only fires in the hands of its owner. Or rather, it only fires if it’s within 10 inches of its companion iW1 watch, which is presumably on the owner’s wrist. It can also be disabled with a timer or a PIN code.

Americans want to buy this gun and the NRA is blocking it's sale? Since when does the NRA have power over the American consumer when it comes to the availability of guns?

There are no censoring laws in the USA in regard to International Commerce and/or Interstate Commerce. That commerce is legal. 

Someone needs to import these guns if they are far more safe and Americans feel more comfortable carrying a gun that only identifies them as the user. The NRA does not dictate the outcomes of what guns are available and what is not. Besides, I thought the NRA believed there was no gun outlawed from ownership and/or use. 

Missouri HB 2126
Missouri bill would allow babysitters, guests to use deadly force (click here)

Posted: May 06, 2014 5:11 PM EST
Updated: May 06, 2014 6:56 PM EST
By Bonyen Lee, News Reporter
 Missouri law now allows property owners to use deadly force, but a bill making its way through the General Assembly would give babysitters and guests the right to use deadly force against intruders.
Some area residents were surprised to learn that babysitters, grandparents and other guests inside a home weren't automatically given the right to use deadly force when faced with an intruder or burglar.
"It's concerning that they wouldn't be allowed to act at this point in time," said Julie Powers, a mother of two.
The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Joe Don McGaugh, R-Carrollton.
"This is a common sense extension of the law that would empower a nanny or babysitter or anyone with the owner's permission to occupy a property, to defend himself or herself against an intruder," McGaugh said....

There was a law against deadly force? What law was that? If someone is being threatened with their life they can defend themselves. Where in Missouri or otherwise does it say they can't to require a law as stupid as this one?

So, let me get this right. The NRA believes in anarchy and finds a friend in Bundy, BUT, he can't carry safe guns. Is that right?

Why don't I just state what this is. It is bullshit. The entire Gun Rights movement is bullshit. It is not about freedom or liberty or cows, it is about oppressive politics at the cost of innocent lives. 

This is proof of the trustworthiness of the NRA and any other guns rights group. It is bullshit. 

The NRA really blew their cover on this one. It is obvious now. Extremism and politics equates to gun sales and the NRA Treasury.

Someone needs to import these guns for sale in the USA using proper channels and sell them. If the members of the NRA are threatening the lives of those that want the guns and/or sell them, then there needs to be charges pressed. If the danger is too great, then a dealer can list them online without identifying themselves for the purpose of their own safety. Abortionists need special protections, so in this case gun dealers do. When the NRA or any other groups tries to stop the sales of "Safe Guns" then a lawsuit has to be filed against the NRA or any State regulating the Safe Guns and take it to the Supreme Court. The NRA and state regulating the sale of safe guns will be defeated.

This attitude by the gun rights movement reveals their true self and it has absolutely nothing to do with gun rights. When are 'gun rights' different for different Americans?

If the only argument against Safe Guns is they will ultimately be controlled by the government, then that my business. End of discussion. If I want to purchase a gun vulnerable to government meddling, that is my CHOICE. No one else has to purchase the gun.

Finally, President Putin has decided to be a leader rather than a populous puppet. Thank you.

I understand the Russian troops have been moved away from the Ukraine border as well. It is time for the G7 to reassess the sanctions.

If the leaders in Russia sincerely care about their post soviet friends, they would not want war but seek allies in trade and peace between them. Living within the same border or under the same flag does not insure strong nations if hatred of others exist. 

Now, the May elections can go forward with observers. Kiev needs to consider a dialogue for those that have an affection for Russia. I sincerely believe their numbers are small. Perhaps they can emigrate. But, if Kiev is listening and have dialogue there can be no fingers pointed at them as belligerents or extremists. Governing means addressing all the issues of the country, not simply those that fit into the politics or ideology. Kiev is up to this. They can be strong while resolving conflict peacefully.

Updated 13 minutes ago

Russian president Vladimir Putin (click here) called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back from the brink of violent dismemberment.
It was the first sign the Kremlin leader has given that he would not endorse a referendum planned for Sunday by pro-Russian rebels seeking independence for two provinces in the east, and Russian analysts said they believed the rebels would heed Mr Putin's call to put off the vote.
"We call on the representatives of south-eastern Ukraine, the supporters of the federalisation of the country, to postpone the referendum planned for May 11," Mr Putin said.
He said this would create conditions for dialogue between the Ukrainian authorities in Kiev and the separatists, some of whom want greater autonomy while others demand secession....

The majority of private equity firms are found to be untrustworthy by the SEC.

Public Pension funds should never be influenced by these firms. Private equity firms look good on a balance sheet, but, their practices are far from credible.

Easy money always look good, but, rarely proves to benefit the economy. Equity firms remove sustainability form any economy. There is no way there are that many poorly managed companies viewed as desirable for garage sales. There is no way. The private equity firms 'hunt' for companies with assets that can be sold for a nice profit along with pension funds.
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 2:37pm

United States regulators (click here) have found illegal collection of fees or severe compliance shortfalls at more than half of the private equity firms they have examined since 2012, which could lead to tougher supervision of the industry or sanctions against companies.

"By far, the most common observation our examiners have made when examining private equity firms has to do with the adviser's collection of fees and allocation of expenses," said Drew Bowden, the director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's office of compliance inspections and examinations.

"We have identified what we believe are violations of law or material weaknesses in controls over 50 per cent of the time."

The SEC's review of the US$3.5 trillion private equity industry started after the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act authorised greater oversight of money managers, putting many firms under regulatory scrutiny for the first time....

There are legitimately 'bad' people in Russian prisons, but,...

Inside Russia's toughest prisons. (click here)

Russia has it's nightmares, too. But, I believe according to international laws, such as the Geneva Conventions, some of the prisoners in Russia can be considered political prisoners and not just criminals. To that end I would expect international organizations to have access to Russian prisons and appeal to international venues to the findings, including Russian venues of reform. Third party funding is not Russia's forte and the extra help might even be welcome.
If the Democrats are ever going to reclaim Texas' First District for the House it will have to be a candidate that can get the attention of the electorate and run the same chronic propaganda dialogue paradigm as Gomert does. That holds true for any District or Senate seat, ie: Cruz, there chronic propaganda floats the electorate. It is possible to win those seats, but, the candidate has to know the territory and have the dedication to pursue it. It is just that these extremists are so far out of step with reality they actually can be dangerous to the country.

It is interesting to me Texas 1 (click here) is so extreme and in need of chronic, daily propaganda while it sits right at the border of Louisiana.

What is more interesting is that the change from Democratic leadership in Louisiana to Republican happened at the same time of redistricting and Gomert. If I were a Louisiana candidate for anything, I'd be advertising in District 1 Texas, too. Nothing like a friendly 'wave' to the friends and relatives. 

Just to reassure everyone their jobs won't disappear along with their impoverished quality of life. Only god knows how much can happen if citizens weren't proving the worthiness of their souls in balance with union rejection and the achievement of Middle Class incomes. No one wants the petroleum industry to lose it's footing after all.

Just a reality check: The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare really is the answer for saving Moms from dying to take care of their children and be a comfort to their husbands. 


I have to call it the way I see it. There are lives in jeopardy.

Why should anyone be concerned about the Russian Duma's need for overwhelming control? Seeking registrations of dual citizenship persons and now bloggers have to register. Firstly, this is complete 180 turn for Russia. It was not that long ago the country was welcoming the Russian diaspora home to increase the country's population and work force.

But, secondly, these registration and record keeping initiatives always end up overwhelming the best of bureaucracies. When paranoya accompanies official government business what inevitably follows is a round up of citizens.

The only reason any government keeps tight control over citizens is to either collect taxes and/or control their activity. Since bloggers and dual national citizens are not paying any taxes to note there can only be one reason they are being asked to register. That reason is the Russia government is losing control while also practicing nationalism.

I do believe Russia is becoming a dangerous place for citizens that do not 'toe the line' of the current administration and majority Duma. The trend is in that direction. Russians need to be aware they do not have the freedom they once did and modify their behavior. I do believe it is that serious. 

One other thought. Why would Russia call it's diaspora home and then turn in the opposition direction on their dual citizenship? Perhaps the Russian military does not want regrets over any loss of Russian Speaking People when/if war breaks out. If a Russian diaspora didn't have a chance to come home the leadership would be guilty of killing their own. I think it is CYA. I find all this trending rather strange in it's pre-emptive planning for propaganda. I suppose I could be called paranoid, too. But, when it comes to lives of human beings I feel strongly about the appropriate skepticism.

Let me temper that point of view just a bit. I think it is important to do so and point out a parallel.

The closer people come to change, the more threatening change becomes. The more control over the change is sought. 

It could easily be stated the extremism in the USA's Republican Party is due to the fact the 'old world' is colliding with the new world. Russia and the USA have been primarily dire enemies. They have cooperated, importantly so, on nuclear capacity which was ridiculously out of control anyway. But, it is also interesting the extremism of the Communists and the USA Neocons are reaching a fever pitch. Control over mutual nuclear annihilation and how much is actually relinquished must be a real bitch.

Mutually assured destruction (M.A.D.) (click here) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. 

Each are looking for 'the dove tail.'

And not finding it in their political dogma. That does not make it any less a threat.

Will Charles Warner receive his stay on execution? Will Oklahoma repeat their torture of death row inmates?

Posted: May 07, 2014 7:11 AM EST  
Updated: May 07, 2014 8:35 AM EST 

Oklahoma City, OK -  More backlash continues (click here) from the botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate. Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma have until tomorrow to respond to a death row inmate's request for at least a six-month delay of his scheduled execution pending a review into the state's botched execution last week.  

The Oklahoma court of criminal appeals directed the state to respond to the request by inmate Charles Warner, who currently is scheduled to be put to death by lethal next Tuesday, for the 1997 killing of an 11-month-old. Warner's attorneys contend the state can not quote "ensure a humane, constitutional execution.''

Both governor Mary Fallin and attorney general Scott Pruitt have said they do not believe any executions should go forward until the state has conducted a thorough review into last week's execution of Clayton Lockett. Lockett's attorney is also seeking a 2nd autopsy as his execution remains an on-going investigation....

Odd coincidence.
Bernie Tiede, who was serving a life sentence, smiles at the courthouse in Panola County, Texas, after a judge granted his release. (LM Otero / Associated Press)

May 6, 2014
...On Tuesday, (click here)Tiede walked free. A judge in Panola County recommended that his life sentence be reduced to time served and that he be released on $10,000 bond pending appellate court approval. She set a few conditions, including this one: Tiede will live in a garage apartment owned by Linklater.

"It's art imitating life, life imitating art — imitating murder!" said Skip Hollandsworth, the Texas Monthly writer whose story inspired the movie and who co-wrote the screenplay with Linklater. "In his very sort of easygoing way, [Linklater had] said he was trying to do some work on the Bernie case and see about getting him some representation, and I would listen and go, 'Come on. There's no way you're going to get Bernie a new trial.'"
Tiede, now 55, won't need a new trial, and the reason seems made for Hollywood....

I really get the feeling Putin is losing control on the Presidency.

MOSCOW — Russia (click here) has taken another major step toward restricting its once freewheeling Internet, as President Vladimir V. Putin quietly signed a new law requiring popular online voices to register with the government, a measure that lawyers, Internet pioneers and political activists said Tuesday would give the government a much wider ability to track who said what online.

Mr. Putin’s action on Monday, just weeks after he disparaged the Internet as “a special C.I.A. project,” borrowed a page from the restrictive Internet playbooks of many governments around the world that have been steadily smothering online freedoms they once tolerated....

...Widely known as the “bloggers law,” the new Russian measure specifies that any site with more than 3,000 visitors daily will be considered a media outlet akin to a newspaper and be responsible for the accuracy of the information published.

Besides registering, bloggers can no longer remain anonymous online, and organizations that provide platforms for their work such as search engines, social networks and other forums must maintain computer records on Russian soil of everything posted over the previous six months.

“This law will cut the number of critical voices and opposition voices on the Internet,” said Galina Arapova, director of the Mass Media Defense Center and an expert on Russian media law. “The whole package seems quite restrictive and might affect harshly those who disseminate critical information about the state, about authorities, about public figures.”...

This is just more problems for Russian bloggers that have existed over a year.

...Russian anti-corruption campaigner (click here) Alexei Navalny, 37, was sentenced to five years in prison for embezzlement on 18 July 2013, after a highly controversial trial. 

After hearing the sentence he sought to keep up his supporters' morale, with the tweet: "Fine. Don't miss me too much, you guys. And most importantly, don't sit around doing nothing. The toad won't get off the oil pipe by itself." The "toad" was what he called the Russian government in a post on his LiveJournal blog....

Makes complete sense to me. A blogger opposing Russian corruption is truly at heart corrupt himself.

2013 (click here)

Many experts believe that Alexei Navalny's blog was the initial target, which is one of Russia's most popular websites and blog hosts, and is frequently a venue for open political discussion, said through the Russian-language blog of its host,, that it had sustained a "powerful and prolonged DDOS attack" on April 4 at 2 pm Moscow time....

...Popular blogs targeted

Kaspersky Labs, one of the world's leading computer and network security firms, which is based in Moscow, confirmed that this DDOS was organized by the Optima botnet, adding that the firm had been "monitoring one of these Optima botnets for some time now."

"Analysis of the data acquired showed that the first DDOS attack on LiveJournal occurred on 24 March," wrote Maria Garnaeva, a Kaspersky analyst, on the English-language blog SecureList on Wednesday.
In the same post, Garnaeva listed 36 websites that became targets during the April 4 attack.

"It should be obvious to specialists in the Russian-speaking blogosphere that the list affects some of the most popular bloggers on LiveJournal who write about a wide variety of things," she wrote. "It is not known if this was an attempt to 'blur' the real target of the attacks, which may have been clearly designated during the first DDOS attacks, or if the list of blogs that had fallen out of favor had become bigger."

On April 4, a British computer security firm, Netcraft, also confirmed the attack on its blog....

Oklahomans are getting lessons on protecting from earthquakes this week.

"...along with furnaces and water heaters are of particular concern during an earthquake since they are often attached directly gas...lines..."

That is poetic, isn't it? Gas Fracking dissolves land creating earthquakes only to have home blow up because of gas lines. Amazing.

Published: May 6, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
Becky Oskin,

Mile for mile, (click here) there are almost as many earthquakes rattling Oklahoma as California this year. This major increase in seismic shaking led to a rare earthquake warning today (May 5) from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

In a joint statement, the agencies said the risk of a damaging earthquake — one larger than magnitude 5.0 — has significantly increased in central Oklahoma.

Geologists don't know when or where the state's next big earthquake will strike, nor will they put a number on the increased risk. "We haven't seen this before in Oklahoma, so we had some concerns about putting a specific number on the chances of it," Robert Williams, a research geophysicist with the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Golden, Colorado, told Live Science.

"But we know from other cases around the world that if you have an increasing number of small earthquakes, the chances of a larger one will go up."...

When is a soldier not a soldier? When he is saving a life.

James Mitchell with Sister Angela Nguyen and the baby, Tran Thi Ngoc Bich (Precious Pearl). Mitchell adopted the infant and brought her to the States in 1972. Photo Kimberly Mitchell. Photo: Kimberly Mitchell

May 7, 2014 - 10:05PM
Anh Do

...It was wartime in Vietnam, (click here) 1972, and 22-year-old Bao Tran had been trying to focus on just one thing: igniting the My Chanh Bridge. But now he stood frozen, staring at the pale, thin child in stained cotton.

When he asked his commanding officer what to do, the reply was straightforward: "You take care of her."

So Tran set off for a nunnery 60 kilometres away. He walked, he rode a bus. When the child began to whimper, he poured drops of water from his thermos, letting her lick it from his finger.

At the Sacred Heart orphanage in the coastal town of Da Nang, the head sister greeted him at the front door.

"You must fulfill your responsibility," Sister Angela Nguyen told Tran. "You must give her something of yourself. What would you like to call her?"

He gave her his last name, then added: Ngoc Bich.
Precious Pearl....

Rome has talent.

The nun that wants to be a hero.

...What once was nothing more (click here) than a singing show with mediocre ratings has become a TV phenomenon in Italy, with no shortage of potential story lines: Will Sister Cristina survive until the final round in early June? Will she convert her singing coach — the Italian rapper J-Ax — to Catholicism? And why has her appearance stirred such a huge reaction in Italy and beyond?

“My dream was to be a singer,” Sister Cristina told ANSA, the state news agency, in her only interview. “The Lord has made use of my wish to call me to him, and is taking me to realize my dream in a way that I could have never imagined.”

To some observers, the success of Sister Cristina is another byproduct of the new tone established during the first year of the papacy of Pope Francis. If it once might have seemed inappropriate for a nun to even appear on the show — an issue still stirring discussion on different Catholic websites — now the outpouring of public support is seen as more proof of the so-called Francis effect....

Travis Smiley receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

April 24, 2014 | 10:00AM PT 
Malina Saval  
Associate Editor
Features @MalinaSaval

...In addition (click here) to Smiley’s philanthropic bent, he’s also a masterful fundraiser. He and Oprah Winfrey are the only two African-American broadcasters with national and international distribution who own all their content. And where other nets have the benefit of advertisers and inhouse PR machines, Smiley has to generate the production costs of his show on an annual basis, a feat not easily accomplished....

Ali who?

Jack Ma, (click here) the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has made a career of taking on big-name rivals from the U.S. As the company has grown since its 1999 founding into a hybrid of (AMZN) and EBay (EBAY) and become a leader in business-to-business sales, only Google (GOOG) has gotten the better of Ma. In September, Alibaba accused the search giant of scotching the debut of a smartphone using its homemade operating system just hours before its big coming-out party in Shanghai, prompting Android seller Acer (2353:TT) to drop its partnership with Alibaba. The U.S. search company says the Chinese company’s system “is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that has gone into that platform,” as Google developer Andy Rubin wrote online at the time....

KXL is outdated. There is no place for it on the global energy map.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s (click here) latest report, which explores ways to cut carbon emissions, put the world on notice. Despite efforts in the United States, Europe and developing countries such as China to ramp up energy efficiency and renewable energy use, global carbon emissions have been increasing at a much faster clip than they were just a few decades ago. To avoid the worst of the worst, IPCC scientists say emissions will have to be reduced 40 percent to 70 percent from current levels by 2050, and they warn we only have a 15-year window to reverse course.

"We cannot afford to lose another decade," said Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist who co-chaired the committee that wrote the report. "If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization."...

Gowdy, if re-elected in 2014, is stated by some Republicans to replace John Boehner.

His Benghazi rant is to facilitate that reality.

When John Boehner (click here) finally buckled to pressure from his members and announced the creation of a House select committee to investigate Benghazi, there was never really any doubt that the real purpose of the whole exercise was to keep the Benghazi attacks alive as a political issue. Yesterday Boehner confirmed that our collective cynicism was justified when he tapped Rep. Trey Gowdy to be the committee chair....

Any committee I've witnessed him on is nothing but political dogma and rhetoric. He never addresses the committee's focus. He is another what's him name from District 1 in Texas. He keeps all the dogma in front of the constituents in order to maintain an electable edge. In other words, he prides himself on being full of hot air. Up to now, it has worked.

He emulates all the FOX propaganda, if it isn't Benghazi then it is Lois Lerner. The guy is a real jerk and only knows how to yell. He never talks. Typical FOX training camp.

These are a list of problems a county in North Carolina faces and has faced for a very long time.

1. Prevention of Chronic Disease and Disability through Healthy Behaviors
2. Access to Care
3. Environmental Health–Healthy Places Supporting Healthy Choices
4. Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment
5. Violence Prevention
6. Injury Prevention
7. Mental Health
8. Responsible Sexual Behavior, and
9. Maternal&Child Health
Which county is it?

Mecklenburg County (click here) and whom is the state representative for Mecklenburg County? 

Mr. Tillis is not only ineffective in moving Mechlenburg County out of being the most dangerous drug economy in the state he is also confused about his Alma Mater.

...North Carolina (click here) House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC) has listed two different colleges as his alma mater....

...Similarly on Tillis’s biography page on his House Speaker website, Tillis listed the University of Maryland as his alma matter and links to College Park’s website. But according to officials contacted at both the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Maryland University College, Tillis graduated from the University of Maryland at University College. Tillis is also listed as an alumni in the University College alumni magazine (page 71).
“We have no graduate by that name on file,” University of Maryland at College Park Assistant Vice President Brian Ullmann told TPM. Ullman first checked with the donor database and then with the university registrar. In both cases Tillis’ name did not come up as a graduate of College Park.

But University of Maryland University College Assistant Vice President Bob Ludwig confirmed that a Thomas Roland Tillis graduated from there with a degree in Management Studies and a Minor in Computer Studies....

Having a minor in computer studies doesn't really qualify as a BS in Technology Management.

But, to get back to Mecklenberg County, there are significant health problems with the citizens and what does Tom Tillis do?

May 3, 2014
News and Observer

...In fact, in North Carolina, (click here) enrollments in health insurance surged to 357,000 as the eligibility deadline arrived. The state is now the fifth-highest in the nation in terms of the number of enrollments.

That’s all the more astonishing considering that Republicans in control of the General Assembly rejected the state’s participation in a cooperative health care exchange, leaving it all to the federal government, and turned down extension of Medicaid coverage to several hundred thousand more citizens, even though the federal government would have paid the costs....

North Carolina is sort of like Kentucky in that people have never had health care insurance before. Most employers in the state don't provide good pay or good benefits unless a person is at the professional level of some kind. Triangle Park and Research Park. 

Tillis may not be a Tea Party candidate, but, there is not much space between the two candidates. He has lead an extremist agenda in the North Carolina House. That can't be ignored. 

March 5, 2013 12:42 pm

Read more here:
By Chad Nance

Thom Tillis, (click here) Speaker of the House in NC’s General Assembly, and his Voter ID team held a press conference today in Raleigh in order to announce the beginning of the legislative process that will end with a Voter ID law.

A Voter ID bill was passed by the General Assembly in the last session, but was vetoed by then Governor Bev Perdue. The veto was not presented back to the legislature for an override, due to the fact that there would not have been enough votes to successfully implement the bill.

Estimates floated internally in the NCGA show that the proposed bill will cost the state 23 million dollars. A recent law suit fought by South Carolina over their State Voter ID law cost the state $3.5million in legal fees.

Polls have been conducted in the state in attempts to show citizen support for the ID program. These polls were conducted with small samples, and don’t reveal the framing of the questions asked or if people were made aware of the financial costs required to implement the concept or the potential for voter disenfranchisement it would create. The ID program would help many lawmakers and the current Governor honor election promises and satisfy the demands of right-wing special interest groups such as ALEC and Art Pope’s Civitas Insitute....

That is all there is in North Carolina; extremist agendas, under served citizens and a corrupt state government. Art Pope’s Civitas Insitute is the brain child of Art Pope the Governor's right hand man that is actually the Budget Director. McCrory is Budget Director in name only. So, Art Pope is helping himself to monies from the State of North Carolina Treasury to bolster his non-profits (which is a political organization) instead of serving the citizens.

How long will the people of North Carolina be lead to believe there are no monies in the state treasury to even plan for paying for the Medicaid Expansion after the first two years? They have been deceived on many counts.  

There is a movement by citizens that cannot be ignored:

By Mary C. Curti
May 2, 2014

...Before a 2012 election (click here) that resulted in Republican control, with a GOP governor and super-majorities in the general assembly, North Carolina had a more progressive reputation. The Rev. Dr. William Barber II said the “Moral Monday” protests he led at the Legislative Building in Raleigh last year continued the state’s tradition of fusion politics, with a coalition that reached across party and demographic lines....

Out of the eleven North Carolina counties in this illustration, Mecklenburg has the lowest high school gradation rate.


The teenagers have a profound problem with drugs.

...Approximately78% of persons living with HIV and80% or more of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea cases in the county are racial and ethnic populations. Limited access toquality healthcare, poverty and higherdisease prevalence contribute to disparate rates....

...Current North Carolina legislation does not support comprehensive sexual
health education.

Mecklenburg routinely reports the highest number of new HIV disease cases in North Carolina; however HIV-related death rates have declined by63% between2001 and2011(13.3deaths per100,000vs. 4.9 deaths per100,000).
In 2011, there were 42 births to girls 15 and younger, 232 births to those 16-17 and 565 to those 18-19 or a total of 839 births to females under 20, representing 6.1% of all Mecklenburg births....

In Mecklenburg County: 

Of high school students reporting marijuana use, nearly half (43%)reported that they achieved grades of mainly Ds and Fs.
•Almost half (44%) of students who reported attending school under the influence of alcohol or drugs also reported achieving grades of mainly D’s and F’s.
•In 2011, 8% of high school students reported driving a car when they had been drinking. This is up from 6% in 2009.
•In 2011, one in four high school students reported that they had consumed alcohol before sexual intercourse.
•The total percentage of high school students reporting taking a prescription drug without a prescription is 18% but this varies by race. Black youth had the lowest reported usage at 14%, followed by Hispanic youth with 21% and White youth had the highest rate of 23%

Basically, Mr. Tillis is worthless to the people of Mecklenberg County. It is a wonder how he ever gets into office. And to think he is the leader of the NC House. How did that happen?

There are three times more white men that commit suicide in Mecklenberg County than any other demographic.  

More than 90% of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder, most commonly a depressive or a substance abuse disorder. Four times as many men as women die by suicide; however, women attempt suicide 2 to 3 times as often as men. 

In 2012, 16% of Mecklenburg adults reported their mental health was not good for at least 8 of the past 30 days. 30% of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 wks in a row to the extent they stopped doing some usual activities.

The McCrory Administration states it has the lowest unemployment rate in recent history in North Carolina. It sure doesn't show in Mecklenberg County.

The USA National Unemployment rate April of 2014 was 6.3 percent. Do I have to go on much more? Mr. Tillis is an ineffective state legislator. What makes anyone think he'll be any better in DC?