Monday, June 30, 2014

Is there an emergency at the border? Did the President see it coming? Quite possibly.

President Obama asked Congress to act in regard to this emergency. And what did they say?

June 30, 2014
By Jim Kuhnhenn...Obama said (click here) he decided to bypass Congress after House speaker John Boehner informed him last week that the House would not vote on an immigration overhaul this year. A congressional leadership aide said Obama and Boehner spoke privately before an event last week at the white House honoring U.S. golfers who won last year's Presidents Cup,

Obama said there are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today, and says he would sign it....

It isn't as though the political right wing doesn't know this is occurring. Their media has been all over this as a reason to never pass immigration reform. It just goes to show the right wing is more interested in exploiting controversy than conduct the government's business. The politicians are running with their tail between their legs as fast they can. They are subservient to right wing media and if this isn't proof then I don't know what is. The people have control all right.

The people have no clue why this occurring, no clue about how to handle it, but, they have control to obstruct any response. There better now be human rights violations of this country because the right wing is crippled by it's electorate.

If workers aren't going to pay dues they don't representation. Just that simple.

I think the state being Illinois had something to do with it, too. It obviously is an attack against unions which we all know are the mainstay of Democratic Party strength. Justice Ginsberg is correct. This opens up the idea that corporations have rights that human beings have. Our democracy is rather wayward right now. It is anti-person and pro-corporation. The rise of the Plutocrats.

But, if employees are not members of the union they should never receive representation at the bargaining table and in their paychecks or otherwise. I don't see this hostile court decision effecting unions. People will quickly learn members are receiving raises and benefits they don't. There can literally be two classes of employees. Those with union representation and those without.

June 30, 2014
By Robert Barnes

The Supreme Court (click here) dealt a defeat to public employee unions Monday, saying that thousands of home health-care workers are not the kind of state employees who can be required to pay fees to cover a union’s cost of collective bargaining.
The court split 5 to 4 along ideological grounds in a case from Illinois. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said the state’s requirement of dues from those workers, who technically are employed under a government program for the persons they assist, violates workers’ rights to free speech.
To do otherwise, he wrote for the court’s other conservatives, “we would approve an unprecedented violation of the bedrock principle that, except perhaps in the rarest of circumstances, no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.”...

What is wrong with these pictures of North Carolina Disabled Car Display Tags

The image to the left is the old display tag. Nothing wrong with it. Worked like a charm. It cost $5.00 every few years.

The display tag to the right is the new for the disabled. It is two piece. $5.00 for the paper tag which can be used independently if one doesn't mind it tearing the first time a mild breeze or air conditioner fan hits it. It is very flimsy. 

I said this new tag to the right is two pieces. The paper tag still costs $5.00 which goes to the state. But, the second piece is sold independently by the privately owned state registration centers. It costs $5.00. 

Today in North Carolina a handicapped individual is changed $10.00 where a good sturdy product was only $5.00.

This is the McCrory administration at work. It plays footsie with the private registration centers across the state, prints a paper tag that is completely worthless without the plastic covers. Yes, indeed, the elderly and handicapped in North Carolina are being taken for at least $5.00 each over the old cost of the Handicap Display Tag for parking in dedicated spots in public parking.

The reason the McCrory administration states this change was necessary was because the sturdy plastic tags hook would break off and it would not hang on the mirror anymore.

I don't know of one having that malady. My mother's old tag is still sturdy and in the glove compartment.

This is exploitation of every aspect of a person's life for profit. It is corruption. The answer to those that broke the old stand-by is to offer a plastic cover to place the old one in if it malfunctioned. Of have the state actually take responsibility for a defective product and replace it at any private DMV across the state free of charge.

This is Republicans at work. It doesn't matter whom you are, handicapped or not, if there is a way at making a buck, you can count on handing over the money. 

Democrats in North Carolina should be holding this example of greed in front of the public to show the level of indifference and poor judgement the Republicans are using. The Republicans are not trustworthy. With this state service alone they have doubled the cost in a covert manner. What do the disabled say? "I suppose it was necessary for some people, so we all had to pay the price." Excuse me? It wasn't necessary for any in North Carolina. This pure unadulterated corruption. 

It is religious zealotry.

If a private company is going to discriminate along religious preference of the owners it is just another form of corporate welfare.

The company can't even get out of it's own way to hire the general public and pay for birth control it's employees need. 

It is nonsense.

A corporate 'clear conscience' is overbearing and oppressive. The CEO does not live the lives of it's employees. It is crazy. It's zealotry. It also cuts the employer's costs. Corporate welfare.

The evangelicals can go to countries best served by oppression like Russia where gays are considered non-citizens. They have no rights to live their lives as they choose. They have no freedoms to be who they are. In all honesty, when the intolerance in Russia manifested along religious lines I was astounded. I did not expect a communist nation to take up the mantel of religious zealotry.

It is not the responsibility of religion to IMPOSE standards of living on citizens. Religion has it's responsibility as a counselor to it's members. Membership in most religions is a cognitive choice. Faith is viewed as the reward structure as taught by clergy of most religions without exception. But, this is a decision by the Supreme Court that brings government imposition on non-believers. Employees are not members of a faith in the case of multi-billion dollar corporations.

This 'practice' is discriminatory along gender lines as well. Do these companies employ the LGBT community? Do they provide a hostile workplace for their employees? It seems me if they don't discriminate against other religious dogma they should not discriminate against women. The reason this is being pursued is not that they adhere to christian directives, it is about profits.

I sincerely believe this is a slippery slope to undermining our democracy. 2008 saw the loss of large amounts of companies. They were replaced by industries like Hobby Lobby and Koch. These private corporations are global companies and impose a value system that it far to ridge to accommodate the varied values of Americans. It is a problem.

I really think this Hobby Lobby decision needs to be reviewed for many reasons, including the fact Supreme Court Justices, such as Alito are imposing personal preference over democratic values.

Hobby Lobby practices religious bigotry. It is called a private company because it does not issue stocks. Another Koch Industries oppressor.

Hobby Lobby is one of those private industry businesses, that really isn't a private company. It has sales of $3.3 billion annually and has 23,000 employees. Many of the employees are women. 

Hobby Lobby is ranked as 135th by Forbes as a privately owned company. (click here)

The decision against women in the case of Hobby Lobby continues to enforce right wing extremism. There will be other companies to follow simply because it cuts the expense of health care insurance to the company.

David Green is the CEO and has a personal value of $5.1 billion. (click here)

Boycott companies that practice religious bigotry. He is an evangelical that spreads hate across the globe. This international ministries bring political pressures in countries placing human beings in the path of HIV and unwanted pregnancy. This decision will continue to victimize women on many fronts. This makes the women working for Hobby Lobby second class citizens.

...The arts and crafts retailer (click here) now has 555 locations across the country, all of which are closed on Sundays. Green is a big contributor to evangelical education, giving $10.5 million to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in 2004 and bailing out Oral Robert University in 2007 with $70 million. He has also put nearly 1.4 billion copies of gospel literature in homes in more than 100 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. He joined the Giving Pledge in 2010.

Private industry status is being exploited for political power. They seek to use their wealth to conduct the spread of their form of religion and morality. It foments hatred and intolerance. The evangelicals are dangerous to any peace initiative and rely ONLY on their faith to solve problems. This is an issue. How can a company with incomes of $3.3 billion, a CEO with a net worth of $5.1 billion and hires 23,000 people be considered exempt from rules governing the public companies.

Hobby Lobby and the other private companies claiming this status are owned by a family, but, hire strangers. There is an obligation to those outside the family they hire in regards to discriminatory practices. This is religious discrimination and is bigotry. These companies are not sincerely private companies when they involve the employment of strangers with different values. Their claim to being part of the American fabric is that they give people jobs. They do. But, they do it as the integrity of the people they hire.

It tracks that Alito wrote the majority opinion. It is probably the only opinions he is capable of writing. Those opinions that hate democratic values.

The court decision isn't really conclusive. I am sure there are legislative measures that can be taken to remove the discriminatory practices from such a large, global corporation.

This is still going on?

July 1, 2014

Washington (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court (click here) says lawsuits by victims' families and survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks can proceed, but without relatives of Osama bin Laden and businesses that allegedly supported al-Qaida before the terrorist attacks as defendants.

The justices declined Monday to review a lower court ruling that dismissed claims against 25 defendants. The lawsuits were filed by more than 3,000 Sept 11 survivors, relatives, victims' representatives and insurance carriers. Among the defendants are al-Qaida, its members and associates, along with charities, banks, terrorist organizations and financiers.

Among those dismissed were four bin Laden relatives who purportedly managed the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the Arab world and a successor to a company founded by bin Laden's father, and the company itself.

WASHINGTON (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court (click here) has rejected an appeal to lift sanctions imposed by a judge on Arab Bank, PLC in lawsuits seeking to hold the bank partially responsible for terrorist acts in the Middle East.

The high court let stand a lower court ruling penalizing the Jordan-based bank for not turning over financial records. Survivors and relatives of victims of terrorist attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza between 1995 and 2004 claim in lawsuits that the institution supported terror groups by providing financial services to them.

The bank said turning over the records would break the law in other countries.
But a judge imposed sanctions that would make it easier for the plaintiffs to prove their case and recover treble damages.

The USA government does not have a blanket plan or set of rules for emails.

The IRS is within the Department of the Treasury.

The Department of the Treasury has an Information Management Plan. (click here)

At first glance the IRS makes a vision statement and strategic mission statement, but, mostly the IRS sees it's employees as professionals capable of managing their own emails and files. There is no violation by Lois Lerner of government policies in regard to her emails.

I looked through other agencies, including the State Department and the US Coast Guard. They directly address the issue of emails. The State Department more or less has the tone of the IRS, but, when examining the email rules of the Coast Guard there is always personal discretion with specific guidance on keeping paper files. 

From the IRS:

IT Strategy Mission 
“to enable the mission of Treasury and to leverage information technology to 
steward services for citizens, government, and industry;” 

Treasury IRM Vision 
“information technology that is secure; accessible; adds value across the 

enterprise; and exceeds customer expectations.” 

So, while Mr. Issa throws his hissy fit over IRS emails, there is no violation of any policy or law. If the emails disappeared, then he is out of luck.

5.8 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 

This section of the Treasury Information Resource Management Plan deals directly with the IRS. It makes absolutely no statements about the handling of emails. I've never known the IRS to communicate with clients through email, it has always been through the US Postal Service. The issue of emails is not really considered paramount to a well run department. 

The State Department's Foreign Service calls upon specific legislation to determine the place and handling of emails.


(CT:IM-122; 11-14-2011) 
a. Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552(a)). 

b. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 1966, as amended; privacy 
exemptions (5 U.S.C. 552(b)6 and (b)7(c)). 

c. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). 

d. E-Government Act of 2002, Section 208 (44 U.S.C. 3602). 

e. Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally 
Identifiable Information, M-07-16 (May 22, 2007). 

f. 36 CFR Parts 1220, 1222, 1228, and1234 Electronic Mail Systems August 
28, 1995.

g. Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information 

h. The authorities found in 1 FAM 271.5 and 5 FAM 113. 

i. The Federal Records Act (44 U.S.C. 31).

The State Department Foreign Service actually discourages the use of the servers for email. The staff is welcome to hold files on the computer, but, emphasizes the limit of size any attachment for an email.

I found this paragraph fairly interesting.

b. When a user’s mailbox reaches its limit, IRM works with the user to apply 

best practices/email tips to reduce the mailbox size, and/or create 
personal folders and help move mailbox items to the .pst file. To ensure 
this is done in a timely manner, IRM reserves the right to create .pst files 
and move items to them on behalf of the user. This is necessary in cases 
when the user is out of the office on leave/travel or delays taking action 
to reduce the .pst file size. Should this become necessary, IRM records 
the location of the personal folder and ensures the user is notified of the 

The American consumer is quite familiar with an unlimited e-mail when accommodated by G-mail or Hotmail or Yahoo. But, the government IT is not an unending storage unit. Employees are encouraged to maintain a limit on the capacity of a person's email and will even be assisted by the information system personnel should they be out of the country or on leave.

The IRS didn't have an unlimited e-mail capacity. Besides the crashing of an obviously outdated IT system, the e-mails Mr. Issa would be looking for was probably erased ages ago and systematically removed for confidentiality reasons of both the government and the citizen. 

Mr. Issa should be aware of the limit of e-mails by the federal IT capacity. He, after all knows by his own experience within his office and staff using an email account as a storage facility is not at all possible. 

Mr. Issa and Mr. Boehner are conducting a witch hunt for the purpose of politics. Again they are in violation of ethics as the government is suppose to conduct the business of the country and not that of the RNC.
"Morning Papers" - It's Origins (click here)

The Rooster


The ministry of Jesus Christ didn't involve violence. It was a passive movement very similar to that of Martin Luther King, Jr. The only swords mentioned in the Bible belonged to the Romans.

Women were in the Bible in a variety of passages. They were welcome into the movement (click here). It could be easily said they still remained second class citizens. They never Apostles.

Children were viewed as assets making the family larger and more mouths to feed, but, they were also workers. More children secured the family, both as protection in numbers and caring for the aged. 

June 30, 2014
Islamist militant group Isis (click here) has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.
Setting up a caliphate ruled by the strict Islamic law has long been a goal of many jihadists.
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen takes a closer look at the word, saying it harks back to the rise of Islam when the Prophet Muhammad's followers conquered vast territories in the Middle Ages.
Interesting thought, but, the reason there are so many conflicts in the history of the Middle East. A caliphate would dictate only one form of Islam. It would mean killing off the Shia and/or the Sunnis. So, the chance of a caliphate in 2014 is impossible.

I might note along with the Islamic aspirations of a caliphate, Israel has a doctrine of expansive settlements. The tensions that exist regarding the growing number of Israeli settlements in Palestine has to end and provide a stable Gaza.

"Good Night, Moon"

Waxing Crescent

7% Full

2.5 days old

June 29, 2014

The sighting of a sliver of a new moon (click here) indicates the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan, for observant Muslims, is a time of fasting, prayer and charitable giving.