Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marie Harf. The State Department is very lucky to have her. She is always composed and well informed. She does a heck of a job. 

Today, on "All in with Chris Hayes" she stated the State Department were involved with intense and complicated negotiations with Iran.

Ah, dear Ms. Harf, that is where you lose the Republicans. Both intense and complicated. Republicans don't 'BELIEVE' in intense and complicated anything. If she would recall, "W" negotiated a three page document with Russia regarding the ICBMs with nuclear warheads. He negotiated that after first resigning from the same focus document that was beyond reading capacity before he went to bed at 9:00 PM.

It's okay, the USA has to accept the Republicans are, at the very least, diminished in capacity to govern. It's a problem, but, the country has learned to adapt and write when it's important. Evidently, the Republicans took example of it and thought they'd write to Iran. They were looking at something they opposed and if the people of the USA could do it to them, they might try it on Iran because it worked so well when they received their letters from constituents.

At least they were formal in addressing Iran's leaders (click here). See the letters they received were addressed to names of varying verbiage.

See that man in the picture? His name is Bob Corker. He is a Senator from Tennessee. He always has nasty things to say about anything. He has been in the Senate since 2007. According to "The Daily Beast" he hasn't learned a darn thing in all those years he was mayor of Chattanooga or Senator in Tennessee because the day after the Republicans released the letter to Iran they are sorry they did. (click here) You want to know something else, he hasn't learned a bit from this experience either. Just, expect more of the same. Everyone does.

I have worked since the age 15 in jobs I was well paid.

I have to admit I didn't email all that time, but, most of my employers were those with contact with the public. 

I never was verbally insulted with racist statements,...

I never was verbally insulted with bigoted statements,...

I never was verbally insulted with biased statements, even as a woman. There was one exception, ONLY ONE.

It was a man in a hospital room who was very ill and when I went into the room I could see he wasn't comfortable so I began to help him be more comfortable. He told me to stop and I did and I apologized in case I was perceived as wrongly touching him. He stated there was no need for me to help him, but, if I would go out in the hall and find one of those N.... girls, they'll take care of my comfort.

That was the ONLY time I was insulted by a word of hate. I am Caucasian and worked many, many years within minority populations in several different cities around the USA. So, that's about 40 years before I changed my profession. Forty years of being surrounded by other co-workers that were minority and the public that was of all ethnicity including Caucasian.

Never once in any family gathering have I heard words of hate of any one else. We had family that married interracial folks and their children had definitive ethnic traits. I have a huge family and everyone is as much family as another.

So, if FOX News commentators have the experience of receiving emails reflecting racist, bigotry or bias; then the federal government should look into the statements by the female commentator with that observation. That is a hostile work environment and she basically outed everyone she has known that has those terrible habits.

Christopher Byrd was told to eliminate important verbiage from official documents in the Florida DEP.

Governer Scott targeted specific scientists to fire from the FDEP.  Bringing sunshine within the State of Florida government allowed other state employees to openly admit they were told to limit their language in regard to the Climate Crisis or Global Warming. The word courage is still being used to describe those that speak out about the oppression by the Scott Administration of their language within their official capacity. 

This is fraud. The professionals that may have had papers printed in professional journals while complying with the limitation of their speech will cause problems in the research globally. Cleverness in wording professional documents is not suppose to enter into the scientific reporting of either natural or human statistics.

Governor Scott's administration is committing oppression of First Amendment rights and enforcing fraud in reporting within the state's departments and possibly within professional journals. 

Governor Scott has a history of committing fraud to the tune of millions of dollars in Medicare funds, this is more of the same. I am sure the monies involved in this deception enters into millions as well over the past 4 to 5 years. 

March 9, 2015
By Doyle Rice

If Florida Gov. Rick Scott (click here) didn't want the terms "climate change" or "global warming" officially associated with his state, he won't be happy with the media attention his decision has sparked.
Scott, a Republican, banned the use of those terms in state communications and publications shortly after he took office in 2011, according to a Miami Herald story Sunday by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
Though it was not a written rule, "we were told not to use the terms 'climate change,' 'global warming' or 'sustainability,' " Christopher Byrd, a former attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Office of General Counsel told the investigative reporting center. "That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors," said Boyd, who held that post from 2008 to 2013....


After former Secretary made her speech and answered questions there was not one question about Iran. Not one. It was all about the stupid emails.

I congratulate the former Secretary for her willingness to be open and honest about the email stuff, but, this isn't going to end. No matter how much information Hillary Clinton supplies to the media they will never leave her alone. 

She and Bill need to consider ending the talk about any email issues to secure their own priority to their foundation. We want Hillary to consider a run for President. So, as far as I am concerned the mess is over with. 

The media is becoming obsessed with issues that carry no brevity to the future. I cannot believe there were requests to disclose personal communication between she and her husband. That is outrageous. 

When she served as Secretary of State there was a lot going on in her personal life. Her daughter was getting married and there was a baby on the way. I don't see any disclosure of their personal communication or their personal life during that period of time. 

It isn't the former Secretary that is scandalous, it is the media. 

She needs to close the book on this and move on. Is she considering a run for President? I hope none of this would dissuade her from venturing into that office. 

She looked great. She is definitely a happy person and I want her to stay that way. She deserves all the joy life has to offer. 

One more time.

March 9, 2015
By Deborah Belgum

In a sign of how bad the port congestion problem (click here) grew on the West Coast this January, East Coast ports ended up handling 45 percent of the cargo container traffic that entered the United States, up from 36 percent during the same month last year.
Normally, the West Coast ports would have handled about 64 percent of all container traffic in January, but that dipped to 55 percent.
“Importers and exporters are reviewing their supply chain plans for the future and not necessarily in favor of the West Coast, said Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett, who prepares the monthly “Global Port Tracker” report for the National Retail Federation.
A crippling work slowdown on the West Coast was resolved when a tentative agreement was reached Feb. 20 between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the longshore workers’ employers, the Pacific Maritime Association—made up of shipping lines and port terminal operators. But some 20 cargo container ships are still stuck at anchor waiting for a berth to unload their merchandise at either the Port of Los Angeles or the Port of Long Beach....

The strike on the West Coast was held off for nine months by the laborers specifically to prevent any backlog of shipments. The labor union started long before the end of the contract to request contract negotiations. Don't blame the labor or the unions when companies don't negotiate in good faith to force a strike. 

March 9, 2015
By J. Craig Shearman

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2015 – Import cargo volume (click here) at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“The contract talks are over, but the tentative agreement still has to be ratified and it’s going to take months to get back to normal on the West Coast,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers’ immediate priority is to make sure spring merchandise reaches store shelves in time. Going forward, we want labor, management and Washington to work together to see that we never again have a situation like what we went through these past several months.”...

The backlog exists and the reason is because the contract the workers sign to was refused by the dock's administration. These unions are vital to the dock workers, both for pay and benefits including life insurance, because these jobs are very dangerous. There is a great deal of risk in working on the docks. The unions are necessary to maintain high safety standards to prevent injuries and death.

This is the 2013 listing of deaths according to OSHA. (click here)

Work related deaths occur and dock workers are among the most dangerous. There is only one thing standing in the way of dangerous work and companies allowing unsafe conditions and that is the unions. The government can't always be counted on to inspect facilities on a regular basis. We have witnessed OSHA at nearly a parallelized ability to protect workers from danger at work. So, the unions are vital. The companies should be saying thank you for the demands within a contract that maintains docks working and safe. When workers are safe the work can move along without interruption. If companies want to get more for their money they need to maintain safe working conditions.  

The peace process in Ukraine are beginning to take hold. I congratulate both President Poroshenko and President Putin on this first success.

March 10, 2015
By Staff and agencies in Kiev

The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, (click here) says pro-Russia rebels have withdrawn a significant amount of weaponry from the frontlines in eastern Ukraine, three weeks after a ceasefire deal was struck.

Attacks have fallen significantly, but accusations of continued violence on both sides show the fragility of the peace accord agreed in Minsk last month, which calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons from frontlines.
“There is a ceasefire, or there isn’t. It depends on how you look at it, Poroshenko said in a televised interview. “We can say that we managed to halt the offensive drive of the aggressor.”

“Ukraine has withdrawn the lion’s share of its rocket and heavy artillery systems. The Russian-backed fighters have also withdrawn a significant amount.”

While the Minsk agreements have been broadly observed along the frontlines in the past two weeks, Kiev has accused the rebels of continuing to fire on government positions and using the truce to regroup and rearm for a further offensive, a charge the rebels deny....

"THE Dress" is becoming part of the abuse culture of violence against women.

March 10, 2015

The dress (click here) that divided the internet with millions debating its colours has been adopted by the Salvation Army for the focus of its latest anti-domestic violence campaign.
Why is it so hard to see black and blue? is the charity's latest advert and highlights the plight of women who are victims of domestic violence.
Launched in South Africa over the weekend, where one in six women are the victims of abuse at home, it features a model wearing the Roman Originals dress in white and gold....

One of the goals of the ACA was to bend the curve down in healthcare costs. It is happening.

March 9, 2015

Estimates for government health care spending keep coming down. (click here)

A few months, ago, we wrote about how a slowing trend in Medicare spending had led federal budget forecasters to make drastic reductions in their estimates of the program’s costs. On Monday, they made similar cuts in their forecast of what the federal government will spend on private insurance premiums.

The revisions reflect growing evidence that health care spending in the country — which has traditionally grown much more quickly than the overall economy — is entering a new, more moderate era. It is still rising, but not very much any more.

That could eventually be not only a boon for consumers, but it could also have big implications for the federal budget: If the Congressional Budget Office is right, the amount the federal government pays for health insurance in the coming years will be hundreds of billions of dollars lower than it recently forecast, meaning a much smaller federal deficit.... 

There was every reason to believe in the initial years of the ACA the costs would increase by the sheer neediness of those requiring healthcare. But, reality dictates as soon as a person enters into healthcare their wellness stabilizes and their neediness in health care diminishes. It looks as though that is occurring.

The ACA provides a free health care visit every year. In that is the understanding there is no cost therefore no excuse to decline this annual physical. Along with the annual check up is a list of preventive health care dictates. Those preventive care measures will work to detect early any health issue and correct the trajectory of outcomes to the consumer. 

I resist to speculate too much, but, it is very likely that after two years of the ACA the known annual costs will be predictable. The beauty of knowing the level of wellness of the nation will provide even better health care outcomes as medial professionals can address hot spots in diagnosis to bring about better outcomes. I strongly suspect at it's tenth year anniversary the ACA will not only have paid for itself many times over in the way of well Americans, but, will have proven a significant impact on the cost of health care. It is far easier to care for a well American than one with multiple co-morbidities. 

This graph is also from the New York Times article. It shows the actual reduction in spending, whereby percent of GDP is good news, it can be a bit deceptive to the actual costs. 

It isn't just that the economy is better, but, also the fact the costs are coming down.
New Zealand may need emergency help with their baby formula. (click here)

There are threats made to the company that produces and distributes the country's baby formula. New Zealand is a small country whereby alternative to this company's baby formula does not exist.

At this point, the New Zealand government should suspend sales of any baby formula and seek emergency stocks from allies.

The Senate extremists are not helpful and perhaps the USA needs to withdraw from negotiations.

All this gamesmanship and lack of protocol within the USA with extremist Republicans can actually make the USA a liability to any peace movement in the world. I doubt Europe will put up with another country interfering in negotiations that have persisted since 2013.

TEHRAN, Mar. 10 (MNA) – During the 17th meeting of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Iranian FM deemed the open letter by a number of US senators on Iran’s nuclear deal as underlying the distrust for the United States. 

March 10, 2015
After the election (click here) of the new chairman of the Assembly of Experts at the 17th meeting of the body held here on Tuesday, Mohammad Javad Zarif briefed the participants on the latest developments in nuclear negotiations.

While expressing gratitude for the Leader’s continued support of the negotiating team, Zarif referred to the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders on the cancellation of the nuclear agreement at the end of President Obama’s administration and said, “this correspondence which is unprecedented and undiplomatic only reveals to us that the United States is untrustworthy.”

“Whether the negotiations come to fruition or not, we will be the side that has triumphed. Since what we have achieved during these years are dignity and self-esteem, an asset that cannot be reclaimed and the Americans and the Western world are fully aware of this fact,” said Zarif....

Diplomacy is built on trust initially. This letter plays right into the distrust other country's are finding with the USA.

Europe has a vested interest in the outcomes of the negotiations with Iran, the members of P5+1 have to assess the appropriate participation of the USA as the talks continue.

The United Nations has to develop methods to deal with the extremism coming from the USA in any of it's capacities. These talks are important and they should not be a part of a "Ruling Class" arrogance in the USA.  I remind the illegal and immoral invasion into Iraq. The underlying tone of the USA isn't remorse but increased aggressive tendencies in it's legislative branch. There has to be something that states the increased tensions between the USA and a global community is growing and achieving a new tone of threat no one expected.

The other countries have rights to proceed along the path they have prescribed to before this interference by hostile legislators. Europe's interest in peace talks is vital to their countries. Europe is involved with Ukraine. The people in this region of the world have a right to steadfast partners and stable outcomes to their diplomacy. The USA is compromising many aspects of global stability. That can't be ignored.

The letter has a very bad tone and could create instability in the process to date with Iran. The outcomes are very important to the region. The process didn't need "An American Spring" to cause regression in the final outcome. 

The remaining Senators that did not sign the letter should consider writing their own letter. 

Perhaps a statement by Prime Minister David Cameron is in order as well. Europe cannot tolerate renegade Congressmen that add danger to life.

"Weather Tech Floor Liners" receive applause to protecting the interior of a BMW.

I was impressed with the added safety feature this American company adds to any vehicle.

March 9, 2015
By Chuck Vossier

...Over the five months of daily use (click here) of the WeatherTech Floor liner, I was impressed that they did not shift at all around the pedals.  Shifting of floor liners or mats can lead them to bunch up or wedge underneath the pedals leading to a pedal getting stuck and potentially causing a wreck. They have a fantastic fit and they fit so well that I have to slide the chairs all the way back, then tip the liner in to the front of the floor, slide them forward a bit and then snug them down....

The should be a review of the benecifial purposes of fraternatices.

March 9, 2015

Last year on March 9, (click here) Sigma Alpha Epsilon made an unprecedented rule, in an effort to change the culture of what had been labeled the nation’s “deadliest fraternity”: No more pledging.

After a decade of increased hazing that, according to Bloomberg, led to at least 10 deaths of SAE brothers, more than any other Greek organization in the country, the fraternity’s “Eminent Supreme Archon” Bradley M. Cohen wrote in a public message that it was time for dramatic change....

Someone needs to put together a documentary on the underground existence of fraternities and sororities. They development extremist entitlement on college campuses.

Founded in 1856, (click here) Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the nation's largest national fraternities, with chapters on more than 240 campuses in the U.S. and Canada and about 14,000 undergraduate members. Since 2006, nine people, mostly students, have died in events related to SAE – more than any other fraternity. Overall, there have been more than 60 fraternity-related deaths in the U.S. since 2005....

There are problems with fraternaties across the country. In particular, Sigma Alpha Epsilon caused the resignation of a Chancellor at UNCW. The fraternity allowed underage drinking on campus. At a party on September 3, 2012 an underclassman was transported to the local emergency room to save his life from alcohol intoxication.

The chancellor suspended the fraternity for two years. What followed was a systemic attack on the Chancellor. The height of the power playing resulted in two North Carolina state congressmen passing a bill reversing the actions of the Chancellor. Following this power playing Chancellor Miller resigned because he was not going to be held responsible for deaths on campus. Chancellor Miller was well on his way to being one of the best chancellors UNCW ever had.

The fraternaty culture on campuses across the country is detrimental to students. There needs to be a review of their purpose and whether or not they actually benefit their members, the campus regarding student life and the families of the students qualifying as a member. 

May 9, 2014
By Justin Smith

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - As UNCW Chancellor Gary Miller (click here) interviews for other jobs, questions remain about his reason for wanting to leave Wilmington after less than three years.  

A recent Star-News article cites controversy over the university's suspension of a fraternity that has ties to power brokers, including lawmakers and members of the UNCW board of trustees. But WECT has obtained a UNCW-commissioned outside review that found no wrongdoing by the university....

The fraternities are power players. There is no reason for power players on any campus. The danger of these organization reach into the actual campus culture. The organizations have infiltrated state governments and influence the education agenda of colleges. This is completely outside the benevolence of any university. UNCW is a public university. A private university would never tolerate such interference on their campuses. The implications to the extent a fraternity can dominate the culture and academics of a university rises to a very serious violation of the public trust.

December 30, 2013
By David Glovin and John Hechinger

Fraternities (click here) have blocked efforts by legislators and academic leaders to curb hazing, drinking and other misbehavior. Their political action committee, known as FratPAC, helped convince Frederica Wilson, a U.S. Representative from Florida, not to introduce an anti-hazing bill in Congress.

Their trade group, the Indianapolis-based North-American Interfraternity Conference, has opposed proposals at dozens of colleges to postpone rushing of freshmen, who account for about 40 percent of fraternity-related deaths.
Fraternity alumni, including major donors to universities, often oppose restrictions on Greek life. After the president and trustees of Trinity College in Hartford proposed making fraternities co-educational, Greek alumni withheld donations to the school. In May, Trinity president James Jones moved up his departure date by a year....