Monday, March 21, 2016

The Supreme Court today refused to hear any cases regarding the Colorado marijuana laws.

March 21, 2016
By Marijuana Political Staff

Democrats abroad voted (click here) in record numbers with a turnout more than 50% above 2008, giving Bernie Sanders a much-needed victory over Hillary Clinton heading into Tuesday’s elections in Utah, Idaho and Arizona. Democratic front-runner Clinton has pushed her lead to more than 300 pledged delegates and the anti-establishment Sanders needs to win a strong majority of the remaining contests to secure the nomination. Senator Sanders earned the vote of 69% of Democrats abroad, compared to the 31% garnered by former Secretary of State Clinton. Not getting much press is the fact that Sen. Sanders won 95% of the country committees abroad, winning in 53 of the 56 committees....

Those that lives abroad know the quality of life the USA is missing or worse yet, has LOST.

Has everyone seen "Where to Invade Next" (click here) If I didn't know the film was made before Senator S!anders announced his candidacy, I would think he wrote it. It is a great film and brings home the idea Americans Abroad have a very different picture of quality of life.

The picture below that was in "The Atlantic" is suppose to be viewed as a sad reality of a young black child that will spur Americans to action. The picture is of a young black child that is probably living in a homeless shelter. That is what it looks like to me.


Set your priorities straight in 2016. There are families that need all of us to do exactly that. And the American Dream includes home ownership, not having a million dollars in the bank. Okay? Right? 

If everyone that has one million in the bank paid more taxes there would be other Americans working, paying taxes and owning homes, too. There are very nice houses for sale for a quarter million dollars. VERY NICE homes. 

If those with a million dollars in the bank want to cut their taxes, then stop Wall Street from outsourcing jobs!!!!


If every job at all levels of government were fully funded there would be no homeless.


Bernie is spot on. That is roughtly one sixth of the population of the USA.

In 2014, (click here) the official poverty rate was 14.8 percent. There were 46.7 million people in poverty. Neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2013 estimates.

This is from "The Atlantic." I think of that publication as conservative. But, I have learned a great deal from reading it.

September 16, 2015
By Gillian B. White

On Wednesday, (click here) the Census Bureau released its latest data on income and poverty for the country, and despite a falling unemployment rate and a rising GDP—two promising macroeconomic signs—things haven’t improved all that much for American families in the past year....

The article has this graph that breaks down the poverty across time with stipulations of recessions and the four major ethnicities.
This graph is amazing to the honor of each President that played a vital role in the improvement of quality of life of African Americans primarily, but, also hispanic communities. The 1960s. The heritage of JFK. President John picked up where Kennedy left us. That is amazing.
The next major improvement of quality of life for our minorities, even Asians occurred in the 1990s. That was President Bill Clinton. 

2008 and 2009 hit everyone with more consequences for Hispanics. But, even with that higher return of poverty to the Hispanics, African Americans still sustained a higher rate. The least effected were the Non-Hispanic Whites.

Discrimination is visual. It is just so obvious to me. But, regardless of how terrible things were in 2008-2009 it was still not a return to far higher numbers. President Obama's Recovery and Reconstruction Act did a lot for people. The rise of poverty leveled out, but, remained persistent. If President Obama didn't act as quickly as he did it would have been far, far worse.

...And though more women than ever are participating in the workforce, with 61 percent of women employed full time in 2014, their earnings remained about 79 percent of their male colleagues....

There is a mention of SPM in a graph in the article. The SPM is a new measure of poverty that works in conjunction with the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the US Census. SPM is Supplemental Poverty Measure (click here). This is the graph:

The SPM has the official statistics skewed to equality, while the alternate statistics regards the young people more heavily effected. The SPM seems correct because there are more children under the age of 18 in poverty than adults. Many of the families in poverty are single parents with children. 
Workfare that exists today is only effective when there are jobs to fill. If there aren't jobs that entire welfare paradigm has to be suspended. And we know there are many working poor receiving food stamps and Medicaid. 

This is what happens when companies outsource jobs or more their jobs to Mexico. The USA loses it's base line work for High School grades or those without a High School diploma. It is unskilled labor.

We are not doing this right. We just aren't.
I think Senator Bernie Sanders is a very important candidate. I don't disagree with his views. If he was ever nominated to the presidency of the USA, he would have many Jewish supporters. He would be the first Jewish man elected to the Presidency. Right? The Jewish community would support him.

Don't get me wrong, I think Hillary Clinton is a very dynamic candidate, but, look at this:

Real Clear Politics (click here). I remember when Bernie said at the very beginnings of his campaign, "We will win." Remember the video of all videos? I'm just sayin'.

This is quite an honor and I am thrilled Google chose this artist.

Thank you to The Washington Post for making her art special. The rest of the media needs to embrace her adn come to understand how she feels.

March 21, 2016
By Michael Cavna
Just last month, (click here) Akilah Johnson was “surprised and overwhelmed” when she learned that she was a national finalist in the “Doodle 4 Google” contest for grad,e-schoolers.
Imagine how she feels now.
Akilah, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in Northeast Washington, has just been named Google’s big winner in the national contest, topping the 53 state and territory champions, whose work had been culled from about 100,000 student entries.
“It is really overwhelming,” Akilah tells The Post’s Comic Riffs, minutes after receiving the news Monday during a ceremony at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
“I was so excited, I started crying,” Akilah says. “I didn’t even look at anybody — I was just looking at the framed copy [of the Doodle] they gave me.”
Akilah is the contest’s first winner from Washington, as D.C. was not eligible to enter the states-only competition in past years. (The Post’s Comic Riffs had joined the chorus of voices urging that the District be included.)...
Ted Cruz has made very few valid statements. He is an extremist and an inflammatory speaker. If he as President would ever make such a speech the world would be on fire in a half hour.

He called Palestinians "Radical Islamist Terrorists."

He made a valid point about human shields. If The West makes the statement Israel is treating Palestinian children without regard to a path to peace or as human beings then it has to be consistent and demand the human rights of Palestinian children in their own homeland.

Enough, last I checked the USA didn't surrender to Russia and it has't surrendered to a dead rebel in Cuba.

President Ronald Reagan Posed In Front Of A Vladimir Lenin Statue. President Ronald Reagan traveled to the Soviet Union in Moscow in May 1988. According to The Reagan Foundation, "Beneath a statue of Lenin, he became the first American president to speak directly to the Soviet people" on May 31, 1988.

Gideon Levy, Haaretz Columnist and Editorial Board member, states Israel must stop it's racism of Palestinians. He states he does not know what Zionism is, but, if it is occupation then Israel needs to reject Zionism. He also states there is not one American legislator that can imagine the brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel. 

Israel's Influence on U.S. Panelists (click here) talked about Israel’s influence in the U.S., including on members of Congress and the U.S. media.

The speech by Gideon Levy exclusively (click here).

Gideon Levy, is American policy in the Middle East endorsing apartheid in the occupied territories?

Children need outdoor exercise and not just sports. They need unstructured play time.

Bayer's Consumer Health Division, (click here) the makers of Claritin®, the #1 selling non-drowsy allergy brand, has teamed up with allergy sufferer Kelly Rowland and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help youth enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. Together with Rowland, a long-time Boys & Girls Clubs supporter, the makers of Claritin will fund the makeover of outdoor spaces at Clubs in three cities across the country.

There may be benefits of time spent outdoors, but it turns out children may not spend much time outside. As we know from a 2004 study, children ages 6 – 17 spend about 30 minutes engaging in outdoor or sports activities per day, while they spend nearly two hours per day watching television. As a brand that encourages people to get outside, Claritin is unveiling a new initiative to help Boys & Girls Clubs create active outdoor spaces for youth....

This is the latest in movements to return children out of doors. Sometimes TV or computer screens are substituted for childcare where adults supervise play outside. This is not a USA phenomena either.

25 October 2016
By Mark Riley Cardwell

Outdoor games (click here) such as den-building and hide-and-seek seem to belong to a bygone era, having been ousted from children's affections by tablets, games consoles and smartphones.
However, a new campaign launched last night is aiming to challenge this trend, and take steps towards "rewilding" our kids. The Wild Network – a newly formed group of 370 organisations across the UK including the National Trust, RSPB, Play England and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit – is calling for parents to swap half an hour of children's "screen time" for half an hour spent playing outdoors.
The group's members say this would increase children's levels of physical activity and alertness as well as improving their general well-being.
So we want to know what works for you. What tips do you have for getting children out and into nature? What are your favourite outdoor games or challenges?
To kick things off, we asked a range of nature experts, broadcasters and wildlife groups for some of their favourite ways of getting kids excited about nature....

The USA movement was first coined as "Trading Screens for Streams." It is a good idea to have these movement come to the surface from time to time.

April 24, 2014
By Robin Jacobs

...The intensity of her desire (click here) for the screen scared me, as did her foot-dragging reluctance to come for a walk to the playground or even run around in the yard.  I needed to get back on track with my parenting priorities, and ask myself some tough questions.  Was I holding her back with overprotective fears?  When my daughter’s playing her spelling game on the iPad beside me, at least I know she’s safe.  Stepping out the front door, she’s vulnerable to a host of unknowns.  She could fall off a high rocky bluff and break a bone, get fecal-borne cryptosporidium from the local flock of sheep, find a rusty nail from a recent construction project.  When I hear myself and other parents say “she’s just an inside kind of kid,” I have to wonder — am I unconsciously training her to love indoor play to protect her from imagined harm?
Research confirms the health benefits of time spent in “green environments”, especially in unstructured free play.  Romping outside lowers stress, reduces obesity, and can even improve ADHD symptoms.  What draws kids outside?  How can trees, dirt, and rocks compete with the lure of the screen?...

The American Association of Pediatricians recommend screen free zones in a home:

...By limiting screen time (click here) and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children's media experience. Putting questionable content into context and teaching kids about advertising contributes to their media literacy.
The AAP recommends that parents establish "screen-free" zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children's bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play.
Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

Republican Senators gaming the system is causing real problems for the religious.

I think the New York Times in choosing this case focuses the very essence of irresponsible and corrupt government. The Republican Senators obviously do not place importance on the people, so much as their own political careers.

March 21, 2016
By The Editorial Board

...The case, Zubik v. Burwell (click here), is a consolidation of seven lawsuits involving women’s access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. It is the fourth time in four years that the justices have taken up a challenge to the law.

As in several other important cases this term, the court could split 4-to-4, meaning that a crucial legal issue affecting large numbers of people will remain unresolved for at least another year. Because lower federal appeals courts have disagreed in their rulings, a tie vote means the same federal law will affect people differently, depending on where they live....

The Republicans are always stating they are the party of religious responsibility. It obviously is not the case, otherwise, a new Supreme Court Justice would already be on the way to being confirmed.

Republican Senators want the nomination and confirmation process hanging in the balance this November to drive voters to the polls. I can't imagine being a US Senator having no confidence in my own electability and taking Americans hostage to my own ambitions. Isn't this the exact type of corruption the American people want erased from their landscape?

US Senators do not have the right to prioritize the Senate's agenda based in politics. Their complaint is that the US Supreme Court will swing to a liberal majority. That is not the case, Chief Judge Merrick Garland is respected by both parties, favored by the Republicans and has made some of the most conservative decisions including that of Guantanamo Bay.

The ONLY reason the Senate Republicans are postponing a vote until after the November elections is to drive voters to the polls. They will lie and say how completely terrible it is to have a change in balance of the Supreme Court and chronically lie to Americans to instill fear of loss of religious liberty. It is nonsense and is a prime example of political priorities over the best interest of Americans.

The STRATEGIC timeline of the Republican Majority Leader is to vote Chief Judge Garland into the Supreme Court if Republicans don't win the presidency in November. It says it all. Politics before Americans.

The next generation of GoPro.

Donald Trump does have friends in Utah. Okay, then.

"...I-70 is a major drug corridor...."

The Cuban immigrants are coming to the USA and compete with American entrepreneurs.

If companies are not outsourcing American jobs, immigrants are coming to take away the local economy for their own purposes. The economic assault against Americans never end. While Cuban entrepreneurs who come to the USA legally are welcome to build their own business, but, their income does not stay in the USA. 

Cuba needs it own economy. It needs the return of tourism. The people should not be left to live in profound poverty just 90 miles off the USA shore. The entire situation is ridiculous. 

Cubans are not the only ones that suffer within this hideous paradigm called "the struggle for freedom." China and Russia have good economies promising to be more in the future as their middle class emerges, why do this to Cuba?

Antonio, center background, and Sandra Camacho Rodríguez, to his right, named their bakery in Havana the Burner Brothers, a reference to all the cookies they burned on their way to opening the shop.

March 21, 2016
By Frances Robless

...As tens of thousands of Cuban millennials (click here) give up on Cuba and head north, the Camachos are part of an expanding class of entrepreneurs who are opting to remain, betting on Cuba’s future despite serious challenges.

“There’s an extremely powerful emerging market right now in Cuba,” said Mr. Camacho, 26, standing in their tiny shop, where cookies are 10 cents each, in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood. “To me, it’s easier to become part of an emerging market than to try to make it in some other country, where the market was created years ago.”

As President Obama meets with President Raúl Castro of Cuba on Monday, a surprising statistic will loom over the two leaders: More than twice as many Cubans went to live in the United States last year than in 1959, when Mr. Castro’s brother Fidel came to power and unleashed a wave of migration that altered South Florida forever....

Federal legislators are touting a rare bipartisan bill, but, it doesn't go far enough.

January 27, 2016
By Alan Fram
Washington – In a testy election year (click here) likely to see scant collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, there’s a glint of hope in Congress for a bipartisan bill aimed at fighting heroin and opioid addiction – a deadly, growing problem that afflicts states both red and blue.
Senate and House bills establishing grants to combat abuse, improve treatment and bolster some law enforcement programs are winning support from members of both parties. President Barack Obama used this month’s State of Union address to call such legislation one area where lawmakers “might surprise the cynics” and get something done this year....

Last week while attending a Senate oversight committee hearing Senator Ayotte brought a question in regard to trafficking of drugs as well as other dangers to the American people.

Senator Ayotte stated the USA military is aware of the trafficking routes of drug cartels. These routes are also used to traffic other dangerous materials. Senator Ayotte wants funding for the US Military, primarily the US Coast Guard, to end the trafficking routes. She called it 'interdiction.' Her focus is to move beyond the recording of these routes, but, to end the danger to Americans.

Her vision would change the US Coast Guard and put them in harms way. If this is to go forward, which it should, the US Coast Guard is going to need better equipment including body armor. The US Military will have to rethink the strategies for the US Coast Guard and the best methods to carry out interdiction. The country also has not heard any debate on the US Senate floor about this change in status of the US Coast Guard.

I thought Senator Ayotte was correct. It would move the USA from passive ocean observation, to interdiction to end the dangers. It is an attempt to end addiction before it even begins. It has merit and needs to be tried. There is no doubt it would be a war. 

General Dunford stated it would be the US Coast Guard to take on this challenge. General Dunford would have to redirect training including what is involved in a seaman/woman falling into the ocean wearing body armor. I think that issue will result in technology that will change the weight of such equipment with new materials. 

An 18 year old is on a crusade about the Pledge of Allegiance. It is a non-issue.

May 20, 2016
By Paula Mitchell

...Zierler, (click here) who has only been on the board since January, said members  often disagree on things like applications or zoning codes and said he views the Pledge of Allegiance as an “external” that would create further uneasiness.
The four planners who voted in favor of a motion not to say the pledge were Zierler, Lagusta Yearwood, Michael Calimano, the chairman, and Lyle Nolan, the vice chair.
Those who voted to say the pledge were Tom Powers, Adele Ruger and Amy Cohen.
Cohen, an 18-year resident of New Paltz and owner of the Groovy Blueberry clothing store, first brought the issue before the board in October.
The former village mayoral candidate has served on many town and village committees as well as the Police Commission, where she was instrumental in getting that board to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
“All the (police) officers like it when we say the pledge, and a lot of it is out of respect for our veterans,” Cohen said.
“I was feeling non-governmental not saying the pledge on the planning board. It didn’t feel right, so I put it on the agenda last October, but I was accused of bringing this up during New Paltz supervisor election to shake things up. My intention was just to say the pledge....

Cruz is a liar for his own purposes. President Obama will be meeting with dissidents.

March 17, 2016

During his two-day trip to Cuba next week, President Obama will meet with dissidents (click here) and young entrepreneurs, attend a state dinner with Cuban President Raúl Castro and even catch a baseball game, the White House announced Wednesday.

Traveling with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia, the president will start his trip soon after landing Sunday with a walking tour of Old Havana, where they'll see historic buildings that make up the city's core. At a church there, Obama will meet with Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who helped facilitate the months-long, secret negotiations that led to the U.S. and Cuba agreeing to re-establish diplomatic relations.
On Monday, the president will have a working meeting with Castro, who will host the first family for a state dinner. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes stressed that Obama will not meet with Raúl's older brother, Fidel Castro, the now ailing leader of the Cuban Revolution who stepped down as president in 2008....
March 21, 2016

Surgeons are to implant a woman with an ovary frozen (click here) when she was a child so that she can become a mother, in a world first.
The British case involves a woman of 23, who had her ovary removed and frozen at the age of 8.
If treatment succeeds, Moaza Alnatrooshi will be the first woman in the world to become pregnant after having an ovary frozen before the onset of puberty.
A breakthrough would give hope to thousands of other girls who are unable to conceive because their reproductive organs have been damaged by treatment for cancer and other diseases.
Last year doctors in Belgium revealed that they had managed to restore the fertility of a young woman using frozen ovary tissue which had been removed when she was 13. The 28-year-old woman, whose tissue was taken and frozen before she began chemotherapy as a teenager, gave birth to a healthy baby boy in November 2014....

A reality rarely affiliated with New Zealand.

March 21, 2016
Sixty-one. (click here) It's the number of children who have died as a result of non-accidental injuries in New Zealand in the last 10 years.
Their names are scars on a shameful landscape of child abuse - Chris and Cru Kahui who would have turned 10 today, Nia Glassie, JJ Ruhe-Lawrence, Jyniah Te Awa.
Thirty-one of those young ones were violently assaulted. They were kicked, punched, thrown, stomped or bashed to the point of death.
New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record out of 31 OECD countries and on average a child is killed here every five weeks.
In the last half of 2015, Child Youth and Family had recorded 8800 cases of proven child abuse and neglect.
In the same period, the agency received 76,041 "reports of concern" about suspected child abuse or neglect which included 34,226 referrals from police....

The dissidents are very important people, expressing their desire for a different kind of freedom.

It had to be a security issue. There are very strong feelings and President Obama's family's security came first. Neither Cuba or the USA wanted an incident by chance. It was important to secure the streets. Unfortunately, it means peaceful protesters were among those removed from their regular protest march. Unfortunately, it meant Palm Sunday was occurring on the same day Air Force One was landing. 

Their message is still important.

March 20, 2016
By Mimi Whitefield

Havana - As they have for 46 straight Sundays, (click here) the dissident Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) marched quietly along the Cuban capital's Fifth Avenue - This time with fronds in their hands to mark Palm Sunday.
Their plea was the same as always: respect for human rights and universal amnesty for all political prisoners. But the timing of their march — just hours before President Barack Obama’s plane touched down at Jose Martí International Airport — gave their protest a different context.
And initially, it seemed as if perhaps the glare of the world media — journalists outnumbered protesters — might keep them safe from the usual routine of arrests and short-term detention.
It was not to be....

Read more here:
"Morning Papers"

The Rooster


March 16, 2016
By Elisabeth Perlman

Calls for the removal and repatriation of bronze cockerel statue have been heard.

Jesus College, (click here) Cambridge removed a bronze cockerel statue from its main hall on Tuesday, and will consider repatriating it to west Africa in the aftermath of widespread student protests. In 1930, Captain George William Neville, a former British Army officer bequeathed the Benin bronze, known as an "Okukor", to the College.  After a punitive British naval expedition in 1897, the cockerel was among thousands of artworks stolen from the Benin empire, located in what is now southern Nigeria.
Last month, Jesus College students submitted an 11-page document entitled “Proposal to Repatriate Benin Bronze’ during a meeting on the status of the sculpture. Ore Ogunbiyi told the meeting : “We spoke to a bronze repatriation expert who said that grown men cried after the return of pieces in 2014.”

The Jesus College Students’ Union voted in favor of the motion to send back the statue, known as Okukor, “to its place of origin, ” a royal palace in Nigeria, arguing that the looted sculpture represented Britain’s colonial past. However, the Okukor has symbolic significance; the College coat of arms features three black cockerels....

"Good Night, Moon"

The Waxing Gibbous

12.6 days old

94.8 percent lit (Not quite a full moon)

Below is a recent eclipse.

The memories from last night’s inflight entertainment will last a lifetime. We adjusted flight #870 from Anchorage to Honolulu just so our passengers could catch the solar eclipse from 35,000 feet. Experience it for yourself in this video from Mike Kentrianakis / American Astronomical Society.Full story on our blog:
Posted by Alaska Airlines on Wednesday, March 9, 2016