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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Officers Shoot Suspect in San Diego Movie Theater

From the AP:
Police shot and critically wounded a man suspected of chasing his girlfriend with a handgun after they found him hiding inside a movie theater.

Officers went to an outdoor shopping center in northern San Diego on Saturday afternoon in response to a domestic violence call, Officer David Stafford said. He said the shooting occurred inside the Reading Cinemas theater about 3:50 p.m.

No other details were immediately released.

A San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatcher said the suspect was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
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Harry Reid Fingered in $600,000 Bribery Case

I'm sure the attorney general will look into this right away. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Embattled St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson says new Utah Attorney General John Swallow helped broker a deal in 2010 in which Johnson believed he was to pay Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid $600,000 to make a federal investigation into Johnson’s company go away.

But when the federal government filed a lawsuit Johnson thought he had paid to quash, he demanded Swallow return some of the $250,000 initial payment. Then, just days before the Nov. 6 election, Johnson engaged in a frenetic but unsuccessful effort to get Swallow to drop out of the race, saying information about what Johnson called a "bribe" would come out and force the Republican’s resignation if he became attorney general.

Johnson’s allegations come less than a week after Swallow took the oath of office. Federal agents have interviewed several Utahns about Johnson’s relationship with Swallow, among other issues, according to those interviewed. The FBI would not comment.

Johnson said he does not know if any of the money he paid in the deal actually reached anyone connected to Reid.

Reid’s office declined to comment, spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said Friday.
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How to Fix Java

With the news of potential exploits from Java, there's one thing you can do right now: shut down Java until a fix comes out.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from this particular exploit? The easiest solution is to just disable Java in your browser. Since it seems to affect all browsers and all operating systems, there’s really not much else you can do. 
The good news is that Oracle is already working on a fix. According to @kafeine, Oracle has already assigned a security ticket to the exploit. While that’s nice and all, there’s still no word on how long it’s going to take to patch. Oracle could even wait until its next Patch Tuesday to issue the fix leaving millions of PCs in limbo until then.

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Problems with Java Hacking

The feds seem to think there's a problem with people hacking Java software:
Experts believe hackers have found a flaw in Java's coding that creates an opening for criminal activity and other high-tech mischief. 
Java is a widely used technical language that allows computer programmers to write a wide variety of Internet applications and other software programs that can run on just about any computer's operating system.
UPDATE: Here is the fix.

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Florida Man Stabbed to Death with Pen; Is it Time For Pen-Control?

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragic event to put some things into perspective. Last month Gregory Hypollite of Florida was killed by two teens. Their weapon of choice? A pen.

Mr. Hypollite, a father, had introduced Juan Xolo and Jose Carlos Llano to a prostitute. When he demanded payment for the introduction, and Xolo and Llano revealed they had little money, a scuffle ensued and Hypollite was killed.

Using the logic of those on the left, I believe it is now time to call for national pen-regulation. To put it frankly, a ballpoint writing utensil is nothing short of a deadly weapon.
The bloodshed needs to stop
Sadly, pen-related deaths are nothing new. In 2008, a young boy was murdered by a pen and, according to a recent survey, 100 people die by choking on pens annually. In 2007, for example, an English youth died by putting a pen cap in his mouth.

The madness needs to stop. Anyone can wander into a supermarket or Walmart and buy these ink-spewing killing machines. Based on the President's recent proposal for gun control, it put forward these ideas:

1. A national database for all pen owners in these United States.
2. Full background checks for all pen purchasers.
3. Strict pen control; no one will be allowed to own pens with the unusual colors of purple, pink, or orange.

(Just to make certain you understand, I am not serious about these proposals, though the deaths in question are tragically true. However, I feel it gives us a little perspective on gun control in our nation).

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Reddit Co-founder and Creator of RSS Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

From Mashable:
Aaron Swartz, online activist and founder of Infogami, a service later merged with Reddit, has committed suicide in New York City on Jan. 11, the Tech reports.

The news was revealed to the Tech by Swartz's uncle Michael Wolf and confirmed by Swartz’s attorney, Elliot R. Peters. “The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” said Peters.

Born in 1986, Swartz has co-authored the first specification of RSS when he was 14. He also started Infogami, a service founded by Y Combinator that was later merged with social networking site Reddit.

Swartz also co-founded Demand Progress, an advocacy group that rallies people "to take action on the news that affects them — by contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word in their own communities."

In July 2011, Swartz was arrested for allegedly harvesting 4 million academic papers from the JSTOR online journal archive. He appeared in court in Sept. 2012, pleading not guilty.
Swartz
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France Launches Airstrikes in Mali

From Fox News:
With Islamist militants controlling more than half of the northwest African nation of Mali and threatening the rest of government-held territory, France launched airstrikes in a dramatic escalation of the conflict that some observers have called the next Afghanistan. French commandoes also reportedly attacked an Islamist base in Somalia to try to rescue a French hostage.

The raid early Saturday in Somalia could have been aimed at preventing al-Shabab fighters from harming the kidnapped French security official in reprisal for the French military intervention in Mali. A Somali intelligence official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the case with the news media, said the raid in Bulomarer killed "several" al-Shabab fighters but he had no information on the hostage.

An al-Shabab official confirmed the fighting and said the group held one dead French soldier. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
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It Can’t happen Here

Revolutions happened in other countries.  The USSR, their satellite countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, African countries, and of course those banana republics somewhere down south, but one thing is for sure, it can’t happen here.  Following in the footsteps of giants who have used these prophetic words of Sinclair Lewis I want to examine how it did happen here.

In the America of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, in the America we inherited from our forefathers we knew that there could never be a revolution.  We had the Constitution with its checks and balances, its separation of powers, and its Bill of Rights.  These were rock solid, carved in stone, and strong enough to preserve the Republic and safe guard the freedom of its people.

Besides the American people would not stand for some wannabe dictator and his brown, black or whatever color shirt followers marching through the streets and into the White House.  The sons of the Pioneers wouldn’t sit still for any attempt to curtail limited government, personal freedom, or economic opportunity.  No way!  No how!  Others might accept censorship, surveillance, and rigged elections, but not us, not Americans.  We had fought wars to defend our independence, wars to defeat totalitarianism; we had even fought wars to spread freedom.  No, we wouldn’t quietly allow homegrown tyrants to grasp the levers of power.

I sounds so comforting, “It can’t happen here.”  If you take a beginning Political Science class in either High School or College you will learn how the government works. How bills become laws, how the legislature is made up of the freely elected representatives of the people, how the President runs the executive branch and the Supreme Court sits atop the judicial branch.  You will learn about the Declaration of Independence and how the Constitution was written to replace the Articles of Confederation which were too weak to work.  Yes, you will learn all about how it’s supposed to work.

In most schools you will also learn that the Constitution is a “living Document” that can be re-interpreted to fit every generation and every age.  The results of 100 years of re-interpretation have led us to the brink of ruin and me to recommend that the study of the Constitution be moved from Political Science to History, since what rules us today is legal precedent and bureaucratic regulation.  The courts use foreign laws and traditions to interpret our laws and traditions.  The legislature passes laws they don’t read filled with thousands of pages of vague platitudes and goals that the bureaucrats fill in with no oversight and the force of law.  And the President does whatever he wants and no one says a thing.

So how did America fall for the oldest con in the world: “Give me your freedom and I’ll give you security?”

Those who wished to gain power had no ideology or theology which inspired them.  They only sought power for power’s sake.  They espoused whatever populist themes gave them the broadest support.  To bring as many interest groups as possible into their coalition they embraced an “I’m okay you’re okay” relativity that rejected absolutes and extoled the fringe as the mainstream.

And all the while the decedents of the blacksmiths and farmers who once congregated on corners to discuss the latest political pamphlet or to debate the merits of economic policy snoozed on the couch waking up long enough to go to work or watch the game.

The Revolutionaries of the New America first took root in the faculty lounges of academia providing the intellectual and cultural cover for an American movement that promoted the opposite of everything America stood for.  From the classrooms of our colleges, came the next generations of teachers, journalists, lawyers, artists, and politicians.  Soon it was common knowledge that our once rock-solid Constitution was a Living Document to be twisted and changed whenever those in power found the need.

From here it was just a matter of time until a revolution was accomplished through evolutionary change.  Once the centers of power were secure in Washington, Hollywood, and in the media the trickle of change became a torrent and the torrent became a tsunami.  Two wings on the same bird of prey, perpetually re-elected representatives from the twin headed party of power pander to the lowest common denominators, buying votes, using taxes to punish enemies, and tax money to reward friends. 

Our tyrants-in-training have captured the government and the economy, created a dependent class of motor-voters, convinced people that a continually growing debt is sustainable, and turned the government into the one who picks winners and losers instead of a free economy.  The slow slide down a slippery slope has accelerated into a precipitous procession over a predictable precipice.  To those who have seen this coming it is like watching a slow motion train wreck.  The coming destruction is not mitigated in the least by the decades or warning.

Our prideful boast of it can’t happen here has become a heart wrenching analysis of how it did happen here.  How did the Progressives capture our land and subvert our Republic?  They did it gradually inch by inch, step by step.  When they lost a round they held their gains and as soon as possible recovered their long march toward a totally transformed nation.

How they changed it brings us to the question, “How do we change it back?”

Violent revolt is both repugnant and obviously suicidal to people who understand that once that genie is out of the bottle there is no way to know which way it will go, except that the odds are heavily against it ever landing back in a stable land of limited government and personal freedom.  The power of the state is overwhelming.  Millions of shot guns, pistols, and even those terrible assault rifles we are constantly being lectured about would make no headway against Abrams tanks and F-18s. 

There are only two ways to have a successful peaceful revolution.  One: the vast majority of the people must go on strike and refuse to operate as a society until the changes have been made.  Or two: it must happen gradually line upon line verse upon verse always keeping the goal in sight and moving forward at every opportunity.  In other words we must do to the new establishment what they did to the old: not overthrow it, supplant it, and replace it in the hearts and minds of the people.

We can rest assured that all people at all times eventually yearn for freedom thus the stage is set by the very nature of man that God imprinted on us in His creation.  Free choice is the natural state of man and in the end we will return to it.  This pall of totalitarianism which is falling like a shadow across the land will one day awake to find the light of liberty cannot be quenched forever.

What should we do?  Education is the key.  If you are not a teacher become one.  Learn to show yourself approved.  Teach anyone who will listen of freedom, of the true History of the American experiment.  Become involved in any way you can to retake control of our education system so that we can train the coming generations to love freedom, truth, justice, and the American way.

And don’t lose hope.  God created us to be free, and though tyrants always seek to ensnare people in their self-serving systems we will one day be free again.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Remember what we thought couldn’t happen here has and what they think can’t happen to them will. Freedom will rise from the ashes and one day the light of liberty will once again burn brightly in America the beautiful.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Good News: Fiscal Cliff Deal to Decrease GDP Growth by .7%

From the Wall Street Journal via Hot Air:
Just 18 of the 50 surveyed economists, not all of whom answer every question, said the deal to avert the fiscal cliff by extending tax rates for most Americans and delaying spending cuts was good for the economy. On average, they said growth this year will be 0.7 percentage point lower than it would have been if policies from 2012 had been extended. “Fiscal gridlock is preventing the recovery from gaining steam,” said Julia Coronado of BNP Paribas.

The economists expect the economy to expand at a tepid 2.3% pace in 2013, barely above the 2% rate they estimate for growth last year. That isn’t fast enough to bring down the unemployment rate quickly. On average, the economists still expect a 7.4% unemployment rate at year-end, compared with the current 7.8%. They don’t see unemployment falling below 7% until sometime in 2015.

Though the economists were largely unimpressed with the deal to avert the fiscal cliff, only 15 respondents said the agreement is actively bad for the economy. Indeed the average odds of a recession in the next 12 months tumbled to 19% from 24% last month, the first time they have been below 20% since last June.
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Where Can Gears 4: Judgement Day Really Go?


As someone who is a fan of the dark Gears of War series, which focuses on humanity's struggle to survive an invasion of aggressive locusts and deformed lambent on the planet Sera, and who has just recently completed the trilogy of games, I believe the creators delivered to us one of the best video game franchises ever.

I mean, really.... How are you going to beat Sgt. Marcus Fenix and his chainsaw-wielding gun of death?

Are you really going to fuck with him? Really?
With my point being made (and if you don't think it was... Please feel free to send me a tweet or comment on this article, and I will debate you to the end of time), I recently discovered that there will be a fourth installment of the Gears series, which will be centered around Emergence Day....

At first, I was optimistic about the new installment. Perhaps we'll get to see a young Private Fenix rising up the ranks as he wards off the Locust all the way back in the beginning... However, I was disappointed to find out it will revolve around the origins of Cole and Baird, who while interesting characters that definitely made the series enjoyable, don't really deserve their own installment.

So now where does the series go?

If it's not extending its personal story line of Fenix, or even his best friend Dom, and it's bringing everything back to E-Day, the meaning of which was exposed at the ending of the third Gears, with two characters - while an interesting subplot during the original three installments, but don't really justify their own telling - leading the way, what are the Gears creators seeking to achieve here?

I have a bad feeling it involves using the Gears brand to squeeze out as much in profits as possible before the next big sci-fi video game is released, as I don't see the creative justification for taking this series the way there are with the fourth installment, which if is the case... Would be a real let-down to the fans.

What say you?

Suzanne Somers: Diet Soda Caused Newtown Shootings

All I have to say it holy shit:



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Binary Options and the Consumer

I am always trying to get a grip on my finances. With so many expenses out there, especially for someone just starting out in the business world or owning a home, you have to be careful about what is going on around you and how it could affect you in the years to come. Taking care of your future is something that everyone says that they are going to make sure to do, but getting there can be a different story, especially depending on how you actually happen to manage your money and keep track of your finances. Any road to a comfortable middle age or retirement is not easy, but if you know what you are doing with the guidance of an expert or a partner that is looking out for you, it can certainly be a lot easier for you. That is why more and more consumers are considering Binary OPTIONS for their planning. Yahoo has recently lauded Cedar Finance's approach to binary options and how they can fit the consumer and what they need. When you are able to do your research, you can see how binary options and Cedar Finance's help can fit into your money strategy and where you want to head. There are many companies out there that can offer you investment advice or help, but many consumers now see Cedar Finance as the one that they trust to help set the course for their future. If there are so many people saying that the company is their choice and is one of the quickest growing options for binary options, perhaps it is the time that you took a look too and see how it can help you and your lifestyle plans. If you are planning for your family's future, you want to make sure that you have everything in line for their-- and your future. You will be happy that you did.

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Finding Sports Information

Sports can be a large part of anyone's life, no matter what the country, the age, the gender, or the social class. For many people, sports acts as the uniting factor for so many things, especially when you are watching sports together in your favorite pub, bar, stadium, or park. There are simply just so many options to enjoy all of the games out there with all of your favorite players, coaches, and fans watching and doing so much right there on the field or on the court. When you are such a big fan of the game, you usually want to get as involved as possible in every part of the game and to enjoy all of the ways that the game is there for so many fans all over the world. There are so many ways to watch the games and follow along. Of course, you can watch the TV or listen to the radio in the car. You can take the local newspaper and read all of the stats on your favorite team or players to see how they are doing as the season continues towards the championships. You can watch games in person and take in the roar of the crowd. If you are a fan of soccer, you can check out www.agen-sbobet.com and read up on as much info as you want on your favorite sport. Take a look at all of the info on 338a and how you can become the most informed fan on the block. If you love your team or your favorite player so much, go the extra mile and find out as much as you can during the season. There are many ways to watch sports and enjoy every part of it. Check out all of your options and enjoy the game as it was meant to be.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Famed Adulterer to Win "Father of Year" Award

This is just stupid. From USA Today:
Former president Bill Clinton can add Father of the Year to the many awards he's garnered in his decades of public service.

The National Father's Day Council, which has been giving out such an honor for 72 years, has named Clinton one of its recipients for 2013.

"With the profound generosity, leadership and tireless dedication to both his public office and many philanthropic organizations, President Clinton exemplifies the attributes that we celebrate through the Father of the Year award," said Dan Orwig, chairman of the National Father's Day Committee.

The 42nd president is being honored for his work through the William J. Clinton Foundation "to improve global health, promote healthier childhoods and protect the environment" and for bringing "global leaders together to work on the most pressing issues," according to the committee's statement.
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Shooting Near Bakersfield, California High School in Taft

Breaking from Fox News:
At least two people were shot at a high school in Taft, Calif., Thursday morning and the shooter was taken into custody, local reports say.

Taft is a city west of Bakersfield.
Update from KGET:
Sheriff's officials say two people have been shot at Taft High School. We are also told someone has been taken into custody.

Kern County Fire officials say one victim received only minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, the other person was airlifted to Kern Medical Center with unknown injuries.

The reports started coming in at 9:00 a.m. Deputies are now on scene at the school. Earlier, they told 17 News they were doing a room-to-room search. They say the scene is still not secured.
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Obama's 2013 Agenda: No Women, Less Guns, More Taxes

With 2013 just underway, Barack Obama's agenda for the coming year is readily apparent. Though Mr. Obama promised many foolish things during his campaign in 2012, the lies he has told are the ones making the headlines thus far this year.

His agenda for the coming year? No women, less guns, and more taxes on the middle class, or "lies, lies, and more lies."

Where to start on this topic is a little difficult, but let's look at his promises and reelection, shall we? President Obama was reelected by half-wits who either, one, believed his lies, two, were too stupid to check facts for themselves, three, believe the lies the Main Stream Media shovels, or four, get their news from Comedy Central (or all four at the same time). They bought his redistribution nonsense hook, line, and sinker.
President Obama
Yet his deep-seated hatred for the rich was the only truthful thing Mr. Obama spewed while on the campaign trail. Every other action that he has taken since reelection flies directly into the face of facts. Ironically, conservatives and liberals alike have reason to be upset at the President's fibbing, but the Left is unlikely to critique the man they oft refer to as their "Lord and Savior." So it is up to the Right to tell the truth.

First is the fact that the President, despite attacking Mitt Romney repeatedly for being "anti-woman," has thus far refused to nominate any women to his cabinet in his second term. This has been met with largely silence from liberals, who blindly took in the President's repeated misogynistic ads depicting women as either feeble-minded and promiscuous, or utterly dependent on the government.

Thus, ironically to those on the Left, completely expected from those on the Right, Mr. Obama's huffing and puffing over 'respecting women more than Republicans' was a crass power play to receive votes. Unfortunately, it worked.
You're a woman?  Clearly you aren't terribly bright you need the government's help!
Second, President Obama is looking into much stronger gun laws for our nation. His proposals thus far include: everyone having a background check to own any firearm, a stiffening of penalties for improperly using a weapon, and a nationwide database to track the movement and sale of every single weapon in the United States.

However, much more disconcerting than this overreach, Mr. Obama is weighing if he should issue an executive order to curtail gun rights. In other words, he would usurp the authority of Congress entirely and dictate whatever rules he wants concerning firearms. Because, as everyone knows, it's okay for the Obama Administration to arm Mexican drug cartels, but heaven forbid Americans own weapons.

To add insult to injury to President Obama's hypocrisy, this flies directly into the face of his previous statement that, "I am not going to take your guns away... That just ain't true. That just ain't true!" Caulk up another lie.
Vice President Biden, who is leading gun control talks in Washington
Third, the President promised that there would be no increase on taxes for the middle class. He promised that only the "rich" would pay more. Yet, once again, the President has lied. And again, conservatives saw it coming, liberals have been caught off guard.

Surprise, the "fiscal cliff" deal that the President pushed raised taxes on 77 percent of Americans. Percent-wise, middle class Americans saw their taxes increase more than the wealthy "two percent" that Mr. Obama so often has lambasted. Ill-informed liberals were shocked and angry at this turn of events. But conservatives knew it was coming all along.

"What happened," as Investors Business Daily reported, was repeated over and over again by leftists in response to President Obama's broken promises. But we all know what happened, don't we?

The only real question is what is coming next?

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pundit Press Calls for Swift, Unconditional Bat Control

How could anyone allow something so hilarious?



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Crane Collapses in New York City; 7 Injured, 3 Critically

From ABC:
The Fire Department of New York says seven people have been hurt, three of them seriously, when a crane collapsed at a construction site in the city's Queens borough.

The fire department got the call shortly before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Long Island City neighborhood.

The crane was visible along the East River behind a big neon "Pepsi Cola" sign, a local landmark.

The three people who were seriously injured are in stable condition.
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No One Elected to Hall of Fame; Bonds, Clemens Don't Even Break 40%

To be elected to the Hall of Fame, a player has to receive 75% of the vote. I'm very pleased to report that neither Barry Bonds nor Roger Clemens, two men who disgraced baseball with their "alleged" use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs, couldn't even muster 40% of the vote.

Unfortunately, two men never linked to steroids, Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza, were not able to get in. They did drastically better than their tainted brethren, however.

From MLB.com:
The most highly debated election for entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame ended Wednesday without a new inductee.

For the first time since 1996, eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America did not vote in a single player from a ballot of 37 candidates that was deep and controversial.

Craig Biggio was the leading vote-getter, having been named on 68.2 percent of the ballots, but fell 39 votes shy of election. He was followed by Jack Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6) and Mike Piazza (57.8)...

Clemens and Bonds finished eight and ninth respectively, Clemens receiving 37.6 percent and Bonds 36.2. Tim Raines (52.2), Lee Smith (47.8), Curt Schilling (38.8), Edgar Martinez (35.9) and Alan Trammell (33.6) were among the remainder of the also-rans. Sosa received 12.5 percent.
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Hall of Fame Voting Results

No inductees from the current list this year:
Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa have been denied entry to baseball's Hall of Fame with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades.

Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens 37.6 and Sosa 12.5 in totals announced Wednesday by the Hall and the Baseball Writers' Association of America. They were appearing on the ballot for the first time and have up to 14 more years to make it to Cooperstown.

Craig Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, topped the 37 candidates with 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, 39 shy of the 75 percent needed. Among other first-year eligibles, Mike Piazza received 57.8 percent and Curt Schilling 38.8
Jack Morris led holdovers with 67.7 percent. He will make his final ballot appearance next year, when Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are eligible for the first time

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Biden: 'President Might Declare Executive Order to Restrict Guns'

I don't say things like this often, but if this happens, impeachment must happen:



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57 Injured in Seastreak Ferry Crash in South Street Seaport, Long Island

From ABC:
A commuter ferry had a hard landing when it pulled into a Lower Manhattan pier, injuring at least 57 people Wednesday morning.

The Seastreak ferry hit the dock pulling into Pier 11 of the South Street Seaport just before 9 a.m., opening a large gash on the starboard side of the bow.

At least 57 people were being treated, including one person with a critical head injury. Seven of the injuries were considered serious, and 25 victims were listed in stable condition. Officials say the rest suffered minor injuries.

There were 343 on board at the time, including five crew members. The ferry has a capacity of 400.
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Oh the Irony: ObamaCare, Touted by the President to Stem Rising Costs, Leading to Rising Costs Itself

I am so shocked. So very, very shocked. From the Washington Examiner:
This weekend, the New York Times reported on a development that’s completely unsurprising to critics of President Obama’s national health care law: “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.” The Times story heavily suggests that the problem is that Obamacare didn’t give federal regulators enough power to outright reject rate increases deemed too high. But Reason‘s Peter Suderman makes that case that the real culprit could be Obamacare itself — particularly its requirement that all insurance policies pay out at least 80 percent of what it collects in premiums on medical expenses. Known as the “medical loss ratio” (MLR) rule, this requirement creates an incentive for insurers to hike premiums by reducing their profit margins on any given policy.

Whatever the cause of the higher premiums, however, this trend presents a key structural challenge to Obamacare. The health care law aims to prevent insurers from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions, to make sure that policies cover a specified package of benefits, and to limit how much extra money insurers can charge older and sicker patients. All of these provisions increase costs and decrease insurance industry profits. But through the mandate forcing individuals to purchase insurance, the law hopes to push enough younger and healthier Americans into the insurance pool to offset theses cost increases. This is where the problem with rising premiums comes in.
Shocked
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Cuomo Close To Announcing Sweeping New Gun Control Laws

From CBS:
A deal to give New York one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation is being negotiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, sources said Tuesday, is hoping to announce the plan Wednesday during his State of the State speech in Albany.

Cuomo hopes to jump-start the 2013 legislative session with a big deal that could dramatically alter gun control laws across the state.

Highly placed sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that Cuomo is negotiating with Assembly and Senate leaders for a package of gun control laws that would be a dramatic response to the gun violence besetting the nation, including the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“It’s a very divisive topic,” Cuomo said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of energy on both sides. Some people are vehemently against’ some people think we’re out of our minds for not passing it.”
Governor Cuomo
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Obama Admin. Pushes to Restrict 2nd Amendment after Arming Mexican Cartels

It's an amazing show of absolute hypocrisy or a terribly cold-blooded power play. Either way, the Obama Administration is showing a shocking lack of common sense and prudence with its latest push for comprehensive gun control.

As late as 2011, the Department of Justice was giving automatic assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels. In case you have forgotten, the Obama Administration's disastrous "Operating Fast and Furious" allowed the sale of weapons (worth over one million dollars) to drug lords; these guns were then allowed to "walk." In other words, the DoJ stopped monitoring their movements.

This tremendous stupidity had the precise consequences you might expect: as of September 2011, US assault weapons connected to Fast and Furious were found at 170 crime scenes in Mexico. As of March 2011, 150 Mexicans had been shot because of Fast and Furious. US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in cold blood.
Mr. Terry
All this blood shed falls directly on the Obama Administration's hands. The President himself has callously defended Attorney General, stooping so low as to lie about the Bush Administration's supposed involvement in the scheme (which did not exist).

The official line of the current administration, through both actions and words, has made it abundantly clear that, while they admit mistakes were made in Fast and Furious, the idea to arm Mexican drug cartels was sound. Something that is not: allowing American citizens to own assault weapons.

In the wake of the tragic shootings in Newtown, the Obama Administration's outlines to limit gun ownership are taking form. Everyone must have a background check to own any firearm. Stiffening penalties for improperly using a weapon.
President Obama
And most ludicrously and hypocritically of all, the Administration is pushing for a nationwide database to track the movement and sale of every single weapon in the United States. The same lack of tracking resulted in the deaths of possibly hundreds of Mexicans, and assuredly Americans.

Are you a law-abiding United States citizen? Congratulations, you have fewer rights to own guns than drug cartels in the middle of Mexico.

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Tanker Hits San Francisco Bay Bridge

From Reuters:
An empty oil tanker struck a tower of the San Francisco Bay Bridge on Monday but did not appear to spill any oil into the bay, the U.S. Coast Guard and California state officials said.

The 750-foot-long "Overseas Reymar," sailing under a Marshall Islands flag, was leaving the bay amid heavy fog on Monday morning when its starboard hull scraped one of the towers supporting the Bay Bridge.

Officials played down the incident, which occurred about 5 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, where the San Francisco Bay opens into the Pacific Ocean.

There were no injuries reported, according to officials.
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Two Shot at Taft, California High School near Bakersfield

Breaking from Fox News:
At least two people were shot at a high school in Taft, Calif., Thursday morning and the shooter was taken into custody, local reports say.

Taft is a city west of Bakersfield.
Update from KGET:
Sheriff's officials say two people have been shot at Taft High School. We are also told someone has been taken into custody.

Kern County Fire officials say one victim received only minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, the other person was airlifted to Kern Medical Center with unknown injuries.

The reports started coming in at 9:00 a.m. Deputies are now on scene at the school. Earlier, they told 17 News they were doing a room-to-room search. They say the scene is still not secured.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

I know what you are thinking

Yet another New Year’s Resolutions column.

Well, kind of.

I love the Christmas season. I don’t know why. It’s the season of giving, after all, but I give year-round. Time, money, and my knowledge, I give to whomever I deem in need of it.

Without sounding like a wild-eyed fanatic, Jesus is the reason for the season. It is His birth that we celebrate, even those who do not recognize Him as who He is. The “free thinkers” ( a term mired in irony) among us whisper to us that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th, reminding us that the early Christians purloined the pagans’ celebratory day of Winter Solstice in order to bring Christianity into the mainstream. The “free thinkers” chortle in derisive laughter that Jesus was probably born in the summer months, pointing to May or June as the most likely months.

What the “free thinkers” misunderstand is that no Christian doctrine is overturned by celebrating Christ’s birthday in December instead of in its proper month. The infallibility of Scripture is not in question here. I’ve even read that there are actually people who think that putting so much focus on celebrating Christ’s birth demeans his life. Nowhere in the Bible does it command us to celebrate Christ’s birthday.

But I digress.

I was on my way to saying that although I love the Christmas season, sometimes it can be a bit wearing on a person’s soul. As a retailer, I see all sorts of people come into my store. Some are always polite, some have bad days and good days. Some wouldn’t know politeness and good manners if they came up to them wearing a name badge.

Being on this side of the register allows me to see a wide range of behaviors, and compare them to the way most of us would want to act. So think of this as a column about New Year’s resolutions that a person could follow if they want to contribute to a better society.

1) “Whaddya mean, you’re out of it?” We get it, you are frustrated that we don’t have your product in stock. There is absolutely nothing a retailer hates more than a potential sale being refused when it doesn’t have to be. We’re sorry, we don’t like watching you walk out of the store empty-handed, but we just can’t whistle up your product out of thin air. We’ll suggest alternatives, if at all possible. The best among us will call any of our other stores for you to see if they have it in stock.

2) “I cannot believe how much this costs!” I understand, and I sympathize with you. I know that things are a lot more expensive now than they were a year, two years, five years, a decade, etc. ago. You only have so much money, and it doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to go. I, too, can remember when a left-handed loaf of bread was only fifty cents. But in case it has escaped your notice, everything is more expensive now than it used to be. Even if they weren’t, the lady behind the counter wearing the name badge does not set the prices.

3) “I’m going to your competitor!"
Even if the lady with the name badge does set the prices at the store that you frequent, you still have the power to not buy what it is that she is selling. You can walk down the street and check out the prices at her competitors. You just might find that the price that you balked at was the better price. And won’t you look foolish when you walk back in and buy the swivel-top egg timer that you turned your nose up in the first place? We do notice things like this, and we do comment among ourselves about it.

4) “Well, I’ll be with you as soon as I finish this very important call.”
Trust me, we’re not that impressed that you have a Bluetooth cell phone and you are talking to your cousin in Botswana about the upcoming banana harvest. It’s my theory that somebody is tagging douchebags and releasing them back into the wild. Don't be a douchebag. Become acquainted with your phone’s off button.

5) Throwing your credit card across the counter at me.
Yes, I’m serious. This has happened to me more times than I care to count. This is especially frustrating when I am holding my hand out for you to hand your money or credit card to me, and you instead throw it down onto the counter. Do you wonder why you get poor service? Chances are, you’ve pulled this maneuver. Would you like it if we were to throw your change right back at you?

6) Please stop flirting with my female clerks.
I know, you are the greatest guy in the world, and my clerk smiles so winsomely at you. It must be love!

Well, maybe not.

It’s not that they don’t like you, it’s just that they hear your spiel (or something like it) nearly every minute of every day. When you hit on her, you become just another guy when this happens. Do you want to be just another guy, or do you want to be different from everybody else?
(Attractive women flirting with me is just fine, however.)

7) Please know what you are going to buy before you get to the front of the line. There is nothing more frustrating than to ask a customer what they want, and get the answer of “Um” followed by ten seconds of silence. You obviously had an idea of what you wanted before you walked into my store. Why have you forgotten in between then and now? Write it down and make a list if you need to.

8) Have your money ready.
Don’t wait for us to ring everything up before you go searching for your wallet. Do you imagine that you will get your items for free if you are the one millionth customer?

9) Paying with coins.
If I had a penny for every time somebody emptied out a baggie full of coins onto my counter, well, then, I’d have a baggie full of pennies. But I wouldn’t have somebody else count them for me. There are coin counters at your bank, and they will do it for free if you have an account there, or for a small fee if you don’t.

10) Not answering me when I talk to you, and/or shifting your focus while checking out. I know, there’s lots of interesting things on my counter. That’s why they are up there, to draw your attention before you check out. But once I ask you if you have anything else to purchase and you answer in the negative, then please do me the courtesy of looking at me and not something else on the counter. When you are talking to somebody you don’t know, do you look around, paying them no attention. Or do you look at them and pay as much attention to them as you can? Most likely, its the second option that you choose.

It’s not just rude to look away from someone, but it is also unsafe. I could take advantage of your inattention and give you the wrong change back. Or I could tell you an amount that is slightly more than what you are rung up for, or put in the wrong amount on your credit card. And you would never notice it because you are looking at something other than your transaction.

11) Please pay attention to our signs. How many times a day do I have to explain that there is a $3 minimum purchase for credit cards, even though there is a large sign on my register? Way too many times for my taste.

And finally, the big one:

12) Theft. I could write a whole book on this one. To keep it short: DON'T. Most every store has security cameras, and somebody watching them. Yes, even the little mom&pop stores in the littlest towns. Always assume that you are on video. Always. Because chances are, you are on video.

Different managers handle theft situations differently. Here’s how I handle most instances of theft: I wait until I am positive that you are going to try to leave my store without paying for what you have. Then, I confront you and give you a choice. Either you can pay for what you have, or you can return what you have in your possession. Because at this point, the situation is just between you and me. Choose one of the two options, and everything is fine. I’ll keep an eye on you in the future, but I just treat it as a human failing. We all have them, and I believe we should be forgiven of them if it is an isolated incident.

But...

If you instead choose a third option, if you choose to look me in the eye and say, “I don’t know what you are talking about”?

That’s a mistake.

Because you have just insulted my intelligence, and labeled yourself as a liar. And now, instead of the situation just being between you and me, the situation has just become complicated. The situation is now you versus me, Mr. Policeman, Mr. District Attorney, and Mr. Judge. It is now 4 on 1. Do you think you are going to win in that situation?

No, me neither.

Why on Earth would you spend at least a night in jail for a lighter that isn't even over $2 in price? But this has happened before, and I'm sure it will happen again.

I don't like calling the police. I consider them the final option, only utilized after all other options have been exhausted. But I'm not shy about doing it.

Oh, and don't even try to leave my store once the police have been called. Not because I will tackle you. I have a concealed carry permit, and a few other nasty surprises, in contrast to my nice guy demeanor. No, I most likely won't tackle you.

But when the police catch you (and make no mistake, they WILL catch you), you will not only be charged with whatever level of theft you have just committed, but also the fun charge of fleeing. You MIGHT avoid the charge of theft at your trial, but you will ALWAYS get the charge of fleeing.

And those charges and trials are not cheap. Most court costs (just the court costs!) are typically well over $120 a pop, and you WILL be paying them whether you are found guilty or not.

Aren't you glad I kept this part of it short?

Well, that's about it for this outing. I'll have more Smart Answers to Stupid Liberal Statements next time. Unfortunately, stupidity and liberalism (but I repeat myself) never sleep.

Video: Obama Nominated Hagel and Brennan

Great....


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Diversifying To Meet the Challenges of an Over-Saturated Law Profession


If you're interested in a career in law, you don't necessarily have to become a lawyer. In fact, the law field is heavily saturated right now. Perhaps instead, you can choose a specialized job, such as a legal transcriptionist or a paralegal. Or at least consider these as alternatives. Each of these jobs plays a crucial role in society to help protect the rights of all citizens. The following information about alternative careers will provide you with information on how to decide between which legal career to pursue:

Legal Transcriptionist

A legal transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing the proceedings from a legal proceeding into a clear document. Before you can apply for this job, you must undergo vigorous legal transcription training. This training will prepare you to use the tools needed for this job, including a computer. In addition, you'll also learn how to pay attention to small details, efficiently transcribe spoken legal proceedings, and edit your final document into a readable format.

After completing your training, you can get a job in a number of different locations. If you're an East Coaster this could include applying at some of the top Boston law firms or government agencies in Washington, if you're prepared to move. Some employers may even allow you to work from home with the proper equipment. In this career, you can expect to make between $30,000 and $40,000 per year. In addition, your experience as a legal transcriptionist can help you advance to another related job, including as a legal researcher or legal assistant.

Paralegal

Paralegals help attorneys in a number of different settings, including at law firms and corporations. These individuals do not represent clients or fulfill any official role in a court. Instead, paralegals offer assistance to those involved in a court case by performing research, examining evidence and managing files.

Most paralegals have at least an associates degree. Additionally, many paralegals choose to specialize in particular fields of law, such as divorce, personal injury or criminal law. On average, paralegals earn approximately $50,000 a year. After gaining more experience, you can earn even more money. The paralegal field offers plenty of room for growth as the demand for these professionals continues to grow.

Mediator

Due to the legal delays associated with divorce and other legal procedures, many individuals turn to mediators for help. Mediators assist parties who are locked in legal gridlock by offering suggestions and fresh ideas. Although a background as a lawyer can help with this job, becoming a mediator doesn't require any special experience. However, mediators do need special personality traits; mediators must exercise discretion, neutrality and patience with each party in a dispute. Most mediators prepare for their career by enrolling in mediation education programs.

This particular career is growing in popularity as more people seek to avoid expensive court cases. Mediators can expect to earn $30,000 per year when they first begin. If you can get a full-time mediator job with a local government or other agency, you may earn up to $100,000 a year.

If you want to get a job in law but have no interest in becoming a lawyer, or find the competition overwhelming, there are plenty of other opportunities you can pursue. Each of these jobs offers exciting challenges that will put you right in the middle of interesting court cases.


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Plane Smoking, On Fire at Logan International Airport

From the Boston Globe:
A fire has been reported in an empty Boeing 787 Dreamliner parked at Logan International Airport, a Massport spokesman said this morning.

Boston firefighters are assisting the Massport Fire Department as they both battle a fire on a plane at Logan International Airport this morning.

Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said Massport is in charge of the firefighting effort and the city has sent an engine and ladder truck to provide assistance.

He said the Boston firefighters on the scene reported the fire was in the belly of the aircraft.
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NYT: You May Not Have a Job, But at Least Michelle Obama's Dresses are Expensive

Normally I don't begrudge a politician or their family for spending a little more on amenities. That being said, I normally want to see that coming out of their own paycheck (which usually we pay for, anyway). After a series of expensive vacations, affairs, or other issues, many (if not most) politicians and their kin break this promise and just spend far too much while the budget remains bloated.

Understated elegance is a matter of electoral smarts for many politicians. Take a president that comes out in a polo shirt while golfing or a short button down shirt while touring a factory-- a little humility can often go a long way.

Usually we don't celebrate expensive extravagance of our politicians. The realm of the super-rich and the celebrities should not usually cross into the White House. A Republican that spends any sort of money on such items is immediately derided by the press (Sarah Palin, anyone?).

Unless they're a Democrat.

With the country only $16,000,000,000,000 in debt, you would expect many of the country's top politicians and their families to try and give a little back, even if it's just for show. Mike Bloomberg, for all of this stupid policies, works for a dollar, and the like.

The New York Times, however, celebrates Michelle Obama's expensive fashion sense. While the dresses may look good, they pay little solace to the family that can't make ends meet. They don't pay the bills for someone in the coal industry that lost their job in the last four years.

But at least she can be "First in Fashion."

How many unemployment checks would those dresses pay for?
Even more astonishing is that Mrs. Obama’s spending on clothes has attracted little scrutiny. Clearly that’s because she is seen as helping the American economy. Still, she has spent tens of thousands of dollars on clothes and accessories.

But it's okay because the money has stimulated the American economy. If we can get every member of Congress to start wearing these designer clothes, we'll be out of our problems in no time!
She was criticized for wearing $500-plus Lanvin sneakers at a food bank, in 2009. But at a time when economic inequality is a serious issue, you wonder why the first lady’s fashion spending hasn’t caused more fuss.
I wonder why the media didn't cover it!

This article seems to show what's wrong with the country. Michelle Obama can look nice, and spend the money to do it, but that doesn't count as a virtue and it doesn't count as a sound economic policy.

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Video: Marine Schools CNN Anchor on Gun Control



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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Your Week's Video on Gun Control



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Empires Rise and Empires Fall


Most of us, even those of us who are the products of America’s collapsed public education system have heard of the fall of Rome.  The greatest of ancient western empires began to fall as soon as the vigorous Republic which had created it was replaced by an autocratic military dictatorship.  A dictatorship which hid behind a veneer of republican forms while devolving into a cult of personality around whichever thug happened to have murdered his way to the throne.  For centuries this once vibrant nation of freemen sank beneath the weight of regulations, taxes, inflation, and tyranny.  For centuries after their power had been usurped by the ever more absolute Emperors there was still a Senate, there were still elections, and there were still courts charged with safeguarding the Republic.

Freedom was extinguished, and the yeoman farmers who had supported the Republic and filled its armies became first tenant farmers.  Then they morphed into an unemployed rabble choking the streets of an imperial capital living on government bread and entertained by government circuses.  The armies of the Empire were not filled by native Romans they were filled with provincials who were granted the coveted status of citizen for serving.  When the expanding decay of the central dictatorship undermined the vitality of the provinces and the culture of helpless subjects swallowed the pride of citizenship, Germans and other barbarians were imported to fill the armies.  By the time Rome fell it was no longer Rome.  The capital had moved to Constantinople in the East and Ravenna in the West.

The barbarians had long ago supplanted the native Romans and their provincials as the generals and power brokers in the West.  In the East the Greeks had taken control of the military and the culture even though they still called themselves Romans.  

In 476 AD when Rome officially fell in the West it didn’t fall as much as it was replaced.  There were no massive charges of barbarians against fortified walls on the Rhine or the Danube.  Those walls had been manned by barbarians for many years.  Instead when the king of the Visigoths, Odacar who was already a Roman general, grew tired of the charade he pushed aside Romulus Augustulus the effete boy emperor taking control of the Western Empire.

When Odacar refused to pay taxes to the remaining Roman Emperor in Constantinople he resorted to a tried and true Roman strategy.  He hired a barbarian to do the dirty work.  Thus Theodoric of the Ostrogoths stabbed Odacar of the Visigoths passing power from one barbarian nation to another.  Once in possession of Rome Theodoric saw no need to hand that prize over to a distant Greek who called himself a Roman but had no power in Rome.  When Theodoric declared himself the King of Italy we mark it as the fall of Rome though the Greeks continued to call their empire Roman for another thousand years.  It seems T. S. Elliot was correct, at least as far as the Roman world was concerned, it ended not with a bang but a whimper.

Looking closer to home the British Empire came out of World War One as the largest empire in the history of the world.  It stretched around the globe controlling thirteen million square miles and 460 million people covering ¼ of the earth’s surface leading the proud imperialists to boast that “The sun never set on the British Empire.”  They were such dedicated conquerors that the Indians had a saying, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.”  Nothing would stop them from pushing forward to victory.

However twin victories in Europe’s World War suicide dance combined with a welfare state and the confiscatory taxes it always brings brought Britain to its knees forcing them to voluntarily renounce their empire.  They transformed it into a Commonwealth of Nations with member nations still upholding the fiction of British authority.  However, the amount of real power the Queen or the British Parliament holds in Canada or Australia gives voice to the fall of the empire even if they want to pretend it is still there.

In Rome on the Potomac Boehner’s Plan B becomes Obama’s plan to tax you and me.  After all the huff and buff of a con man’s bait and switch it turns out Washington doesn’t have a spending problem .  No, the problem is we aren’t sending them enough money.  Never fear, elections have consequences and since the ignored corruption of fraudulent voters and whacky voting machines has given Mr. Obama an uncontested victory, he and his Progressive Vandals win, and we American Romans lose.  Our new national motto might as well be “Stand and Deliver.” 

The Barbarians have been inside the gates for a long time.  The Kennedy Immigration Bill of 1965 breached the walls and the Progressive indoctrination camps we call public schools combined with an entitlement culture to turn generations of Americans into know-nothing couch potatoes waiting for a government check. 

Our worldwide military posts are necessary for the policeman of the world.  Our mounting debt fuels our endless wars for peace and our ever expanding welfare state.  All of which brings us to the crushing taxes and the regulation strangulation that guts our economy of innovation and productivity.  The givers shove the producers out of the way as they waddle to the trough for some more free lunch.  Our leaders are perpetually re-elected demagogues pandering to the lowest common-denominator of the takers. They are Santa Clauses giving away vote buying presents paid for by the unwilling and given to the undeserving. 

Like Rome this empire won’t fall it will collapse.  Like Britain we will pretend that the empire exists long after we know the emperor has no clothes.

Our only hope as a nation is to jettison the Empire to save the Republic.  On a personal level we must lead our families in a restoration of the work ethic and a return to moral sanity.  Either we individually spark a revival of what made us great or we sink into the hole dug by moral rot and the decay of ambition.

Empires rise and empires fall; however, though a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.  Because you have made the Lord the Most High, your dwelling place.  No evil shall befall you for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  Trust Jesus, open up before God, and keep nothing back. He’ll do whatever needs to be done.  He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Keep the faith, keep the peace, we shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

NHL Lockout is Over, Americans Look Forward to Not Watching Hockey Again

From Yahoo:
It took 16 hours of talks in New York on Saturday, with concessions from both sides. It took 113 days. A total of 625 regular-season games were sacrificed, or over half the 2012-13 season. It took months of bitter sniping, petty politics, false hope and broken hearts.

But at around 5 a.m. on Jan. 6, the word finally spread around the hockey world: The NHL and the NHLPA had reached a verbal agreement on a tentative framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Drop the puck. The NHL will be finally back, with a 10-year CBA solidified between union chief Donald Fehr and Commissioner Gary Bettman. As Fehr said, via Sportsnet: "Any process like this is difficult; it can be long...we have the framework of a deal."
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Assad: I'm Not Leaving; In Fact, There Isn't Even a Revolution Happening in Syria

From Fox News:
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday outlined a new peace initiative that includes a national reconciliation conference and a new government and constitution but demanded regional and Western countries stop funding and arming rebels first.

Assad ignored international demands for him to step down and said he is ready to hold a dialogue with those "who have not betrayed Syria."

Syrian opposition forces, including rebels on the ground, are likely to reject Assad's proposal. They have repeatedly said they will accept nothing less than the president's departure, dismissing any kind of settlement that leaves him in the picture.

"We are in a state of war. We are fighting an external aggression that is more dangerous than any others, because they use us to kill each other," he said.
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