Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eusebio Lopez Facebook Information 3/23/2013

His facebook hasn't been found yet, but some info:

Some more here:
Lopez was an instructor at officer candidates school, known for its grueling 10-week program that evaluates Marines on physical stamina, intelligence and leadership. The candidates must complete obstacle courses, hikes of up to 12 miles in full combat gear and take classes on navigation and tactics that help them in the field, according to the school's website.

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Eusebio Lopez Information

Info on the Quantico shooter is trickling out:

Some more here:

Lopez was an instructor at officer candidates school, known for its grueling 10-week program that evaluates Marines on physical stamina, intelligence and leadership. The candidates must complete obstacle courses, hikes of up to 12 miles in full combat gear and take classes on navigation and tactics that help them in the field, according to the school's website.

Read more here:

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Key Russian Dissident Billionaire Dies Suspiciously

Hmmmm.... Boy, this sounds familiar. Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in his house in Britain. He died at 67 and the details of his death have not been released yet.

The circumstances of the 67-year-old's death were unclear, though there were unconfirmed claims that the former power-broker of Russian politics had killed himself at the property in Ascot. Police said the death was being investigated as unexplained and the search for hazardous materials was a precautionary measure. Reports said his body was discovered in a bath.
Berezovsky's death comes only months after he lost a high-profile and personally disastrous court case against fellow Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. He had accused the Chelsea football club owner of blackmail, breach of trust and breach of contract in relation to a Russian oil company.

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British to Possibly Face Gas Rationing

From the Daily Mail:
Freezing Britain was last night facing the unprecedented prospect of gas rationing.

A combination of bitterly cold weather and pipeline failures has left the energy grid at breaking point.
The country has less than 36 hours of gas reserves remaining and one energy expert warned yesterday that if the cold snap continues, rationing is ‘inevitable’.

If this happens, businesses and power stations will be restricted first, but then householders will be ordered to cut down on the amount of gas they use for heating their homes.

Britain’s gas stores are dangerously low as unexpectedly low temperatures have forced people to keep their heating on.

The crisis deepened yesterday when a crucial undersea pipeline connecting Britain and Belgium shut down without warning, pushing the price of gas up by 50 per cent to a record high.
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Need a Criminal Lawyer in Jacksonville?

If you are in a difficult position with the law, you want to make sure that you have only the best resources at your fingertips to carry on. It can be a very difficult time and you need an ally that is on your side and will carry on your cause and case over the next several months and just in the time when you need it. You do not want just anyone carrying forward for you. You want to make sure that you have only the best, most educated and experienced counsel for your case in front of the court. Make sure that you do your research to find the person that is the best fit for you and will help you the most. Find a criminal attorney in Jacksonville and see what they can do for you. When you are doing your research, you can find who are the finest attorneys and who can best help you. This can make a big difference in the long run and can be the difference between winning the case or not. Since you know this, make sure that you do that extra research to find an attorney that is well educated and has the experience to help you the most. This can be all the difference.

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Senate Democrats Finally Pass Budget

For the first time in four years the Democrat controlled Senate has done something, although required by law and constantly being reminded of which by Republican colleagues, as simple as sitting down and crafting their own budget proposal.

I know it is unheard of, but Senate Democrats were actually able to sit down, craft their own federal budget, hold amendment votes through out the entire night and pass their proposal by a slim 50-49 margin in the wee hours of this morning despite fears "on the fence" Democrats worried about reelection would cause all of it to  implode.

And that damn near did occur, as four Democrats bucked their party's proposal and sided with a unanimous Republican caucus against the bloated, tax-raising monstrosity and nearly cost Senate Majority Leader Reid his shirt in the process, as failure to pass his own budget after finally submitting one, would have been an epic embarrassment. 

While it definitely is progress for the Democrat Senate to actually awaken from their stupor and be engaged in the budgetary process, their proposal is typical of their caucus: it fails to balance the budget and relies on nearly one trillion dollars worth of tax increases to cover our obese federal bureaucracy.

The next couple of weeks should be interesting as Senate Democrats push their budget for adoption, while House Republicans rally behind the just passed Ryan plan... Get your popcorn out.

Where was the Meteor? 3/23/2013

Especially in the Northeast, seen in Washington, Maryland, and as far north as New York and New England:

Near Washington DC by photojournalist Kurt Brooks of WUSA9

Video of Washington Meteor 3/23/2013

Near Washington DC by photojournalist Kurt Brooks of WUSA9

Meteor Video 3/23/2013

From Maryland, released from a video system:

Meteor Picture

A new photo has surfaced, from Instagram user cmetzy7

Friday, March 22, 2013

Northeast Meteor Photo

Another photo has surfaced:

New York Meteor Picture


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Meteor New York Information

We got a buzz here in the Northeast from a meteor. Some info.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office said Friday night that the flash appears to be "a single meteor event." He said it "looks to be a fireball that moved roughly toward the southeast, going on visual reports."
He likened it to a boulder entering the Earth's atmosphere over the northeastern U.S.
He noted that the meteor was widely seen, with more than 350 reports on the website of the American Meteor Society alone.
Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute, agreed that the sightings had all the hallmarks of a "fireball."

More here.

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Meteor Information

We got a buzz here in the Northeast from a meteor. Some info.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office said Friday night that the flash appears to be "a single meteor event." He said it "looks to be a fireball that moved roughly toward the southeast, going on visual reports."
He likened it to a boulder entering the Earth's atmosphere over the northeastern U.S.
He noted that the meteor was widely seen, with more than 350 reports on the website of the American Meteor Society alone.
Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute, agreed that the sightings had all the hallmarks of a "fireball."

More here.

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Kim Kardashian Baby Name

Boy, it almost makes me want to hurl having to put in celeb news on the site, but I guess it's interesting. Kim Kardashian and her genius boyfriend Kanye West are considering baby names.

At the top of Kimye's baby names list, meanwhile, is North, which would make the child, due in July, North West.

More info here.

James Holmes Islam Conversion


That's certainly interesting. Looks like al Qaeda has a new sympathiser.

“He has brainwashed himself into believing he was on his own personal jihad and that his victims were infidels,” the source told the National Enquirer.
Mr. Holmes now prays five times a day, sticks to a strict Muslim diet and spends hours each day studying the Koran, the source told the Enquirer.
But most Muslim inmates are not happy with the convict’s new religion.

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Is America a Republic or an Empire?

Over the years in this column I have written about the American Empire.  I have advocated jettisoning the Empire to save the Republic.  This topic has sparked debate and controversy even among the most dedicated readers.  Usually the argument runs like this, “America is not an Empire, never has been and never will be,” or “America’s far-flung military deployments are not the garrisoning of an empire it is instead a forward defense of the homeland.”

In my most recent column along these lines, aptly entitled, “Republic or Empire?” in several publications there was spirited debate about whether or not America could be called an empire.  Some people seemed to take offense at the very idea.  Others who usually agree with my political stands find this and my other foreign policy positions such as bringing our troops home, concentrating on defending America, and equitable trade with all unacceptable.  I present and promote these foreign policy positions as requirements for restoring limited government. It is my belief that as long as we are involved in endless war there is no real possibility to re-gain control of our government, our budget, or our future.

What I propose to do in this column is examine the hallmarks of empire and ask my readers to honestly ask themselves, “Is America a republic or an empire?” 

First, it makes no difference whether it is the President, the Paramount Chief, an Augustus, the First Citizen, the Dear Leader, the Great Helmsman or der Fuehrer.  It doesn’t matter if it is an executive branch, a Politburo, a Central Committee, the Cabinet, or the collective leadership.  Whatever form it takes, an empire is always dominated by a highly centralized executive power.

America was designed not to be an empire but instead to be a federal republic made up of a central government and state governments which were the precursors and creators of the central government.   This central government founded upon and constrained by a written constitution originally presented the world with something new, a national government made up of divided co-equal powers.  The Congress to make the laws, the executive to enforce the laws, and the judicial to judge if the laws conformed to the Constitution: the guiding light and touch-stone of American limited government.  This worked well to establish and maintain a republic but it would not foster nor perpetuate an empire.

Thus the Constitution established the framework of what became known as the system of checks and balances.  Only congress could make laws, but the President could veto them.  Congress could over-ride a president’s veto, but the Supreme Court could declare laws unconstitutional making them null and void.  The president is in charge of foreign policy and is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but the Congress controlled the purse and could cut off funding.  Upon petition the Supreme Court could declare the actions of the president unconstitutional yet the president could appoint justices to the Supreme Court.

Did this work perfect?  No, there were always swings one way or another.  There have been powerful Supreme Courts such as under Chief Justices Marshall or Warren that changed the complexion of the country.  There have been powerful Congresses such as the one from 1865 to the mid 1870’s that virtually ignored presidents and set policy.  There were powerful presidents such as Jackson or Lincoln.  However the pendulum always swung back and forth.  If you examined all three institutions there was one thing missing.  Where was the sovereignty?  Who was the nation?

In the highly centralized state, which is an empire whether personal or national, the leader or leadership operates according to the sentiments of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France who said, “I am the State.”  During the birth of the American system, our Founders had spent more time debating this than any other aspect of the government, who would be the sovereign power.  They had just fought and defeated one tyrant and they did not want to exchange one for another.  They didn’t trust the sovereignty of the nation in the hands of an executive because of the long and bloody history of Europeans with absolutism and divine right.  They didn’t trust an assembly after their recent history with the tyranny of the British Parliament and their Stamp Act, Quartering Act and other attempts to bring the colonies to their knees.  They couldn’t place it in the hands of the Supreme Court for that body would be merely judicial.

Instead they came up with a new idea in the world.  They placed the sovereignty of the nation in the hands of We the People.

The Constitution is designed to empower the people not the government.  Though today it is stretched and interpreted to give the government the power to do whatever it wants whenever it wants originally it was constructed to limit government.

We the People could vote the Congress in or out, we could choose our own president, and if the Supreme Court said something was unconstitutional that we wanted we could change the Constitution using a mechanism embedded within the document itself.  For the first time no leader or oligarchy owned the state, instead the state belonged to the citizens.

What do we see in America today?  We have a president who says, “We can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.”  When Congress after deliberation decides not to pass the Dream Act giving amnesty to millions, the President uses an executive order to make it law by decree.  When the Congress refuses to pass a cap-and-trade law that many believe will hamstring our industry and hobble us in the race with other nations, the president orders his EPA department to enforce it anyway.  Without consulting Congress the President takes us to war against Libya and deposes a government. 

These are the actions of an executive out of control.  Under the original American system if anyone would have asked, “Who speaks for the people?” the answer would have been the House of Representatives because they were elected every two years and were thus closest to the people.  It wouldn’t have been the Congress as a whole because under the original system the senate was chosen by the various state legislatures and was designed to represent the states.  It was the House which spoke for the people.  Today it is the President who uses the bully pulpit magnified by a subservient press and a thousand government media pressure points and outlets saying in effect, I have a mandate from the people.  I am the embodiment of their will.  I am the state.

The next hallmark of an empire we will look at is that domestic policy becomes subordinate to foreign policy.  The American President is constitutionally in charge of foreign policy so there is no better place for the holder of that office to act without any restraint.  Treaties must be ratified, so our presidents began in the 1940’s to forge personal agreements with the leaders of other countries that had all the force of treaties with none of the messy Senate confirmation required.  Using their power as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces modern presidents have also used their authority to start wars as in Kosovo and Libya, to sign cease fires as in Korea, and to commit America to the support of dictators and tyrants through deployments and equipment transfers, all without any Congressional oversight. 

If we ask ourselves, has domestic policy really become subordinate to foreign policy think about whose infrastructure are we being taxed to rebuild?  In Afghanistan and Iraq our money and our companies are building new schools while ours fall apart, we are building new roads in Afghanistan while we watch our own bridges crumbling.  We give billions to countries and governments that despise us.  We borrow money to give it away and then sometimes borrow it back all in a bizarre dance balancing foreign interests at the expense of We the People.

Another hallmark of an empire is that the military mindset becomes ascendant to the point that civilians are intimidated.  Think about the Defense budget.   In 2012 it was over 600 billion dollars.  Does anyone believe Congress or anyone else really knows where all that money is going?  The size, scope, and unbelievable waste in the defense budget stagger the imagination.  However, to even question the defense budget will immediately get someone labeled as an isolationist who wants to gut our defense and surrender to the enemy. 

Many people will argue that we are in a war and that during war of course the defense budget will be bloated.  Can you remember any time since 1942 that we haven’t been in a war?  Yes, there were the brief days of the “Peace Dividend” under Clinton after the Soviet Union dissolved which actually became the rational for increased defense spending.  And during those brief days of peace back in the 1990’s we fought a war and enforced a decade long no-fly zone in Iraq, attacked Serbia, sent troops, planes or other assets to Zaire, Sierra Leone, Bosnia (numerous times), Herzegovina, Somalia, Macedonia, Haiti, Liberia, Central African Republic, Albania, Congo and Gabon, Cambodia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Afghanistan, and East Timor.  And this was our only decade of peace since the 1940’s, and to question any of this is considered tantamount to treason.  We must ask ourselves, “Has the military mindset become ascendant to the point that civilians are intimidated?”

Perpetual war for peace has led the peaceful American people to be ensnared in the clutches of the military-industrial complex as president Eisenhower warned it would in 1961. 

All empires develop and maintain a system of satellite nations.  When we hear of this we immediately think of the old USSR and their slave states in Eastern Europe.  Advance the idea that America has satellite nations and people become irate.  “How could you say such a thing about America?”  Look at our so-called allies.  Do they fit the description as satellite nations?  A satellite nation is one that the empire deems is necessary for its own defense.  It is also one that feels it cannot stand alone and wants the empire’s protection. 

That is the deal.  The empire commits to protect the satellite and the satellite agrees to stand with its back against the empire facing a common foe.  Add to that the fact that we supply money and material to build the national defenses of our satellite/allies as well as economic aid and a preferential trade system.  Think about these ideas and decide for yourself whether or not America has satellite nations ringing the heartland of the empire. 

Another hallmark of empire is that a psychology or psychosis of pride, presumption, and arrogance overtakes the national consciousness.   We are all familiar with the twenty-first century incantation of “Too big to fail.”  That was applied by our bailout happy leaders to their pet banks and companies during the opening days of the Great Recession.  It is also an apt description for the way in which most Americans view our position as the most powerful nation on earth or as the silver tongued talking heads like to say, the world’s sole superpower.  Since the end of World War One the United States has been the unchallenged mega power among the western block of nations.  Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union we have towered like a colossus over the rest of the world.  In the memory of most people now alive it has always been this way.

To most people the way it has been is the way it shall be.  We speak of embracing change and of realizing that change is the only constant but few can really think that way.  The familiar seduces us into thinking that the momentary circumstances of today are the unshakable foundations of tomorrow.  To the children and grandchildren of the greatest generation the world will always gaze in awe at the great American eagle soaring above the world.  Our navies rule the waves, our masses of fighters, bombers, and drones can reach out and touch any corner of the globe, our troops are the best trained, best equipped, and best led armies the world has ever seen, so such a mega power could never fall.

So it seemed to the inhabitants of Rome the eternal empire.  So it seemed to the British when the sun never set upon the union jack.  And so it seems to us.  Even though a rag-tag group like Al Qaeda defies our attempts to destroy them and continues to grow and multiply around the world.  Even though the Taliban not only have withstood more than a decade of war they stand poised to reclaim their country as soon as we leave.  Even though our deficit spending and the national debt it creates is leading us to a financial collapse that our own military leaders have identified as the greatest threat to our security, and our leaders only answer is more spending.  This pride, presumption, and arrogance blinds us to the enduring truth of what comes before a fall.

Finally an empire is the prisoner of history.  A republic is not required to act upon the world stage.  It can pick and choose its own way seeking its own destiny as a commonwealth of citizens.  An empire must project its power for fear that if it doesn’t another leviathan will arise to take its place.  A free republic that has maintained its independence is able to decide where and when it will become involved.  An empire is always the leader of a center heavy coalition comprised of the imperial core and the associated or satellite nations.  As such it is the collective security against the barbarian, the other that drives the actions of the empire.

In the parlance of our day it is our turn.  It is our turn to be the policeman of the world, our turn to keep the peace, to guard civilization from the unwashed hordes who seek to turn back the clock and bring darkness into the world.  We are a vanguard of stability in a world beset by chaos, and so were the British and the Romans before them.

Other writers may say something has been left off these hallmarks while others may say some of these don’t apply.  To all I would recommend a study of former empires to see if they agree these properties are found in all of them.  Then ask ourselves, “Are these properties present in America today?”  Once we have completed this process we will be able to answer the question for ourselves, “Is America an Empire?”  If we decide, yes it is, we have to realize that there is a trajectory all empires follow: they rise and they fall.

We might decide that,we as the first empire that is not set-up to plunder wealth but instead to distribute wealth, are different, and therefore we will break the mold.  We will stand while others have fallen.  One look at our debt should persuade anyone that what we have built is as unsustainable as the British, the Roman, or any other empire we wish to use as a standard.

Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because our president is elected.”  So were the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, so were the kings of Poland. It is the empire that empowers our executive.  Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because we have a Congress.”  So did Athens, Rome, and Britain.  Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because we have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, why we even have the freedom to own weapons.”  So did Athens, so did Rome, and so did Britain. 

While we are yet on the glory side of the fall let us abandon the empire to save our republic.  Let us resign from the great game of thrones, rebuild America, secure our own borders instead of those of Korea, or Afghanistan, and reaffirm our dedication to be the last best hope of mankind: a federal republic operating on democratic principles, securing our God given liberties, providing personal freedom, individual liberty, and economic opportunity to all its citizens.

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





Thursday, March 21, 2013

Finding an Estate Lawyer in Houston

Finding a Real Estate Lawyer in Houston

Planning an estate can be part of the most important portion of your life. Finding out what to do with your family's home can be a experience and a wonderful way to shoow your family and build the next stage in your life. When you are well prepared you can have a way to divide the property and house. Whether this is your first or second home, a vacation property, a rental or investment parcel, you want to make sure that you have the best representation. This is the same if you are also selling or renting the property out. When you have the right partner to help you, you will be in better shape and ready for seeing the judge or arbiter and a good learning experience. If you need a Houston estate lawyer, you can do your research and make sure that you have only the best to help you. You want to make the planning and carrying out of the estate as quick and as painless as possible and ready to help your family through what could be a very difficult time for all of you. Check out who would be the best Houston lawyer for you to work with. This could make a large difference in the end.

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Finding Webmaster Answers

If you are running you own site, you want to make sure that your site is only the best for your readers. Your readers depend on your site for services or information that they cannot get anywhere else. As such, you want to make sure that you have exactly what you need to get them what they want and when they want it. You want to make sure that you have the right webhost and domain name for the right price. You also want to make sure that your layout is in the right format and ready for quick access by thousands of visitors around the country and around the world. Still, you may still have issues, comments, concerns, or questions about keeping your site in the best possible shape going forward. As a webmaster, find the best answers for all of your questions. Find Professional Webmaster Answers and find more info about SEO projects and how you can use them on your site. You can find a lot of information if you know where to look. Do your research and find just what you need to go forward. It can make a big difference on your site and for your readers!

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Evan Spencer Ebel Information 3/22/2013

Evan Spencer Ebel has been arrested after leading Texas authorities on a high speed chase. He is also the prime suspect in the murder of Colorado's prison systems chief. Word is that he is a white supremacist. Here is some information from the Washington Post.

Legal records show Ebel was convicted of several crimes in Colorado dating back to 2003, including assaulting a prison guard in 2008. He apparently was paroled, but Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Alison Morgan said she could not release information on prisoners because of the ongoing investigation into Tom Clements’ death.

More here.

Update: His mugshot.

Update II: His facebook profile.

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Video of Texas High Speed Chase-- Evan Ebel Linked

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Evan Ebel Facebook Information 3/21/2013

Not much on the page of suspected murderer Evan Ebel. It's up but barren:

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Evan Ebel Picture

Alleged white supremacist Evan Ebel is suspected in the murder of Colorado's prison chief. Here is a mugshot of the lowlife:

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Dr. Oz Lawsuit March 21, 2013

Looks like celebrity doc Dr. Mehmet Oz is being sued after a man attempting an insomnia cure burned his feet.

It was promoted on April 17, 2012. Oz recommended filling a pair of socks with uncooked rice and warming them up in a microwave oven and putting them on. The popular cardiothoracic surgeon said leaving them on for 20 minutes would promote better sleep. He warned not to get the socks too hot. "The Dr. Oz Show" said it couldn't comment until it could review the lawsuit. 

More info here.

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Video: Obama Heckled During Israel Speech

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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UN to Probe Chem Weapon Claim

The UN is looking into whether regime or rebel forces used chemical weapons later this week, although it appears more doubtful.
The UN probe will start as soon as possible to review the allegations by Bashar al-Assad’s government that rebels fired a missile on March 19 that released a thick cloud of chemical smoke in the Khan al-Assal area of Aleppo province, Ban announced today at UN headquarters in New York. The opposition says government forces were responsible.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cyprus Scrambles to Avert Meltdown

And yet the Stock Market bubble grows. From Reuters:
Cyprus considered nationalizing pension funds and ordered banks to stay shut till next week to avert financial chaos after it rejected the terms of a European Union bailout and turned to Russia for aid.

Crisis talks among the political leadership in Nicosia are set to resume on Thursday after late-night meetings to discuss a "Plan B" broke up on Wednesday without result.

EU officials voiced frustration but little sympathy for an ambitious but now bust banking system that extended itself well beyond the island; Russia, whose citizens have billions to lose in those Cypriot banks, called the EU a "bull in a china shop".

President Nicos Anastasiades, just a month in office and wrestling with his country's worst crisis since the Turkish invasion of 1974 that divided Greek- and Turkish-speaking Cypriots, is due to meet party leaders at 9:30 a.m. (2.30 a.m. EST).

The deputy leader of his Democratic Rally warned time was running out: "We don't have days or weeks, we have only hours to save our country," Averos Neophytou told reporters.
The country at the foreground of a European meltdown?
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Evan Ebel Information 3/21/2013

Evan Spencer Ebel has been arrested after leading Texas authorities on a high speed chase. He is also the prime suspect in the murder of Colorado's prison systems chief. Word is that he is a white supremacist. Here is some information from the Washington Post.

Legal records show Ebel was convicted of several crimes in Colorado dating back to 2003, including assaulting a prison guard in 2008. He apparently was paroled, but Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Alison Morgan said she could not release information on prisoners because of the ongoing investigation into Tom Clements’ death.

More here.

Update: His mugshot.

Update II: His facebook profile.

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South Carolina Voters Support Comedian's Sister and Disgraced Adulterer for Congress

With the resignation of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint late last year, then-Congressman Tim Scott was appointed to fill the senatorial vacancy until a special election can be held in 2014 for the seat, which in turn immediately sparked a dozen or more man race to fill the vacancy left in Scott's old House district, with too many politicians and celebrity relatives to memorize seeking both nominations.

And the results of yesterday's dueling high-pitched primary fights...

A universal face-palm, followed by a bout of dumbfounded jaw dropping and resulting in the ultimate shame and destruction of our once great Republic, as the Democrat nominee is none other then Stephen Colbert's sister (I wonder if he'll support her with his superpac?) and although the Republicans couldn't decide on one of sixteen choices, former Governor and divorced disgrace Mark Sanford is heading into April's runoff with 37% of the vote.

The voters of their national parties nominated a Comedy Central idiot's sister and overwhelmingly supported a immorally corrupt imbecile to represent them in the U.S. Congress... Are you kidding me, South Carolina?

Republicans will get another chance in two weeks to select either the adulterer who enjoys lovely trips to the Appalachian Trail with exotic Latina woman, or a no-name Tea Party member who used to serve on the City of Charleston Council and fought in Operation Desert Storm as a Marine.

And regardless of the runoff's results, Republicans are all but guaranteed victory... But do we really want the people to choose between a brain dead comedian's sister or a disgraced adulterer to represent them, even though they hoisted this idiotic choice upon themselves, in the House of Representatives? I think not..... So I believe a second look into Republican Curtis Bostic is in order, or else all hope is lost for South Carolina for basically ever.

What say you?

Note: The Other McCain offers a nice and brief background of Curtis Bostic

Video: Obama NCAA Brackets

 At least he's doing his job:

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What is Kim Kardashian Going to Name Her Baby?

Boy, it almost makes me want to hurl having to put in celeb news on the site, but I guess it's interesting. Kim Kardashian and her genius boyfriend Kanye West are considering baby names.

At the top of Kimye's baby names list, meanwhile, is North, which would make the child, due in July, North West.

More info here.

The Confusing Bailout of Cyprus

Yesterday afternoon the Cypriot Parliament rejected the European Union proposal to tax all bank deposits within the one-million strong island nation between six and nine percent, depending on income, in order to secure a much needed $13 billion bailout for the near bankrupt government. The vote was unanimous, and the citizenry cheered loudly with its approval.

Europe is now pissed because Cyprus will go bankrupt, and they will weaken Europe's economic house, and they will likely need another, far bigger bailout in the future if they do not approve this one, and they are now both sitting, or more accurately drowning, ducks in financially unstable waters.

Which is the reason why Europe wanted to include this tax on deposits in the first place, because the few nations that actually followed the rules (okay, the one nation - Germany) are sick and tired of paying up a couple billion here, a few more there to cover for their loose spending EU compatriots, and want them to start putting some of their own skin in the game now.

And now that Cyprus has stood defiantly against this proposal, the EU is likely to cave and offer a bailout proposal with fewer strings and the Cypriot government's response is to reach out to Russian officials for their possible financial support, which would likely involve leasing of Mediterranean Sea natural gas and oil deposits to the Kremlin in exchange.

So the Cypriot government's rejection of this measure, which is essentially confiscation of citizen's wealth, was led by communist and socialist members of parliament who are now seeking help from a nation that already has Europe in a stranglehold by its control of oil and natural gas lines, and which will want repayment in precious national resources to bail them out even though its essentially just trading one form of confiscation for the other.

Guess you can say it's all Greek to me.

Blogging Is Not "Citizen Journalism"

Every time I open up my create post page on blogger for Pundit Press, or any of the dozens of blogs I have created and shortly thereafter deleted in the past six or so years, I am faced with writing a post concerning a topic and neatly summarizing it into six or seven words in order to gain potential readers attention and gaining views.

And this is a big reason why true "citizen journalism" is virtually impossible for most blogs.

Regardless of what new media supporters like to say, we are not journalists - we do not seek the news and then rush into the newsroom with a scoop and report it to anxious readers or viewers or listeners - we take someone else's report and for the most part add opinion, or facts, and bam: citizen journalism in America.

Not so fast.

Writing blog posts about politicians, the political parties, scandals and hidden facts in legislation isn't citizen journalism - its blogging, or the 21st century version of "the letter to the editor," or for those who put some effort into it can get away with calling it "research," or even "investigative articles."

This isn't to say there aren't citizen journalists. There are. Whenever someone sees a story in their town, or visits a political rally and reports a unique perspective or has some tidbit of information that is reported in a objective fashion, that is citizen journalism, but in the grand scheme of things that's probably less than a half of one percent of all blogging.

For instance, I have written several articles concerning local politics or stories within Schoharie County, my home in Upstate New York. And although I am far from objective, it is often a first hand account of news I have witnessed or gained knowledge of in one form or another - but I could not write on the blog using this method - and neither could most bloggers.

I reside in a county of 30,000 people; 10,000 of which are children and another 10,000 are seniors, so my potential readership for strictly Schoharie County news is likely somewhere in the hundreds, maybe one or two thousand, and that's competing with the local newspaper that has a circulation of six thousand plus and has reporters to cover stories, and money to pay them with.

I have no time to cover stories and there probably isn't enough money or viewers to pay for me to spend enough time to cover those stories, I don't actually make money as it is from advertisements among three writers as is writing about topics from Syria to SEO hot topics to Mila Kunis, and I doubt the opening of Guilford Mills to a beer company in Cobleskill would do any better.

And while even covering Albany could gain me readership and maybe more advertisement, I lack real life journalistic experience, real life contacts to gain scoops and real life ability to be objective: I'm a partisan, pure and simple, and I tell the truth as I see it - which is why as much as professional journalism appeals, I would likely fail at it. I just like expressing my views too much.

Which also describes 99.5% of bloggers - biased, not journalists and mostly opinionated individuals who want attention to their work and hope for some money from adsense or some other revenue stream - and mostly the "citizen journalism" we read about is either from former professional journalists who went social media and retained their contacts and adapted, or people who part-time journalist in areas with potentially large readership, such as New York City, and are effective.

So while there is the potential for every blogger to be a "citizen journalist," we are far from everyday folks roaming the streets of America searching for truth and justice: we're bored individuals, up for some reason past four in the morning, writing about how "citizen journalism" is a farce meanwhile your dreaming of one day becoming a "citizen journalist," but in reality the closest thing to actual journalism you will achieve is a masterful, yet never seen article on your village's community spirit during snowstorms...

But in all seriousness, 99.5% of all blog posts are comments or opinions on news stories written by either professional traditional journalists or former professional traditional journalists in a social media format..... And to be honest, most blogging doesn't even involve news - it discusses sports, hot girls, hobbies, how to properly tie a tie knot (my savior) and random stuff all collectively labeled "blogging."

So what say you?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Michael Ramirez Cyprus Bailout Cartoon 3/19/2013

The always brilliant Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily on the defeated EU proposal to require Cypriots to face a levy on all bank deposits in order to secure a hefty bailout for their near-bankrupt island:

The proposal, which was rejected overwhelmingly by the Cypriot parliament this afternoon, was attached to a $13 billion bailout plan to rescue to financially depressed Mediterranean island-nation of one million souls, and its rejection has angered European finance ministers, while sending the Cyprus government to seek help from the Russian government.

Syrian Regime Accuses Rebels of Chemical Attack

The two-year old Syrian conflict took a noticeable turn this afternoon as both government and rebel forces accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack in the Khan al-Assad village in Northern Aleppo. 

Originated by State Syrian media, the accusation is that rebel forces launched chemical weaponry into the village and the result was 25 dead as well as nearly one hundred wounded, which the Syrian opposition wholeheartedly disagreed with and returned the accusation back towards the Assad regime, which actually has a known chemical weapon stockpile.

International response was mixed: Russia echoed the Assad regime's accusation, the United States highly doubts it, segments of NATO are now formulating military strategies if it turns out Assad used chemical devices on his own citizenry, and the United Nations is hopelessly standing on the sidelines, as clueless as ever.

So... We do know people are dead in the Khan al-Assad village, but we cannot believe a word of the regime in their accusation against the rebel forces, but on the flip side we do not know if the rebels are accurate in their claims either, or just accusing the regime for the sake of it, and the result is a world of interested parties concerned a mass-murderer may be at the point of launching political genocide.

Perhaps, we should just send a NATO force of American, British and French fighters and bombers, hit Assad's every anti-aircraft and airbase field left under his control, stage about 50,000 soldiers in nearby Turkey and demand his complete and absolute surrender of what remains of his loyalist forces, or.... the painful destruction of Alawites in Syria for all time to come.

What say you?

Evan Spencer Ebel Picture

Alleged white supremacist Evan Ebel is suspected in the murder of Colorado's prison chief. Here is a mugshot of the lowlife:

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Barack Obama: 4 for 4 on B-Ball Brackets, 1/5 on United States Budgets

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Seven Marines Dead in Nevada Training Explosion

From the AP:
Seven Marines from a North Carolina unit were killed and several injured in a training accident at the Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

The cause of the accident shortly before 10 p.m. PST, Monday is under investigation, officials said in a statement from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp LeJeune, N.C.

The injured were taken to area hospitals for treatment and further evaluation. A spokesman for Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, the area's major trauma hospital, couldn't immediately confirm how many people were being treated there. A nursing supervisor at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center said her hospital hadn't taken patients from the incident

"We send our prayers and condolences to the families of Marines involved in this tragic incident. We remain focused on ensuring that they are supported through this difficult time," said the force's commander, Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Fox. "We mourn their loss, and it is with heavy hearts we remember their courage and sacrifice."
Harry Reid: blames the sequester (which he voted for)
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Looking for a Great Vacation?

Ah, getting away from it all. Sometimes you just need to kick back and relax away from your job. There are many possibilities open to you for a vacation, so you have to see where you want to go. Do your research and find a place that fits what you are looking for. What if you really like hiking outdoors? That could be a great chance to get in touch with nature. What about fishing? Or even golfing?

If you like all of these things and more, you can consider Cullasaja County, North Carolina. There are so many things to do and a great chance to recharge. This is a great chance if you want NC Golf Near Highlands. You can golf there and enjoy all of the restaurants and shops that the are has to offer. Write the name down and think about a wonderful break there!

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Report of Syrian Chemical Weapons Use

 Accusations on both sides on an attack that allegedly killed 25.

The ministry said the attack represented an "extremely dangerous" development in the two-year Syrian crisis. It said the rebels detonated a munition containing an unidentified chemical agent early Tuesday in the province of Aleppo. It didn't give further details.

Syria's state-run news agency has also accused the rebels of the attack, saying 25 people died, but the rebels say government forces fired the weapon.

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Bill O'Reilly Divorce

Boy, this sounds interesting:

The conservative political commentator separated from his wife, Maureen McPhilmy, in 2011. They married in 1996. According to Gawker, the pair are divorced; McPhilmy is now married to a detective, and O'Reilly is apparently trying to get his marriage annulled by the Catholic Church. Also, according to Gawker, the pair are involved in a nasty custody battle over their two children. "It involves a surreptitious attempt by O'Reilly to undermine his custody arrangement by hiring, as a member of his household staff, the woman he and his ex had agreed on as a neutral arbiter of their disputes. It also involves O'Reilly's attempts to annul his marriage and have McPhilmy potentially booted from the Catholic Church," reports the New York based blog.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Study: Fox News Reports Three Times More News than MSNBC

No surprise here. From IBT:
Fox News Channel’s “Fair and Balanced” tagline has long been seen as a ridiculous assertion by its left-leaning critics, but the conservative cable giant may do a better job of straight reporting than its liberal counterpart, MSNBC.

That is one of the many takeaways gleaned from the Pew Research Center’s annual “State of the News Media” report, which examines a wealth of data on the television news industry in a section called “The Changing TV News Landscape.” According to the report, released on Monday by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism,” MSNBC devoted a mere 15 percent of its airtime to factual reporting during a three days of specified programming last year. The other 85 percent was devoted to commentary and opinion -- a statistic that will not surprise viewers who spent any time with Rachel Maddow during the presidential election.

During the same three-day period, Fox News devoted 45 percent of its airtime to factual reporting and 55 percent to commentary and opinion. Conversely, the proudly objective CNN was the only network that dedicated more of its airtime to straight news than punditry -- 54 percent compared with 46 percent. But at the same time, the network has cut back on its in-depth stories and coverage of live events.

According to Pew, an individual story was considered commentary or opinion if it included opinionated statements 25 percent of the time. If not, the story was considered a factual reported piece. The report does not mention if researchers took into account whether factual stories were reported with bias, just that MSNBC devoted more airtime to content that was packaged as commentary.
Fox News: Actually reports the news
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Video: Hillary "Evolves" on Gay Marriage; Now in Favor

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Support for Gay Marriage Now 58%: Poll

From ABC:
Results of this survey extend evidence of a remarkable transformation in public attitudes. Views on basic social issues often move slowly, if at all. Support for gay marriage, though, has gone from 47 percent to today’s 58 percent in just the last three years – culminating a period of change first endorsed by some state courts, then by some political figures, notably with Hillary Clinton expressing support for same-sex marriage today, and Barack Obama doing the same last May, a position he went on to underscore in his second inaugural address in January.

Gay marriage today is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, and civil unions are legal in eight more states (and were approved last week by the state Legislature in a ninth, Colorado). Thirty-one states ban gay marriage by constitutional amendment.

Sharp differences across groups remain, but there have been large advances across the board. In one striking gap, gay marriage is supported by a vast 81 percent of adults younger than 30, compared with just 44 percent of seniors. But that’s up by more than 10 points in both groups just since March 2011, and by more than 20 points in both groups since 2004, the low point for gay marriage support in ABC/Post polls.

On the political front, 72 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents favor legalizing gay marriage, vs. far fewer Republicans, 34 percent. Still that’s up by 18 points among Republicans since 2004, as well as by 24 and 29 points among independents and Democrats, respectively.
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Bloomberg's Newest Nannyism: Ban Tobacco from Sight

 Looking out for you, because apparently you're too stupid to:

The proposed law would "prohibit display of tobacco products" in most retail shops, Bloomberg said. "Such displays suggest smoking is a normal activity and invite young people to experiment with tobacco."
He said it would be the first of its kind in the nation.
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Cyprus Closes Banks Until Thursday

 The crisis brewing in Cyprus appears to be growing as the bank run in the country has closed their banks until at least Thursday. Public outcry is growing, as is fear of contagion.

"Tuesday and Wednesday are bank holidays," the source said. A decree will be released shortly from the Finance Ministry to this effect, he said.

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Boo: Cyprus Spooks Market

The Cypriot bank haircut that accompanied that country's bailout has created a shockwave that has hit the Asian market quite hard. The Nikkei finished down over 2% on fears of the wider implications.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 -2.71%  tumbled to end 2.7% lower, while South Korea’s Kospi KR:SEU -0.92%  lost 0.8%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index AU:XJO -2.05% closed 2.1% lower.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Greek Soccer Player Banned for Life After Nazi Salute During Game

From the AP:
Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis has been banned from his national team for life after giving a Nazi salute while celebrating a goal in the topflight league.

Greece's soccer federation said Sunday in a statement that the AEK Athens midfielder's gesture "is a deep insult to all victims of Nazi brutality."

The 20-year-old Katidis gave a Nazi salute after scoring the go-ahead goal Saturday in AEK's 2-1 victory over Veria in the Greek league. He pleaded ignorance of the meaning of his gesture - right arm extended and hand straightened. He claimed on his Twitter account that he detests fascism.

AEK and the Greek league are considering separate sanctions. AEK fans have demanded Katidis' dismissal from the team.
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Jet Crashes into Homes in Indiana, March 17, 2013

From the AP:
Authorities say a private jet apparently experiencing mechanical trouble has crashed in an Indiana neighborhood, resulting in injuries.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig says the Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet had left Tulsa, Okla.'s Riverside Airport and crashed near the South Bend Regional Airport on Sunday afternoon.

Herwig says there's "an indication of a mechanical problem." He says injuries resulted from the crash, but he doesn't know if they occurred on the aircraft or on the ground. He says he doesn't know how many people were aboard the jet.

The neighborhood has been evacuated because of a gas leak.
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Youth Baseball Team Raffles Off AR-15 Rifle

From Fox News:
A youth baseball league in central Illinois is in desperate need of cash – so they’ve decided to auction off an AR-15 assault rifle.

The Atwood-Hammond baseball league said they only raised $10 with last year’s raffle. So a local gun shop provided the league with a Rock River Arms Tactical Operator Two.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Charidy Bucher, co-owner of the Atwood Armory shop. “The response has been tremendous.”
Bucher said her phone has been ringing since 4:30 a.m.

“People from out of state have been calling,” she said.

She said the winner of the rifle will also receive 260 rounds of ammunition.
An example of an AR-15
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Video: Sarah Palin's Speech at CPAC

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Cyprus Threatens European Economic Stability

The small Island nation of Cyprus is threatening European economic stability and potential bankruptcy as their Parliament put off a crucial vote this afternoon in securing $13 billion in emergency rescue money for financially depressed Cypriots.

The vote, which was postponed for some unknown reason after the nation's President requested a delay, would approve a tax levy on all bank deposits in exchange for European creditors loaning the nation the necessary funds, which has led to a frantic run on atm machines, and a feared negative global reaction by world markets due to the uncertainty of Cyprus.

Cypriot lawmakers are furious over the proposal, as the levy would dip into the savings accounts of one million citizens in order to recapitalize the nations banks and service their crushing debts, and almost half already have signaled their opposition to the vote - which could potentially make or break the fragile and near catastrophic nature of their fiscal situation.

While I certainly understand the reasons behind opposing a six to ten percent levy on citizen's deposits, I cannot help but think Cyprus has to choose between accepting the terms of this European bailout and be financially safer, or head into bankruptcy, and perhaps have to accept an even stricter bailout some point down the road.

What say you?

Saint Patrick's Day: A Holy Day

It's Saint Patrick's Day everyone, which means shamrocks, parades, green dye in public waterways and unusually high amounts of alcohol will be consumed not just in the United States, but across the world...

But all of this is in contradiction to the true meaning of the Irish holiday, which was officially recognized by the Catholic Church four hundred years ago and is dedicated to the life and works of the Catholic bishop, who despite being kidnapped from his British home to the Celtic Isles at youth, returned to evangelize the native population to Christianity.

Saint Patrick, who lived in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, is known as the "Apostle of Ireland" for his missionary works in the then pagan land and his celebrated for his deeds within the Church, which by a fifth century account believed to be written by the Saint, resulted in the baptism of thousands to the faith.

So before gulping the copious amounts of Guinness and horribly attempting to sing "Danny Boy" with your drunk wannabe Irish mates, please remember this holiday is in dedication to a man who's life was to bring Christianity to the Irish people and save them from their ungodly paganism just four hundred years after the original Apostles set off to preach the Gospel.

Team USA Eliminated From World Baseball Classic... Again

With the elimination of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic last night to Puerto Rico, America's finest is finishing yet another international baseball classic nowhere near first, and for the second time in three years - failing to reach even the semi-finals.

This tournament's defeat is the result of the Dominican Republic's ninth inning three-one victory on Thursday night and after squashing our territorial competitors earlier in the week, failing to successfully come back last night in a bitter four-three loss, capping our third consecutive failure in the Classic.

The 2013 semi-finals include two-time champion Japan, 2006 fourth place finisher the Dominican Republic and two newcomers - Puerto Rico, and Europe's first semi-finalist, the Netherlands. The two game semi's, followed immediately by the championship game, will take place tonight through Tuesday and at three days end, atop the baseball world will sit one nation.

While my money is on the reigning champions from Tokyo to once again claim the baseball world's triumph, my personal hope is the Netherlands can somehow scrap together a victory over the undefeated Dominican Republic and upset the baseball universe, but I guess we shall have to wait and see.

What say you?

Rand Paul Captures CPAC Straw Poll; Rubio Close Second

Republican Kentucky Senator and rising Conservative-Libertarian superstar Rand Paul has captured the most prized possession of aspiring 2016 contenders this early in the speculations: the 2013 CPAC straw poll.

Paul, who captured 25% of the conference attendees ballots, placed just right above fellow U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of the great State of Florida at 23% and placing in a distant third was 2012 contender, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum at just 8%.

While the election is still several years off and anything can occur politically from here to now, I believe a potential Paul-Rubio race for the nomination would ignite the base to come out in historic numbers and if either received the GOP nod, would start off the general election with invigorated supporters and a fairly decent chance of success.

What say you?