April 30, 2016: Anti-corruption protesters storm Baghdad’s Green Zone, enter parliament

Original article:

Hundreds of supporters of influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who have been protesting corruption, have stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone. Some have entered the parliament buildings, according to Reuters.

To prevent more protesters entering the Green Zone, Iraqi security forces have fired tear gas and shot bullets into the air, Reuters reported citing its sources in the police, as well as al-Sadr’s office.

A spokesman for the United Nations and four Western diplomats who were inside the Green Zone said their compounds were in lockdown. They denied reports that staff at the missions had been evacuated.
No curfew has been imposed, according to two security officials who spoke to Reuters. 
A Kurdish MP is currently trapped inside the parliament building, the Rudaw news network reported. 

A guard at one of the checkpoints said the demonstrators had not been searched before entering the area, Reuters reports. The breach will come as an embarrassment to the Iraqi government: the protesters were able to get through what should have been a heavily secured area.

The protesters were waving Iraqi flags and were chanting “peaceful, peaceful,” while others were standing on the outer wall of the Green Zone. There were thousands more demonstrators waiting outside the gates of the fortified area. 
Some protesters also headed in the direction of the PM’s office building, the Rudaw news agency reported.

Iraqi President Fuad Masum has called on the protesters to “calm down,” Rudaw reported.
Some of the protesters subsequently left the parliament building having been instructed to do so by al-Sadr. Meanwhile, al-Sadr himself said that he could “destroy” Iraq’s government.

“I am promising you that I will not make any agreements with other politicians. I work for the benefit of the nation,” Sadr said in a speech in the holy city of Najaf, as cited by Rudaw. 
“If the nation lets me I can end the current government and form a new one without any corruption,” he added. 
There are reports on social media that some of the protesters are heading towards Baghdad Airport in order to try and prevent the MPs from leaving the capital.
The Russian Embassy in Baghdad continues to work as normal, a member of the diplomatic mission told RIA. 
“We are keeping an eye on how events are developing, especially around the parliament. However, the local press is reporting that the protests are peaceful in nature,” said Aleksandr Kozin, the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad. 

March 30, 2016: Colorado preschoolers learning about same-sex couples, gender issues

Original story:

A 4-year-old Aurora girl was kicked out of a preschool last month when her parents raised questions about books read in her class, including ones that told the stories about same-sex couples and worms unsure about their gender.

Her mother, R.B. Sinclair, sees it as sex education and wanted to opt her daughter out of those discussions.

Instead, school officials from Montview Community Preschool & Kindergarten in Denver — run as a private, parent cooperative — explained the stories were part of the school’s anti-bias curriculum, and because the discussions are embedded through the day, they told her that opting out was not possible.

The school’s anti-bias curriculum is part of a growing push in public and private school classrooms where educators use more diverse depictions of families and gender roles to expose students to differences before children have a chance to form negative opinions.

“Biases start as kids get older and start to see differences as negative. At a young age, kids are exploring all different kinds of things,” said Kim Bloemen, director of early childhood education for the Boulder Valley School District. “It’s about just providing them with all these experiences.”

In a letter sent home to Montview parents, the school defended the books and in a newsletter suggested ways for parents to discuss the topics at home.

School officials refused to comment for this story or answer questions about their curriculum or the goals they set.

Sinclair said her daughter, who is part of a biracial family and has grown up with Muslim and western culture, is too young to understand the difference between anatomy and identity — a goal Sinclair says Montview school officials pointed out in documents they gave her.

“I think at this age they don’t know what bias is. They could have kids from Mars and they would still play with each other,” Sinclair said. “It’s not that she isn’t exposed to diversity, because it is the world we live in, but how are they having these conversations?”

In Boulder’s public preschools, all teachers were trained this year to integrate a broader type of diversity to include gender and sexual differences and to have conversations with young children.

“This is a fairly new topic to be discussing,” Bloemen said. “We as leaders are learning as well.”

A Queer Endeavor, an initiative started in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has helped train 2,500 teachers over the past three years, including those in Boulder and in the St. Vrain Valley School District.

“Times are changing,” said Bethy Leonardi, a research associate and co-founder of A Queer Endeavor. “The only hesitations we’ve seen is that teachers have been really undersupported. They wonder, ‘Am I doing it right,’ (and) what language to use. There’s a real willingness to do the work.”

The initiative helps teachers keep the focus on family structures and on being positive about differences. The topics never get into anatomy or sex, although teachers have to know how to move past questions children might ask, including some about body parts or unique situations.

“Kids might say, ‘My mommy is this’ or ‘My daddy doesn’t live with us,’ ” Bloemen said. “Or preschoolers go, ‘How come you’re brown’ and another child will say, ‘I don’t know.’ They’ll ask the teacher, who might say, ‘We are all alike and we are all different.’

“They just need a quick answer.”

Books about families with two dads or two moms are affirming families that already exist, officials say, and most questions are answered by explaining that all families look different.

In Sinclair’s case, she’s not sure how the teacher talked to her daughter. One day, Sinclair said her daughter came home worried that her dad might no longer like girls.

Sinclair also worries that her daughter’s education was interrupted to prioritize one type of diversity over another. It was two days after meeting with the principal that Sinclair was handed a letter saying it was the girl’s last day in school and that the situation was “not a good fit.”

“Meanwhile, there was no consideration for the bias against my family’s culture, faith and concerns,” Sinclair said.

For now, Sinclair said she is keeping her daughter at home.

Kristen Johnson, senior director of the Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a nonprofit that accredits preschools, said the organization’s standards require schools in some way to include depictions of nonstereotypical gender roles and families.

“The early-childhood years are the prime time to help children develop healthy self-identities as well as learn to respect and interact positively with people who are different from themselves,” Johnson said. “Reading books that are inclusive of diverse characters is an essential strategy for supporting self-esteem in children who are part of these families, as well as teaching children about the diversity of all families.”

It’s the same as ensuring that minority students read about characters who resemble them.

“Diversity is much more than the color of someone’s skin,” Johnson said.

The organization’s rubric for meeting the standards is flexible as to how schools can show those diverse depictions. It could be as simple as posting nonstereotypical wall decorations and pictures of students’ own diverse families.

Bloemen said that’s what is already done at Boulder preschools, which aren’t yet accredited by the association

There, parents haven’t had many concerns about the new inclusion of diversity, but Sara Staley, co-founder of A Queer Endeavor, says many times parents are fearful.

“Parents weren’t exposed to it,” Staley said. “There’s been such a silence about this in the past. We think the parent-education piece is huge.”


February 21, 2016:Davos Elite Reveal Orwellian Plan To Decode Your Brain And Read Your Mind

Original article:

(Truthstream Media) Still think we aren’t living in the Matrix? In his fiction-turned-fact novel 1984, George Orwell wrote “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”

Apparently even that won’t hold for long.

What you are about to watch isn’t science fiction but science fact and it’s coming in the next decade or two as part of the Internet of Things smart surveillance grid they want everyone swept up into. This technology is about to openly bring us an era where government authorities can read people’s minds without their permission and use it against them including in court, for pre-crime purposes, via literal thought police who police thought crime via neurotech, and the labeling people including children as potential criminals based solely on their brainwaves…

And all of this was discussed casually at Davos this year like it’ll be a glorious brave new world instead of the Orwellian Nightmare 2.0 we all know is coming under the technocrats in charge.

Each year, like Bilderberg, the elite meet at Davos for the World Economic Forum as they have since 1971 with the stated goal of being “committed to improving the state of the world” by “engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas“. The question is, shaping agendas to improve the world for who? Considering how “improved” the world obviously is since 1971, they’re really doing a bang up job over there. Listening to them talk is tough, with the smarmy “us versus them” mentality practically oozing out of every sentence. One of the biggest differences between Davos and Bilderberg is that that Davos meetings are recorded and released to the public, so they have to be a tad bit more polite about it.

Still, some of the subject matter and the way in which they discuss it is pretty horrifying. This session was called “What if your brain confesses?” It’s a panel of people laughing it up for an hour over a world where governments and the technocrats running the show will wield neuroscience tech to decode people’s brains — their inner thoughts — against their will and, in particular, the criminal justice system. It’s brought up multiple times that the Bill of Rights does not include protections for “Freedom of Thought” or the right not to incriminate one’s self based on signals their brain emits.

Thought crime, anyone?

At one point it is even mentioned that us little people have already shown how more than willing we are to give up all of our privacy for convenience, so when a portable, wearable thought-decoding mind reading device becomes available in the next decade or so, we will fall all over ourselves to wear one. In an era of omnipresent, panopticon-like government surveillance, this is the next step… snooping and monitoring not just everyone’s communications but everyone’s thoughts.

At one point, what’s coming is referred to as the “universal brain-machine interface” or “universal brain-computer interface”. Sounds like a technological hive mind, doesn’t it? Welcome to the Borg… “You will be assimilated!”

They also discuss the ability to implant false memories in our heads because our memory is like a Wikipedia page that we can edit, but so can other people… Comforting, huh? Oh, and the potential for stimulating the pain centers of the brain electronically to coerce someone to comply is brought up, work that the CIA was experimenting with back in the 1950s on record under the top secret mind control project MKUltra and which has surely progressed by now far beyond your typical idea of torture in modern times.

Philip K. Dick and George Orwell must be spinning in their graves. Why watch a horror film when you can watch a Davos panel?

The full hour can be found here.

January 31, 2016:Over 10,000 Refugee Children Missing, Feared To Be Exploited By Criminals

The EU’s criminal intelligence agency is reporting that Europe’s refugee crisis is being taken advantage of by human traffickers and refugee children seem to be suffering the most as over 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees have disappeared after their arrival in Europe.

The migrant crisis has been an issue that has had worldwide attention since it began but Europol’s current findings are reportedly the very first attempt by any law enforcement agency to quantify what is deemed to be one of the most troubling issues with the flow of migrants into Europe, the plight of unaccompanied refugee children. Europol’s chief of staff, Brian Donald, advised the Observer that thousands of vulnerable minors had simply vanished since registering with the state authorities. The agency believes and has warned that many of these children and young persons were being forced into slavery and being sexually exploited by criminal gangs. The organization Save the Children says that approximately 26,000 child migrants have arrived in Europe without any family in the last year alone. The report is Europol’s first releasing of an estimate that takes the whole of Europe into account.

Donald related that at least 5,000 of the missing children have disappeared from Italy alone, a figure that Italian officials gave May, 2015, as having gone missing from asylum reception centres from the previous year. In October, another 1,000 children were said to have vanished from Trelleborg in southern Sweden within the space of a month of their arrival. The chief of staff for Europol stressed that a “criminal infrastructure” that has EU-wide operations may be specially targeting refugee children.

“It’s not unreasonable to say that we’re looking at 10,000-plus children. Not all of them will be criminally exploited; some might have been passed on to family members. We just don’t know where they are, what they’re doing or whom they are with.

According to BBC News, Europol also stated that a large percentage of the missing refugee children may have disappeared straight from Greece itself since the country is the first entry point for most of the 1 million migrants who arrived in Europe in 2015. Many have criticised authorities for failing to properly register or check the refugees upon arrival.

Last week, as many countries continue to close their borders to refugees, Britain announced that it would accept more unaccompanied refugee minors from Syria and other conflict zones on top of the 20,000 it vowed to take by 2020. Unaccompanied minors were said to be about 27 percent of the million refugees who arrived in 2015, and now the force of over 900 Europol intelligence analysts and police liaison officers, have reported that the estimate of 10,000 of those 270,000 children who have simply vanished in Europe is on the conservative side.

Within the U.K., children who arrive as asylum seekers and then disappear has more than doubled within the last year. The Guardian has Brian Donald stating that both Germany, a popular destination for refugees and Hungary, a transit site to the former country have reports that large numbers of sexually exploited refugees.

“An entire [criminal] infrastructure has developed over the past 18 months around exploiting the migrant flow. There are prisons in Germany and Hungary where the vast majority of people arrested and placed there are in relation to criminal activity surrounding the migrant crisis.”

Donald went on to plead with communities that have migrant populations to try and aid the refugee children in their midst.

“These kids are in the community, if they’re being abused it’s in the community. They’re not being spirited away and held in the middle of forests, though I suspect some might be, they’re in the community – they’re visible. As a population we need to be alert to this.”

January 30, 2016:7.3 quake & multiple aftershocks strike Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Region

Original article:

A strong, deep 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula on Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported.

The quake hit 106 kilometers north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital city of Russia’s Kamchatka Krai.

The depth of the earthquake was reported at 153 kilometers. There have been no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties. No tsunami warning has been issued.

January 29, 2016: Major Study: Antidepressants Double Risk of Suicide and Aggression in Young People… Drug Companies Covered up Stats

Original article:

We’ve previously documented that the new generation of antidepressants increase suicides … and may be contributing to school shootings.

The Telegraph reports this week that a major new study confirms that antidepressants can double the risk of suicide and aggression in young people … and that the drug companies have been covering up the stats:

Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, the biggest ever review has found, as pharmaceutical companies were accused of failing to report side-effects and even deaths linked to the drugs.

An analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants – involving more than 18,000 people – found they doubled the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviour in under 18s.


The review – the biggest of its kind into the effects of the drugs – was carried out by the Nordic Cochrane Centre and analysed by University College London (UCL) who today endorse the findings in an editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The Cochrane group is widely respected.  Newsweek notes:

The Cochrane Collaboration [is] a group of doctors and researchers known for their comprehensive reviews—which are widely regarded as the gold standard of scientific rigor in assessing effectiveness of public health policies ….

The Telegraph continues:

After comparing clinical trial information to actual patient reports the scientists found pharmaceutical companies had regularly misclassified deaths and suicidal events in people taking anti-depressants to “favour their products”.

Experts said the review’s findings were “startling” and said it was “deeply worrying” that clinical trials appear to have been misreported.


Professor Peter Gøtzsche, the lead author from the Nordic Cochrane Centre said: “Antidepressants don’t work in children, that is pretty clear, in the randomised trials children say that they don’t work for them, but they increase their risk of suicide.


Commenting on the findings of the review Professor Gotzsche added, “It is absolutely horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives.”


Dr Paul Ramchandani, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with Central North West London Foundation NHS Trust said: “There have been concerns for a number of years about the way in which some trials of medicines or drugs for depression were originally reported, particularly when the treatment was for children and adolescents.”

Dr Paul Keedwell, Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Research Fellow in the Neurobiology of Mood Disorders at Cardiff University, added:“The findings provide a further lesson in how professionals must carefully scrutinise drug company summaries for data on adverse events.”

January 29, 2016:“We’re Using Kids as Lead Detectors”: 6 Cities in Michigan Have Even HIGHER Levels of Lead than Flint

Original article:

As the nation rightly focuses on Flint’s ongoing water crisis, other cities in the state of Michigan face even higher levels of lead contamination. The alarming pervasiveness of potentially toxic drinking water extends across the United States.

The Detroit News reports that “Elevated blood-lead levels are seen in a higher percentage of children in parts of Grand Rapids, Jackson, Detroit, Saginaw, Muskegon, Holland and several other cities, proof that the scourge of lead has not been eradicated despite decades of public health campaigns and hundreds of millions of dollars spent to find and eliminate it.

Of over 7,000 children tested in the Highland Park and Hamtramck areas of Detroit in 2014, 13.5 percent tested positive for lead. Among four zip codes in Grand Rapids, one in ten children had lead in their blood. In Adrian and south-central Michigan, more than 12 percent of 640 children tested had positive results.

These overall numbers are higher than Flint’s, where Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha found lead in up to 6.3 percent of children in the highest-risk areas; while The Guardian reported Dr. Hanna-Attisha has also said the rate is as high at 15 percent in certain “hot spots,” the size of those samples was not listed. Even so, the overall figures across Michigan are lower than in previous years. In 2012, children tested across Michigan had lead in their blood at a rate of 4.5 percent, about five times less than the rate ten years prior, which reached an alarming 25 percent. In spite of the decrease in recent years, however, thousands of children in Michigan are still affected.

In 2013, that level sank to 3.9 percent and fell again to 3.5 percent in 2014. But that is still 5,053 children under age 6 who tested positive in 2014,” the Detroit News explained. “Each had lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter. (Though no amount is considered safe, 5 micrograms is the threshold that experts say constitutes a ‘much higher’ level than most children.)” One Detroit zip code had a rate of 20.8 percent of children who tested positive in 2014, and 20.3 percent the following year.

The outrage in Flint is especially warranted because of the pronounced effects of lead on children. Lead, a known toxin, is associated with both physical and mental ailments, and according to one Detroit teacher, has harmed the cognitive abilities of students.

Kieya Morrison, a veteran kindergarten teacher, who now teaches preschool, described a recent student known to have elevated levels of blood in her system. The girl experienced difficulties grasping simple cognitive tasks, like differentiating between a triangle and a square. “She had cognitive problems. She had trouble processing things,” Morrison said. “She could not retain any of the information.” The University of Michigan recently found a link between lead in children and lower academic test scores.

Michigan’s lead problem “…is still an issue. It’s not going away,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, lead levels are elevated across the United States. Anti-Media reported this week on Sebring, Ohio, where a similar lead crisis spawned official cover-ups. For years, discoveries of lead in public water supplies have made headlines, even if these finding were not national news. In 2008, the Los Angeles school district’s water supply was found to have levels of lead hundreds of times higher than the allowable. In 2015, officials could not guarantee they had adequately purified the water. In another example, in 2010, New York City tested 222 older homes known to have lead pipes, and found 14 percent had lead levels higher than the allowable limit.

Vox noted that in 2014, “Nine counties nationwide told the CDC that 10 percent or more of their lead poisoning tests came back positive. Four of them are in Louisiana, two in Alabama, and the rest scattered across West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Oklahoma.”

The problem extends beyond anecdotal cases or any specific region. As Huffington Post reports, millions of lead pipes — like the ones that contaminated the water in Flint — are still in service across the United States:

There are roughly 7.3 million lead service lines in the U.S., according to an estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency, down from 10.5 million in 1988. Service lines are the pipes connecting water mains to people’s houses. They’re mostly found in the Midwest and Northeast.”

Jerry Paulson, emeritus professor of pediatrics and environmental health at George Washington University, told the Detroit News how common the problem is:

“This is a situation that has the potential to occur in however many places around the country there are lead pipes, he explained. “Unless and until those pipes are removed, those communities are at some degree of risk.”

Paul Haan of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, an organization that works to eliminate household hazards to improve children’s health, warns that the levels of lead in Michigan children’s blood continue to rise, citing weekly statewide reports from pediatricians. In spite of his efforts to help reduce contaminants, he pointed out a dismal flaw in the process:

The problem is,” he said, “we’re still using kids as lead detectors.”

January 29, 2016: Zika Outbreak Epicenter In Same Area Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes Released In 2015

Original article:

The World Health Organization announced it will convene an Emergency Committee under International Health Regulations on Monday, February 1, concerning the Zika virus ‘explosive’ spread throughout the Americas. The virus reportedly has the potential to reach pandemic proportions — possibly around the globe. But understandingwhy this outbreak happened is vital to curbing it. As the WHO statement said:

“A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes … is strongly suspected. [These links] have rapidly changed the risk profile of Zika, from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions.


“WHO is deeply concerned about this rapidly evolving situation for 4 main reasons: the possible association of infection with birth malformations and neurological syndromes; the potential for further international spread given the wide geographical distribution of the mosquito vector; the lack of population immunity in newly affected areas; and the absence of vaccines, specific treatments, and rapid diagnostic tests […]


“The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty.”

Zika seemingly exploded out of nowhere. Though it was first discovered in 1947, cases only sporadically occurred throughout Africa and southern Asia. In 2007, the first case was reported in the Pacific. In 2013, a smattering of small outbreaks and individual cases were officially documented in Africa and the western Pacific. They also began showing up in the Americas. In May 2015, Brazil reported its first case of Zika virus — and the situation changed dramatically.

Brazil is now considered the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, which coincides with at least 4,000 reports of babies born with microcephaly just since October.


When examining a rapidly expanding potential pandemic, it’s necessary to leave no stone unturned so possible solutions, as well as future prevention, will be as effective as possible. In that vein, there was another significant development in 2015.

Oxitec first unveiled its large-scale, genetically-modified mosquito farm in Brazil in July 2012, with the goal of reducing “the incidence of dengue fever,” as The Disease Daily reported. Dengue fever is spread by the same Aedes mosquitoes which spread the Zika virus — and though they “cannot fly more than 400 meters,” WHO stated, “it may inadvertently be transported by humans from one place to another.” By July 2015, shortly after the GM mosquitoes were first released into the wild in Juazeiro, Brazil, Oxitec proudly announced they had “successfully controlled the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya and zika virus, by reducing the target population by more than 90%.”

Though that might sound like an astounding success — and, arguably, it was — there is an alarming possibility to consider.

Nature, as one Redditor keenly pointed out, finds a way — and the effort to control dengue, zika, and other viruses, appears to have backfired dramatically.

The particular strain of Oxitec GM mosquitoes, OX513A, are genetically altered so the vast majority of their offspring will die before they mature — though Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher published concerns in a report in September 2010 that a known survival rate of 3-4 percent warranted further study before the release of the GM insects. Her concerns, which were echoed by several other scientists both at the time and since, appear to have been ignored — though they should not have been.

Those genetically-modified mosquitoes work to control wild, potentially disease-carrying populations in a very specific manner. Only the male modified Aedes mosquitoes are supposed to be released into the wild — as they will mate with their unaltered female counterparts. Once offspring are produced, the modified, scientific facet is supposed to ‘kick in’ and kill that larvae before it reaches breeding age — if tetracycline is not present during its development. But there is a problem.


According to an unclassified document from the Trade and Agriculture Directorate Committee for Agriculture dated February 2015, Brazil is the third largest in “global antimicrobial consumption in food animal production” — meaning, Brazil is third in the world for its use of tetracycline in its food animals. As a study by the American Society of Agronomy, et. al., explained, “It is estimated that approximately 75% of antibiotics are not absorbed by animals and are excreted in waste.” One of the antibiotics (or antimicrobials) specifically named in that report for its environmental persistence is tetracycline.

In fact, as a confidential internal Oxitec document divulged in 2012, that survival rate could be as high as 15% — even with low levels of tetracycline present. “Even small amounts of tetracycline can repress” the engineered lethality. Indeed, that 15% survival rate was described by Oxitec:

“After a lot of testing and comparing experimental design, it was found that [researchers] had used a cat food to feed the [OX513A] larvae and this cat food contained chicken. It is known that tetracycline is routinely used to prevent infections in chickens, especially in the cheap, mass produced, chicken used for animal food. The chicken is heat-treated before being used, but this does not remove all the tetracycline. This meant that a small amount of tetracycline was being added from the food to the larvae and repressing the [designed] lethal system.”


Even absent this tetracycline, as Steinbrecher explained, a “sub-population” of genetically-modified Aedes mosquitoes could theoretically develop and thrive, in theory, “capable of surviving and flourishing despite any further” releases of ‘pure’ GM mosquitoes which still have that gene intact. She added, “the effectiveness of the system also depends on the [genetically-designed] late onset of the lethality. If the time of onset is altered due to environmental conditions … then a 3-4% [survival rate] represents a much bigger problem…”


As the WHO stated in its press release, “conditions associated with this year’s El Nino weather pattern are expected to increase mosquito populations greatly in many areas.”

Incidentally, President Obama called for a massive research effort to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, as one does not currently exist. Brazil has now called in 200,000 soldiers to somehow help combat the virus’ spread. Aedes mosquitoes have reportedly been spotted in the U.K. But perhaps the most ironic — or not — proposition was proffered on January 19, by the MIT Technology Review:

“An outbreak in the Western Hemisphere could give countries including the United States new reasons to try wiping out mosquitoes with genetic engineering.


“Yesterday, the Brazilian city of Piracicaba said it would expand the use of genetically modified mosquitoes …


“The GM mosquitoes were created by Oxitec, a British company recently purchased by Intrexon, a synthetic biology company based in Maryland. The company said it has released bugs in parts of Brazil and the Cayman Islands to battle dengue fever.”

January 27, 2016:Children as young as 13 to be asked whether they are ‘gender fluid’, ‘demi-girl’ or ‘intersex’: Official survey asks pupils to pick from a list of TWENTY-FIVE genders

  • Government-backed survey asks children as young as 13 about gender
  • Given 25 options to describe their gender, including tri-gender and intesex 
  • Youngsters are also asked whether they feel safe using single-sex toilets
  • Other questions include whether school should have one unisex uniform

Children as young as 13 have been invited to describe their gender as any one of 25 different options in a Government-backed survey.

The choices put before teenagers in research for the Children’s Commissioner for England include ‘gender fluid’, ‘demi-girl’ and ‘tri-gender’.

The list of alternatives is being offered to children as part of a campaign to ‘find out how gender matters to young people’.

Youngsters are also asked whether they feel safe using single-sex toilets, and if their school should have unisex ones instead.

Other questions include whether their school should have just one unisex uniform.

The research, described by one of its authors as ‘committed to feminist methodologies’, was condemned by critics who said it was biased and politically motivated.

Yesterday Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield withdrew the survey after the Daily Mail asked her office about it.

A spokesman said the version that had been distributed was ‘a draft’ and had not been cleared by the Commissioner. A new version will be prepared with some questions withdrawn.

The survey was designed at a time of deepening controversy over gender politics, amid claims by activists that everyone should be free to choose their own sex.

Earlier this month the Commons’ women and equalities committee, led by former culture secretary Maria Miller, said anyone over 16 should have the automatic right to change their legal gender. The committee’s report also claimed that 650,000 Britons – around one in 100 – are ‘likely to be gender incongruent to some degree’.

The research for the Children’s Commissioner involves 13 to 18-year-olds. It was commissioned by her £2.9million-a-year organisation, which is sponsored by the Department for Education.

It asks youngsters whether they agree that ‘people should be free to choose their gender’. Teenagers are then given 25 options to describe their own gender, choosing as many as they want. Those under 16 are advised that they might wish to consult their parents, but are not told to do so.

The list of alternatives is being offered to children as part of a campaign to ‘find out how gender matters to young people’. Celebrities who identify as something other than male or female include the cookery writer Jack Monroe, 27, (pictured) who has used the term ‘non-binary’

Celebrities who identify as something other than male or female include the cookery writer Jack Monroe, 27, who has used the term ‘non-binary’.

The research began in May at Lancaster, Cardiff and Brighton Universities, who are working with UCL’s Institute of Education.

Critics last night accused the research of ‘exploiting’ teenagers for political ends. Author and family researcher Patricia Morgan said: ‘It is obviously biased. It amounts to the exploitation of children for the purposes of gender pressure groups.’ Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, added that the survey could be ‘profoundly confusing’ for children, adding: ‘There aren’t 25 genders. There are two sexes.

‘We feel for people who struggle with gender identity disorder but we must not let our sympathy for them outweigh our sympathy for the great mass of children who need to feel safe and protected.’

January 27, 2016: Labor Department plans to remove terms ‘he’ and ‘she’ from regulations to avoid ‘gender binary’

Original article:

The words “he” and “she” may soon be removed from a regulation that prohibits workplace discrimination in order to “avoid the gender binary,” thanks to the Department of Labor.

The Washington Free Beacon reported:

The agency is also adding “sex stereotyping, transgender status, and gender identity” to the list of types of employment discrimination banned under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. If adopted, the regulation would cost job training centers millions of dollars to change their equal employment opportunity posters to include “gender identity.”

The agency issued a proposed rule Tuesday that updates the nondiscrimination provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act signed by President Obama in 2014, which provides funding for job training.

The law forbids groups that receive program funding to discriminate on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and, for beneficiaries only, citizenship status.” The new rule, which will be open to public comment for 60 days, updates the list to include gender identity.

“Our nation’s workforce system should reflect our commitment to diversity and the idea that America works best when we field a full team,” Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said when announcing the changes. “Protecting workers from discrimination based on disability, pregnancy, language proficiency, gender identity, and other factors is the right thing to do. This proposed rule provides welcome clarity on how to achieve that in the workforce system.”

The agency is also proposing to remove male and female pronouns from the regulation to avoid gender norms.

“This [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] also replaces ‘he or she’ with ‘the individual,’ ‘person,’ or other appropriate identifier wherever possible to avoid the gender binary,” the proposed rule says, according to the Free Beacon. “The plain language of the regulations is retained for ease of comprehension and application.”

January 27, 2016: UNBELIEVABLE: Danish Teen FINED for Fending off Would Be Rapist with Pepper Spray!

Original article:

The level of politically correct insanity and willful blindness surrounding the so-called “rapefugee” crisis hitting Europe is reaching a fever pitch of stupidity.

Most of these countries where this is taking place are countries where average citizens are not only not allowed to own guns, but they are also apparently not legally allowed to own any real means of protection at all.

Case in point: a seventeen-year-old Danish girl recently fended off a “dark-skinned” English speaking attacker who attempted to rape her with pepper spray. The man had knocked the girl to the ground and was unbuttoning her pants and attempting to forcibly undress her. She pulled out the spray and was able to get him off of her with it.

And that’s how it should be. A woman should be allowed to protect herself from a scumbag rapist!!!

It’s what happened next that will probably make your brain ache with sheer dumb.

Via the Local DK:

“It is illegal to possess and use pepper spray, so she will likely be charged for that,” local police spokesman Knud Kirsten told TV Syd.

The case has sparked a backlash among some Danes who point to increasing reports of sexual harassment in Sønderborg and other Danish cities at the same time that police say they are stretched too thin to properly carry out their duties.

Numerous readers wrote in the comments section on TV Syd’s story about the incident that they would be willing to pay the girl’s fine, which will most likely be 500 kroner.

Do you think he ended up in jail for attempting to rape a teenager? Nope. He got away.

It is SHE who will end up punished with a 500 kroner ($73 USD) fine for illegal ownership of pepper spray. At this point, she probably thinks it is the best $73 dollars she ever spent in this insane, screwed up world — a world where the State in its infinite power and wisdom will charge her for not bowing down to its authority and being helpless in its arms and just allowing herself to be raped.

Then again, it’s surprising the media even covered it, since we have already seen stories of these rapes being covered up in the press due to the political nature of the alleged rapists largely being asylum seekers. Switzerland even made a public service cartoon in the hopes that it would help refugees understand that women have rights… you know, to not be raped.

Gee. Seems to be working beautifully so far…

Now consider how the anti-gun lobby is slobbering all over itself to get the guns taken away in America, and to make us just like these places in Europe. Just like the UK or Australia — a.k.a. defenseless and completely dependent on the police and government to protect us.

In a chat thread regarding this story, someone from the UK wrote:

Denmark is as cucked as Britain?
guns illegal
tasers illegal
pepper spray illegal
only allowed to have rape whistle and colour spray to mark the person that raped/killed you

By the way, in the UK authorities require people to be carded when they buy plastic knives at the store. PLASTIC knives. They have drives where they get people to voluntarily turn in their kitchen knives.

This may be news to people who can’t wait to infringe on the Second Amendment here, but a rape whistle and colour spray probably won’t stop or protect you from being raped. Neither will calling the cops and waiting however long it takes for them to respond to the scene of the rape, considering most rapists aren’t too keen on the rape victim taking the time out of the rape to make a phone call.

“Yes, I know you are about to rape me, but may I please call the cops for help? You see, it is the only way I am allowed to protect myself, but I guess you, as a rapist, already knew that…” In addition, considering the many hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits and the fact that only three percent of rapes are even solved in this country, rape is seemingly just not that high of a police priority.

Europeans in these chat threads and leaving comments on YouTube videos and articles about this topic just keep saying over and over, “Don’t give up your guns, America.”

For now, we still have a widely armed populace here in the U.S., and if these outbreaks of “politically incorrect” rape come here, the media can try to cover it up all it wants but you can best believe, someone is getting shot.

January 26, 2016:Democrats Try To Mandate Sex Ed For 5-Year-Olds, Teach Homosexuality Is A “Positive Alternative Lifestyle”

Original article:

A bunch of Arizona Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require sex education be taught to kindergarteners.

The bill would also make sex ed a requirement in all public schools, forcing parents to “opt-out” of the program if they don’t want their kids exposed to it.

That bill – House Bill 2410 – along with a Senate bill that would allow teaching homosexuality as a “positive alternative lifestyle” would dramatically change how children are taught sex ed in schools, KJZZ is reporting.

Under current state law, schools who do provide sexual education classes have to get permission from parents first – otherwise their kids can’t participate. Democrats want to change that and make it mandatory.

“We have so many uneducated people out there, especially youth, who are jeopardizing so much about their health, the community’s health. And we’re leaving them uneducated,” Rep. Juan Mendez, the bill’s main sponsor, said.

The House bill would also require “age appropriate” sex education for children in all grades – including kindergarten.


Josh Kredit, attorney for the Center for Arizona Policy, is opposed to this measure as well as the Senate bill that would repeal a current law that prohibits schools from portraying homosexuality as a positive lifestyle if they do offer sex ed.

“These are extreme proposals that are trying to mandate sex education to 5-year-olds. That’s what it is. It’s trying to mandate it on everyone, change it from an opt-in to an opt-out, and really just remove all the barriers on this very sensitive subject that parents want the protections in place, that they can teach their children if they want.”


The legislation outlines various criteria that each district would have to teach. Programs would have to include “medically accurate, developmentally accurate and age-appropriate” information, the benefits of contraception for preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy and the importance of “developing the relationship and communication skills to form healthy relationships.”

The Senate bill that is being opposed by conservative groups and lawmakers strikes existing language banning teaching a curriculum that: “promotes a homosexual lifestyle,” “portrays homosexuality as a positive lifestyle,” and “suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”

With Republicans in control of both the House and Senate in Arizona, neither bill is likely to pass, experts say.


January 24, 2016:”Bowels Emptied! Women Molested!” German Media Reveals “Monstrous” CCTV Footage Of Refugee Pool Mayhem

Original article:

Europeans are struggling to come to terms with the wave of Mid-East refugees that have inundated the bloc over the course of the last 12 months.

The challenge, for those inclined to believe that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s multicultural utopia is feasible, is to adopt an open minded approach to the prospect of integrating millions of Muslim asylum seekers into a largely Christian society while retaining a healthy level of skepticism with regard to the prospect of unifying two vastly divergent cultures.

Even those who are predisposed to being patient with the integration process are beginning to question the wisdom behind Berlin’s open-door policy.

Interestingly, it wasn’t the murder of 130 people in Paris that served as the catalyst for what amounts to a wholesale shift in sentiment towards migrants. While there was certainly a public outcry in the wake of the Paris attacks, the backlash coalesced after New Year’s Eve, when scores of women were reportedly assaulted by men of “Arab origin.”

Since then, voters have moved to express their discontent with the bloc’s handling of the refugee crisis by taking to the streets in what on many occasions have turned out to be violent protests.

The official response has been mixed. Germany has endeavored to keep the faith (as it were) by preserving the “yes we can” narrative in public, but in private, many German politicians claim the country is on the verge of closing its borders. Austria has apparently had enough, has suspended Schengen, and is now requiring refugees to learn German or risk losing access to welfare. The country has also developed a pictographic flyer designed to coach migrants on what types of behaviors are acceptable in polite Western European society.

Switzerland has adopted the Austrian flyer and Germany has developed its own cartoons the government hopes will to clear up any “confusion” about how asylum seekers should act once settled in Europe.

A particularly sensitive issue is pool etiquette. If you believe the media, refugees are having a particularly difficult time figuring out how to behave when swimming in public. The controversy led one small German town near Cologne (the site of the New Year’s Eve assaults) to ban adult male asylum seekers from swimming.

Well, despite the best efforts of European cartoonists, some refugees apparently didn’t get the message about proper pool behavior because according to “reports,” some asylum seekers were caught on closed circuit TV doing some rather lewd things at the Johannisbad baths in Zwickau. Below, find the story from Bild, which we present without further comment because frankly, there’s not much we can add here.

*  *  *

From “In The Swimming Pool, Bowels Emptied! Women Molested!”, originally published in Bild and Google translated for your amusement

According bathrooms GmbH have masturbated refugees when visiting swimming baths in pools and emptied their bowels in the water. They are women in sauna harassed and have tried to storm the ladies’ locker!

All this is evident from a letter from clerk’s office manager Rainer Kallweit to his superior departmental head Bernd Meyer. In the letter dated 19 January (Image exists) summarizes Kallweit a report of the security that service the city’s baths GmbH. The city administration has towards BILD confirm their authenticity letter!

Kallweit reports of a memorandum from the Johannisbad. It states inter alia: “An asylum seeker has masturbated in the hot tub and ejaculated into the basin. This is also recorded on the surveillance camera “And further:”. The lifeguards threw him out. The asylee came with his, cronies’ but again purely to get his cell phone.Together, visitors have ‘in the hot tub a hooting, Selfie’ done. “

“The users of this contaminated pool by there got rid of one’s own intestinal contents. Native people have immediately leave the bathroom. “

The memo continues: “Furthermore, the lifeguards have to protect women and girls from the asylum. Young men wanted to forcibly penetrate into the dressing of women and girls. These actions could previously be blocked.”

January 22, 2016: Bomb us if you dare: Senior ISIS militants are holed up inside Syria’s largest dam with high-value prisoners knowing air strikes would unleash apocalyptic flood

Senior Islamic State militants are holed up inside Syria’s largest dam with high-value prisoners in the knowledge they can’t be bombed by the U.S.-led coalition, it has been reported.

The Tabqa Dam, around 25 miles from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, would unleash a huge flood that would devastate much of Iraq and Syria if it was ruptured.

Coalition forces conducting airstrikes are acutely aware of the potential humanitarian disaster they face if they targeted the plant on the Euphrates River.

As such, the structure is being used to shelter ‘very important prisoners’ who are wanted by the U.S. and other governments, according to an official at Sound and Picture, an umbrella group of anti-ISIS activists in Syria.

Senior Islamic State militants are holed up inside the Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest, with high-value prisoners in the knowledge they can't be bombed by the U.S.-led coalition because it would unleash a devastating flood

Experts say the dam, which is 200 feet tall and roughly three miles long, would destroy large parts of Iraq and cut power to much of eastern Syria.

‘That’s an ecological disaster for Iraq and a humanitarian catastrophe for Syria,’ Ariel Ahram, an associate professor at Virginia Tech who has studied Middle East dams, told the Wall Street Journal.

Middle East analysts and U.S. officials also fear the group could blow the dam up themselves as a last resort if they lose their grip on power.

Aaron Wolf, a specialist in water-resources policy, conflict resolution and Middle East geopolitics at Oregon State University, told the WSJ: ‘Of course you worry.

‘These aren’t the people you want controlling basically the arteries of the region.’

Experts say the dam, which is 200 feet tall and roughly three miles long, would flood large parts of Iraq and cut power to much of eastern Syria with a tide from the Euphrates River if it was breached

ISIS lost the smaller Tishreen Dam, located downstream from Tabqa, in December after an alliance of Kurdish People’s Protection Units and Arab fighters carried out major operations in the area.

The Tsihreen dam, held by ISIS since 2014, helps generate electricity for large parts of the northern Aleppo province.

ISIS still controls swathes of territory on the western bank of the Euphrates river from Raqqa to Jarablus on the border with Turkey.

Similar fears about flooding were voiced over the Mosul Dam in Iraq earlier this month, with U.S. State Department officials warning that up to 500,000 people could be killed and more than a million left homeless if collapsed due to poor maintenance.

Rising water levels in spring, when the Tigris is swollen by rain and melting snow, could lead to the breach of the 2.2-mile long Mosul dam, which was retaken from the Islamic State by Iraqi and Kurdish forces more than 16 months ago.

In a call to Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi, US president Barack Obama highlighted the need to make emergency repairs to avoid the tragedy.

January 17, 2016:Obama Issues Proclamation for Religious Freedom Day

original article:

WASHINGTON — As Saturday marked the 23rd annual Religious Freedom Day, Barack Obama released a statement recognizing the religious rights of Americans, while some Christian leaders expressed concern over the Obama administration’s infringements upon religious rights.

Religious Freedom Day, first proclaimed nationally in 1993, is based on the enactment of the 1786 Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom. The law was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and became an influence in the crafting of the First Amendment.

The Virginia Statute declared in part that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”

“Since our country’s founding, religious freedom has been heralded as one of our most cherished ideals,” Obama said in his proclamation.

“The right to practice religion freely has brought immigrants from all over the world to our shores, often in the face of great adversity, so they could live their lives in accordance with the dictates of their consciences,” he continued. “Some of America’s earliest settlers, the Pilgrims, arrived at our shores in search of a more tolerant society, free from religious persecution.”

Obama said that the White House has been working to protect the freedoms of Americans of all religions, and vowed to continue to do so.

“[M]y Administration is working to preserve religious liberty and enforce civil rights laws that protect religious freedom—including laws that protect employees from religious discrimination and require reasonable accommodation of religious practices on the job,” he stated.hty

“We will also continue to protect students from discrimination and harassment that is based on their faith, and we will continue to enforce hate crime laws, including those perpetrated based on a person’s actual or perceived religion,” Obama continued. “This work is crucial, particularly given the recent spike in reports of threats and violence against houses of worship, children, and adults simply because of their religious affiliation.”

But some pointed out the irony of Obama’s proclamation in light of his administration’s actions in recent years. Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis said that Saturday could have instead been dubbed “Religious Erosion Day.”

“Sadly, Christians are increasingly being punished for standing on God’s word and living according to our beliefs based on the Bible. We’re seeing this happen over and over again—usually in regard to gay ‘marriage’ and the sanctity of life,” he wrote in a blog post. “Christians are being forced to affirm gay ‘marriages,’ and Christian organizations and companies are being told they better provide abortion services and medical insurance that includes abortive contraceptives and even abortion—or else!”

“In a recent address Obama even said that gay ‘marriage’ trumps religious freedom!” Ham stated. “He doesn’t really support religious freedom for everyone—he supports his own definition of freedom, one that increasingly excludes Bible-believing Christians from these protections and imposes an anti-God religion on the culture.”

But he exhorted Christians to be thankful for the liberties that we still have and to not neglect to obey Christ’s command to be salt and light in our nation.

“As Christians, we need to be bold in standing on God’s word, refusing to compromise with our increasingly secular culture. We need to be salt and light, spreading the message of the good news of the gospel to this world—this is what will change hearts and minds for now and eternity,” Ham declared. “We are free from the burden of our sin and death (Romans 6:22) because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. And that is true freedom that can never be taken away by any government or legislature!”

January 16, 2016: American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Set Free in Prisoner Swap

Original article:

KARAJ, Iran — An American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran for over three years as part of an eight-year prison sentence has been set free in a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran.

“It is confirmed: Saeed is released!” Saeed Abedini’s wife Naghmeh posted on social media this morning.

As previously reported, Abedini, a former Iranian Muslim turned Christian, left Iran in 2005 and moved to the United States with his wife and two children to find religious freedom after facing conflict with authorities for planting house churches in the county. In 2012, he traveled back to Iran to build an orphanage and visit his parents—and was about to return to the states—when he was taken into custody.

Abedini was later charged with threatening the national security of Iran, and for attempting to turn youth in the nation away from Islam and toward Christianity. He was then sentenced to eight years in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, but was transferred to to Rajai Shahr Prison in 2013, which was believed to pose an even greater threat to Abedini’s health and safety.

He has experienced numerous beatings behind bars ever since, and has struggled with severe physical pain and threats that he would not be released until he returns to Islam.

Nonetheless, Abedini has encouraged Christians from behind bars to stand strong for their faith.

“[B]rothers and sisters, the fact of the gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus,” he wrote in a letter in 2014.

“Today, we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the word of life and salvation though faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection,” he said. “We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world.”

Abedini’s wife has worked tirelessly for her husband’s release, even meeting personally with Barack Obama last January along with the couple’s two young children.

In September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told reporters during a visit to New York that he would consider setting Abedini free if the U.S. released Iranian citizens who were likewise being held.

“If the Americans take the appropriate actions vis-a-vis Iranian citizens who are being imprisoned here, then the right atmosphere and environment will be created for reciprocal action perhaps,” he told CNN’s Christianne Amanpour.

Now, according to reports, Iran has released four U.S. prisoners in exchange for seven Iranians being held in America.

“Prosecutor Abbas Jaafari told IRNA that four dual nationality Iranian-American prisoners, passing prison terms in Iran, will be exchanged with seven Iranian nationals languishing at the U.S. jails,” reports the Islamic Republic News Agency. “The settlement included a clause according to which the US will no longer pursue extradition of 14 Iranians for alleged involvement in purchasing arms from the US to Iran.”

Others expected to be released include Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati and American businessman Siamak Namazi.

January 16, 2016:California officials delay plans to mitigate massive gas leak

original article:–finance.html

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Southern California air quality officials on Saturday delayed plans to capture and burn off natural gas leaking from an underground well near an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood, citing the possible risk of a fire.

The move came at a public hearing where Porter Ranch residents, many of whom have been displaced or sickened by the methane leaking from the underground storage well, expressed frustration over the failure of the state or the utility, Southern California Gas Co, to stop the leak.

The leak was first detected on Oct. 23 at an underground natural gas field in Porter Ranch, which is home to more than 30,000 people. Thousands of residents had to move over the holidays, with the company underwriting their temporary housing.

Officials from Southern California Gas, a division of Sempra Energy, said they expected to stop the leak in late February or March.

State officials have said the leak accounted at its peak for a fourth of California’s 20 million metric tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions from methane.

The cause of the leak is believed to be a broken injection-well pipe several hundred feet beneath the surface of the 3,600-acre (1,457-hectare) field.

Nearby residents have complained of such ailments as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation from mercaptans, the odorants added to natural gas, according to Los Angeles County health officials. The officials have said past studies found no long-term health effects from mercaptans.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District was expected at Saturday’s hearing to sign off on an order instructing Southern California Gas to come up with a plan to capture and treat the escaped gas in the interim.

  The order originally required the utility to dispose of the gas by burning it, but district officials said at the hearing that safety concerns from local and state agencies required them to put that plan on hold.

“They have expressed concern about not being familiar with this type of gas collection and capture,” said Mohsen Nazemi, a deputy executive director for the regulator. “It’s a very unusual circumstance.”

Such a process risked “additional fire” if the gas is blown downwind to nearby incinerators, Nazemi added.

  Residents who attended the hearing said they were angry that a decision had been delayed since they had been forced to leave home for months.

January 15, 2016:Homeschooling Family Sued By Neighbors For Allowing Kids To Play Outside During The Day

A Texas homeschooling family is being sued by their neighbors for letting their four children play outside during the day when most kids are in “normal school.” The neighbors say the children are a “noise disturbance” and that they deserve peace and quiet. However, Kelly Counts says the neighbors never voiced their concerns to her, but rather started blasting lewd rap music from their windows every time the children would come outside to play. Now, Kelly says she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own backyard and she is being force to head to court over her children playing outside on a playhouse. The angry neighbors note that the kids are loud, it disturbs their peace and upsets their dogs.

CBS Plano reports that Kelly and Andrew Counts are the parents of four children. The family chose to home school their children as Kelly stays home with them. However, during their time at home, the children will frequently go outside to play when the weather is nice. The Counts family’s neighbors claim that the children being home during the day is a nuisance, and that it is disturbing their right to a peaceful home. Therefore, the Counts’ neighbors, Irving and Anita Ward, are suing the family for the noise created by their children playing outside during the day.


The lawsuit was filed in Collins County, Texas, by the Wards against the Counts over their noisy children. In the lawsuit, the Wards claim their “tranquil quality of life” had been destroyed by the children and that the playhouse in the family’s backyard causes “visibility issues for them and their pets.” Patheos notes that Kelly Counts claims she has tried on numerous occasions to discuss the issues with her angry neighbors, but they refuse to answer the door or slam it in her face. In fact, Kelly said she only learned of the Ward’s issues with her children when they began blaring loud, obscene music from their windows each time her children would come outside.

She says prior to the rap music overload, the only problem voiced by the Wards was the family’s playhouse, which was approved by the HOA and City of Plano. The playhouse was allegedly causing “visibility issues” for the Wards. An HOA inspector came to the property to take a look. Kelly noted that the only “visibility” that was obstructed was the visibility from the Wards bedroom to the Counts living room. The inspector agreed and simply told the family to remove the porch roof from the structure as it was inches too close to the house. The Counts removed the roof and thought the issue was over. However, the issue was far from over and a lawsuit would be filed against the homeschooling family for allowing their children to play during a time that “most children are in regular schools.”

The case highlights an interesting issue for those living in a neighborhood setting in close proximity to other people. Do children have a right to play outside just as homeowners feel they have a right to peace and quiet? In the Wards own lawsuit, they note that the children play outside during daylight hours and occasionally during the evening; therefore, there is no indication that the children are being “too noisy” late into the evening or early in the morning when most people would be sleeping. Should homeowners expect “peace and quiet” during daylight hours? What about regular daytime noises such as lawnmowers, loud vehicles, construction equipment and people simply enjoying the daytime hours?

While the Wards are arguing that “most children” are in “regular schools” during the daytime, couldn’t Kelly Counts argue that “most neighbors” are at “regular work away from the home” during daylight hours? What are your thoughts on this particular case? If you choose to live in a neighborhood setting, do you have a right to “tranquility” during the daytime when your neighbors may be out and about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

January 14, 2016: Planned Parenthood Sues Maker of Shocking Videos Showing It Selling Aborted Baby Body Parts

Original article:

The nation’s largest abortion business announced today that it is filing a civil lawsuit against the pro-life advocate who released a series of 11 videos catching its top abortion practitioners and officials arranging for the sale body parts from aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood is suing David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, the organization that caught the abortion company selling aborted baby parts and fully intact aborted babies.

“Planned Parenthood says Daleiden broke multiple laws and violated confidentiality agreements to obtain interviews with officials to discuss how some clinics were compensated for providing aborted fetuses for medical research purposes,” a Washington Examiner report on the lawsuit indicates.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Another report has more and a response from Daleiden, who said he looks forward to the lawsuit because it would allow him and his attorneys to make public significant evidence and information about how the nation’s biggest abortion conglomerate exploits the bodies of the 330,000 babies it aborts on a yearly basis.

Planned Parenthood denied the claims, which sparked investigations in ten states and Congressional hearings, releasing a report calling the videos deceptive. Now the women’s health organization, which performs about a third of all abortions nationwide, is filing suit in the Northern California federal district against the CMP.

“The express aim of the enterprise— which stretched over years and involved fake companies, fake identifications, and large-scale illegal taping was an effort to demonize Planned Parenthood,” says the lawsuit.

“Planned Parenthood provides high-quality compassionate care and has done nothing wrong,” Kathy Kneer, head of Planned Parenthood’s Northern California affiliate, in a briefing on the lawsuit.

“Game on,” Daleiden said by email to BuzzFeed News. “I look forward to taking the depositions of all the Planned Parenthood CEOs who profited off of their business relationship with StemExpress.”

In an email to LifeNews, Daleiden said Planned Parenthood is filing a “frivolous lawsuit” seeking to draw attention away from the multiple state and federal investigations it’s facing.

He said: “Planned Parenthood is under investigation by the United States Congress and multiple law enforcement agencies, while their business is drying up and the public is turning against their barbaric abortion for baby parts trade. Now they are filing a frivolous lawsuit in retaliation for CMP’s First Amendment investigative journalism that has done nothing more than tell the truth about Planned Parenthood’s lawless operations. This last-ditch move of desperation is going to expose all of the sordid dealings of the California Planned Parenthood affiliates to the light of the legal system and the public will see them for the corrupt abortion and baby body parts profiteers that they really are.”

Planned Parenthoood immediately issued a fundraising email after announcing the lawsuit seeking donations to help it take on Daleiden and his team.

“It started with a deceptive and distorted video that falsely claimed Planned Parenthood health centers profited from fetal tissue donation. The smear campaign continued to push more lies and outrageous accusations for months, triggering investigations in multiple states and renewed efforts to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood health centers,” Cecile Richards’ fundraising email says.

“Over and over again, those investigations have found nothing — because the claims in those videos have no basis in reality. This coordinated series of attacks was orchestrated by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) — a front group for anti-abortion extremists who will do anything to shut down Planned Parenthood. In their single-minded drive to attack Planned Parenthood, they lied, they broke the law, and they put health care access for millions of Americans at risk,” it continues. “Today, we’re taking them to court to make them answer for the laws they broke and the fraud they committed. Will you stand with us as we take them on?

The Center for Medical Progress recently released a video with some of its greatest hits — the top remarks from Planned Parenthood officials admitting they illegally make a profit selling the body parts of aborted babies.

“The undercover footage released in the past half-year by The Center for Medical Progress shows medical directors and executives from the top leadership of Planned Parenthood admitting the abortion business trades baby body parts for money and indicating the profit motive undergirding these illicit sales,” David Daleiden with The Center for Medical Progress, told LifeNews. “To date, Planned Parenthood has offered no convincing explanation for the money that has poured into its affiliates from fetal tissue procurement companies like StemExpress, which performs the work of fetal tissue collection yet still pays abortion clinics per harvested part.”

Daleiden continued: “Planned Parenthood’s recent assurances that it has ceased accepting payment for fetal tissue are an admission of guilt and a last-ditch effort to avoid scrutiny for these indefensible transactions. As Congress, the Health and Human Services Department, and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies continue to investigate Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion and baby body parts business, this footage is a clear reminder of why there is a broad public mandate for the investigations to continue and for public money to be reassigned from Planned Parenthood to ethical, mainstream medical organizations.”

The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all eleven:

  • In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
  • In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
  • In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
  • In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
  • In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
  • In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
  • In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
  • In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
  • The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
  • The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies.The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
  • Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
  • The 11th video: catches a texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must Investigate Planned Parenthood for Selling Aborted Baby Parts

The full, unedited videos have confirmed that revelations that some aborted baby remains sold by Planned Parenthood go to biotech companies for the purpose of creating “humanized” mice. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as having sold body parts from aborted babies for as much as 15 years.

The federal law that technically prohibits the sale of aborted babies and their body parts was written by a pro-abortion Congressman decades ago and essentially spells out a process by which sellers of aborted baby body parts can meet certain criteria that allows the sales to be legal. That’s why a Colorado congressman has introduced legislation to totally ban the sales of aborted baby body parts.

January 1, 2016: Obama’s plan to tighten gun laws sets up rematch with powerful gun rights group NRA

original article:

The National Rifle Association, the country’s most influential gun-rights supporter, is challenging President Obama’s new plan to use his presidential powers to tighten firearms laws, calling it a “political stunt” that fails to increase public safety.

Obama said this weekend that he’ll meet Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss his “options” toward curbing gun violence, after ordering his White House team several months ago to identify “new actions” that he can take.

The president also said that he’s taking action because Congress has failed to act. He is expected to use so-called executive orders to tighten federal laws — with a focus on small-scale firearms sellers and background checks for gun buyers, according to Politico.

“President Obama failed to pass his anti-gun agenda though Congress because the majority of Americans oppose more gun-control,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in response late Saturday. “Now he is doing what he always does when he doesn’t get his way, which is defy the will of the people and issue an executive order.”

Obama said Friday that Congress has “done nothing” and declared that he has “unfinished business.”

“I get too many letters from parents and teachers and kids to sit around and do nothing,” he said in a weekly address from Hawaii, from which he’ll return next week after a two-week family vacation.

The anticipated changes would require the small-scale gun sellers to submit background checks for potential buyers but such changes are not expected to completely close the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows for firearm purchases at such venues without a check.

Obama on Friday pointed out that his new plan follows the third anniversary of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, in Newtown, Conn., in which a deranged gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

However, the Obama-driven effort to tighten gun laws in the aftermath of the massacre failed to get enough support for passage from Senate Democrats and Republicans.

“All across America, survivors of gun violence and those who lost a child, a parent, a spouse to gun violence are forced to mark such awful anniversaries every single day,” Obama said. “Yet Congress still hasn’t done anything to prevent what happened to them from happening to other families.”

The president’s course of action will purportedly follow recommendations from Everytown, the gun-control nonprofit led by billionaire, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Obama’s action will also result in a rematch with the NRA, the group that led the successful attempt to defeat Obama’s post-Sandy Hook efforts.

“Three years ago, a bipartisan, commonsense bill would have required background checks for virtually everyone who buys a gun,” Obama said Friday. “This policy was supported by some 90 percent of the American people. It was supported by a majority of NRA households. But the gun lobby mobilized against it. And the Senate blocked it.”

Baker on Saturday said Obama’s renewed effort is “nothing more than a political stunt to appease anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg and will do nothing to increase public safety.”

Existing law states those who sell guns with the “principal objective of livelihood and profit” have to get a dealer’s license through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That means they also have to conduct a background check on buyers no matter where they sell, including online or at a gun show.

In 2014, the ATF proposed that federal officials be notified about lost firearms, but the gun industry successfully argued that voluntary reporting was sufficient.


January 1, 2016:Guns, taxes and cigarettes: These new laws go into effect today

original website:

TRENTON, N.J. — Laws taking effect at the start of the new year show states diverging on some hot-button issues.

Restrictions on carrying guns will ease in Texas, for example, but will get tighter in California. It will be easier to register to vote in Oregon, but there will be another step to take at the polls in North Carolina.

The opposing directions in the states reflect a nation with increasingly polarized politics.

In the debate over gun control, both sides say their arguments are strengthened by a string of mass shootings this year. That includes the December attack at a county health department gathering in San Bernardino, California, when a couple who investigators say pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) killed 14 people.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a group backed by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is seeking to be a counterweight to the National Rifle Association’s lobbying of state lawmakers. Both groups are expected to be active in legislatures in the coming year.

Whether to raise the minimum wage has become another hot topic in states and cities, with the issue getting no traction in the Republican-led Congress.

New voting laws, meanwhile, could help shape the outcomes in state and federal elections in the coming year. Democrats and others who want to boost voter participation have been pushing to expand access to the polls, while conservatives have pushed for measures aimed at preventing election fraud. Each side says the other is using legislation to help their favored party in elections.

A look at some of the more notable laws taking effect in January:


Texas, the second-most populous state, is joining 44 other states in allowing at least some firearm owners to carry handguns openly in public places. Under the Texas law, guns can be carried by those with licenses and only in holsters.

CBS affiliate KEYE reports that police departments across the state are expecting an increase in 911 calls as a new open carry law takes effect today.

Meanwhile, California, the most populous state, has multiple new laws on gun control. One tightens a ban on firearms in and around schools. Under the new law, the prohibition will apply even to most people who are allowed to carry concealed weapons generally. Another will allow people to request that a judge order weapons be taken away from relatives who are believed to pose a threat.



California and Oregon will become the first states that automatically register eligible voters when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses. Critics of the measures – mostly Republicans – say that could lead to voter fraud and is part of a plan to register more voters who are likely to be Democrats. They say voters should register voluntarily. In both states, people will be able to opt out of being registered.

Similar measures have been proposed in other states but never adopted. This year, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the concept in New Jersey.

In North Carolina, a voter identification law passed in 2013 that requires people to show a photo ID is taking effect.

An amendment adopted this year allows voters who have trouble obtaining the required ID to vote anyway. That provision keeps North Carolina from joining eight states in which a photo ID is strictly required. There are still legal challenges over the law, and opponents want a judge to delay implementation.

In most states, voters are asked to show some kind of identification.



Hawaii is becoming the first state to raise its minimum age, from 18 to 21, to buy or use cigarettes or e-cigarettes. It’s a move some local governments have made before, but never a state.

CBS affiliate KGMB in Honolulu reports that the new laws go into effect on Jan. 1, but enforcement won’t begin for three months. Health officials and Honolulu police will focus on educating residents, visitors, and retailers through April 1.

California is joining West Virginia and Mississippi as the only states without a personal-belief exemption for parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. Children whose parents refuse to have them immunized against several diseases will not be allowed to enroll in public or private school and would instead have to be homeschooled. There is an exemption for children with serious health problems.



In California, a new law lets female employees allege pay discrimination based on the wages a company pays other employees who do substantially similar work. Under the law, it will be up to employers to prove a man’s higher pay is based on factors other than gender.

Oregon will become the fifth state with a paid sick leave mandate for many employers.

Some cities in traffic-congested urban areas are trying to ease the burdens of commuting. Employers with at least 20 workers in Washington, D.C., and New York City will be required to offer commuter benefits such as tax-free mass transit subsidies to their workers. San Francisco already has a similar ordinance.

In Missouri, a new law will link the duration of jobless benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. When fewer people are out of work, those claiming the benefits will be cut off sooner. The maximum length of the benefits will be reduced from the current 20 weeks – already among the shorter periods in the nation – to 13. Only North Carolina, which has a similar sliding scale, has a shorter period: 12 weeks.



The minimum wage will rise in many cities and states with the new year. Some of the wage increases are coming under laws passed years ago that phased in the increases over a period of years. Some are automatic increases tied to the cost of living.

Fast-food workers in New York state will receive their first pay bump under a new law that eventually will push their minimum wage to $15. The full amount will kick in at the end of 2018 in New York City and 2021 in the rest of the state.

The federal government has not touched the minimum wage since it was increased to $7.25 effective in 2009. Labor groups and workers keep pushing for higher raises while many business groups say raises could come at the expense of jobs. But with the federal rate unchanging, more state and local governments – particularly in the West and Northeast – are taking action.

The wages are rising in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia on Friday. States with automatic annual increases effective Jan. 1 are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.

Some cities, including New Orleans, also have new rates starting Jan. 1. Minimum-wage fast-food workers in Seattle also will get a bump as part of that city’s phased-in increase to $15 an hour.



Taxes are going up in some places and dropping in others.

Income tax rates will drop slightly in Oklahoma, where state revenues have fallen sharply, and Massachusetts.

In North Carolina, the tax on gasoline will drop by a penny a gallon to 35 cents. The sales tax on boats will drop in New Jersey as of Feb. 1.

Taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products will rise in Minnesota, as will hotel taxes in Hawaii.



Physicians in North Carolina will be required to provide the state with ultrasound images of fetuses and other data related to abortions performed after the 16th week of pregnancy.

For pregnancies terminated after the 20th week, doctors must explain to the state Department of Health and Human Services how continuing the pregnancy would have threatened the life and health of the mother. Some lawmakers who favor abortion rights say the state should not have this medical data.



Two more states are allowing people who are in the United States illegally to be licensed to drive. Delaware’s law took effect Sunday and Hawaii’s will be effect in the new year.

Ten states and the District of Columbia already have similar provisions.



Illinois is making it a misdemeanor to leave pets outside during extreme weather. Missouri, in a crackdown on the state’s commercial “puppy mills,” is requiring dog breeders to provide more space for their animals and is barring them from using wire-strand flooring in dog kennels.


Associated Press writers Cathy Bussewitz in Honolulu; Randall Chase in Dover, Delaware; David A. Lieb in Jefferson City, Missouri; Jonathan Mattise in Charleston, West Virginia; Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City; Gary Robertson in Raleigh, North Carolina; Will Weissert in Austin, Texas; and Juliet Williams in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.

December 31, 2015: New California Law Allows Seizure of Legal Guns Without Notice in 2016

original article:

A new gun law taking effect on Jan. 1, 2016 in California will allow for the seizure of an individual’s guns for a 21-day “holding period” if a complaint is submitted, and if a judge determines that the individual is in need of a mental health evaluation.

Assembly Bill No. 1014 authorizes “gun violence restraining orders” which lets law enforcement seize the firearms of an individual if a judge “finds that there is reasonable cause to believe that the subject of the petition poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself, or another by having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.”

The law states that the petition to have an individual’s guns seized can be filed by “an immediate family member of a person or a law enforcement officer,” and that once granted by a judge, the petition can restrict an individual from “having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition.”

As previously reported, the bill was originally introduced in 2013 and it gained favor in May 2014 when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a shooting rampage, killing six people and injuring 14 others in Isla Vista, California. Rodger’s mother claimed she had raised concerns about her son’s mental state, but no action had been taken by law enforcement.

While California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and it already lets licensed therapists recommend seizing a patient’s guns if they believe that patient is dangerous, it is now the first state to allow family members to petition for a seizure of firearms.

Other gun laws going into effect in California in 2016 will make it illegal for an individual with a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon on the campus of a K-12 school or a college, and will require that all pellet, BB and airsoft guns can only be displayed in public if they contain special bright colored markers to differentiate them from real guns.


November, 6 2015:‘Catastrophe’: At least 17 killed, 45 missing, town leveled by flood in Brazil dam collapse

Original article:

A video filmed from a helicopter has revealed the horrific aftermath of a southeastern Brazilian dam collapse, in which 17 are feared dead and dozens missing. It shows a huge rural area flooded with toxic mud, destroyed homes, and cars washed onto rooftops.

The footage from the scene reveals that Bento Rodrigues, a town of about 620, virtually disappeared under a mixed torrent of mud, water, and leaked toxic mining waste in Thursday’s dam break.

“An avalanche of liquid waste destroyed houses, a school, a church, a medical center, carried away vehicles. Many families have been left homeless and are waiting for news about their loved ones. The emergency work is hampered by the fact that the flooded areas are only accessible via helicopters. This is one of the saddest scenes I ever had to witness,” the local health ministry head of Minas Gerais state, Juliano Duarte, was quoted as saying by TASS.

October 26, 2015: Over 260 Dead in Massive Asian Earthquake

TTIP Already being implemented before it passes:

October 26, 2015: Large M7.5 earthquake strikes Afghanistan — Major Global Unrest Underway

Original article:

After weeks with no large earthquake activity, this current week has proved to be a real jolt back into reality — first a M7.2 earthquake struck the West Pacific, now a M7.5 earthquake (M7.7 revised) strikes the mideast in Afghanistan.

m7.5 earthquake oct 26 2015

Just as expected, yesterday (October 25) a very deep earthquake occurred below the Pacific plate, which led me to issue a warning for a coming large earthquake measuring at least TWO magnitudes higher than the deep event, which was a deep M5.2.

We were watching for a M7.2 or greater to strike West / Northwest of the deep earthquake.  Now a M7.5 struck West / Northwest within 1 day of the deep earthquake event.

See my post on the deep event here:


This new large earthquake location in Afghanistan, near the India border, was discussed in the most recent earthquake forecast, see the earthquake forecast video here:


Information on this event from the USGS:

Magnitude 7.5 mww
Location/uncertainty 36.441°N 70.717°E± 6.4 km
Depth/uncertainty 212.5 km± 1.8
Origin Time 2015-10-26 09:09:32.760 UTC
Number of Stations
Number of Phases 132
Minimum Distance 77.03 km (0.69°)
Travel Time Residual 1.23 sec
Azimuthal Gap 21°
FE Region Hindu Kush region, Afghanistan (718)

October 26, 2015: Healthy People Who Were Vaccinated for the Flu Continue to Die

Original article:


Health Impact News Editor Comments

More deaths among otherwise healthy people are being reported all across the United States among children and adults who received this year’s flu vaccination. Here are a couple of the latest deaths being reported in local media stations:

Popular downtown hot dog vendor dies of flu

by  Nicholas Deshais
The Spokesman-Review


Chad Rattray wasn’t just Cheddar Chad or the dog guy. Mainly, he was Chad.

Nearly everyone who bought a hot dog from Rattray out front of the Bank of America building in downtown Spokane was on a first-name basis with him.

Rattray died suddenly Monday of complications related to the flu. He was 37 years old and had finished his training to be a Spokane Transit Authority bus driver within the last week.

Rattray was generally healthy and had a flu shot this year.

Read the full story here.

Chad was saving up for Graduate School, and had traveled to Sudan extensively, being an expert on the people who lived there.

Video on Chad here.

5-year-old Kiera Driscoll

5-year-old Kiera Driscoll

by Aaron Barker and Craig Huber
Fox 5 Las Vegas


A fourth child in Clark County has died as a result of the flu, according to officials.

According to the Clark County Coroner’s Office, 5-year-old Kiera Driscoll died from cardiac arrest due to influenza A.

Kiera’s father, Patrick, said his daughter developed a cough and fever Sunday. On Monday, she was taken to a clinic, and prescribed steroids and a nebulizer. She collapsed later that day, and his wife performed CPR on Kiera until paramedics arrived. Kiera later died.

Patrick Driscoll said that Kiera had been vaccinated against the flu. He said doctors confirmed that Kiera had contracted the same strain for which she had been vaccinated.

Read the full story here.

Other Healthy People Vaccinated for the Flu Who Have Died

Here are some other deaths to reportedly otherwise healthy people after they received the flu shot this season:

26-year-old Katherine McQuestion

37-year-old Kristie Green

14-year-old Amber Grey

3-year-old Ayzlee McCarthy

Do you know of other flu deaths this season among people who received the flu vaccine? If so, please share in the comments here, so we can develop a list of reported flu deaths among those vaccinated.

The annual flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in America, by far, when examining government reports on settlements awarded to people injured or killed by vaccines. See:

Government Pays Compensation to 80 Flu Vaccine Injuries and Deaths

Is the Science Behind Flu Vaccines Exempt from Scrutiny?

Is not one death from the flu in a healthy individual after receiving the flu vaccination worthy of an investigation into the safety of flu vaccines, and the supposed science behind them? When multiple deaths occur, when health officials call it “rare” after healthy individuals die from the flu after receiving the flu shot, does that not qualify as an “epidemic?” More people have now died from the flu after the flu shot in the United States than from Ebola.

One doctor who has sounded the alarm on the supposed science behind the annual flu vaccine is Dr. Mark Geier:

In this video, Dr. Mark Geier explains the fraud behind the flu vaccine. Dr. Geier is NOT anti-vaccine. He is an MD and has a PhD in genetics. He spent 10 years working at the National Institute of Health, and was a professor at Johns Hopkins University as a geneticist. He is also the author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications.

He worked on vaccine safety and efficacy for more than 30 years. He was one of four scientists who worked to replace the DTP vaccine, a vaccine that caused every child to become sick with a high fever at the time of vaccination, with the DTaP vaccine, which is an attenuated vaccine and causes illness due to fever in only 3% of those vaccinated.

In the video above, he explains that the flu shot causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and that the flu shot is not very effective in preventing the flu. He also explains that the CDC does not follow the law for vaccines in requiring long-term safety testing for the influenza vaccine like they do with other vaccines, as it is impossible to test a vaccine that changes every year. So the flu vaccine is basically an experimental vaccine that they want to give out to 300 million people every year. There are also no studies showing the safety of giving the flu vaccine to the same person every single year. However, Dr. Geier points out that the CDC is in the business of distributing flu vaccines, because they represent 300 million doses per year, whereas all the childhood vaccines together only number 20 million.

Dr. Geier goes on to explain that flu is “the wrong thing to vaccinate against” because you have to keep re-vaccinating against it every year, unlike childhood infectious diseases, such as smallpox, that are only vaccinated for once. Dr. Geier points out how ridiculous it is spend billions of dollars on a vaccine that might, at its best, save about 50 lives a year, when there are far more serious problems causing death that are more worthy of that kind of expenditure.

October 26, 2015: Processed meat linked to cancer; red meat is risky too, report finds

Original article:;-red-meat-is-risky-too-report-finds/1051636/

It’s official: Ham, sausage and other processed meats can lead to colon, stomach and other cancers – and red meat is probably cancer-causing, too.

While doctors have long warned against eating too much meat, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency gave the most definitive response yet Monday about its relation to cancer – and put processed meats in the same danger category as cigarettes or asbestos.

A group of 22 scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France evaluated more than 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer.

Based on that evaluation, they classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans” and red meat as “probably carcinogenic.”

Meat industry groups protest the classification. The North American Meat Institute argued in a statement that “cancer is a complex disease not caused by single foods” and stressed the importance of lifestyle and environmental factors.

Doctors have warned that a diet loaded with red meat is linked to cancers, including those of the colon and pancreas. The American Cancer Society has long urged people to reduce consumption of red meat and processed meat.

The researchers defined processed meat as anything transformed to improve its flavor or preserve it – including salting, curing or smoking.

They noted that red meat contains important nutrients but said it was associated with some cancers in several studies. Their report said grilling, pan-frying or other high-temperature methods of cooking red meat produce the highest amounts of chemicals suspected to cause cancer.

October 25, 2015: Severe weather caused by Hurricane Patricia slams Texas

Original article:

Southeast Texas was bracing for heavy rain late Saturday and into Sunday as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia combined with a powerful storm system that’s been rumbling across Texas, flooding roads and causing a freight train to derail.

“There will be localized flooding in Houston, primarily street flooding,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said Saturday afternoon, adding people should be “prepared to be patient.”

“Spend some time wherever you are if that area is experiencing particularly heavy rainfall,” she said.

Brian Kyle, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Houston, said they expect Saturday afternoon’s light to moderate rain in Southeast Texas to intensify overnight. He said most of the heavy rain will occur from overnight to noon on Sunday, with rainfall amounts ranging from a couple of inches to up to 1 foot offshore.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry on Saturday issued a voluntary evacuation for Bolivar Peninsula, just northeast of Galveston Island, after forecasters predicted that the area would get 8 to 12 inches of rain and tides that are 4 to 5 feet high.

The judge warned that residents who don’t leave might find themselves cut off from emergency services as the heaviest winds and rains come ashore Saturday evening. But county spokeswoman Brittany Rainville said they don’t think very many people chose to evacuate. She said the county had two buses waiting all day to evacuate people but no one showed up.

About 4,000 who live on the peninsula are used to flooding and usually stay, she said.

“Most people are just going to have their groceries and watch TV and watch it rain,” said Bryan Brawner, who owns a charter company on the peninsula that takes people fishing in the Galveston Bay. He added, “People just know not to get out and drive anywhere.”

Carole Hamadey, who owns a bed-and-breakfast there, was also planning to stay, along with about seven guests.

“I feel comfortable. I’m about 16 feet off the ground. The guests seem to feel OK, too,” she said, adding that she’d ridden out Hurricane Ike there in 2008.

Forecasters say Houston and Galveston remain under a flash flood watch through Monday morning.

Meanwhile, the storm system that had been dumping rain on parts of Texas since Friday caused flooding that blocked several major roadways and caused the derailment of a train.

A Union Pacific freight train derailed before dawn on Saturday near Corsicana, about 50 miles south of Dallas, because a creek overflowed and washed away the tracks, said Jeff DeGraff, a railroad spokesman. The two crew members swam to safety and nobody was hurt, he said.

“They (crew) escaped the train after it stopped and swam to high ground,” DeGraff said. “A Navarro County rescue team was able to get in and pull them to safety. They are back safe on dry ground.”

One locomotive and several rail cars loaded with gravel went into the water and were partly submerged, DeGraff said.

In San Antonio, a man walking his dog before dawn Saturday was swept into a flooded drainage ditch and disappeared, fire officials said. Firefighters searched for two hours but had to stop due to bad weather. They planned to resume as soon as possible. The dog is safe.

A driver in the Central Texas town of Temple heading to work Saturday morning was saved after he was able to get out of his car that was floating in floodwaters and grabbed a tree. Temple police say the man called 911 from his cellphone to summon help. Firefighters retrieved him and walked him to safety.

Authorities on Saturday morning reopened a section of Interstate 45 near Corsicana that was closed due to flooding, backing up traffic for 12 miles.

Patricia was the most powerful hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere and made landfall Friday along Mexico’s Pacific Coast as a Category 5 storm. It quickly lost power as it moved inland and appeared to have caused remarkably little damage.

October 23, 2015: Tampons, sterile cotton, sanitary pads contaminated with glyphosate – study

Original article:

© Marcos Brindicci

The vast majority ‒ 85 percent ‒ of tampons, cotton and sanitary products tested in a new Argentinian study contained glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, ruled a likely carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of the samples tested positive for AMPA, glyphosate’s metabolite, according to the study, which was conducted by researchers at the Socio-Environmental Interaction Space (EMISA) of the University of La Plata in Argentina.

All of the raw and sterile cotton gauze analyzed in the study showed evidence of glyphosate, said Dr. Damian Marino, the study’s head researcher.

“Eighty-five percent of all samples tested positive for glyphosate and 62 percent for AMPA, which is the environmental metabolite, but in the case of cotton and sterile cotton gauze the figure was 100 percent,” Marino told Télam news agency. An English translation of the Télam report can be found here. The products tested were acquired at local stores in Argentina.

“In terms of concentrations, what we saw is that in raw cotton AMPA dominates (39 parts per billion, or PPB, and 13 PPB of glyphosate), while the gauze is absent of AMPA, but contained glyphosate at 17 PPB.”

The results of the study were first announced to the public last week at the 3rd National Congress of Doctors for Fumigated Communities in Buenos Aires.

“The result of this research is very serious, when you use cotton or gauze to heal wounds or for personal hygiene uses, thinking they are sterilized products, and the results show that they are contaminated with a probably carcinogenic substance,” said Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, president of the congress.

“Most of the cotton production in the country is GM [genetically modified] cotton that is resistant to glyphosate. It is sprayed when the bud is open and the glyphosate is condensed and goes straight into the product,” Avila continued.

Marino said the original purpose of his research was not to test products for glyphosate, but to see how far the chemical can spread when aircraft sprayed an area, such as cropland.

“There is a basic premise in research that when we complete testing on out target we have to contrast it with something ‘clean,’ so we selected sterile gauze for medical use, found in pharmacies,” he said.

READ MORE: Long exposure to tiny amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup may damage liver, kidneys – study

“So we went and bought sterile gauze, opened the packages, analyzed and there was the huge surprise: We found glyphosate! Our first thought was that we had done something wrong, so we threw it all away and bought new gauze, analyzed them and again found glyphosate.”

Argentina has had a tampon shortage in recent years based on the country’s policies concerning imports and foreign currency, according to reports in January. Most of the nation’s tampon imports come from Brazil, Miguel Ponce, head of the Chamber of Importers, told AP. Those tampons include American brands, such as OB and Kotex.

In 2014, 96 percent of cotton produced in the United States was genetically modified, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Transnational agrochemical giant Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, of which glyphosate is the main ingredient, is sprayed over genetically modified crops ‒ which Monsanto also produces ‒ that are engineered to be resistant to the powerful chemical. Used the world over, glyphosate, which Monsanto first developed in 1974, is a broad-spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses known to compete with commercial crops. GMO seeds have caused use of glyphosate to increase immensely since the 1990s, according to US Geological Survey data.

In March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen,” as opposed to its previous designation, a “possible carcinogen.”

In the US, the herbicide has been considered safe since 2013, when Monsanto received approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for increased tolerance levels for glyphosate. In its original assessment, the federal regulator said glyphosate could be “used without unreasonable risks to people or the environment.”

Scientific studies have linked the chemicals in Monsanto’s biocides to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and cancer. Furthermore, as the most powerful multinational biotech corporation today, Monsanto has drawn the ire of farmers and consumers for its firm grip on the global food chain. The company’s control and advancement of GMO seeds is of prime concern, as they symbolize the company’s consolidation of agricultural processes.

The effects of biochemicals on wildlife, including pollinators such as honeybees and monarch butterflies, are also a point of concern. For instance, since 1990, about 970 million of the butterflies – 90 percent of the total population – have vanished across the United States, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. At least part of the blame rests on the boom in Roundup use. The herbicide is marketed to farmers and homeowners as an effective method for eliminating plants like milkweed, so it’s widely blamed for decimating the butterflies’ only source of food in the Midwest.

Two-thirds of European Union nations have requested allowance to ban GMO crops, pursuant to European Commission rules.

September 25, 2015: Pope Francis: Jesus Christ’s life ended in failure, ‘failure of the cross’

Original article:

Critics of Pope Francis have been loud and increasing as the remarks of social justice and climate change have excited the leftists in America, the Pope went a step further when he discussed the “failure” of Jesus’ life and the “failure of the cross.”

Pope Francis’ first stop in New York was at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, where, at an evening prayer, he touched on the spirit of gratitude and hard work before making the shocking statement.

“The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.” (Emphasis added, the Dispatch)

Needless to say, evangelicals are outraged and will likely expect and apology or explanation.


A second area is the spirit of hard work. The grateful heart is spontaneously impelled to serve the lord and to find expression in a life of commitment to our work. Once we realize how much god has given us, we learn that a life of sacrifice, of working for him and for others, becomes a privileged way, a privileged way of responding to his great love.

Yet, if we are honest, we must recognize how easily this spirit of generous self-sacrifice can be dampened. There are a couple of ways that this can happen. And both are examples of the spiritual worldliness which weakens our commitment to serve as dedicated men and women.

A portrait of Pope Francis taken in Vatican City on August 5, 2014. Photo credit: Daniele Cataldi/Demotix/Corbis courtesy of

And it diminishes the wonder of our first encounter with Christ. We can get caught up in measuring the value of our apostolic works by the standards of efficiency, good management and outward success, which govern the business world.

Not that these things are unimportant, of course. But we have been entrusted with a great responsibility, and this is why god’s people rightly expect accountability from us but the true worth of our apostolate is measured by the value it has in god’s eyes, to see and evaluate things from god’s perspective, calls for constant conversion in the first days and years of our vocation and, need I say, it demands great humility.

The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.

Another danger — another danger emerges when we become jealous of our free time, when we think that surrounding ourselves with worldly comforts help us to serve better. The problem with this way of reasoning is that it can blunt the power of god’s daily call to conversion, to encounter with him.

Slowly but surely, it diminishes our spirit of sacrifice, our spirit of renunciation and our spirit of hard work. It also alienates people who suffer material poverty and who are forced to make greater sacrifices than those that we make ourselves.

Rest is needed, as are moments of leisure and self-enrichment, but we need to learn to rest in a way that deepens our desire to serve with generosity. Closeness to the poor, the refugee, the immigrant, the sick, the exploited, the elderly living alone, prisoners and all god’s other poor, will teach us a different way of resting, one which is more Christian and generous.

August 13, 2015: Ecuador quake rattles Quito, killing four

Original article:

Rescue workers gather in Catequilla near Quito after a 5.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Ecuadoran capital and the surrounding area (12 August 2014)

The 5.1 magnitude quake caused buildings to sway and sent people scurrying into the streets.

Quito’s main airport suspended operations temporarily as a precaution.

Parts of the city were covered in clouds of dust that formed from shifting earth at nearby quarries.

The three confirmed casualties are two workers and a four-year-old child who was buried underneath falling sacks of rice.

Three people are still missing in a quarry in Catequilla, near Quito, after the quake caused a landslide.

Another landslide engulfed a vehicle on a road north of the city, but the driver escaped unharmed, rescue workers said.

‘We could really feel it’

“I was talking on the phone with my daughter and suddenly the line went dead. I thought the house was falling down,” Laura Flores, a resident of Quito’s northern Carcelen district, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Two men look at the Catequilla quarry, near Quito (12 August 2014)

A motorcyclist rides along the Pan-American Highway in Oyacoto (12 August 2014)

She said the quake had opened a crack in one wall of her house and caused plates to fall and break.

Teresa Salazar, who works in northern Quito, said they were “all very nervous”.

“We could really feel it. The first thing I did was leave (the building) with my colleagues,” she told the Reuters news agency.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred 23 km (14 miles) northeast of Quito at a depth of 7.7 km (4.8 miles).

Ecuador is prone to earthquakes. It is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped, seismically turbulent area of the Pacific Ocean.

August 13, 2015: Huge blasts at Chinese port kill 50, injure more than 700

Original article:

Two huge explosions tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin, killing at least 50 people, including at least a dozen fire fighters, officials and state media said on Thursday.

At least 700 people were injured, more than 71 seriously, the Tianjin government said on its Weibo microblog, and the official Xinhua news agency said two fires were still burning.

Wednesday night’s blasts, so large that they were seen by satellites in space, sent shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometers away in the port city of 15 million people. Internet videos showed fireballs shooting into the sky and the U.S. Geological Survey registered the blasts as seismic events.

Vast areas of the port – the 10th largest in the world – were devastated, crumpled shipping containers were thrown around like match sticks, hundreds of new cars were torched and port buildings left as burnt-out shells, Reuters witnesses said.

“I was sleeping when our windows and doors suddenly shook as we heard explosions outside. I first thought it was an earthquake,” Guan Xiang, who lives 7 km (4 miles) away from the explosion site, told Reuters by telephone.

Guan, 24, said he saw flames and a mushroom cloud in the sky as he and other residents scrambled to get out of the building.

Tianjin authorities said 12 firefighters were among the 44 killed.

The cause of the blasts was being investigated but Xinhua said several containers caught fire beforehand. Industrial accidents are not uncommon in China following three decades of breakneck economic growth. A blast at an auto parts factory in eastern China killed 75 people a year ago when a room filled with metal dust exploded.

The state-run Beijing News earlier cited Tianjin fire authorities as saying they had lost contact with 36 firefighters. By late afternoon, Xinhua reported 18 were missing, while 66 were among the hundreds of people being treated in nearby hospitals.

Xinhua said 1,000 firefighters and more than 140 fire engines were struggling to contain a blaze in a warehouse that held “dangerous goods”.

August 12, 2015: Riot-torn Ferguson, Missouri to remain in state of emergency: officials

Original article:

The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, the site of a year of occasionally violent protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teen, will remain under a state of emergency for at least another night, county officials said on Wednesday.

The state of emergency, which gives county police oversight of security in the city of 21,000 people, was declared following a shooting incident at a protest Sunday night to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014.

The decision came after two nights of relatively peaceful protests, with the St. Louis Country police reporting no arrests or reports of injuries during a small demonstration by several dozen people Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

“I am pleased to report our law enforcement officers have established order while preventing further acts of violence in Ferguson,” said County Executive Steve Stenger, in a statement. “It is because of their ability to maintain order that I find it prudent to continue the state of emergency for at least the next 24 hours.”

July 15, 2015: Congress Will Investigate Planned Parenthood for Selling Body Parts of Aborted Babies

Link to the full 2 hour raw footage:

Short version:

Original article:

Speaker John Boehner announced today that committees in the House of Representatives will take a look at the Planned Parenthood abortion business after a shocking new expose’ video that caught Planned Parenthood’s top doctor describing how the abortion business sells the body parts of aborted babies.

New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted unborn children and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.

In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of PPFA’s Medical Services department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must Investigate Planned Parenthood for Selling Aborted Baby Parts

The abortion giant released a statement from a top official defending Nucatola and its practice of selling body parts of aborted babies, which it calls “tissue.” Here is the Planned Parenthood press release.

Now, Speaker John Boehner says the House of Representatives will look into the “grisly” practice at Planned Parenthood. Boehner issued the following statement on the video released yesterday documenting the grisly practices embraced by Planned Parenthood.

“Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child.  When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so.  When an organization monetizes an unborn child – and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific  video – we must all act.   As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter. I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the number two Republican, also released a statement calling on House Committees to investigate inhumane abortion practices first revealed yesterday in a video of a Planned Parenthood employee.

“Life is truly a miracle, and here in the House we have fought and will continue to fight to protect the sanctity of life. I speak for all of my colleagues when I say I was deeply disturbed by reports and video of an organization engaging in such grotesque and inhumane practices. I will be working with House Committees to investigate the claims made by the employee. We should all agree that no life is expendable, and our society has no place for such callous indifference to life.”

The statements come just hours before members of Congress will host a press conference also calling for a Congressional investigation. Representatives Chris Smith (NJ-04), Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Ann Wagner (MO-02) are hosting a press conference calling for further investigation into the evidence presented in undercover video.

Governors of two states are also looking into the selling of body parts from aborted babies and Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal have launched investigations in their states.

July 14, 2015: Iran, 6 world powers agree to partially lift arms embargo – report

Original article:

Iran would be able to supply weapons to its allies in the region with the full blessing of the international community, because the nuclear deal being prepared in Vienna includes partial lifting of arms trade sanctions, a source close to the talks said.

“The agreement states that the Iranians will continue supplying defensive weapons to its regional allies to fight against terrorism and extremism,” a source in the Iranian delegation told RIA Novosti.

The UN Security Council passed a number of sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program, including those restricting its arms trade. Iran andP5+1 group (the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany)are finalizing a comprehensive deal that would lift those sanctions as well as those imposed by individual nations in exchange for scaling down the program and making it more transparent.

Read more

Iran is believed to be secretly supplying weapons to a number of regional players, including the Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah and is accused of backing the Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen.

On Sunday, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that Tehran and six leading world powers have agreed on most technical issues and annexes to a possible nuclear deal.

However diplomats say there are still stumbling blocks on the way to a final agreement. According to Reuters sources, the most difficult remaining issues in the negotiations are not technical, but political.

UN access to Iran’s military sites part of deal?

The draft agreement between Iran and six world powers includes a call for all Iranian sites, including military, to be accessed by UN inspectors, Reuters reported citing an unnamed diplomatic source. The report, which said the point is based on negotiations between P5+1 countries and Tehran, came after the end of what is said to be the final meeting of the countries’ foreign ministers in Vienna on Monday. The source also added that the text is still subject to change.

A separate report by RIA Novosti cited a Western diplomatic source as saying that no mention of immediate sanctions relief is expected in the final document. The move would only be possible after “issues of former military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program” are resolved.

According to TASS citing a European source, after the deal is struck “restrictive measures will be frozen before the end of the year and during this time all the issues for their full lifting will be agreed upon.” A final announcement on the Iran-P5+1 deal is expected at about 10:30 am local time (8:30 am GMT) at the Vienna International Center, according to RIA Novosti.

July 12, 2015: Group Crowdfunding Red Heifer Needed For Jewish Temple

Editors note: Watchmen watch. We need to keep our eye on Jerusalem in these last days. Those who are trying to search for the perfect red heifer and want to build a third temple are getting things ready for their father who is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. These are those who had our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ murdered, and are still performing blood sacrifices because they do not believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah and paid for our sins once and for all.

Original article:

Just days after a red heifer in NJ proved to be disqualified, the Israeli Temple Institute is crowdfunding an initiative to make sure a red heifer is raised according to Biblical code in Israel.

There are thousands of red cows across the globe. However, the real challenge according to Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, is to raise one according to the exact specifications and requirements in Israel. If this becomes a reality, it would provide an essential building block for the third Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple Institute is taking this project into their own hands. They have decided to raise a herd of red cows in Israel so that they can be accepted as red heifers.

They are crowdfunding the project on IndieGoGo and aim to raise $125,000.

July 11, 2015: Ten Commandments ruling fuels outrage, a legal challenge and calls to change state constitution

Original article:

OKLAHOMA CITY — In the days following a decision that said the Ten Commandments must be removed, flowers began appearing at the base of the monument on the north side of the state Capitol.

Visitors stopped employees to seek directions to the monument.

A June 30 decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, by a vote of 7-2, said the monument violated the Oklahoma Constitution. The opinion generated outrage. Some called for impeachment of the seven justices. Others sought judicial reform.

Some legislators have proposed a measure that would allow residents to vote on removing the portion of the state constitution that the court relied upon in its ruling.

Gov. Mary Fallin jumped into the mix last week, saying the monument would stay pending the outcome of a request by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt that the case be reheard, and legislative efforts to change the constitution.

On the other side, some legal scholars said the court got it right. Others appeared a little surprised that the decision drew such an outcry from supporters.

Bob Burke, an Oklahoma City attorney, has written 121 books, of which 120 are about Oklahoma history.

“I believe the Supreme Court is absolutely right for two reasons,” he said. “Number one, the constitutional provision which they interpreted cannot be any clearer. The Supreme Court, in my opinion, had no option but to interpret the constitution as they did.”

The section at the crux of the matter is Article II, Section 5: “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

Despite arguments from supporters that the monument was privately funded and historical, the state’s highest court found the Ten Commandments are “obviously religious in nature and are an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths.”

The opinion noted that the framers specifically banned any uses “indirectly” benefiting religion.

The decision resulted in a slew of criticism from some lawmakers.

Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City, said the justices abused their power.

“They are the bullies, the judiciary,” Calvey said.

“What makes the Supreme Court think that the seven justices have a better opinion than the super majority of the state Legislature,” said Randy Brogdon, Oklahoma Republican Party chairman, who — as a former state senator from Owasso — co-sponsored the bill to allow the monument.

Lawmakers wasted no time in filing House Joint Resolution 1036. If passed, it would allow a statewide vote on repealing the portion of the constitution cited in the decision.

“After reviewing the Supreme Court’s Ten Commandment ruling, it is clear that we have a toxic provision in our state constitution,” said Rep. John Paul Jordan, R-Yukon. “It was written with discrimination in mind and, like a malignant tumor, needs to be removed completely.”

Another idea is to let the people vote on adding a section to the constitution to allow for the monument, as opposed to deleting the section cited in the opinion.

Critics say removing Article II, Section 5 might result in letting the monument stay, but it opens the door for other entities to seek placement of a monument on the Capitol grounds.

The Satanic Temple said it will renew its request to place Baphomet on the Capitol grounds. Meanwhile, Hindus said they will reiterate their request for a statue of Lord Hanuman to honor Hindus living in Oklahoma and raise awareness about the religion, the oldest and third largest in the world.

James Huff of Oklahoma City is a retired teacher and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

He considers erection of the Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol “offensive” because politicians are taking what he considers a sacred teaching and calling it history.

Gary Allison teaches constitutional law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He agrees with the court ruling and said the state’s founding fathers were adamant that religion and government should be separate.

“What I don’t understand is why the true proponents of religion want to contaminate it with the inner workings of government, allowing state politicians to use them,” Allison said.

The Supreme Court ordered the lower court to conduct proceedings consistent with its ruling, essentially telling it to order the monument removed. However, that order was halted pending the outcome of the rehearing request.

While Fallin has raised the issue, citing three branches of co-equal government, she is not a defendant. The suit names the 15-member Capitol Preservation Commission, which is being represented by Pruitt’s office.

Fallin can’t be held in contempt of court if the monument is not removed, said Joseph Thai, a University of Oklahoma College of Law professor.

“The Supreme Court ultimately gets the last word on what the constitution means,” Thai said. “Between the two masters, the commissioners are bound to follow the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court, not as Mary Fallin would hope it would be.”

Fallin could cause others who are part of the case to be held in contempt of court, Allison said.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons said Fallin’s actions and statements appear to be an effort to deflect focus away from critical state issues, such as crumbing roads and bridges.

“The governor should govern,” he said. “There is a time to stop playing politics.”

In her monthly column, Fallin said she believed the court got it wrong.

“It is my hope we will reach a long-term resolution that ensures it remains indefinitely as a tribute to Oklahoma values, culture and history,” Fallin wrote.

July 10, 2015: Texas Separatists Pushing for 2016 Ballot Measure

Original article:

The race for the presidency in 2016 is already heating up, but one group in the Lone Star State is hoping for a bigger battle on next year’s ballot.  The Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) is launching a tour of 21 cities across the state over the next month to build support for Texas independence.  “This tour is in support of the new initiative we’ve launched to gather enough signatures on a petition so that we can force a referendum on Texas independence onto the Republican primary ballot in 2016,” says TNM President Daniel Miller.

The push for secession in Texas is nothing new, with various groups promoting it over the years and even longtime Congressman and former Presidential candidate Ron Paul speaking out on the subject earlier this year.  Miller tells KTRH that the TNM has been around for more than a decade and is seeking to bring the movement to the mainstream.  “To place this on a ballot so that people can go to the polls and vote for it, and express their will to the politicians and elected officials here in Texas,” he says.

Miller cites a Reuters survey from last year that showed support for secession nationwide is much higher than many thought.  “The breakdowns were about 54% of Republicans, roughly 50% of independents and 35% of Democrats,” he says.  “So we know that right now support for Texas independence is higher than it’s ever been, and it just continues to grow.”

As to the question of why should Texas break away from the union, Miller turns it around and asks why not.  “Is it the skyrocketing debt, is it the lack of respect for sovereignty, is it the excessive regulations that come out of the federal government?,” he asks.  “What exactly is it that’s attractive about staying?”

July 5, 2015: BREAKING: Texas Makes Massive Move to Prepare for Secession From the Union

Original article:

Texas was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845 before it became a state. That’s why it is referred to as “The Lone Star Republic.” Now Texas may be making a big move to secede from the United States and become a republic once again.

The state legislature recently announced that Texas’ gold holdings will be kept within its own borders. Of all 50 states, only Texas has a stockpile of gold, amounting to approximately 5,600 bars or $650 million worth. Currently, the gold is held in an HSBC bank in Manhattan.

This decision was met with approval by conservatives and others who have little confidence in the long-term economic viability of the federal government or who oppose the moves of the left-leaning, ideologically driven management of the federal government by President Obama.

Subsequently, many individuals wonder if this is a move by Texas toward eventual secession from the United States.

“Just moving it [the gold] would be pretty expensive and, unless Texas is anticipating withdrawing from the Union, which I suspect is some peoples’ want, I don’t see what advantage it is,” said Edwin Truman, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics and an expert on gold and monetary policy.

The bill to move the gold was introduced by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione. It easily passed through the state legislature. When Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill, he tweeted, “California may be the golden state, but Texans deserve to keep their gold in-state!”

The one big problem now is that Texas doesn’t have a bullion depository like the federal government’s depository at Fort Knox, Ky.

“We are honestly at the phase where the questions we are answering are creating more questions that we have to answer,” said Chris Bryan, spokesman for the Texas comptroller’s office, which is responsible for putting this new law into effect.

Capriglione believes private companies could create a depository and charge the state for storage and service.

Texas’ gold is held by the University of Texas Investment Management Company, an academic endowment that began acquiring gold futures in 2009 as a hedge against a weakening dollar. Eventually, the company moved to gold bars.

“I think Texas is once again showing they’re ahead of the curve,” said James Rickards, author of “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System” (H/T The Blaze).

Or the state has had all it can take from Obama and is formulating a plan to go it alone if the country continues to drift leftward and further away from values generally embraced by Texans, such as limited government and self-reliance.

July 11, 2015: Memphis City Council Votes to Dig Up Grave of Confederate General, Sell His Statue

Original article:

On July 7 the Memphis City Council voted unanimously to exhume the body of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from its 110 year resting place and move it to another location.

The body of Forrest’s wife will be exhumed as well.

According to Local Memphis, the council voted to exhume Forrest’s remains from Health Sciences Park on Union Avenue. They plan to sell a statue of Forrest as well–they are thinking of “selling the statue to anyone who wants it.”

Forrest was a businessman who become wealthy in the cotton trade prior to the Civil War. He abandoned that to fight federal forces once the war commenced, eventually becoming a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army. He was known for waging brutal warfare against federal forces in Mississippi and Tennessee.

The Forrest family has made clear that they are “solidly opposed to digging up the graves and moving them any place.” They are opposed to moving the statue as well.

Some believe the Memphis City Council vote is another example of the anti-Confederacy hysteria that swept parts of the country after a photo surfaced of alleged Charleston gunman Dylann Roof posing with a Confederate flag. But city council member Janis Fullilove asked if the move has something to do with a rumored “$500 million [University of Tennessee] expansion” that would use the land where Forrest is currently buried.

July 11, 2015: Man Filed $70M Lawsuit Against Bible Publishers Over ‘Homosexual’ Verses

Original article:

Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a gay man, filed a $70 million lawsuit against two Bible publishers citing their translation of the Bible which calls homosexuality a sin has not only caused him emotional distress but has violated his constitutional rights. The ex-con claims Zondervan and Thomas Nelson publishers have manipulated scripture with the use of the term “homosexuals” in certain revised editions of the Bible.

Fowler alleges that the term homosexual was deleted in later versions by Zondervan but in their 1982 and 1987 translations the publisher uses the term in First Corinthians 6:9 incorrectly. The older King James Version, from which his family pastor preaches, has caused him to be cast away by his family for its use of the word homosexual. As a result of suffering 20 years of mental instability and emotional duress, Fowler is suing $60 million from Zondervan and $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

In a hand-written suit, the 39-year-old man lists all sorts of charges against Zondervan including violating his civil rights, malice, libel, strict liability, malicious negligence, and malice. Fowler filed a similar suit against Thomas Nelson publishing company in June. In response to the suit, Tara Powers, Zondervan’s spokesperson, said the company does not translate Bibles, it only publishes them. She explained:

Since Zondervan does not translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations we publish, we are not in a position to comment on the merits of how a word should or should not be translated. We rely on the scholarly judgment of the highly respected and credible translation committees behind each translation and never alter the text of the translations we are licensed to publish. We only publish credible translations produced by credible biblical scholars.

In as essay by Anthony Ashford to the website Religious Intolerance, he submits that today many Christians believe that homosexuals cannot  go to heaven based on incorrect interpretations of about 20 verses of the Bible which includes nearly 31,000 total verses. Ashford said the anti-gay perception that these Christians teach goes against what Christ and the Bible really said.homosexual

Although the writer said he does not wish to sound like a Biblical scholar, it angers him that so many Christians are blind to the historical context of the Bible stories they use to condemn the gay community. In his essay titled, Six Biblical Reasons Christians Should Embrace Same-Sex Relationships Ashford presents six arguments using theology, logic, and sociocultural understandings of Biblical settings and common sense to prove the Bible is an ally for gay relationships.

Ashford went on to explain that no universally acceptable terms related to the homosexual lifestyle exist. There are two extremely different phenomena associated with homosexuality. Within liberal religious and the medical communities, the term is more commonly referred to as sexual orientation. It is believed to be a trait that has a genetic cause; one that is discovered rather than chosen, and is unchangeable. The medical community’s beliefs are based on results of studies performed by human sexuality specialists. While liberal religious communities typically base their beliefs on their interpretation of the Bible.

More conservative religious sects believe only heterosexual behavior is natural, normal and acceptable. They believe all other forms such as bisexual and homosexual behavior to be profoundly and intrinsically sinful. This is the belief system which Fowler maintains has caused him emotional distress and mental instability over the years. To this wise Fowler, an openly gay man, has filed a $70 million lawsuit against the Bible publishers. He alleges the translations found in some of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson’s Bibles have caused his family to cast him away, resulting in years of anguish. Bradley LaShawn Fowler had given Zondervan 20 days to respond to the allegations.  The judge found no merit in the allegations and dismissed gay man’s case.

July 10, 2015: Professor Calls for Punishing Private Confederate Flag Displays as a “Hate Crime”

Original article:

We’re officially at the “can you top this” stage of the Confederate flag debate, where the intolerant Left competes to make the most extreme cultural and legal demands. As Memphis votes to dig up Confederate bones, an American Studies professor at UMass, Amherst wants to criminalize private displays of the flag: It is a fine thing that the Confederate flag will no longer fly above the South Carolina state capitol. But displaying the Confederate flag anywhere is, at bottom, an act of hate. It should be recognized as such, and punished as a hate crime. Given the millions who suffered under the whip of slave masters, and all the families separated as slave traders sold sons and daughters away from their parents, and wives away from their husbands, All Americans should recoil from the Confederate flag with the same horror we feel for the Nazi swastika. These two paragraphs represent the perfect example of a social justice warrior at work. Willing to not only cast aside the First Amendment but also imprison Americans for private expression? Check. Dredging up idiotic Nazi analogies? Check. Writing it all up in Check. For some on the Left, we’re well past anything resembling an actual argument and on to the cultural search and destroy mission. But why stop at flags? After all, the governmental Left days ago moved on to statues, monuments, and graves. The academic Left should go after books. Let me suggest a target — William Faulkner. After all, he wrote this: For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world’s roaring rim. Hater. Burn his books.

June 15, 2015: Veteran Goes To Court After City Says He’s Living Off-The-Grid Unsafely

Original article:

A military veteran is being taken to court by the city of Huntsville, Ala., for code violations stemming from his off-the-grid lifestyle.

The city’s justification for the lawsuit is that 27-year-old Tyler Truitt’s property, without city utilities, must be unsafe, WAFF48 reports. Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar live on their own two acres of property within city bounds and are completely self-sustaining, using solar panels and rainwater collectors. He constructed the utilities himself.

But officials think that his property should be classified as a trailer and have stated that if he doesn’t vacate the premises, trouble will soon follow. Trailers are not permitted within city limits.

“They came and they condemned our house and told us if we stayed here we’d be arrested for trespassing on our own property, and the reason why is, they said, it was unsafe living conditions because we don’t have city utilities hooked up,” Truitt, a Marine Corps Veteran, told WAFF48.

Truitt won’t abandon his land unless dragged off by local police, saying that he just wants to exercise the freedoms he swore under oath to protect as a member of the military.

“You have to stand up for what you believe in,” he said. “They could come out here today if they wanted to and take us to jail for trespassing, if that’s what they want to call it. … That’d be fine with me. I’ll still come back the next day and the next day and the next day because it’s my home and because I live here. Where else am I supposed to go really?”

The city has a different story. According Kelly Schrimsher, communications director for Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, there simply is no eviction lawsuit. Instead, Truitt has received two citations over the past nine months, the first of which occurred on March 27 for living in a trailer. City officials told Truitt that he could apply for a zoning variance, but he declined and went to court instead, where he lost on May 20 and is currently appealing. The city issued a second citation on May 12, arguing that his structure is unsafe because of sanitation, sewer and other issues with utilities.

Truitt says that the regulation against trailers is discriminatory and unconstitutional. His next court date is on July 29.

“It’s there for property protection. Adjoining property owners like protection and some homeowners might consider a trailer a nuisance,” Jim McGuffey, Director of Planning, told WMC5.

The city is maintaining that connection to a treatment facility is a necessity. “The absence of a connection to a sanitary sewer system (whether a septic system or sanitary sewer outfall line connected, ultimately, to a treatment facility, is not only a health and safety issue for the occupants, it’s a health and safety issue for others who may live around him/her,” Schrimsher added. “There are both benefits to be obtained, and compromises to be made, when people choose to live in an urban community.”

For rainwater collection, Truitt uses a 550-gallon plastic tank, and for sanitation installed a composting toilet. He also uses solar panels. Truitt’s battle with the city has attracted the public eye. Some, however, think that the case is courting undue controversy and attention.

“Had Mr. Truitt not had the word “veteran” associated with his name, there would have been no media attention, and, frankly, if the City is wrong (and I do not believe we have acted unjustly), we would be wrong regardless of whether Mr. Truitt was a veteran or not,” Peter Joffrion, Huntsville City Attorney, told TheDCNF.

July 10, 2015: Dems Declare War on Words ‘Husband,’ ‘Wife’

Original article:

More than two dozen Democrats have proposed legislation that would eliminate the words “husband” and “wife” from federal law.

Those “gendered terms” would be replaced by “gender-neutral” words like “spouse” or “married couple,” according to the bill from Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif.

“The Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act recognizes that the words in our laws have meaning and can continue to reflect prejudice and discrimination even when rendered null by our highest courts,” Capps said. “Our values as a country are reflected in our laws. I authored this bill because it is imperative that our federal code reflect the equality of all marriages.”

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution means all states have to license same-sex marriages, a ruling that effectively ended the same-sex marriage debate in America. Capps said her bill was aimed at taking the next step, which is to ensure the United States Code “reflects the equality of all marriages.”

She said her bill would also have other benefits if it became law. In one example, she noted that U.S. law says it’s illegal to threaten the president’s wife, but says nothing about the president’s husband.

“Capps’ bill would update the code to make it illegal to threaten the president’s spouse,” her office said.

Capps might also be thinking of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who still seems like a lock to win the Democratic nomination. If she were to win the White House, former President Bill Clinton would become what some have suggested might be called the “first spouse.”

July 7, 2015: Is Seattle doing away with single-family homes?

Original article:

If adopted, ideas being considered by a Seattle housing committee would be devastating to the city’s appeal, KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson said.

Get rid of single-family zoning in Seattle. That’s the big message in a draft report being worked on by Mayor Ed Murray’s housing committee, obtained by The Seattle Times.

According to a draft letter, the city needs to move away from the idea that all families can live in their own home on a piece of land, the Times reports.

“Today, as Seattle expands rapidly and experiences massive economic and population growth, we are held back by policies and historical precedents that are no longer viable for the long-term survival or our city,” the draft letter from committee co-chairs Faith Pettis and David Werthheimer states.

The draft letter says that single-family zoning has “roots in racial and class exclusion. The zoning remains “among the largest obstacles to realizing the city’s goals for equity and affordability,” the Times reports.

“So owning your own home, on your own lot, is a blow against equity, according to this draft report,” Dori said.

Some of the challenges the city faces includes almost two-thirds of the urban land being restricted to single-family homes, the letter continues. The letter considers increasing density almost everywhere in the city, the Times reports.

With a 19-3 vote, the committee recommends replacing single-family zoning with zoning that would allow for more multi-unit buildings, according to the Times.

That means developers are going to buy up homes and turn them into duplexes and apartments, if the draft is approved, Dori said.

The draft is a working copy, which was seen by the committee last week, the Times reports. Pettis told the Times that parts of it were revised.

The draft recommendation is an example of the problem with the city, Dori said.

“This city is becoming unrecognizable,” Dori continued. “This is a blow against tradition.”

July 7, 2015: California governor signs bill replacing words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ in state law

Original article:

The terms “husband” and “wife” have been deleted from California’s marriage law under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The terms will be replaced with “spouse” to accommodate same-sex marriage, which became legal in the state last year after the Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved ban on it.

SB1306, the bill signed Monday by Brown, takes effect Jan. 1 and reflects the legality of gay marriage after a decade of litigation. The law also removes limits on recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state.

The language was enacted after voters approved Proposition 22 in 2000. The initiative was struck down by the California Supreme Court in 2008, prompting voters to amend the constitution and ban gay marriage.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision ruling the ban unconstitutional. The bill was authored by state Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, who said Monday the bill is necessary to update existing state law.

“I am pleased Governor Brown has recognized the importance of this bill, which makes it explicitly clear in state law that every loving couple has the right to marry in California,” Leno said. “This legislation removes outdated and biased language from state codes and recognizes all married spouses equally, regardless of their gender.”

June 30, 2015: After 800 years of silence , Mount Hakone Erupts in South Japan — 45 miles from Tokyo

Original article:

After 800 years of silence, the long dormant Mount Hakone Volcano has finally awoken.

This volcano hasn’t erupted since the middle ages, 1170AD !

New flyover released today (June 30, 2015):

Video report here:

Over the past two months, warning signs have been showing around the ancient volcano, which is located just 45 miles Southwest of downtown Tokyo.

Over the past 5 weeks (since Mid May 2015) the ground rose several inches, and began steaming around the countryside spanning multiple miles.

hakone volcano close up a

hakone volcano close up


Here is the previous video from almost exactly 1 month ago to show the steaming as it built up to this new eruption.

-Update 1 hour after posting this article-

Current image of Hakone resort area 【画像取得年月日 – 2015/06/30-17:00 – 】 seen via the webcam here:



Now breaking news on Reuters :

Small volcanic eruption closes parts of resort near Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – A small volcanic eruption at a Japanese hot springs resort not far from Tokyo prompted authorities on Tuesday to further limit access to the area, warn that more eruptions were possible and urge a handful of people to evacuate.

Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active nations, has suffered a recent spate of eruptions, including one that forced the evacuation of a southern island. In September, 63 people died when a peak crowded with hikers suddenly erupted.

Volcanic ash was spat from a valley on Mount Hakone, which has been belching out unusual amounts of steam in recent months, forcing officials to close part of the resort at the start of the spring tourist season.

There were no reports of injury or damage, and roughly 40 people were urged to evacuate.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency raised the warning level on the mountain to 3 from 2, closing a broader area, and an agency official said activity in the area, some 80 km (50 miles) west of Tokyo, seemed to have risen “to a new level”.

“It was an extremely small scale eruption, but there is the chance of a larger one that could affect a wider area,” he told a news conference.

Hakone is a resort famed for its hot springs and views of Mount Fuji. More than 21 million people visited in 2014, including 217,000 from overseas, the Hakone town office said on its website.

White clouds, apparently steam, billowed up from vents in the stark Owakudani, “Great Boiling Valley”, the 1,044-metre (3,425 ft) high area around a crater created during an eruption of Mount Hakone 3,000 years ago.

Predicting the scale of any eruption is hard because the mountain last erupted 800 years ago, said volcanologist Toshitsugu Fujii, an emeritus professor of Tokyo University.

“If hot water or magma becomes involved, it could explode at a deeper level, and there would probably be very little warning,” he said.

“Things are now taking place at a shallow level and probably it won’t go that far. But you can’t say when that might change.”

Fujii did say it was highly unlikely that Hakone’s activity foretold an eruption of iconic Mount Fuji, which used to erupt every 30 years but has been silent since 1707.

A catastrophic eruption of the 3,776-metre-high (12,390-ft-) peak could rain some 10 cm of ash on Tokyo, located 100 km to the northeast.”


Here is a translation from a Spanish source:

30/06/2015 (June 30, 2015):

Raise alert level after a small eruption at a nearby volcano to Tokyo

“The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) today ordered to evacuate the vicinity of Mount Hakone, located about 80 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, having confirmed a small eruption in it.

Evacuate the area is in the so-called Owakudani Valley, on the slopes of the mountain, where there are two houses, eight hotels and hostels, a spa, a business and 12 houses that are rented to vacationers, and where a total lie 40 people, public broadcaster NHK reported.

On the occasion of the eruption, the JMA has high elevation alert, which consists of five levels, from step 2, it is advised not to approach the crater or access adjoining areas considered at risk, to 3, asking not to approach Mount the environment, according to the agency reported.

The agency confirmed today that the Mount recorded on the eve a small eruption after detecting new vents and ash accumulation by the volcano spits.

The new alert level prohibits access to a perimeter of one kilometer around the Owakudani Valley, a popular spa area on the slopes of Hakone that is under close surveillance since May, when the JMA detected the possibility of an eruption by volcanic earthquakes increase.

The agency has stressed the danger of landslides and the possibility of ash clouds spewed by the volcano in the Owakudani.

June 30, 2015: Controversial autism vaccine researcher found dead from suspicious gunshot ‘suicide’

Original article:

(NaturalNews) Dr. Jeff Bradstreet’s body was found floating in the Rocky Broad River in Chimney Creek North Carolina. A handgun was found in the river. Deputies say the gunshot wound to his chest appeared to be self-inflicted.

When suicide occurs, there are always questions. The reason why is, of course, the first. Was the person facing prison? Divorce? Public humiliation? Even if the reasons are never found, we are rarely left questioning the means.

The means are a combination of availability, seriousness of intent, and knowledge of anatomy. For men, the most likely means is a firearm – 56% in fact. Most have the sense to shoot themselves in the head. Self-inflicted shots to the chest are often survived.

So why would a doctor, a medical doctor, with full access to any drug of choice and a full knowledge of anatomy commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest and falling in a river? He, who could have mixed himself a cocktail of drugs or injected himself with a dose of pharmaceuticals and simply gone to sleep?

Jeff Bradstreet was not a typical doctor. He was a former pastor. He was the father of a child who developed autism after a vaccination who went on to specialize in helping autistic children. His thriving practice, which focused on treating children with autism and related disorders, was located in Buford, Georgia. He was a well-known vaccine opponent and a prominent researcher. Many parents of children he treated have come forward with online testimonials about Bradstreet saving their child.Little is known at this time as the investigation is ongoing and the autopsy results have not yet been revealed. And authorities are not forthcoming with the reason the FDA and the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency raided Bradstreet’s offices shortly before his death.Hopefully we will learn the answers to these questions in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, we wish to express our sympathy to Dr. Bradstreet’s family, friends, and patients.To learn about the dangers associated with the flu shot and the MMR vaccine, see the first two sources below, and see How to Detoxify from Vaccinations.

June 30, 2015: Memphis Mayor Wants to Dig Up Dead Confederate War General

Original article:

Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton wants to dig up the bodies of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife and remove them from a city park in the latest and perhaps most despicable example of the anti-Southern cleansing spreading across the nation.

“Which African-American wants to have a picnic in the shadow of Nathan Bedford Forrest?” Wharton said in a Thursday press briefing.


In addition to desecrating the graves, Wharton wants to tear down a massive statue honoring the Confederate general who was involved in organizing the Ku Klux Klan. The bodies of Forrest and his wife would be relocated to a cemetery.

“These relics, these messages of this despicable period of this great nation, it’s time for those to be moved,” the mayor said.

Memphis city officials have been waging a fierce and unrelenting war on southern heritage.  In 2013, the city council changed the name of Forrest Park to Health Sciences Park. They also changed the names of Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park.

So now they want to disinter the dead? What in God’s name is wrong with the mayor? What kind of sick, twisted person wants to dig up dead people?


“I despise what the Confederacy stood for,” Wharton said. “This is not just an ordinary monument. This is a monument to a man who was the avowed founder of the organization that has as its purpose the intimidation, the oppression of black folks.”

The local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans staunchly opposes the attempted grave desecration.

Lee Millar pointed out that Forrest and his wife have been buried there for more than 100 years.

“Aren’t these guys over it yet?” he told The Commercial Appeal. “Let’s worry about today’s problems, high crime, high taxes, low education. It just seems to me misguided priorities.”

Myron Lowery, the black city council chairman, said the statue is a “symbol of bigotry, a symbol of hate.”

“I’m not trying to change history, history is what it is, but in 2015, this day and age is much different that it was 100 years ago,” he said.

Could you imagine if a white mayor had announced his intention to dig up…well – you get the point.

I warned you this would happen, folks. I told you the Confederate flag ban would lead to an all-out assault on Southern heritage.

And now – there are literally hundreds of efforts underway to change the names of schools, parks, streets and buildings named after Confederate generals. Stores are banning the sale of Confederate merchandise.

Movies like “Gone With the Wind” and “Forrest Gump” and television shows like “The Dukes of Hazzard” are under attack.

Most recently, there have been calls to banish grocery store items like Aunt Jemima Syrup and Uncle  Ben’s Rice.

And now they want to start digging up dead bodies?

I shudder to imagine what’s next in this Stalinist-style cultural purging of the Southern states.

President Obama suggested that racism was in our DNA. If that’s the case, it may not be that much of a stretch to imagine a day when activists demand that the descendants of Confederate soldiers be deported.

A bit of hyperbole, I confess.

But it might be a good idea to keep your passport handy.

June 24, 2015: A confidential document outlines US plans to give Iran high-tech reactors if it meets certain provisions in a nuclear deal

Original article:

VIENNA (AP) — The United States and other nations negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran are ready to offer high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment to Tehran if it agrees to crimp programs that can make atomic arms, according to a confidential document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The draft document — one of several technical appendices meant to accompany the main text of any deal — has dozens of bracketed text where disagreements remain. Technical cooperation is the least controversial issue at the talks, and the number of brackets suggest the sides have a ways to go not only on that topic but also more contentious disputes with little more than a week until the June 30 deadline for a deal.

With that deadline looming, Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday rejected a long-term freeze on nuclear research and supported banning international inspectors from accessing military sites. Khamenei, in comments broadcast on Iranian state television, also said Iran will sign a final deal provided all economic sanctions now on Iran are first lifted — in a sign the Islamic Republic may be toughening its stance ahead of the deadline.

The West has always held out the prospect of providing Iran peaceful nuclear technology in the nearly decade-long international diplomatic effort designed to reduce Tehran’s potential ability to make nuclear weapons. But the scope of the help now being offered in the draft may displease U.S. congressional critics who already argue that Washington has offered too many concessions at the negotiations.

United States US Iran Nuclear NegotiationsREUTERS/Heinz-Peter BaderNegotiators of Iran and six world powers face each other at a table in the historic basement of Palais Coburg hotel in Vienna April 24, 2015.

Iran denies any interest in nuclear weapons but is prepared to make concessions in exchange for relief from billions of dollars in economic penalties. Beyond a pact limiting Iran’s ability to make a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years, the U.S. and its negotiating partners hope to eliminate any grounds for Iran to argue that it needs to expand programs that could be used to make such arms once an agreement expires.

To that end, the draft, entitled “Civil Nuclear Cooperation,” promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak, which would produce enough plutonium for several bombs a year if completed as planned.

Reducing the Arak reactor’s plutonium output was one of the main aims of the U.S. and its negotiating partners, along with paring down Iran’s ability to produce enriched uranium — like plutonium, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.

Outlining plans to modify that heavy-water reactor, the draft, dated June 19, offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”

Arak Heavy Water Reactor Iran plutoniumWikipediaArak IR-40 Heavy Water Reactor, Iran

The eight-page draft also promises “arrangements for the assured supply and removal of nuclear fuel for each reactor provided,” and offers help in the “construction and effective operation” of the reactors and related hardware. It also offers to cooperate with Iran in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear medicine, research, nuclear waste removal and other peaceful applications.

As well, it firms up earlier tentative agreement on what to do with the underground site of Fordo, saying it will be used for isotope production instead of uranium enrichment.

Washington and its allies had long insisted that the facility be repurposed away from enrichment because Fordo is dug deep into a mountain and thought resistant to air strikes — an option neither the U.S. nor Israel has ruled out should talks fail.

But because isotope production uses the same technology as enrichment and can be quickly re-engineered to enriching uranium, the compromise has been criticized by congressional opponents of the deal.

AP650786621162AP Images A worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of a nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran.

A diplomat familiar with the negotiations said China was ready to help in re-engineering the heavy water reactor at Arak; France in reprocessing nuclear waste, and Britain in the field of nuclear safety and security.

He spoke on the eve of Wednesday’s new round of nuclear talks in Vienna and demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the confidential talks.

Diplomats say the other appendices include ways of dealing with enrichment; limits on Iran’s research and development of advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges and ways of making sure Tehran is keeping its commitment to the deal.

Iran has most publicly pushed back on how much leeway the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency would have in monitoring Tehran’s nuclear activities. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is rebuffing U.S. demands that the IAEA have access to military sites and nuclear scientists as they keep an eye on Iran’s present activities and try to follow up suspicions that the country worked in the past on a nuclear weapon.

But a senior U.S. official who demanded anonymity in exchange for commenting on the talks said Tuesday that the sides are still apart not only on how transparent Iran must be but all other ancillary issues as well. Separately, White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested the talks could go past June 30.

AP578463497310 (1)AP/Brendan Smialowski, PoolSecretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers take their positions before making a statement on Iranian nuclear negotiations.

If a deal “requires us to take a couple of extra days … then we’ll do that,” he said.

A delay up to July 9 is not a deal-breaker. If Congress receives a deal by then, it has 30 days to review it before President Barack Obama could suspend congressional sanctions.

But postponement beyond that would double the congressional review period to 60 days, giving both Iranian and U.S. opponents more time to work on undermining an agreement.

Earnest indicated that negotiations may continue even if the sides declare they have reached a final deal, in comments that may further embolden congressional critics who say the talks already have gone on too long.

He said that even past that point, ongoing “differences of opinion … may require additional negotiations.”

June 27, 2015: Will ‘interests outweigh obstacles’ in US-China relationship?

Original article:

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.(Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

Although there were quite a few feel-good announcements, the Strategic & Economic Dialogue clearly shows mutual trust in Sino-US relation remains a massive work to be done

As the tension between Beijing and Washington over the South China Sea intensified, a number of alternative voices emerged advocating a rethinking of the Sino-US relationship.

From the policy of what many thought was focused on ‘containment’ of China, there are now suggestions that ask Washington to ‘accommodate’ the emerging Asian power by responding to its need to be treated as an equal partner on the international stage.

Some call it ‘utterly ironic’ that two of world’s largest economies should build separate economic blocs – one leading the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) the other the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Others say Obama administration’s opposition to the AIIB is not what the position of a responsible stakeholder should be.
Attendees at the recently concluded seventh US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), including State Secretary John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi seem to have paid close attention to this advice.

Both sides reiterated the growing importance and ‘responsibility’ of China on the global stage and how the two largest economies should collaborate to resolve many of world’s problems.

During his closing remarks, Kerry said: “The US welcomes the emergence of a stable, peaceful, prosperous China… there are very few global challenges that we could not better address through closer US-China collaboration.”

Councilor Yang reciprocated by commenting that China is ready to cooperate and collaborate with the US wherever required in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

“China is a participant, builder, and contributor to the current international system. We hope that China and the US will work together to uphold the victorious outcome of the Second World War and uphold the basic norms governing international relations.”

Significant outcomes emerged from the joint summit notably on climate change, initiatives to protect the ocean, collaboration in cyber security codes of conduct, and cooperation in combating illegal wildlife trafficking, among others.
On the business side, both agreed to share a new “negative list” in order to move forward on the stalled Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) talks.

Secretary Lew also cited steps taken by China with regard to its undervalued currency against the dollar. He acknowledged that the renminbi, or RMB, has appreciated in value and said that China’s foreign exchange intervention has declined over the past year. Beijing committed to intervene in currency markets only when market conditions are disorderly.

However, beyond these feel-good words, the fault-lines continued to expose deep mistrust in the bilateral relationship.

Cyber security

The issue of cyber security featured prominently during the summit.

Earlier this month, there were reports of a massive hack on the personal information of millions of US federal employees. Citing the views of cyber experts, CNN reported that China could be behind the attack. Some suspect Beijing is building a vast database in what could be preparation for future attacks by China against the US.

Even though Kerry reiterated that the two-way discussions were “honest” and without “accusations” of cyber theft, Vice President Biden opened his speech by warning: “Nations that use cyber technology as an economic weapon or profits from the theft of intellectual property are sacrificing tomorrow’s gains for short-term gains today.”

At the same time, Lew expressed deep concerns “about government-sponsored cyber theft from companies and commercial sectors.”

China – which earlier called the cyber hack charge “irresponsible”– responded by saying it is ready to crack down on hacking and cooperate with the US on cyber security as long as Washington “respects facts.”

Chinese public opinion referred to US suspicions of Chinese hacking of government computers as ‘shadowing’ the bilateral talks. Experts have questioned the right of the US to accuse China when it conducts its own massive surveillance on world leaders, research institutes and private phone calls.

Such views will certainly create a dent in the bilateral relation, a worrying trend given the increasing interdependence between the two countries.

As Vice Premier Wang stated, American exports to China have helped create nearly 1 million jobs in the US, while accumulated mutual investment topped US $120 billion. “With such convergence of the two countries’ interests, neither of us could afford the cost of non-cooperation or even all-out confrontation.”

China too has upset American businesses with its cyber-security law that requires local and foreign banks to use information technology equipment deemed “secure and controllable” by Beijing. Washington expressed strong opposition to such laws with President Obama stating in an interview that this has to change if China is to do business with the United States.

On the maritime front

Beijing heavily protects some of China’s key sectors such as finance and telecom from foreign investment. Clarifying Washington’s stance during the summit Secretary Lew said, “It is also of vital importance that there are non-discriminatory technology policies and open trade in information and communications technology goods.”

Although not much was heard about the South China Sea, a closer look at some of the statements from the leaders of both sides underscore each side’s contending views.

During his concluding remarks, Councilor Yang said, “On maritime issues, China reaffirmed its firm determination to safeguard territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, as well as continued commitment to seeking peaceful solutions to the relevant disputes through dialogue and negotiation with those directly concerned.”

However, Vice President Biden remarked that it is the US that has maintained stability and prosperity in Asia for 60 years.

“We’re going to continue to play a role for decades to come, but don’t misunderstand it: We are a Pacific nation. What happens anywhere in the Pacific affects the United States as much as – more than any other portion of the world. And now we are a Pacific power, and we’re going to continue to remain a Pacific power.”

So at the core, the rift between America’s uneasiness to accommodate and share space with an emerging Asian power and China’s resolve to have its own way in how it conducts itself at least in Asia Pacific remains.

Washington continues with its claim to be rightfully concerned of everything that happens in the Asia Pacific as a dominant power that ‘ensures stability’ in the region. China reiterates that a lot of what happens in Asia is outside the purview of the US – especially concerning China and its neighbors.

Whether these divergent points of view have any telling impact on other spheres of the bilateral relation will become clearer during President Xi’s US visit in September, when most of the ground breaking announcements are expected.

 The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

June 11, 2015: Gender Identity Curriculum Angers Parents in Virginia

Original article:

Public schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, are preparing to include gender identity in its curriculum, despite objections from parents.

The district’s Family Life Education (FLE) lessons will include teachings on heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual, and transgender identity. The school board voted in May to add gender identity to the list.

The move has angered many parents over what they see as forcing them to expose their children to issues that are not even part of state requirements.

“Starting in kindergarten, students will be taught about same-sex or gay marriage and the parents will not be able to opt out,” Andrea Lafferty,  president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told CBN News.

Fairfax County Public Schools wrote a letter to parents in response to misperceptions about the new curriculum.

“Most sections in the FLECAC committee’s report have been a part of the curriculum in past years, with the difference being that many of the instructional objectives now meet the Virginia Dept. of Education’s (VDOE) general Health Standards of Learning,” the board wrote.

“As-such (they) no longer have an opt-out option. These topics include conflict resolution skills, respecting individual differences such as disabilities, ethnicities and cultures and mental health areas,” they wrote.

Lafferty said students in 8th grade will be discussing President Bill Clinton’s “activity, along with oral and anal.” Fourth graders will receive instruction about incest, she said.

“One of the big issues is in Virginia parents can opt their children out of certain parts of the Family Life Education. And so now what they’re doing is trying to move parts of it from FLE to Health, which means parents cannot opt their children out,” she said.

Some parents are outraged that the proposed lessons are not even required by law but they are still being forced upon them.

“It’s not a part of the state law, it’s not a part of the state school board instruction, but they’ve decided to add it against the will of many of the parents. We are very concerned that they are doing it here in Fairfax County and perhaps other places without the parents’ knowledge or consent,” Lafferty said.

“It’s just bizarre. They want to force this on the kids in Fairfax County when in fact it’s not a part of SOLs or the required education,” Lafferty added.

CBN News reporter Charlene Aaron spoke with Lafferty about the school district’s motivation and how the controversial curriculum could spread to other school districts across the country.


Dear Parents,

We would like to ensure that all Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) families have the correct information regarding the proposed lesson objectives and curriculum for our Family Life Education (FLE) program. The changes under consideration by the School Board are the result of a series of recommendations from the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC), which is a standing citizen advisory committee that reviews the FLE curriculum on a regular basis and is comprised of school board appointees, community members, students, teachers and administrators. The committee has been working on the curriculum recommendations for more than a year.

Most sections in the FLECAC committee’s report have been a part of the curriculum in past years, with the difference being that many of the instructional objectives now meet the Virginia Dept. of Education’s (VDOE) general Health Standards of Learning, and as-such no longer have an opt-out option. These topics include conflict resolution skills, respecting individual differences such as disabilities, ethnicities and cultures and mental health areas. 

The question has been asked: “Will parents still be able to opt their child out of Family Life Education lessons?” The answer is yes. Parents have been able to opt their students out of FLE designated lessons in the past and will continue to have that ability under the FLECAC committee’s recommendations – including the sexual orientation and gender identity lessons. Other topics that parents will be able to opt their child out of include reproductive anatomy, contraception, abstinence, STIs, and many others. 

Parents and community members will have the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed curriculum revisions during a 30 day period, which begins May 21. I encourage you to visit our web page for additional information about the FLE curriculum and to learn how you can participate in the comment process:

Our parents’ role in determining if their child will receive Family Life Education lessons has not changed. As parents, you continue to have the final say. I hope you find this information helpful and that it dispels many of the misperceptions that are currently being posted regarding our FLE curriculum in the media and elsewhere.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Karen Garza
Fairfax County Public Schools”

June 28, 2015: Man Made Tornado forms over Jacksonville Florida International Airport / Naval Submarine Base

Original article:

How many times is too many times before people realize high power microwave transmissions are inducing rotation above the transmitters?

Today, June 28, a rare tornado was detected (rotation forming) DIRECTLY over the NEXRAD RADAR transmitter located along the flank of the Jacksonville Florida International Airport / Naval submarine base (NSB).

florida man made tornado june 28 2015 haarp ring radar pulse generated

This has happened far too many times for us to overlook at this point, especially since the experiments have been done proving that rotation DOES INDEED FORM over a microwave transmitter.

The more power behind the transmission, the greater the rotation above the transmitter in the sky — proved by peer reviewed experiments done by European scientists recently.

NEXRAD RADAR is across the S-band / 2-3GHz microwave frequencies, at approximately 750,000watts.  In comparison, your kitchen microwave most likely also is working in the 2-3GHz band, but at 1,000 watts and enclosed in a faraday cage (metal box) to stop the microwaves from escaping.

The NEXRAD RADAR transmitter is designed to send a signal 750times more powerful than your kitchen microwave up into the sky to “observe” the weather.  They can “target” a pulse of microwaves down to a few hundred meters across at a fair distance from the transmitter.

As you can see in these feeds below from the NEXRAD RADAR stream itself, there were a series of Microwave pulses done from the transmitter BEFORE the storms kicked up, and came directly to the transmitter.




How can all of this happen? To get a better understanding , watch my video from April 27, 2015 here:

June 28, 2015: Earthquake felt throughout southern Israel

Original article:

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An earthquake reported to be between 5.1 and 5.5 magnitude was felt in southern Israel.

No damage or injuries were reported in the earthquake that struck on Saturday afternoon.

The epicenter of the earthquake reportedly was in the Sinai Peninsula. The temblor was felt in Eilat, Beersheba and Ashdod in the south and also in Tel Aviv, Hod Hasharon, Holon, Netanya, and Jerusalem, according to reports.

The earthquake, located on the East African Rift, reportedly was felt strongly in Cairo.

Hundreds of people died and were injured in a 6.2 magnitude quake in 1927 that centered on the Dead Sea.

In October 2014, five earthquakes of lesser magnitude were felt in northern Israel’s Upper Galilee. At the time, instructions on earthquake preparedness were updated and publicized to Israelis on order of the prime minister and earthquake drills were held in Israeli schools.

June 23, 2015: Plague of Astrakhan: Locust swarm blots out the sun in Russian region

Original article:

Reuters / Victor Ruiz

Near-Biblical scenes are emerging from the Astrakhan region in southern Russia, which has been invaded by giant swarms of locusts. Local authorities have scrambled vehicles and aircraft to combat the infestation.

The voracious insects are migrating dozens of kilometers every day, consuming crops as they go. Parts of the region have been put on high emergency alert.

Locust swarms appear in the area nearly every year, finding fertile breeding grounds on abandoned farmlands. This year, dry weather has created a superabundance of the creatures. The swarms include locusts of different ages, some only able to crawl and hop, others already on the wing.

Local authorities are using airborne crop-sprayers to spread insecticide over the affected areas. Flying sometimes as low as five or seven meters, the Antonov An-2 plane has managed to treat some 5,000 hectares with chemicals – out of a total of 29,000 hectares affected.

Plague of Astrakhan: Locust swarm blots out the sun in Russian region (VIDEO)

Published time: June 23, 2015 17:31

Reuters / Victor Ruiz

Reuters / Victor Ruiz

Near-Biblical scenes are emerging from the Astrakhan region in southern Russia, which has been invaded by giant swarms of locusts. Local authorities have scrambled vehicles and aircraft to combat the infestation.

The voracious insects are migrating dozens of kilometers every day, consuming crops as they go. Parts of the region have been put on high emergency alert.

Locust swarms appear in the area nearly every year, finding fertile breeding grounds on abandoned farmlands. This year, dry weather has created a superabundance of the creatures. The swarms include locusts of different ages, some only able to crawl and hop, others already on the wing.

Local authorities are using airborne crop-sprayers to spread insecticide over the affected areas. Flying sometimes as low as five or seven meters, the Antonov An-2 plane has managed to treat some 5,000 hectares with chemicals – out of a total of 29,000 hectares affected.

Local residents are doing what they can to combat the locusts as well. With hand-held or tractor-mounted spray gear, they stand in defense of their own fields and kitchen gardens. For many village-dwellers here, agriculture is the main livelihood, and the risk of being left without provisions for the winter is very real.

However, local authorities say they have enough manpower, equipment and chemicals to keep the infestation under control, local media report. One remaining threat, however, is that locusts, from neighboring Kazakhstan, Kalmykia and the Volgograd region, might want to drop by for a snack.

June 27, 2015: Vatican Signs Treaty with ‘State of Palestine’

Original article:

For the first time, the Vatican on Friday signed a treaty with the Palestinians, naming the entity the “State of Palestine” rather than the Palestinian Liberation Organization.  Israel strongly criticized the action.

The document governs the activities of the Catholic Church in areas of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.  The Vatican officially recognized a Palestinian state two years ago.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the text of the treaty “one-sided” and expressed regret.

“This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA (Palestinian Authority) to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We also regret the one-sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem,” it continued.  “Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotevely warned, “Any attempt by the Palestinians, or any other actor to undermine our historic right to Jerusalem and our country will be met by staunch opposition by us.”

Meeting with his Palestinian counterpart in a ceremony in Rome, Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallegher signed and sealed the treaty.

Vatican officials say the document signed Friday reflect’s the church’s support of a “two-state solution” to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

No mention was made about Hamas, the terror group which entered into a unity government with the Palestinian Authority and calls in its charter for Israel’s destruction.

June 27, 2015: Greece Bank Run Empties Over A Third Of ATMs Of Cash

Original article:

ATHENS, June 27 (Reuters) – More than a third of automated teller machines across Greece ran out of cash on Saturday before they were replenished as Greeks pulled out money on fears their country was set to crash out of the euro, three banking sources said.

Anxious Greeks lined up outside ATMs after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a surprise call for a referendum on austerity terms demanded by lenders, throwing talks with lenders in disarray and putting Greece on the verge of a default.

About 35 percent of the ATM network – some 2,000 out of the 5,500 ATMs across Greece – ran out of euro banknotes at one point during the day and were being replenished, the bankers said. Banks were working in coordination with the central bank to keep the network fed with cash, they said.

Replenishing ATMs usually takes one to two hours per ATM, leading to the long lines, one banking source said.

Around 600 million euros was withdrawn from the banking system on Saturday, one senior banker at one of Greece’s four big lenders told Reuters. A second banker estimated the outflow at more than 500 million euros.

Though that was below the level of over 1 billion euros seen on some days over the past two weeks, the figure was almost exclusively from ATM withdrawals, where the average daily limit of cash that can be taken out is 600 to 700 euros, bankers said.

“Demand for cash is definitely higher than what you see on a normal Saturday,” one of the bankers said.

“This does not mean that there are lines everywhere but we are trying to keep ATMs fed with banknotes.”

Minutes after Tsipras’s address to the nation, small lines could be seen at some ATMs in Athens. In addition to lines at various ATMs across the country on Saturday, a line of about 40 people could be seen at an ATM inside the Greek parliament.

Greece’s government has insisted that banks will reopen as normal on Monday and denied the country will have to impose capital controls to prevent the banks collapsing.

The banks depend on emergency liquidity from the European Central Bank to stay open, and senior government officials held talks with the ECB chief Mario Draghi on Saturday to ensure continued support to banks amid the crisis. (Writing by Deepa Babington; editing by Ralph Boulton)

June 26, 2015: US Supreme Court Defies God And Votes In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage

AMERICA SPITS IN GOD’S FACE: The Supreme Court in a historic 5-4 ruling on Friday said there is a right to same-sex marriage in all 50 states, delivering a monumental win for gay rights across the country.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: God destroyed both Sodom and Gomorrah for glorifying homosexuality, just as He brought down the Greek and Roman empires. America should be weeping over this, not celebrating. Our national day of Judgment is coming, and the fall of America will be great. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the swing vote on the court, sided with its more liberal members and authored the 34-page decision. He wrote that marriage is a “keystone of the nation’s social order” and that there is “no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle.”

Kennedy then criticized that same-sex couples are denied the benefits that states have linked to marriage. “It is demeaning to lock same-sex couples out of a central institution of the nation’s society, for they too may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage,” he wrote.


Supporters of same-sex marriage cheered outside the Supreme Court as word of the decision leaked outside. Many held flags adorned with a blue and yellow equal sign, the logo of the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, called the decision a “profound victory.” “America has once again fulfilled its promise of the Constitution to another group of Americans,” he said.

Kennedy’s opinion declares that all states must recognize same-sex marriages under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. He swats down the argument promoted by those against same-sex marriage, who asserted that granting same-sex marriage would devalue or harm the institution of traditional marriage.

“Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect — and need — for its privileges and responsibilities,” he writes. “And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.” All four conservative justices wrote dissenting opinions, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the longest, 29 pages, of which he read excerpts from the bench.

Chief Justice John Roberts told all the LGBT to “go out and celebrate” their victory!

While Roberts recognized the day is a monumental one for gays and lesbians, he wrote that it has “nothing to do” with the Constitution. “If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” he writes. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, fresh off of a scathing dissent in Thursday’s Affordable Care Act case, penned his own decision even though he said he completely agrees with Roberts’s views, in order to “call attention to this court’s threat to American democracy.”

Scalia writes that the outcome of the decision is not particularly important to him, and that he believes the law can recognize “whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can afford them favorable civil consequences.” source

June 26, 2015: Cruz: We must not submit our constitutional freedoms, and the promise of our nation, to judicial tyranny

Original article:

HOUSTON, Texas — Today U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote an op-ed in National Review Online in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on Obamacare and marriage. The op-ed is below and may also be viewed here.

Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court
National Review Online
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

This week, we have twice seen Supreme Court Justices violating their judicial oaths. Yesterday, the Justices re-wrote Obamacare, yet again, in order to force this failed law on the American people. Today, the Court doubled down with a 5-4 opinion that undermines not just the definition of marriage, but the very foundations of our representative form of government.

Both decisions were judicial activism, plain and simple. Both were lawless.

As Justice Scalia put it regarding Obamacare, “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ . . . We should start calling this law SCOTUSCare.” And as he observed regarding marriage, “Today’s decree says that . . . the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.”

Sadly, the political reaction from the leaders of my party is all too predictable. They will pretend to be incensed, and then plan to do absolutely nothing.

That is unacceptable. On the substantive front, I have already introduced a constitutional amendment to preserve the authority of elected state legislatures to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and also legislation stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over legal assaults on marriage. And the 2016 election has now been transformed into a referendum on Obamacare; in 2017, I believe, a Republican president will sign legislation finally repealing that disastrous law.

But there is a broader problem: The Court’s brazen action undermines its very legitimacy. As Justice Scalia powerfully explained,

“Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before the fall. . . . With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the ‘reasoned judgment’ of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.”

This must stop. Liberty is in the balance.

Not only are the Court’s opinions untethered from reason and logic, they are also alien to our constitutional system of limited and divided government. By redefining the meaning of common words, and redesigning the most basic human institutions, this Court has crossed from the realm of activism into the arena of oligarchy.

This week’s opinions are but the latest in a long line of judicial assaults on our Constitution and the common-sense values that have made America great. During the past fifty years, the Court has condemned millions of innocent unborn children to death, banished God from our schools and public squares, extended constitutional protections to prisoners of war on foreign soil, authorized the confiscation of property from one private owner to transfer it to another, and now required all Americans to purchase a specific product, and to accept the redefinition of an institution ordained by God and long predating the formation of the Court.

Enough is enough.

Over the last several decades, many attempts have been made to compel the Court to abide by the Constitution. But, as Justice Alito put it, “[t]oday’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed.”

In the case of marriage, a majority of states passed laws or state constitutional amendments to affirm the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. At the federal level, the Congress and President Clinton enacted the Defense of Marriage Act. When it comes to marriage, the Court has clearly demonstrated an unwillingness to remain constrained by the Constitution.

Similarly, the Court has now twice engaged in Constitutional contortionism in order to preserve Obamacare. If the Court is unwilling to abide by the specific language of our laws as written, and if it is unhindered by the clear intent of the people’s elected representatives, our Constitutional options for reasserting our authority over our government are limited.

The Framers of our Constitution, despite their foresight and wisdom, did not anticipate judicial tyranny on this scale. The Constitution explicitly provides that Justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” and this is a standard they are not remotely meeting. The Framers thought Congress’ “power of instituting impeachments,” as Alexander Hamilton argued in the Federalist Papers, would be an “important constitutional check” on the judicial branch and would provide “a complete security” against the Justices’ “deliberate usurpations of the authority of the legislature.”

But the Framers underestimated the Justices’ craving for legislative power, and they overestimated the Congress’ backbone to curb it. It was clear even before the end of the founding era that the threat of impeachment was, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “not even a scarecrow” to the Justices. Today, the remedy of impeachment – the only one provided under our Constitution to cure judicial tyranny — is still no remedy at all. A Senate that cannot muster 51 votes to block an Attorney General nominee openly committed to continue an unprecedented course of executive branch lawlessness can hardly be expected to muster the 67 votes needed to impeach an Anthony Kennedy.

The time has come, therefore, to recognize that the problem lies not with the lawless rulings of individual lawless Justices, but with the lawlessness of the Court itself. The decisions that have deformed our constitutional order and have debased our culture are but symptoms of the disease of liberal judicial activism that has infected our judiciary. A remedy is needed that will restore health to the sick man in our constitutional system.

Rendering the Justices directly accountable to the people would provide such a remedy. Twenty states have now adopted some form of judicial retention elections, and the experience of these States demonstrates that giving the people the regular, periodic power to pass judgment on the judgments of their judges strikes a proper balance between judicial independence and judicial accountability. It also restores respect for the rule of law to courts that have systematically imposed their personal moral values in the guise of constitutional rulings. The courts in these states have not been politicized by this check on their power, nor have judges been removed indiscriminately or wholesale. Americans are a patient, forgiving people. We do not pass judgment rashly.

Yet we are a people who believe, in the words of our Declaration of Independence that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations . . . evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.” In California, the people said enough is enough in 1986, and removed from office three activist justices who had repeatedly contorted the state constitution to effectively outlaw capital punishment, no matter how savage the crime. The people of Nebraska likewise removed a justice who had twice disfigured that state’s constitution to overturn the people’s decision to subject state legislators to term limits. And in 2010, the voters of Iowa removed three justices who had, like the Supreme Court in Obergefell, invented a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Judicial retention elections have worked in states across America; they will work for America. In order to provide the people themselves with a constitutional remedy to the problem of judicial activism and the means for throwing off judicial tyrants, I am proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution that would subject the Justices of the Supreme Court to periodic judicial retention elections. Every Justice, beginning with the second national election after his or her appointment, will answer to the American people and the states in a retention election every eight years. Those justices deemed unfit for retention by both a majority of the American people as a whole and by majorities of the electorates in at least half of the 50 states will be removed from office and disqualified from future service on the Court.

As a constitutional conservative, I do not make this proposal lightly. I began my career as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist—one of our Nation’s greatest chief justices—and I have spent over a decade litigating before the Supreme Court. I revere that institution, and have no doubt that Rehnquist would be heartbroken at what has befallen our highest court.

But, sadly, the Court’s hubris and thirst for power have reached unprecedented levels. And that calls for meaningful action, lest Congress be guilty of acquiescing to this assault on the rule of law.

And if Congress will not act, passing the constitutional amendments needed to correct this lawlessness, then the movement from the People for an Article V Convention of the States—to propose the amendments directly—will grow stronger and stronger.

As we prepare to celebrate next week the 239th anniversary of the birth of our country, our Constitution finds itself under sustained attack from an arrogant judicial elite. Yet the words of Daniel Webster ring as true today as they did over 150 years ago: “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.” We must hold fast to the miracle that is our Constitution and our Republic; we must not submit our constitutional freedoms, and the promise of our nation, to judicial tyranny.

June 26, 2015: Roberts Warns Churches Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status For Opposing Gay Marriage

Churches could lose their tax-exempt status with the IRS if they refuse to recognize the Supreme Court’s ruling Friday legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts warned in his dissenting opinion.

He cited a comment made months ago by the U.S. government’s top lawyer on the same-sex marriage case.


“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage — when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples,” Roberts wrote.

“Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 36–38. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”

During oral arguments in April, Justice Samuel Alito asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli whether schools that teach that marriage is between one man and one woman would face treatment similar to pro-segregation schools during the civil rights era.

“It’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verrilli replied. “I don’t deny that.”

June 26, 2015: U.S. Supreme Court Rules: Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Must Be Legalized in All 50 States

Original article:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court issued its monumental ruling on same-sex “marriage” on Friday, declaring that all 50 states must and are “required ” to legalize “gay marriage” under the U.S. Constitution.

“The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the 5-4 decision, with the majority being the liberal justices on the bench: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Steven Breyer and the aforementioned Justice Kennedy.

While the court recognized the longstanding definition of marriage as being “a union between two persons of the opposite sex,” the five justices opined that “the history of marriage is one of both continuity and change.”

“That institution—even as confined to opposite-sex relations—has evolved over time,” Kennedy said.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” the court concluded. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.”

“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves,” it said. “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented, with each writing their own opinions. Justice Scalia sharply denounced the ruling.

“Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall,” he declared. “With each decision of ours that takes from the people a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly not based on law, but on the ‘reasoned judgment’ of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer of our impotence.”

Justice Roberts likewise opposed the majority conclusion, advising the American people: “[D]o not celebrate the Constitution” as supporting the decision.

“It had nothing to do with it,” he said.

The ruling now means that the remaining 14 states who have banned same-sex “marriage” in their Constitutions are required to recognize and allow the nuptials.

Homosexual advocates cheered outside of the court as the decision was distributed, but Christian organizations are already denouncing the ruling as an affront to the American people and the Most Supreme of all courts.

“The Supreme Court has stripped all Americans of our freedom to debate and decide marriage policy through the democratic process,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell.

“The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty. The court took that freedom from the people and overrode the considered judgment of tens of millions of Americans who recently reaffirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” he continued. “The court cast aside the understanding of marriage’s nature and purpose that diverse cultures and faiths across the globe have embraced for millennia.”

As previously reported, the ruling centered on the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as several other cases that were on appeal after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declared that states had a right to decline to recognize arrangements outside of the male-female marital union. Today’s ruling overturns the Sixth Circuit decision, declaring that states do not have the autonomous right to protect the definition of marriage within their borders.

June 25, 2015: ‘The Country As You Know It…Is Done’: Beck’s Withering Reaction to Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision

Original article:

After the Supreme Court delivered another victory for Obamacare on Thursday, Glenn Beck said “the country as you know it, and as it was designed, is done.”

“The system that our founders put together, which was follow the Constitution and three equal but separate branches of government that each have their own specific role, is over,” Beck said on his radio program. “We no longer live in that America. That is done now.”

In a 6-3 decision on King vs. Burwell, the Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama his second major win on his signature health care law, upholding nationwide tax subsidies for millions of Americans.

Justice Scalia, reading part of his dissent from the bench, said, “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare” because of how the Supreme Court has repeatedly changed aspects of the president’s law in order to uphold it.

Glenn Beck speaks on his radio program June 25, 2015. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)

“I don’t know how you get around it, guys,” Beck’s co-host Stu Burguiere agreed, arguing that the Supreme Court has become both judicial and legislative. “They’re freaking inserting words into laws after they’re passed. They’re putting words into laws that aren’t there. The design of this country with this system is completely gone.”

Beck said America needs a “reset” because there is “nothing left” of the system as it was created.

“It will get a reset because they have violated mathematical principles,” Beck argued. “They violated $18 trillion in debt and printing money. It will reset because there’s nothing left of this. So now the question is, when we reset, do we, A, tear each other apart, B, do we go to a new Constitution, or, C, do we hang on and reset to the original Constitution and become much more free and Libertarian in our nature?”

June 25, 2015: ‘Appeal to Heaven’ Flag at County Courthouse Removed Following Complaint from Atheist Activists

Original article:

WARREN, Ark. — A Christian-themed flag that had been raised outside a county courthouse in Arkansas has been removed following a complaint from a prominent atheist activist organization.

The Madison,Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the county judge of Warren, Arkansas to assert that the presence of the flag, which reads, “Appeal to Heaven,” is unconstitutional.

The flag, which simply bears the phrase along with the image of an evergreen tree, was created by a Christian political organization of the same name, which “exists to honor the Lord by supporting candidates for public office who are believers in Jesus Christ, who regularly attend and display a commitment to an evangelical, Gospel-centered church and who will commit to live and govern based on biblical, constitutional and Federalist principles.”

FFRF says that it received a complaint from a local resident about the flag, which flies at the Bradley County Courthouse below the Arkansas state flag.

“The inherent religious significance of the ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag is undeniable. While the flag has ties to the founding of the U.S., it is now viewed as a Christian flag,” the letter, signed by Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott, reads. “No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the flag stands for Christianity and its display promotes Christianity.”

The organization therefore contends that the flag’s presence is unconstitutional in that it violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which reads, “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion…” It asked Judge Keith Neely to consequently remove the flag.

“As it is unconstitutional for a government entity to fly a flag with a patently religious meaning, you must take immediate action and refrain from hoisting this flag up the flagpole at the Bradley County Courthouse,” the letter stated.

It is not yet known when the flag was removed, and if it was Neely who ordered its removal, but FFRF says that the flag is no longer being flown outside of the courthouse.

As previously reported, a Christian flag flown outside of city hall in Cochran, Georgia was removed last month following a complaint from the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State. City council members had initially voted to keep the flag, meant to coincide with a Bible reading marathon sponsored by the International Bible Reading Association, but later reversed course after the city attorney opined that its presence could pose a legal issue.

“After reviewing further imput from the community, detailed written legal opinions from our city attorney and a second legal opinion from a constitutional lawyer, impact on the city fiscal resources and the environment in which the original decision to exclusively fly the Christian flag was made, the city council voted … to rescind the motion to exclusively fly the Christian flag 24/7 from the flagpole at city hall…” the city posted on its website.

Both the Georgia and Arkansas state constitutions acknowledge God and ban atheists from serving in public office.

June 25, 2015: “There Are Still … Minds to Change”: Obama Hosts ‘Gay Pride’ Reception at White House

Original article:

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama hosted a “gay pride” reception at the White House on Wednesday as part of LGBT month recognized by his administration each June, declaring that there are still “minds to change” on the issue.

Obama spoke to a crowd in the White House East Room while being accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He touted the achievements that his administration had made in the six years that he has been president.

“Together, we ended ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We passed a historic hate-crimes bill named in part after Matthew Shepard. We lifted the HIV entry ban, and this summer, we’re going to be updating our national HIV/AIDS strategy, which will focus on eliminating disparities that gay and bisexual men and transgender women face,” Obama said.

“When I became President, same-sex marriage was legal in only two states. Today, it’s legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia,” he continued. “A decade ago, politicians ran against LGBT rights. Today, they’re running towards them.”

At one point, Obama was heckled by an transgendered attendee who protested the deportation of homosexual and transgendered immigrants.

“Hey, listen. You’re in my house,” he responded. “You know what? It’s not respectful when you get invited [by] somebody. You’re not going to get a good response from me by interrupting me like this. … Shame on you, you shouldn’t be doing this. … You know, my attitude is if you’re eating the hors d’oeuvres and drinking the booze…”

After the person was escorted out, Obama went back to his speech, asserting that he had further goals to change the nation’s mind about homosexuality.

“There are still battles to wage, more hearts and minds to change. As long as there’s a single child in America that’s afraid they won’t be accepted for who they are, we’ve got more work to do,” he stated. “But if the people in this room and our friends and allies across the country have proven anything, it’s that even in the toughest of circumstances, against the greatest possible odds, in America, change is possible.”

“And, of course, we’re now awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on whether same-sex couples nationwide have the equal right to marry,” Obama said.”There are a few decisions coming down these next few days that I’m paying close attention to. But however the decision comes down on the marriage issue, one thing is undeniable—there has been this incredible shift in attitudes across the country.”

But after video of his speech was posted to the White House Facebook page, some expressed disgust at the presidents priorities and agendas.

“I am ashamed. I voted for you, but not for this,” wrote one commenter named Arthur. “LGBT people have rights and I defend those. But marriage is between one man and one woman.”

“It’s absolutely shameful that this actually took place in the White House and I am so totally upset that Obama supports this,” said another named Margo. “I actually thought you were a Bible believing, God fearing man, Mr. Obama. Very, very disappointed in you to hear of this!”

“Thanks for destroying the value of God’s design for marriage,” a third commenter named Rhonda wrote. “I’ve seen their parades and it ain’t about true love; it is perversion for men to wear nothing and shake in front of families with children and cause confusion.”

“If you really were a Christian, you sure don’t act like Christlike, but you conform to worldly values. Asking God to do judgment on our country by changing His values and design this country was founded on when He sent the godly believers here,” she continued. “So keep it going to [the] pit and you will see the writing on the wall, so to speak. His kingdom come, His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Sin is sin and correction is what our heavenly Father will have to do on the just and unjust. God help us America!”

June 25, 2015: Louis Farrakhan calls for American flag to come down: ‘Who are we fighting today?’

Original article:

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Wednesday that the American flag should be taken down instead of the Confederate flag.

The activist made his comments at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C., just one week after nine black individuals were killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Dylann Roof, 21, was arrested less than 24 hours after the massacre in connection with the massacre.

“I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag! We need to put the American flag down because we’ve caught as much hell under that as the Confederate flag!” the Nation of Islam leader said, a local radio station, WMAL, reported. “Who are we fighting today? It’s the people that carry the American flag. What flag do the police have? What flag flies over the non-Justice Department? What flag flies over the White House?”

Mr. Farrakhan said white people only marched with black citizens last weekend in South Carolina because they didn’t want social unrest to occur, WMAL reported.

Rush Limbaugh predicted on Tuesday that liberal activists would call for the American flag to be taken down, The Blaze reported. Greg Gutfeld of Fox News’ “The Five” called the radio host’s comments a “fear tactic.”

“This is absurd. … ‘They’re gonna take our flags’ is like a leftist saying, ‘They’re gonna take my birth control pills.’ It’s a fear tactic,” Mr. Gutfeld said, Mediaite reported Wednesday.

Video of Mr. Farrakhan stating we need to put down the American flag:

June 24, 2015: Chinese lunar new year becomes school holiday in USOriginal article:

June 24, 2015: Morgues overflow in Pakistan as heatwave death toll nears 800

Karachi, Pakistan – The death toll from a severe heatwave in southern Pakistan is edging towards 800, with the threat of more deaths to come as temperatures remain unseasonably high for the fourth consecutive day, officials have told Al Jazeera.

At least 775 people have died of heatstroke, dehydration or other heat-related illnesses in Karachi, the country’s largest city, since Saturday, according to government figures.

“The mortuary is overflowing, they are piling bodies one on top of the other,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, a senior official at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the city’s largest government hospital.

“We are doing everything that is humanly possible here,” she said, adding that since Saturday, the JPMC had seen more than 8,000 patients with heat-related symptoms. Of those, 384 patients had died, she said.

“Until [Tuesday] night, it was unbelievable. We were getting patients coming into the emergency ward every minute,” she said.

Among those who have died, most have been either elderly or poor, officials say.

On Wednesday, the grounds outside the JPMC’s Emergency Ward were teeming with people, many seeking relief goods such as blocks of ice, cold water and juices from one of the many aid tents that have sprung up there overnight. Inside the ward, the crowds have begun to lessen.

“Mostly people coming here are facing heatstroke and they are old people. Their ages are around 45 to 50 years old, so the older they are, the more serious problems they are facing,” Junaid Ahmad, a volunteer, told the Reuters news agency.

 Doctors say they have never seen so many people come to the emergency ward [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]

The provincial government in Sindh has declared Wednesday a public holiday for schools and government offices due to the extreme heat, but many private offices have remained open.

A state of emergency has also been declared in the province’s hospitals, while the government has also set up several heatstroke aid centres.

“We are launching awareness programmes through radio channels and in hospitals, that people must not expose themselves to direct heat and must drink plenty of water,” Jam Mehtab Dahar, the provincial health minister, told Al Jazeera.

Dr Jamali said that one of the reasons why there were so many deaths during this heatwave was that “people have no coping mechanisms, and there are power outages, they don’t even have fans in their places”, and that many of those who died were those with existing health problems.

Temperatures have hit as high as 43 degrees Celsius since Saturday, accompanied by high humidity and a lull in the city’s usually cooling sea breeze.

The maximum temperature recorded in Karachi on Tuesday was 41C, while other cities in the province such as Sukkur, Jacobabad, and Larkana, hit highs of 45C, 44C and 43C respectively.

The spike in temperatures came as many in Muslim-majority Pakistan are fasting during daylight hours to observe Ramadan, further exacerbating the situation.

Read more: Up to 700 dead as Pakistan reels under blistering heat

Repeated power outages across the province, and particularly in Karachi, have also meant that people have not been able to find respite indoors. Some Karachi residents told Al Jazeera they were without electricity for more than 12 hours everyday.

K-Electric, Karachi’s power supply and distribution company, says that it is struggling to deal with a spike in demand, as residents have been keeping air conditioners on for longer during the heatwave.

The power outages have also affected the water supply to the city, which was already struggling to meet heightened demand during the summer months.

“There is definitely a shortage of water. The demand is double of what it normally is. The government has taken steps to arrange for 3,000 water tankers to be provided for free in areas where the water shortage exists,” said Dahar, the health minister.

“We hope for the best. We are praying to Allah for the temperatures to come down.”

While the government estimates that at least 30 people have died in other parts of Sindh, those figures could be far higher, given the lack of access to hospital facilities there.

Many of these areas have seen even higher temperatures and more widespread power outages than Karachi.

Dr Tasneem Butt, a radiologist at JPMC, has been volunteering around the clock to oversee the distribution of relief goods. ‘I’ve been walking around with this cold wet towel on my head for four days.’ [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]
Doctors have been working around the clock since heatwave victims began pouring into the hospital on Saturday [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]
Muhammad Hashim, 55, received treatment in Karachi after a journey of 350km, from his small village in the Thar desert. [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]
June 24, 2015: Obama has issued 19 secret directives

WASHINGTON — A one-digit correction to President Obama’s directive on hostage policy Wednesday had the effect of disclosing the existence of a previously unknown — and still-secret — Obama order on national security.

The hostage policy was originally released Wednesday as a presidential policy directive numbered PPD-29. When the White House corrected that number to PPD-30, it meant Obama had issued a secret directive as PPD-29 sometime in the past 17 months.

Obama signed PPD-28, an order on electronic eavesdropping in the wake of revelations by Edward Snowden, in January 2014.

So what is PPD-29? No one’s talking. A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment of the existence of classified PPDs Wednesday.

“The only reason we know about it is the sequential numbering of the directives, and realizing they skipped a few,” said Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, which tracks the directives.

PPD-29 isn’t the first to be tacitly acknowledged only by a missing number. Of the 30 PPDs issued by Obama, 19 have not been released. And for 11 of those, the White House has not disclosed even the subject of the order.

“It’s not only the public that doesn’t have copies. It’s also Congress that doesn’t have copies,” Aftergood said. “It’s a domain of largely unchecked presidential authority. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it’s lacking in independent oversight.”

But they have the same legal force as an executive order, forming a body of largely secret law, said Harold Relyea, a political scientist who advised Congress on national security directives before retiring from the Congressional Research Service.

“The difference is that while executive orders are public by law — they must be published in the Federal Register to be effective —- PPDs are not,” he said. “It is a kind of secret law. People have to obey it. But it’s a directive that can allocate money, direct people or take a course of action.”

What Obama calls PPDs have gone by different names by different presidents back to the Truman Administration. President George W. Bush called them National Security Presidential Directives (NPSDs). President Clinton called them Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs). President Nixon called them National Security Decision Memoranda.

Whatever they’re called, Obama has been less prolific than his predecessors. George W. Bush issued 66 such orders, plus 25 more Homeland Security Presidential Directives. President Reagan issued at least 325.

Some, going back as far as the Lyndon Johnson administration, remain classified. They can involve subjects including the use of nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defenses, space policy, cybersecurity and even continuity plans for the federal government in the case of a large-scale disaster.

The secrecy makes it difficult to know entirely what changes Obama has made in the hostage policy. The directive issued Wednesday revoked a prior directive by President George W. Bush in 2002. But that directive, known as NSPD-12, remains secret.

“You would think that if there’s a new policy it would be a simple matter to explain what the old policy was,” Aftergood said.

And even though Obama released his directive, it incorporates a classified annex with additional instructions to executive branch agencies.

June 22, 2015: South Carolina’s governor calls for Confederate flag to come down

Original article:

COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 22: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (R) and other lawmakers and activists delivers a statement to the media asking that the Confederate flag be removed from the state capitol ground on June 22, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Debate over the flag flying on the capitol grounds was kicked off after nine people were shot and killed during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the Confederate battle flag to be taken down from in front of the state Capitol on Monday, after the Republican Party struggled for days to come up with a unified message around a controversial symbol that many associate with racism.

“For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble,” said Haley. “At the same time for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.

“We do not need to declare a winner and a loser here,” recognizing that the debate should continue over whether or not South Carolinians fly the flag in private, “but the statehouse is different,” she said.

“It’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” she added. “The flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our state.”

Six members of the South Carolina Legislature’s black caucus, led by Democratic statte Rep. John R. King, are set to introduce a resolution Tuesday that would remove the battle flag from statehouse grounds.

The news conference represented Haley’s first decisive public statement on the controversy since last week’s tragic Charleston shooting that left nine black parishioners dead at the hands of an alleged white supremacist who had posted pictures of himself with the rebel flag.

The attack last Wednesday reignited a long-simmering debate about the presence of the Confederate flag in front of the South Carolina Capitol.

With the 2016 campaigns well underway, prominent Republicans were pressured to speak out. They struggled to find the right messaging that would not alienate Southern conservatives who still take pride in the flag as a historic symbol or African-American voters who have long viewed it as a symbol of hatred.

Monday was a breaking point for Republicans. A flood of support emerged for Haley’s decision after the news conference, which was attended by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had in recent days defended the flag “as part of who we are,” and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

“Now is the time to do what is right, and I support the call by Governor Haley and South Carolina leaders to remove the Confederate battle flag from state house grounds,” Priebus said in a statement.

“This flag has become too divisive and too hurtful for too many of our fellow Americans. While some say it represents different things to different people, there is no denying that it also represents serious divisions that must be mended in our society.”

Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the U.S. Senate and the first African-American Southerner elected since the 1880s, also stood beside the governor during the news conference.

Democrats had been quick to call on the state’s Republican leadership to remove the flag, and on Monday some said such a move would not be enough.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a 2016 presidential contender, called for other states that continue to fly the flag in public spaces to take it down.

“This is not just limited to South Carolina,” he said in a statement before Haley’s news conference. “Many states in our country fly this rallying banner for hate. It’s a symbol of 150 years of bigotry and racism — a reminder of a time the United States failed to live up to its founding principles, and we should take it down.”

South Carolina, and the South in general, has periodically wrestled with the display of the Confederate flag in emotionally charged debates.

In 2000 South Carolina state lawmakers compromised amid pressure from the NAACP and others and decided to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome to the front of the building. The flag had flown atop the dome since 1962, when the state’s legislature first raised it during the early years of the civil rights movement.

The announcement was a reversal for Haley, who had previously supported the flag’s placement at a war memorial in front of the Capitol and resisted calls for its removal since she became the state’s governor in 2011.

Only minutes after the announcement, a number of 2016 Republican presidential contenders tweeted and emailed out their support for Haley’s decision. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tweeted that he was “glad” she had called for the flag to be taken down, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted “Kudos” to her and other leaders “for doing the right thing.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also expressed his support for the state’s Republican governor, saying in a statement, “The Confederate Battle Flag means different things to different people, but the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it, and that the time for a state to fly it has long since passed.”

Haley’s announcement met with cheers from the audience. As she exited the room, calls of “thank you governor” echoed from the crowd.

Monday marked a dramatic shift, not only historically for the Republican party, but also from the recent days of hedged statements from Republican 2016 contenders — including Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Graham, Bush and Marco Rubio. They refused to call explicitly for the flag’s removal, emphasizing that the decision should be left to the state and refusing to express their personal opinions.

Bush, who as governor presided over Florida’s removal of the same flag from outside the state Capitol in 2001, was reluctant to extend his policy to South Carolina. “Following a period of mourning, there will rightly be a discussion among leaders in the state about how South Carolina should move forward, and I’m confident they will do the right thing,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

But Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, tweeted on Saturday that the flag should come down from the Capitol, providing a stark contrast from the current presidential contenders.

A number of Republican senators, including Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of nearby Tennessee, followed Romney’s lead. They both said Monday that they believe the flag should be removed, though each recognized that the decision would ultimately be left to South Carolinians.

South Carolina-born Corker told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “I see no reason for it to continue,” adding “I love South Carolina, but I think, in light of what’s happened, there’s no question from my perspective over what ought to happen.”

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, tweeted her support for Haley’s move: “Heartening to see Gov @nikkihaley call for the #ConfederateFlag to be taken down from the #SC capitol. This is a moment of unity #TakeItDown”

June 20, 2015: Buzzin’ for change? 15,000 honeybees swarm Senate entrance to Capitol Hill

Original article:

The Senate entrance to Capitol Hill was swarming with something a little sweeter than lawmakers on Friday afternoon – 15,000 honeybees, to be exact.

After Capitol Police officers marked the area off with yellow tape, three volunteer beekeepers came in to capture the honey makers who had busted out of their hive and were swarming a tree.

The beekeepers, one of which is a top congressional aide, captured the queen in a cardboard box and soon her thousands of offspring followed inside.

15,000 honeybees swarmed the Senate entrance on Capitol Hill (pictured in a file photo) on Friday afternoon, forcing police to mark the area off as three volunteer beekeepers were called in 

Volunteer Rachel Perry said the bees had left their hive because they were out searching for a larger home, she told CNN.

The beekeepers weren’t wearing protective suits, explaining that there was little risk of anyone getting stung because bees always fill themselves up with honey before leaving the nest to help them survive during the search.

Honeybees are also known to be docile unless they feel threatened, and didn’t flinch as tourists took pictures of the unexpected scene.

Senators and representatives had cast their last votes of the week on Thursday and weren’t in the Capitol at the time of the swarm.

But that meant Cynthia Martin, chief of staff to Michigan Democrat Rep. John Coyners and a honeybee hobbyist on the side, was able to get in on the action.

It was the first time Martin got to help capture a swarm, and she told CNN she will be taking the bees home to join a hive she tends to in her backyard. 

Not all of the bees were captured. One of the volunteers told ABC there are still hundreds left.

Those who won’t be following their queen to a new home will eventually return to the original hive and build the colony once again.

The beekeepers, who did not wear protective suits, captured the queen bee in a cardboard box, leading her thousands of offspring to follow inside (file photo of bees swarming their nest) 

June 18,2015: Mount Everest Moves 1 Inch after Earthquake

The 7.8 magnitude temblor that hit Nepal in April shifted the world’s tallest mountain slightly to the southwest.

The incredible energy unleashed by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 moved Mount Everest more than an inch.

The world’s tallest mountain shifted 1.18 inches (3 centimeters) to the southwest during the quake, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, which cited a new report by China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.

The shift was a small leap back for the mountain, which has been creeping northeastward at a rate of about 1.5 inches (4 cm) a year, the agency reported. The mountain also rises about 0.1 inch (0.3 cm) each year. This motion is caused by the slow, grinding collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which pushes the ground upward. [See Images of the Odd Effects of the Nepal Earthquake]

But Everest’s movement during the quake was small potatoes compared with the shifting of regions around Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital during the quake.

“Everest is kind of like a distraction from the whole story,” said Richard Briggs, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado.

Major motion
Near Kathmandu, the quake lifted the ground by about 3 feet (1 meter), according to preliminary data from Europe’s Sentinel-1A radar satellite. Damage from the quake covered more than 5,600 square miles (over 14,000 square kilometers). More than 8,000 people died.

The earthquake deformed the ground into a sort of a welt, Briggs told Live Science. Areas above the slipping fault, where the stress of the continental collision finally gave, pushed upward. This happened, for example, to Kathmandu. Meanwhile, farther north, behind the fault slip, the ground abruptly dropped.

“Everest is way out on the edge of that possible downward trough,” Briggs said. Preliminary satellite data from Sentinal-1A had suggested the mountain dropped an inch (2.5 cm) during the quake, but the Chinese agency reported no loss of height. Everest aside, the Himalayas were undeniably affected, Briggs said: About 60 miles (100 km) of mountain range north of Kathmandu dropped significantly.

“What moved this time was closer to Kathmandu,” Briggs said. “And those peaks, which are just a little bit smaller than Everest, moved over half a meter [more than 1.6 feet].”

Active region
A 7.3-magnitude aftershock rocked the region on May 12, triggering new landslides and killing dozens of people. That aftershock did not shift Everest, according to China’s mapping agency. Hundreds of smaller aftershocks have continued in the region, according to the USGS.

The quakes in Nepal are not unusual, geologically speaking. According to the USGS, the Indian plate is crunching into the Eurasian plate at a rate of 45 millimeters (1.8 inches) per year. The Indian plate slides under the Eurasian plate at a very shallow angle, Briggs said. The arrangement is similar to the undersea subduction zones off of Alaska and Japan, where one continental plate pushes under another. Lessons from those regions, as well as geological evidence of past quakes in the Himalayas, reveal that the fault is capable of quakes larger than magnitude 7.8, Briggs said. [In Photos: Hiking the Himalayas]

It’s impossible, however, to predict when such a quake might occur, or whether April’s quake influenced the chances of a later temblor.

“Movement on this fault will have affected nearby faults, and some of the faults will be promoted closer to failure [causing a quake], and some will be pulled farther away from failure,” Briggs said. “The trouble we have is the timing part. We don’t know where all these faults are in their kind of ‘clocks’ and how close they were to kind of going anyway.”

Complicating the guessing game is the lack of geological evidence. The type of quake that shook Nepal doesn’t necessarily leave a strong trace in the rock record, Briggs said. Imagine a hand pushing on a metal ruler until the instrument bows. When the ruler finally springs back against the pressure, as the Eurasian plate did against the pressure of the Indian plate, it changes shape. But the overarching pressure of the hand (or Indian plate, in this case) continues, deforming the ruler back into its bowed shape.

“Kathmandu is going to go down, and it’s going to move back in the direction of Asia, and the Himalaya [region] is going to come back up,” Briggs said. The changes in the Earth are elastic, he said, and “they’re mostly canceled out in between the big earthquakes.”

The quake was also what is known as a “blind rupture,” meaning there was no visible fault line or cracking at the surface. That makes it harder to see how many times such a quake has happened before, and how likely it is to happen again.

Original article:

June 18, 2015: Defense bill that defies the sequester, does other horrible things passes the Senate


WASHINGTON (AP) — Over White House objections, the Senate passed a $612 billion defense policy bill that calls for arming Ukraine forces, prevents another round of base closures and makes it harder for President Barack Obama to close the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Senate voted 71 to 25 to approve the bill, which President Barack Obama has threatened to veto.

Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urged his colleagues early Thursday to set aside differences about government spending and pass the measure, which authorizes money Obama requested for the Pentagon and other national security programs. He said that the world is more dangerous than it was in 2011, when the automatic spending cuts kicked in.

“The Middle East is literally on fire,” the Arizona Republican said, adding that any senator who refuses to back the bill because of a heated budgeting dispute on Capitol Hill has his or her priorities upside-down.

The bill, which now must be reconciled with the version passed by the House, provides a 2.3 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemen and -women and sets up a system so troops would not have to serve for 20 years before getting some retirement money. It includes measures to ensure better accountability and curb cost overruns and also reaffirms a ban against torturing detainees.

Democrats oppose the way the bill skirts congressional spending caps by padding an emergency war-fighting account that is exempt from the caps. They argue that if Republicans want to break through spending caps on defense, they should do so for nondefense spending, too.

“There are some who say this is a one-year fix,” said Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the committee’s ranking Democrat, who voted against the massive bill, some 4 inches thick. “I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think if we use these types of, as some call, gimmicks, accounting tricks once, our tendency to use them again will be there. Once we’ve used it once, it is easy to use it two, three, four, five times.”

Democrats vowed to block consideration of another bill that actually spends money for defense. They have promised to block the defense appropriations bill in hope of forcing Republicans to the negotiating table, a strategy that seems risky. It would put Democrats on the hook for filibustering troop pay, funds for operations in Afghanistan and combating Islamic extremists, and the rest of the Pentagon budget.

Hours before the vote, top Senate Democrats sent Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a letter urging him to convene a mini-summit to find a way to match the Pentagon budget boost with increases for domestic programs such as education, infrastructure grants and law enforcement.

Reminding McConnell that many Republicans also want to alleviate the return of automatic spending cuts called sequestration, slated to hit in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his top lieutenants said it’s unfair to lift the cuts only for defense.

“We write to urge you to immediately schedule bipartisan budget negotiations for next week to find a fair, reasonable and responsible path forward for funding key national priorities such as national defense and domestic investments in education, health, science and infrastructure,” the Democrats said in the letter. “We are alarmed that you have not displayed a greater sense of urgency to address this problem.”

The White House objects to the bill for what Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday called “herky jerky” budgeting that ignores a need to allocate money for multiyear weapons development programs, for instance. “I travel around the world and this … looks terrible,” Carter told the House Armed Services Committee. “It gives the appearance that we are diminishing ourselves because we can’t come together behind a budget, year in and year out.”

The White House also is opposed to provisions that would make it harder for Obama to transfer the remaining 116 detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so he can make good on his pledge to close the military prison. Obama objects to the bill because it does not authorize the closing of unneeded U.S. military facilities, prohibits the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that provides close air support for ground troops and forces the administration to provide lethal assistance to Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-backed separatists — something the White House has so far refrained from doing.

Original article:

June 18, 2015: Obama on Charleston: It’s too easy to get guns in America

President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed profound “sadness and anger” at the Charleston church shooting as well as deeply personal frustration that America’s political climate makes it virtually impossible for now to tighten restrictions on who can buy firearms.

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said in the White House briefing room, Vice President Joe Biden standing at his side.

[ Related: Follow Yahoo News’ live coverage of the Charleston shooting ]

“It is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now,” the president said. “But it’d be wrong for us not to acknowledge it, and at some point, it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”

Throughout Obama’s remarks, Biden stood grim-faced, his hands clasped in front of him, fingers laced, with an a expression of grief on his face. The vice president, whose elder son died of cancer earlier this month, looked worn.

It was Obama’s 14th statement on a mass shooting since taking office, according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, the closest thing to a presidential records keeper in the White House press corps.

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” Obama said Thursday.

Obama on Charleston: It’s too easy to get guns in America

President Barack Obama says the Charleston church mass shooting could happen because the alleged killer “had no trouble” getting a gun. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency,” he said.

The president had previously called the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut “the worst day of my presidency” and the failure of lawmakers in the aftermath to adopt a modest package of restrictions on guns “probably the most disappointing moment I’ve had with Congress.”

But his remarks on Thursday suggested that he has become resigned to the political reality that legislative action is not possible, for now, in the face of opposition from Republicans who hold both houses of Congress as well as from some Democrats.

Original article:

June 18, 2015: ALERT: While MSM Fixates On Charleston Shooting, Obama Granted Secret Trade Deal to Push Terrifying UN Agenda


Washington, D.C. – As Americans were focused on the spectacle at the church shooting in Charleston, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly voted to grant President Obama fast-track authority on numerous international trade deals.

The suspected gunman in the church killings, Dylan Storm Roof, entered the church and sat with parishioners before allegedly opening fire. Police officials have indicated that they believe there is a racial motive behind the deranged acts. Coverage of the killings, and ensuing 13-hour manhunt, which resulted in the capture of Roof, was relentless, with little room in the 24-hr news cycle for any other news, much to the delight of the power elite in Washington.

While the American public was been riveted with coverage of the tragic killing of 9 churchgoers, during a prayer meeting at the historic black church, located in downtown Charleston, the U.S. House was voting in favor of granting President Obama fast-track authority on international trade pacts, 219-211.

Fast-track authority would make it easier for Obama to complete a sweeping trans-Pacific trade deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which is currently being negotiated secretly. The bill now moves onto the U.S. Senate, which if passed will ensure the future of the many secretly negotiated trade deals currently being proposed.

Much of what the public knows about these secretive trade pacts comes from leaks from the whistleblower organization Wikileaks. If not for the information Wikileaks has provided, the public would be even more in the dark than they currently are, as to the details included within these trade deals.

This senseless tragedy is deserving of people’s thoughts, prayer and mourning. However, the coverage on mainstream corporate media has drowned out critical information about the future of America, relating to controversial trade pacts being pushed, much to the peril of U.S. consumers and liberty as a whole.

Check out the video below to see why the proposed trade deals (TPP, TTIP, etc.) aren’t good for people.

The most important thing you need to know about TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership); a heavily flawed trade deal proposal between the United States and Europe. And the same goes for TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).

TTIP in its current form is clearly designed to benefit big companies. At the cost of the quality of our food, our job security, our health, and our environment. However, TTIP (as well as TPP) is not inevitable. Public opinion is extremely powerful. And you are part of the public. If you also have an opinion, then share it. TTIP should be a democratic trade deal, instead of hollow laughter behind closed doors in marble halls.

June 17, 2015: Donald Trump Wants Oprah as his Vice President

The Donald has entered the race to be president of the United States as a Republican (making him candidate number ∞). Trump does things like go on Fox News and call Krauthammer and George Will “Jerks”, not typical things you see from a presidential candidate. Let’s be real, that’s not even close to as strange as this.

From The Hill:

Newly minted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump believes he has a way to guarantee that he’ll win the White House: Oprah Winfrey on the ticket.

“I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah,” Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an excerpt from Trump’s first interview after his Tuesday morning presidential announcement.

“I think we’d win easily, actually.”

Trump previously floated Winfrey, one of the most recognizable people in the world, as a potential running mate back in 1999, the last time he formed an exploratory committee for the presidency. When asked by Larry King on CNN if he has a vice presidential pick in mind, her name came to mind.

“I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice,” he said back in 1999.

“If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman. I mean, if she would ever do it. I don’t know that she would ever do it.”

The real estate magnate announced his entry into the Republican field after a long flirtation with politics. The outspoken and boisterous star of NBC’s “The Apprentice” delivered an almost hour-long speech that barely followed the script released to the media ahead of the event.

He bashed the Obama administration and painted himself as the only candidate with the negotiation skills to outsmart the country’s threats, military and economic.

Trump faces not only a long-shot bid, but also the perception that he’s not a serious candidate. Some Republicans have grumbled that his notoriety could allow him to finish in the top 10 of national polls by August, which would grant him a spot in the party’s first debate.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 3.25.10 PM

Oprah thinks that someone who believes Obama is a liar is a racist. Not exactly what conservatives want to hear out their vice-presidential pick.

“When the senator yelled out, ‘You’re a liar.’ Remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases, and maybe even many cases, because he’s African-American.”


It appears the Donald seems to have been joking regarding picking Oprah as his running mate.

Further update, it wasn’t very funny.

From Sun Times:

However, Trump backtracked on his pro-Winfrey comments on Wednesday during an appearance on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, saying the he and Stephanopoulos were simply joking.

“He said that as a joke,” Trump said. “All of a sudden, they say, Donald wants Oprah. Give me a break.”

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June 15, 2015: Outrage! Young Boy at ‘Pride’ Event Praised by LGBTs for Dancing Sexually to ‘Fight Homophobia’

Editors note: I warn you, this is extremely disgusting and troubling. It is, however, where we are headed as a nation. The sexual anarchist agenda steamrolls ahead and children are in the cross-hairs. The organized “LGBT” lobby has long lusted for the abolition of all age of consent laws. While not all “gays” are child abusers, pederasty has been a central aspect of the homosexual lifestyle since the days of the Greek bathhouse. – Matt Barber

I was shocked and taken aback by a young boy grinding and twerking at a 2015 Gay Pride event, while LGBT attendees gathered around him, watching and cheering.

The near-naked boy was shirtless and wearing tiny short-shorts while dancing sexually in the middle of a circle to RuPaul’s song “Sissy That Walk.” The group encouraged the child as he grinded and twerked.

The child, who is no older than 12 years old,  was praised by Gay Star News for using sexually explicit “dance moves” to “fight homophobia.”

YouTube even restricted the video as being inappropriate.

This is further proof that the homosexual movement is not about equality, but about the normalization of sexual perversion. It also reveals that it is just a matter of time before pedophilia will be promoted under the “LGBT’ banner in the U.S. In many countries it already is.

Original article:

June 15, 2015: Maine ‘right-to-die’ bill may hinge on single senator’s reversal

Original article:

AUGUSTA — The Maine House and Senate split Monday on a “right-to-die” bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives with drugs legally prescribed by their doctors.

The Senate narrowly rejected the bill on an 18-17 vote, only to see the House pass the measure on a 76-70 vote several hours later. The bill now heads back to the Senate, setting the stage for advocates to try to flip at least one vote on a bill that divided individuals and groups that work with the terminally ill.

The two close votes followed more than two hours of emotional debate among lawmakers who often recounted their own experiences of watching parents, spouses and close friends die, sometimes slowly and painfully. Those experiences influenced votes on both sides of the issue, and the bill’s fate remained unclear Monday evening.

“It is about dignity, it is about self-determination and it’s about the ability to choose one’s own path,” said Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, the bill’s lead sponsor.

“I think we need to be thoughtful and careful because we are talking about the end of a human life,” an opponent of the bill, Sen. Andre Cushing, R-Hampden, said after sharing the story of his family’s difficult decisions after his father suffered an aneurysm. “I would hate to reach a point here in Maine where we have created an environment where we accept that the ending of a life has no value.”

Katz’s bill would make Maine the sixth state where terminally ill patients can request a lethal dose of prescription drugs from a willing physician. Although often described as physician-assisted suicide, the bill specifies that the patients – not the physicians – must self-administer the drugs at a time of their choosing.

The legislation is modeled after a law on the books in Vermont that supporters claim offers safeguards to prevent abuse. Oregon, Washington, New Mexico and Montana also have assisted-suicide laws.

Katz’s bill, L.D. 1270, specifies that patients would have to request the fatal drugs twice from the doctor during face-to-face interactions, with the second request coming no earlier than 15 days after the initial request. Patients must also put their wishes in writing and sign the document in front of two disinterested witnesses. Also, the patients would have to be judged mentally competent, and a second doctor would have to affirm that they are suffering from a terminal illness.

But bill opponents remained concerned about the potential for abuse. Several critics warned that the bill could create a slippery slope that leads to the type of “death clinics” seen in some European countries with legalized physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia of patients with mental illness, dementia or chronic depression. They also cautioned that the bill could lead to end-of-life decisions being based on financial considerations.

“These things happen when death becomes an acceptable solution to the suffering,” said Rep. Deb Sanderson, R-Chelsea. “Is this a door we are just starting to open? Where do we go from here? How much further will we take this? I think it’s rather frightening to think about.”

Numerous health and religious organizations testified against the bill during the public hearing process, including Disability Rights Maine, Maine Hospice Council, the Maine Medical Association and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

But several lawmakers with experience in the medical and hospice fields supported the measure.

Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick, D-Bangor, who is a physician, called the bill the most difficult issue he has had to deal with on a personal and professional level, but that he supported it.

Sen. David Dutremble, a Biddeford Democrat who is a firefighter and an EMT, said there have been numerous instances where patients with terminal illnesses opened up about their desire to end their own suffering.

“They can’t have those conversations in front of their families because family members get very upset,” Dutremble said. “But when they are alone in the back of the rescue (vehicle), they express themselves to us and many times we have had patients say, ‘I wish I had this option, but it does not exist.’”

The House and Senate votes fell largely but not exclusively along party lines, with Democrats supporting the measure and Republicans in opposition. Supporters will now have to work to change at least one vote in the Senate in the closing days of a legislative session in which numerous issues – including the contentious state budget – remain unresolved.

Original article:

The lack of faith in central bank trustworthiness is spreading. First Germany, then Holland, and Austria, and now – as we noted was possible previouslyTexas has enacted a Bill to repatriate $1 billion of gold from The NY Fed’s vaults to a newly established state gold bullion depository…”People have this image of Texas as big and powerful … so for a lot of people, this is exactly where they would want to go with their gold,” and the Bill includes a section to prevent forced seizure from the Federal Government.

From 2011:

The University of Texas Investment Management Co., the second-largest U.S. academic endowment, took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion and is storing the bars in a New York vault, according to the fund’s board.”

The decision to turn the fund’s investment into gold bars was influenced by Kyle Bass, a Dallas hedge fund manager and member of the endowment’s board, Zimmerman said at its annual meeting on April 14. Bass made $500 million on the U.S. subprime-mortgage collapse.

“Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” Bass said yesterday in a telephone interview. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”

And now, after we noted the possibility previously,as The Epoch Times reports, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Friday, June 12, that will allow Texas to build a gold and silver bullion depository. In addition, Texas will repatriate $1 billion worth of bullion from the Federal Reserve in New York to the new facility once completed.

On the surface the bill looks rather innocent, but its implications are far reaching. HB 483, “relating to the establishment and administration of a state bullion depository” to store gold and silver coins, was introduced by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione.

Capriglione told the Star-Telegram:

“We are not talking Fort Knox. But when I first announced this, I got so many emails and phone calls from people literally all over the world who said they want to store their gold … in a Texas depository. People have this image of Texas as big and powerful … so for a lot of people, this is exactly where they would want to go with their gold.”

But isn’t New York, where most of the world’s gold is stored, also big and powerful? Why does the state of Texas want to go through the trouble of building its own storage facility?

There are precisely two important reasons. One involves distrust in the current storage system. The second threatens the paper money system as a whole.

“In a lot of cases with gold you may not have clear title to the metal. You may have a counterparty relationship that makes you a creditor. If the counterparty has a problem unrelated to gold, they can default and then you become an unsecured creditor in bankruptcy,” said Keith Weiner, president of the Gold Standard Institute.

This means you get whatever is left after liquidation, often just a fraction of the initial value of your holdings.

“This exact scenario happened with futures broker MF Global. I knew people who had warehouse receipts to gold bars with a specific serial number. But that gold had an encumbered title and they became unsecured creditors in bankruptcy,” said Weiner.

In Texas, two big public pension funds from the University of Texas (UoT) and the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) own gold worth more than $1 billion.

Being uncomfortable with holding purely financial gold in the form of futures and Exchange-traded Funds, University of Texas actually took delivery of the gold bars in 2011 and warehoused it with HSBC Bank in New York.

At the time pension fund board member and hedge fund manager Kyle Bass explained: “As a fiduciary, which I am in that position to the extent you own gold and you are going for a long time, and it’s not a trade. … We looked at the COMEX at the time and they had about $80 billion of open interest between futures and futures options. And in the warehouse they had $2.7 billion of deliverables. We are going to own it a long time. You are on the board, you are a fiduciary, so that’s an easy one, you go get it.”

Bass is implying that there is much more financial gold out there than physical, and that it is prudent to actually hold the physical.

Taking the gold to Texas would then also solve the counterparty risk. “In this case it’s going to be a depository, the gold is going to be there, they are not going to be able to lend it out and it won’t serve as collateral for other transactions of the bank.” said Victor Sperandeo of trading firm EAM Partners. “Because if the bank closes, you are screwed.”

“I think that somebody was looking at that, we better have this under our complete control,” said constitutional lawyer and gold expert Edwin Vieira, of the Texas bill. “They don’t want to have the gold in some bank somewhere and in two to five years it turns out not to be there.”

So far most of the attention has focused on the part of the depository and the big institutions. However, the bill also includes a provision to prevent seizure, which is important for private parties who want to avoid another 1933 style confiscation of their bullion by Federal authorities.

Section A2116.023 of the bill states: “A purported confiscation, requisition, seizure, or other attempt to control the ownership … is void ab initio and of no force or effect.” Effectively, the state of Texas will protect any gold stored in the depository from the federal government.

And free from the threat of confiscation, private citizens can use gold and silver as money, completely bypassing the paper money system.

“People can legally do that with gold contracts. The difficulty is the implementation. Now Texas has set up a mechanism with the depository. We have accounts in that institution and can easily transfer back and forth certain amounts. So we can run our money system a gold or silver basis if we were so inclined,” said Vieira.

This would not be possible if the gold is stored in a bank because of the risks of bank holidays and bankruptcies. It would also not be possible if the federal government could confiscate gold.

According to Vieira, this anti-seizure provision rests on Article 1, section 10 of the Constitution of the United States, which obliges the States to not make anything tender in payment of debts apart from gold and silver coin.

If someone from the Department of Justice comes along you are going to see legal and political fireworks. The state is going to say ‘we need to have a mechanism to make gold and silver money. This is pursuant to the constitutional provision we have. You can’t touch this. Our state power on the constitutional level is more powerful than any statute you may pass,’” said Vieira.

Because one of the litigant parties is a state, the case would go directly to the Supreme Court.

“We are talking about something completely new in terms of the legal playing field. This is no longer a fringe concept,” he adds, but cautions about a possible fight with the federal government: “We will have to see how committed the governor and the attorney general are.”

Official Statement from Governor Abbott:

Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 483 (Capriglione, R-Southlake; Kolkhorst, R-Brenham) to establish a state gold bullion depository administered by the Office of the Comptroller. The law will repatriate $1 billion of gold bullion from the Federal Reserve in New York to Texas. The bullion depository will serve as the custodian, guardian and administrator of bullion that may be transferred to or otherwise acquired by the State of Texas. Governor Abbott issued the following statement:

“Today I signed HB 483 to provide a secure facility for the State of Texas, state agencies and Texas citizens to store gold bullion and other precious metals. With the passage of this bill, the Texas Bullion Depository will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.”

*  *  *

Is this the first step down a road to secession? Notably, they’ll need that gold to establish their own country once they win the potentially imminent war with the US military which starts on Monday (Jade Helm).

*  *  *

This implicit subordination of The Fed’s gold sends a more ominous signal of rising fears of confiscation and leaves us wondering just how long before every state (and or country) decides to follow Texas’ lead?

June 13, 2015: Alabama Earthquakes confuse “professionals” — Nevermind the old Oil + Fracking operation @ the Epicenter

Original article:

Main stream media is currently running a story regarding the uptick in earthquake activity which has struck the state of Alabama.

In all the news stories, we see the “professionals” play acting like they’re confused, making claims that they “don’t know” what is causing these rare Alabama M3.0+ earthquakes.

Nevermind the giant former oil / gas pumping operation that is directly at the location ! (USGS epicenter coordinates 32.937°N , 88.004°W)

alabama oil gas fracking earthquakes june 2016

Ironically, I’ve caught the USGS literally DELETING earthquakes from this location before – an attempt to protect the oil/gas producers, and obfuscate basic science!  Shame on the USGS for this.

Upon inspection of the area moving in Alabama (seen from high resolution satellite images), we can clearly see the former oil / gas pads still cut out in the rural woods outside of Tuscaloosa, AL.

The NEW operations have been moved a few miles Northeast – surrounding the city of Tuscaloosa directly.   The newer operations are even more densely packed, and are also clearly visible from high above. 33°12’55.01″N , 87°23’39.95″W

The news article below briefly mentions the larger oil operations in the adjacent counties, but then completely fails to mention the former operation which is actually at the earthquake epicenter location.

Obviously this is a case of OLD WELLS FRACTURING due to major Craton pressure.   The fractured wells are releasing liquid under pressure into the surrounding bedrock, which then places unwanted hydraulic pressure on the fault zones below, ultimately causing earthquakes.

alabama fracking earthquakes june 2015
Above: Past 7 days of earthquakes M3.0+ in the United States. Every single earthquake seen in the midwest is at a fracking operation. Not one single event over the past 7 days (on the South portion of the craton) is actually a “natural” event. All these earthquakes occurred directly below current or older oil / gas pumping operations – Oklahoma, Kansas, and Alabama


Main Stream Media article here:

Swarm of earthquakes rattles rural Alabama; reason unclear

“EUTAW, Ala. (AP) — Jim Sterling didn’t know what had hit his 156-year-old antebellum home when an earthquake struck Alabama’s old plantation region early one morning last November. Startled, he grabbed a gun and ran outdoors.


In the pre-dawn chill, Sterling said, he found an odd scene: horses were galloping, cows mooing and dogs barking.

“I heard a boom and felt the shaking,” Sterling said. “It really upset me.”

More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama’s rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes.

“It is interesting that recently there has been more activity there than in the last four decades,” said Sandy Ebersole, an earthquake expert with the Geological Survey of Alabama.

Records from the U.S. Geological Survey show the first of 14 earthquakes occurred on Nov. 20, when a magnitude 3.8 earthquake was recorded about 10 miles northwest of the community of Eutaw. The second occurred in mid-December, followed by another in January and three within a few hours of each other on Feb. 19.

The tremors have continued ever since, with the most recent occurring June 6, when a magnitude 3.0 quake rattled the area. All the tremors have been weaker than the initial jolt in November, and Ebersole said some have been too slight for residents to detect.

Located about 35 miles from Tuscaloosa, the whole of Greene County has only about 8,700 residents, and the area where the quakes are occurring is sparsely populated. Farmlands and forests are dotted by hunting preserves and old homes left over from Alabama’s past as a cotton-producing, slave-holding state.

Experts have installed a seismic monitor in a field to enable them to get better information about the quakes, none of which has caused major damage. Ebersole said researchers are trying to rule out potential causes such as blasting for quarries and sonic booms. They’ve even held meetings with rattled area residents.

The quakes could be linked to underground cracks, or faults, found in the area in recent years at varying depths, Ebersole said. But just what has been causing the ground to shake is unclear.

One potential source that regulators are discounting is hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” a process for extracting underground oil or natural gas that has been blamed for earthquake swarms elsewhere, including Oklahoma. Wastewater is sometimes injected underground, a method the government has blamed for quakes.

While Greene County is on the edge of Alabama’s primary region for oil and gas production, state geologist Nick Tew said no such production or disposal work is going on in the area where the quakes are occurring.

The mysterious shaking has left residents like Mark McClelland to protect themselves in the only way they can.

“After the second or third one I went to get some earthquake insurance,” said McClelland. “It’s not bad, about $150 a year.”

The hearty construction methods and thick timbers used in his 163-old Greek Revival mansion provide some comfort to Barden Smedberg, who operates the house as a wedding venue and a bed and breakfast. One of the earliest quakes shook loose curtain rods from window frames at his Everhope Plantation, he said. But no other damage has occurred.

“This house has been here since 1852. I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” said Smedberg.

Even without much damage or a major shake to date, Sterling said he would still like to know what is causing the quakes.

“A lot of people are wondering what’s going on,” he said.”


Information on the most current Alabama earthquake from the USGS:

Magnitude/uncertainty 3.0 mb_lg± 0.0
Location/uncertainty 32.937°N 88.004°W± 2.6 km
Depth/uncertainty 6.2 km± 6.4
Origin Time 2015-06-06 18:09:34.960 UTC
Number of Stations
Number of Phases 81
Minimum Distance 8.57 km (0.08°)
Travel Time Residual 0.89 sec
Azimuthal Gap 64°
FE Region Alabama (505)

June 12, 2015: Child Protective Services Took an 11-Year-Old Boy Because He Played in His Own Yard Alone For 90 Minutes

Original article:

When I was 11, I can remember desperately waiting to get off the school bus, running into the shed, grabbing my bike, and heading outside to play with my friends without adult supervision until the streetlights came on or, in the Summer, until dinner time. We didn’t have cell phones, but I wore a watch and would go home on time every night. I turned out fine and would love my children to experience this type of liberating — yet safe — freedom that shaped me into the independent, self-sufficient adult I am today. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will be happening.

In April, an 11-year-old boy played in his yard alone for 90 minutes — in broad daylight and on his own property in Florida (a state that has no minimum age for a child to be alone) — while he waited for his parents who were stuck in traffic, because he didn’t have a key. He ate his snacks, played some basketball, and waited.

A neighbor saw the boy playing outside and called the police. When the boy’s parents arrived home, they were arrested for negligence, handcuffed, strip-searched, fingerprinted, and held overnight in jail. It would be a month before they could take their 11- and 4-year-old boys home, as CPS took them and put them into foster care.

The boys were in custody for two days while an in-state relative was being cleared to take them. After the clearance and a custody hearing, the boys went off with the relative, who less than a month later put them back into foster care. During a contentious hearing, the boy asked to speak with the judge. He wanted to go home to his parents. In order for that to happen, they had to promise that they would never let this “negligence” happen again, go to parenting classes and therapy, and send their boys to day care and day camp in the Summer to ensure that the boys they are always accounted for. And they now must face criminal charges in the case.

Whoever called the police that day has changed the lives of all of this family’s members. If you were that neighbor, would you have called the cops? Perhaps you would have just gone over to make sure he was alright?

June 12, 2015: BREAKING: Police Seize 6 Children Simply Because Family Was Camping

Original article:

A Michigan family which had dreams of camping during the summer in the great outdoors was horrified when state officials seized their six children simply because they were temporarily living in tents, Off The Grid News has learned.

The nightmare experience for Christopher and Antonia Hernandez began May 19 when Otsego County sheriff deputies and a CPS official took their children, and ended June 10 when their children were returned after the parents won a court ruling based on the fact the mother and children are eligible for enrollment in the Tlingit Native American tribe. The federal Indian Child Welfare Act makes it more difficult for state officials to separate Native American families. Michigan has a similar state law.

If the family had not had the Tlingit link, the case still would be ongoing, with the children still in foster care.

But the removal never should have taken place, Christopher and Antonia told Off The Grid News, which has read the court documents – one of which criticizes the family for not having electricity or a water source. The family was near a state park and had purchased a pass to shower and bathe there. The parents also had a generator.

They had been living in the tents for nine days when police arrived.

“The government has tried to standardize what a home is and what a home must have, without consideration for if the children’s needs are being met or not,” Christopher and Antonia said in a joint statement. “This was not a case of neglect, but a case of the government telling us how we have to raise our children — that we must have running water, we must have electricity and we can’t stay in a tent for the summer. To the government it makes no difference if the children are happy and healthy. We need to conform to their idea of normal or they can take your children away.

They added, “Taking children from families needs to be limited to clear cases of neglect and abuse. It should be every parent’s right to raise their children as they see fit, unless the government can prove that what the parent is doing is actually harming the child.”

The children, ages seven months, 2, 4, 6, 15 and 17, had been living in the three tents – two of which were large nine-person tents – when the controversy began.

“Our family decided to go camping for the summer to a 10-acre property we are buying,” Antonia said, noting they do own a house. “We had intended to stay the summer while we finalized plans on what we were going to do with our lives. We cannot say we would have stayed the whole summer due to the fact Christopher is donating a kidney to his mother and we may have been called home to do the surgery at any point. If this were to happen we planned to return home for the duration of the surgery and the recovery period however long that was.”

The parents simply “wanted our children to experience the outdoors” – and perhaps see if they wanted to live off-grid permanently.

“We purchased several chickens, a couple of turkey and a couple of ducks so we could try and provide a portion of our food needs,” Antonia said. “… We set up one tent as storage for our tools, as I do a lot of woodworking. Another tent was set up as a closet to house our clothes and diapers, etc. As you can imagine, with six children we have a lot of clothes and other miscellaneous items. Our third tent was set up as a kitchen.”

The family also had:

  • A natural gas stove the parents converted to propane for cooking food and heating water.
  • Six five-gallon containers of water they refilled at the local Walmart. They also were collecting rainwater.
  • Several solar lights.
  • A generator.

On May 19, the parents left the property to do laundry at a laundromat, as well as to buy food and some fencing for the animals. The younger children were left in the care of their 15-year-old son, who is nearly 16.

“When we arrived back, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department was at the property claiming to have received a report of squatters on the land,” Antonia said. “We provided documentation of our right to be on the land, which was verified the next day by the land owner.”

A CPS representative also was on the property, and had concerns about the living conditions. CPS made four allegations, according to the official court document:

  • The family was not in a “stable living environment.”
  • The family had no electricity or water source, and was using kerosene as a means of heat.
  • The children were playing in the woods, cared for by a 15 year old.
  • The youngest child had a diaper rash.
  • The 17-year-old girl, who has Cerebral Palsy, was cold.

Antonia told Off The Grid News she knew of the diaper rash and it had been healing. The 17-year-old girl had a temperature of 96, but Antonia said this was after sheriff deputies and CPS “had the tent flap completely open for at least an hour and a half.” When she was admitted to the hospital it was 97.7.

“I witnessed her without covers for at least part of that time,” Antonia said. “I was told by her case worker that the doctor who examined her said she was very well taken care of.”

As for the children playing outside in the cold, “none of the children were displaying any signs of being cold — shivering or teeth chattering. As a matter of fact, they kept taking off their coats, which to me indicates that they were not cold.”

None of the allegations, he said, warranted removal of the children.

“We were given no other option to either return to the house we own or to obtain a hotel room until we could go to court,” she said. “By law, they are required to a reasonable effort to prevent or eliminate the need for removal as required by law.”

The case is now closed, and with their children back in their care, the parents have decided not to return to the property.

“It is a sad that they were out of our care for 21 days because we were camping,” she said.

June 9, 2015: Persecuted Christians attacked by Bill Maher

Original article:

With the backdrop of a Fox News banner Reading “Christians Under Attack” and “War on Christians Around World,” Bill Maher sprays his vitriolic venom for Christians, running his own headline, “Witless for the Persecution.”

While I can take a good (even bad) joke and Maher’s (speaking of witless) attempts to get a cheap laugh while proselytizing his leftist, elitist brand of angry atheism don’t send the Christian community into a fit of rage, his hostile hypocritical vile rancor went far beyond his HBO reputation for insolence.

His most recent hit piece on Christianity aired earlier this week.  It started out as his normal atheist antics masquerading as comedy to take pot shots at faith from high atop his ivory media thrown.  But then he said this:

“Christians love to feel persecuted.  It’s part of their origin story.  But we’re a long way from them getting eaten by lions in the coliseum.”

That’s asinine.

No.  Now, they are being beheaded on beaches.  Christian children are being gunned down in Christian schools.  Peaceful Christian worshipers are being lured to fake church services to be massacred.

Christians face genocide in the world today.  Yet Maher has the unmitigated gall to insult their suffering, parody their persecution, and degrade their death.

Maher has an agenda.  He’s an angry atheist (one of the angriest).  He hates religion, but Christians most of all.  He’s a far left liberal elitist.  And he’s willing to stop at nothing to trash Christianity.

But the fact that he’s willing to use the slaughter of innocent Christians around the world as his atheist punching bag is beyond even his pale.

Were these comments about any other persecuted group, were they about a group that the Left prefers to consider as persecuted, were they about any other human extermination in history, Maher would be out of a job.  He would be societally shunned.

Instead, as Christians suffer and die, Maher laughs at their slaughter and pokes fun at their plight.

Maher can say what he wants.  It’s his “right.”  But so can we.

We must stand up for the persecuted.  We must share their stories.  We must take up their cause and fight for them.

Christians do face violent persecution.  Some of it is at the hands of jihadist armies in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria.  Christians by the thousands have been forced to flee for their lives or be slaughtered.

Some of it is at the hands of jihadist regimes.  Pastors Michael and Peter face a possible death sentence for their Christian faith in Sudan.  American Pastor Saeed Abedini, beaten and tormented, is serving an 8-year prison sentence for his Christian faith in Iran.  Christian mom Asia Bibi is on death row waiting to be hanged for her religious beliefs in Pakistan.

Maher mocks.  But we can fight back.  We can and must defend these persecuted Christians.  We must be heard.

This article is crosposted on Redstate.

Mother Jailed Due To Her Son’s 3 Unexcused Absences

Original article:

A Georgia mother was arrested earlier this month after her son had 12 unexcused absences from school over the past year.

Julie Giles posted on Facebook May 14 that she turned herself in after a warrant was issued for her arrest. “I was actually placed in ankle shackles!” she wrote.

Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile confirmed Giles’ arrest to PEOPLE, adding that putting her in ankles shackles is standard procedure for anyone who’s arrested in the county.

Children in Screven County are allowed six unexcused absences per year. Giles claims that her son Samuel had an additional three absences that were excused by a doctor. That means she was arrested over just three unexcused absences.

She wrote on Facebook that her son is often sick and she’s sometimes forced to keep him home from school without being able to get a note because she can’t afford the cost of taking him to see a doctor, Fox reports. Still, Samuel manages to make high grades despite his absences.

“Samuel was presented with his ‘Student of the Month’ tee today,” Giles wrote on Facebook May 15. “He was chosen before this whole absence fiasco happened, but he got his tee today.”

She added: “His teacher said that Sam was chosen because he always tries to make others feel better about themselves and will even engage in activities that aren’t his first choice, but are his friend’s choice, to make his classmates feel special.

“I can be proud of my mothering, with or without shackles and mug shots, because the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world,” she concluded.

Giles is due in court on July 14. She faces a $1,000 fine and up to 12 months in jail, though Sheriff Kile tells PEOPLE that she’ll likely just get probation.

June 7,2015 Sinabung Volcano erupts in Indonesia, forcing evacuations

Original article:

(CNN)Thick plumes of volcanic ash and flowing lava are spewing from Mount Sinabung.

About 2,700 people have been evacuated from the Indonesian island of Sumatra because of the increased volcanic activity in the region during the past two weeks.


Those who have been evacuated are from four villages south and southeast of the volcano’s crater.

BNPB, the national disaster management agency for Indonesia, raised the alert status level for the volcano on Friday.

Earlier in the week, Mount Sinabung’s lava dome, rounded mounds built by thick magma, had increased volume and was unstable, BNPB reported.

Photography student Ahmad Zikri Mohamad Zuki, 23, has been capturing the eruption for the past week on Instagram.

For the past week, he said pyroclastic flows — avalanche-like hot ash, rocks and gas — have been rushing down the sides of Mount Sinabung. These pyroclastic flows can cascade down a volcano as fast as 60 miles per hour. And temperatures can soar above 932 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Photography student Ahmad Zikri Mohamad Zuki, 23, has been capturing the eruption for the past week on Instagram.

For the past week, he said pyroclastic flows — avalanche-like hot ash, rocks and gas — have been rushing down the sides of Mount Sinabung. These pyroclastic flows can cascade down a volcano as fast as 60 miles per hour. And temperatures can soar above 932 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


Zuki, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said he was surprised but also excited to see the volcano come to life again. He has been documenting Mount Sinabung’s volcanic activity since 2014.

The country’s government agencies have set up public shelters and kitchens to aid those who have evacuated, and volcanic activity will continue to be monitored by Indonesian authorities.

The Indonesian archipelago consists of more than 13,000 islands and more than 75% of Indonesian residents live within 62 miles of volcanoes that have had some activity during the last century, according to USGS.




June 4, 2015: High School Graduation Guests Served With Arrest Warrants For Cheering

Original article:

Multiple people have been served with arrest warrants for cheering at the Senatobia High School graduation in Senatobia, Mississippi.

Ursula Miller, who attended the May 21 event to watch her niece graduate, told local station WREG, “When [my niece] went across the stage I just called her name out. ‘Lakaydra.’ Just like that.”

Linda Walker told the station when her daughter crossed the stage, their relative Henry Walker shouted “You did it baby!” and waved a towel.

Miller, Henry Walker and two others — whose names have not been released — were not only asked to leave the graduation ceremony, but days later were served with arrest warrants for “disturbing the peace.” The charge carries a possible $500 fine or 6 months in jail.

“We were instructed to remove anyone that cheered during the ceremony, which was done,” Zabe Davis, chief of campus police, told The New York Times. “And then Jay Foster, the superintendent, came and pressed charges against those people.”

Foster stands behind his decision. He told the Clarion Ledger the audience was informed that they were not supposed to make any noise while names were still being called. “We didn’t tell them they couldn’t cheer, we just asked them to wait until the end so everyone has an opportunity to hear their graduate’s name,” he said.

Foster told the Ledger that he pressed charges because he did not feel that simply removing people from the ceremony made a strong enough point. “I want them to know there are consequences for their behavior, and I want us to have a dignified service,” said Foster.

All four people charged are expected in court on June 9.

“It’s crazy,” Henry Walker told WREG. “The fact that I might have to bond out of jail, pay court costs, or a $500 fine for expressing my love, it’s ridiculous, man. It’s ridiculous.”

June 1, 2015: VIDEO: First images of plasma tubes drifting over Earth

Original article:

Astronomers have for the first time captured visual evidence of the existence of tubular plasma structures in the inner layers of the magnetosphere surrounding the Earth.

“For over 60 years, scientists believed these structures existed but by imaging them for the first time, we’ve provided visual evidence that they are really there,” Cleo Loi of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) and the School of Physics at the University of Sydney said.

She is the lead author on this research, done as part of her award-winning undergraduate thesis and published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“The discovery of the structures is important because they cause unwanted signal distortions that could, as one example, affect our civilian and military satellite-based navigation systems. So we need to understand them,” she said.

The plasma structures are explained in this clip:

The region of space around the Earth occupied by its magnetic field, called the magnetosphere, is filled with plasma created by the atmosphere being ionised by sunlight.

The innermost layer of the magnetosphere is the ionosphere, and above that is the plasmasphere. They are embedded with a variety of strangely shaped plasma structures, including the tubes.

“We measured their position to be about 600km above the ground, in the upper ionosphere, and they appear to be continuing upwards into the plasmasphere. This is around where the neutral atmosphere ends, and we are transitioning to the plasma of outer space,” Loi said.

Using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a radio telescope in the Western Australian desert, Loi found that she could map large patches of the sky and exploit the the array’s rapid snapshot capabilities to create a movie – effectively capturing the real-time movements of the plasma.

Loi has been awarded the 2015 Bok Prize of the Astronomical Society of Australia for her work.

May, 2015: California Senate votes to end beliefs waiver for school vaccinations

In California you will no longer be able to use your religious belief as a reason to not vaccinate your children. The government now has the right to tell you to vaccinate your children whether you like it or not unless they have a medical condition where they are unable to get vaccines. Children who are not vaccinated are not a threat to those who are vaccinated. Certain vaccines are actually a live or weakened virus that can actually cause children with compromised immune systems to get sick. Ultimately it should be up to the parents, not the government. Under the new bill in California, if you have a religious reason or other reason outside of a medical reason to not vaccinate your child, you will need to home school your child.

Here is the original article on the story:

California parents who do not vaccinate their children would have to home-school them under a bill passed Thursday by the state Senate, the latest move in a battle between public health officials and “anti-vaxxers” who fear vaccines are dangerous.

The bill, which eliminates the so-called personal beliefs exemption allowing parents to forego vaccinations if opposed to them for any reason, was introduced after a measles outbreak at Disneyland last year that sickened more than 100 people.

“The personal beliefs exemption is endangering the public,” said Democratic state Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician and co-author of the bill. The measure still allows children to attend school without vaccinations for medical reasons.

In recent years, vaccination rates at many California schools have plummeted as parents, some of whom fear a link between vaccines and autism, have declined to inoculate their children against such diseases as polio and measles.

Although the vast majority of children are vaccinated, at some schools, many in affluent, liberal enclaves, vaccination rates are well below the 92 percent needed to maintain the group immunity required to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or who have weak immune systems.

“The alarming increase in unvaccinated students places everyone at risk of contracting potentially fatal diseases,” said state Senator Ben Allen, a Democrat from Santa Monica, whose father suffered from polio.

Parents who oppose mandatory vaccinations packed committee hearings to testify against the bill, which stalled at one point but was then revived.

Thursday’s vote came after an hour of heated discussion among senators, who voted 25-10, mostly along party lines, to support it.

“It comes down to what do we as a society trade when we mandate that somebody has to do something in order to protect somebody else,” said Senate Republican leader Robert Huff, adding that his family members are vaccinated. The measles outbreak did not rise “to the level where we have to give up personal freedom.”

But Allen said that 400 people die of measles every day in other parts of the world.

“One child who is not immunized is not a big deal,” he said. “But more and more children not receiving vaccines allows for the potential spread of diseases.”

Under the bill, which still must be approved by the Assembly, unvaccinated children who do not have a medical exemption would have to study at home or in organized, private home-schooling groups.

Newly-mapped Yellowstone volcano chamber could fill Grand Canyon 11 times

The scary Yellowstone National Park super-volcano continues to dazzle: scientists have mapped a second magma reservoir that could fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over, giving themselves a clearer picture than ever of what awaits us if the lid blows.

Yellowstone National Park in the US draws thousands each year to marvel at the natural hot springs and debate what lies underneath. Even today science has very little idea of how the underground super-volcano connects to the Earth’s mantle below, drawing energy.

For years people have feared what might happen if a major eruption happened, with doomsday enthusiasts being particularly vocal about an impending global cataclysm to resemble Armageddon. The new map has taken geophysicists one step closer to figuring out if there’s any truth to those fears.

“We can’t say definitively that this is the biggest magma reservoir in the world, but we currently don’t know of any other that has been imaged that is as large as the two we see beneath Yellowstone,” University of Utah’s Fan-Chi Lin told New Scientist.

All the mysteries below the park culminate in a boiling hotspot, with chambers and pipes feeding the hot mass from underneath. The Thursday discovery, published in the journal Science, achieved its task by pulling up seismic wave readings from nearly 5,000 earthquakes in the area, arriving at a sub-surface thermal imaging of much greater depths and resolution than before.

When mapping seismic wave velocity in depth slices below Yellowstone National park, geophysicists attribute the low-velocity anomalies (red) to magma chambers. Image credit: Huang et al.

When mapping seismic wave velocity in depth slices below Yellowstone National park, geophysicists attribute the low-velocity anomalies (red) to magma chambers. Image credit: Huang et al.

The reservoir of molten rock is absolutely huge and sits between 19 and 45km (12-28 miles) below the surface. The only other reservoir scientists knew about is comparatively smaller, about 4-14km below ground, housing some 10,000 cubic km of the material. This is what science tells us caused the last eruption 70,000 years ago.

By comparison, the newly-mapped reservoir is a monster, containing anywhere between 30,000 to 116,000 cubic km (46,000 cubic miles) of rhyolitic material.

As if the smaller Yellowstone chamber wasn’t scary enough, the newly-discovered reservoir is more than four times that size, and could drown the entire Grand Canyon 11 times over.

Read the rest of the article here:

Isis releases a new video purporting to show them killing 30 Ethiopian Christians 4/19/2015

Health effects from smart meter radiation 4/17/2015


Retired U.S. Government scientist Ronald M Powell, PhD (Applied Physics/Harvard) recently published a report of two surveys about health issues on individuals who have complained of poor health after having had a Smart Meter (SM) installed on their homes. The first survey included 318 respondents from 28 states (California to New York), while the second survey was done on 92 respondents in Victoria, Australia. A total of 410 adults and children were included in both surveys.

Participants in both surveys experienced six clusters of symptoms that were nearly identical in order of occurrence: (1) sleep disruption; (2) headaches; (3) ringing or buzzing in the ears; (4) fatigue; (5) loss of concentration, memory, or learning ability; and (6) disorientation, dizziness, or loss of balance. The Surveys Report stated, “The many symptoms found reflect the many body systems that are disrupted by such radiation. “

The radiation that causes those symptoms is Radio Frequency (RF) non-ionizing radiation produced by SMs collecting and transmitting information 24/7 from within each house upon which an SM is installed. Statistically, testing shows that the top ten health problems are associated with EMF (electromagnetic frequency) sensitivity and wireless meters (Smart Meters) installed on homes. 49% sleep problems; 43% stress, anxiety and irritability; 40% headaches; 38% ringing in ears; 26% heart problems. In Australia, 17% experienced heart palpitations, while another 10% experienced chest pain or pain in the heart.

Statistically, up to 2 percent of the population is allergic to something, which means it could be chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, pollen, insect bites/stings, and electromagnetic frequencies like WiFi, RFs and EMFs. According to the U.S. CDC, allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the USA, costing more than $18Billion a year!

Respondents in both surveys state they have made complaints to either their utility companies or Public Utility Commissions. 40% of those with SMs complained to their utility provider. 32% filed complaints with the public utility commission. 94% want to retain or restore their analog meters.

The paper “Electromagnetic Interference of Pacemakers” (Umashankar Lakshmanadoss, MD, etal, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, MD) concluded with “New technologies have increased concern about interference with pacemaker function. It is important for physicians to remain vigilant about the potential risks of EMI [electromagnetic interference] from external sources with regard to pacemaker function.” SMs are new EMI technologies! Pennsylvanians need SM opt-out legislation.

Monsanto protection act: 5 terrifying things to know about HR 933 – 4/15/2015

Surrounding and Taking of America 4/13/2015

Wireless power using microwaves 3/24/2015

Force fields are here – Boeing patents microwave force field 3/23/2015

Teacher attacked 1st grader for having too much food at lunch 2/4/2015

Sex ed for 13/14 year olds – Genderbread men teaching children that they can choose their gender. 1/2015

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