Thursday, February 26, 2015


It's amazing how people react with such shock and horror each time someone is beheaded by one of America;s enemies while there seems to be little or no reaction to the innocent civilians blown into eternity by drones or, for that matter, the heads that are lobbed off by one of Americas strongest allies.

Law school teacher Marjorie Cohn – president of the National Lawyers Guild – writes:

“Obama has killed more people with drones than died on 9/11. Many of those killed were civilians, and only a tiny percentage of the dead were al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders.”

She may be right …

The Council on Foreign Relations estimates that U.S. drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed 3,674 people.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that up to 4,404 people have been killed – just in Pakistan and Yemen alone – between 2004 and 2014.

While it’s hard to estimate how many additional people have been killed by drone in Iraq and Afghanistan, a December 2012 report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that US and UK forces had carried out over 1,000 drone strikes in Afghanistan over the previous five years. Given that numerous people are often killed by each drone strike, it is reasonable to assume that several thousand people have been killed by drone in that country.

And many Iraqis have also been killed by drones … long before ISIS even appeared on the scene. So – altogether – the number of people killed by drone is probably well above five thousand.

In contrast, under 3,000 people were killed on 9/11.

But aren’t drone strikes targeted attacks on terrorists … unlike 9/11, which was an attack on civilians?

Unfortunately, no …

The West is intentionally targeting farmers, small-time drug dealers and very low-level Taliban memberswith drone assassination.

And the process for deciding who to put on the “kill list” is flawed. People are often targeted by the metadata on their phones, a process which a former top NSA official called the drone assassination program “undisciplined slaughter.”

Compare that to the number of beheadings by terrorists, or better yet to the number of heads that roll at the hands of one of America's favorite allies; Saudi Arabia.

According to Amnesty International at least 79 people were executed in Saudi Arabia in 2013 and between 1 January and 18 August this year 34 more people were executed, making a total of 113. This does not include any estimates for executions at the end of 2012.

Most of these beheadings are carried out as public executions at the notorious ‘Chop-Chop Square’ in Riyadh for crimes such as blasphemy, drug smuggling, sedition and ‘sorcery’, although for certain crimes such as adultery, the authorities may order death by stoning.

There were reports of a surge in beheadings in Saudi Arabia in August, with 19 people executed in just the first half of the month.

While, correctly, condemning the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff as ‘despicable and barbaric‘, these statistics do raise the question why Britain and the US appear willing to turn a blind eye when one of their supposed allies uses the same method on a regular basis.

Friday, February 20, 2015


It's becoming obvious that the police are becoming much more reactive in situations that, before the "stand your ground gun craze" might have been handled much more passively.

The NRA driven, "good guy vs bad guy" campaign has created a volatile situation where everyone is suspect and seen as "packin." And, in may instances, they may be right.

Recently, in Las Vegas, what was a minor incident in which someone blew a horn at someone who then shot back with a few choice words, later turned into a full blown shoot out; taking one life and destroying anothers. LOOKING FOR TROUBLE OR STANDING YOUR GROUND?

How should police respond knowing there are over 300 million guns on the streets of America and an army of completely unpredicatable gun crazed individuals who there is no way of knowing if they are the "good" guy or the "bad" guy until after the shooting stops.

Zambrano-Montes was killed in a volley of fire last week at a busy intersection in Pasco. Police say the Mexican national was throwing rocks at traffic and officers just before the shooting. Video footage depicting the incident appears to show him running away from police and then raising his arms before turning towards the three officers. He is then shot dead. Community members, police reform advocates and the Mexican foreign ministry have argued the use of force against Zambrano-Montes was grossly unjustified.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Being elected to public office in the United States costs money; lot's of it.  The US Congress is the worse of the worse when it comes to representing the "people" being that the majority of those elected to congress are bought and paid for by a handful of wealthy individuals who in return are pandered to by these "selected" (not elected) representatives in what clearly defines the plutocracy we live in today.

Two new studies by political scientists offer compelling evidence that the rich use their wealth to control the political system and that the U.S. is a democratic republic in name only.

The new evidence adds credence to the Bartels-Gilens-Hacker view that money is corrupting American politics. By using a massive database of ideology that includes the super wealthy, Schaffner and Rhodes found that “members of Congress are much more responsive to the wealthy than to their poor constituents.” 

However, this difference is not equal between both parties; rather, Democrats are far more responsive to the poor than Republicans. (This is not surprising; other research supports this claim.) They find that both parties strongly favor the upper-middle class, those with $100,000 to $300,000 in wealth. But Republicans are not only more responsive to the rich, but particularly to rich donors. Schaffner and Rhodes argue that, “campaign donations, but not voter registration or participation in primary or general election, may help explain the disproportionate influence of the wealthy among Republican representatives.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Imagine you're driving home and spot someone speeding. You blow your horn thinking it will slow them down. Instead they stop and confront you with some not-so-nice language.  You speed away, go home, recruit a family member, who grabs a gun, and go back out on the streets prowling for the not-so-nice wayward driver.

At this point it might be wise to ask; are you sure this is a good idea? Why not just call the police?  And, why the gun to search for someone who at the very worse, attacked you with words?

This begs the question; was this a case of self defense or vigilantism? Is it an act of heroism to arm yourself and hunt down someone who made you angry?  Is it really worth the price of losing a life?

Who's the villain? Or as the NRA likes to put it; the "good guy" and the "bad guy."

From where I sit there are no heroes or villains here; just victims of a society that is obsessed with guns and are exploited by those who profit from promoting, marketing, and selling guns.

'My son is a HERO not a vigilante': Family of mom who was shot dead in road rage attack insist they were RIGHT to go hunting for suspect who ended up killing her
In a change from earlier accounts, police say Las Vegas mom Tammy Meyers fetched her armed son to help her search for an angry motorist
Grieving husband Robert Meyers defended his son Tuesday during a vigil held for his wife
Initial reports indicated Tammy Meyers was shot dead by a man who followed her home from her daughter's driving lesson
Police now say she was shot following an interaction that occurred after she and her son Brandon Meyers went searching for the motorist

In a change from earlier accounts, police Lt. Ray Steiber said 44-year-old Tammy Meyers had her teenage daughter run in the house to fetch her armed son, who then went with her as she drove to find the driver who had earlier stopped his car in front of hers, got out and approached her with angry words.

His son, Brandon Meyers, also defended himself at his mother's vigil, reports NBCLA.

'I did what I had to do to protect my family. Everyone can think what they have to think; I did it for a reason. And I'd do it for anyone I love,' Brandon Meyers said.

When asked to characterize Tammy Meyers' five-to-10 minute drive through the neighborhood, Lieutenant Steibner said Tuesday that police in the investigation 'would never say that anybody went looking for trouble,'


Monday, February 16, 2015


What would road rage confrontations look like without guns? Some fingers flipped? A few loud words? Rear-ending? Side-swiping?

Granted; all dangerous, but lethal? Probably not.

Here's what can happen when guns are involved; and it's still not clear who fired first.

The family of a Nevada woman who was gunned down in front of her home after what police described as a road rage incident is grieving their loss and expressing sadness that her young grandchild will grow up without her.

Tammy Meyers died Saturday night after being shot late Thursday evening after taking her teenage daughter to practice driving at a school parking lot in Las Vegas, authorities said.

Meyers, 44, had four children and one grandchild, and now the family is grappling with what their life will be like without her.

Tammy Meyers' husband, Robert Meyers, said another one of their sons, a 23-year-old, reportedly came out of the house and began firing back at the car, according to The Associated Press, although Las Vegas police are still trying to sort out who fired first.

Robert Meyers told police he believes at least one of his son's shots hit the other car.

Matthew Meyers said his older brother ran out with his gun after his sister ran into the family home to say that a car was following them.

"My brother protects my mom, he has a concealed weapon," Matthew said.

"My brother saw the gun, he started popping shots at the dude," Matthew said, noting that it’s still unclear who fired first.

Friday, February 13, 2015


As tragic as it is this reminds me of the Abbott & Costello "who's on first" skit.

I just can't get my head around why anyone (in this case 2) would take someone they know is suffering from war related PTSD and referred to them as "nuts" to a gun range, and hand them a loaded weapon? Since when is mixing crazy people with guns a good idea?

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Driving to a shooting range with his would-be assassin in the back seat of his pickup, American Sniper Chris Kyle sent a text message to friend Chad Littlefield, sitting next to him in the front seat.

"This dude is straight-up nuts," the text read, referring to Eddie Ray Routh.

Littlefield replied: "He's right behind me, watch my six," military slang meaning, "Watch my back."

A few hours later, both men were dead on the dirt floor of the shooting range at the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort near Fort Worth, shot more than 12 times in the back, hands and face by Routh, an Iraq War veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoia.

There's enough crazy to go around in this tragedy to jolt Americans back to the reality that our "gun and violence" crazed society is the real culprit here. 

Consider this. There are more than 2 victims here. On one hand we praise and glorify one of the victims for stuffing a record breaking number of body bags with human beings; turning that into a blockbuster movie hit, while at the same time vilifying his killer for bagging 2 human beings and wanting to lock him away for the rest of his life. 

That's nuts! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Where has all the worlds wealth gone? Why are we in so much debt?  More going out than coming in, obviously, but who's holding back? To answer that question one needs to look at how wealth is distributed globally.

To put this in context, that total debt, based upon a global population of close to 7.2 billion people, would come to $27,777 per person. The World Bank’s 2014 estimate was based upon 2011 data, showing that some 17% of people in the developing world, some 1.2 billion people, lived at or below $1.25 a day.The World Is $199 Trillion in Debt, and Growing

The wealth of the world -- from all the global stock markets, insurance funds, and families -- comes out to about $200 trillion, according to the McKinsey Global Institute's new report on investors in developing nations. Who owns all that? The $200 Trillion World: Who Owns All the Wealth?

The richest 1% of the world’s population are getting wealthier, owning more than 48% of global wealth, according to a report published on Tuesday which warned growing inequality could be a trigger for recession.

According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report (pdf), a person needs just $3,650 – including the value of equity in their home – to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and $798,000 to belong to the top 1%.

“Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth. In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets,” said the annual report, now in its fifth year. 
Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report.

Oxfam International has released a new report called, “Working for the Few,” that contains some startling statistics on what it calls the “growing tide of inequality.”

The report states:
Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.

In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.


Will the Pope receive a warm welcome as they will undoubtedly give to Netanyahu when he addresses Congress to promote war(s) on terror.  Or will they give Francis the cold shoulder much like they do to the president? After all Francis and Obama (not to forget Rand Paul) are pretty much on the same page when it comes to income inequality. It will be interesting to see if the Catholic congresspersons will give their spiritual leader a thumbs up or boo him off the pulpit. Let the squirming begin.

Pope Francis will have some US legislators ‘€˜squirming in their seats’ | Al Jazeera America

When Pope Francis becomes the first pope to address a joint session of Congress, in September, many Catholic theologians and activists expect that he will focus on rising global economic inequality rather than on the hot-button cultural issues that often dominate U.S. politics.

Many pundits predict that the pope will use his critique of the current global economic order to challenge his audience on the role of government in alleviating inequality as well as on immigration and climate change.

The central message of Francis’ papacy has been that “income and wealth inequality in our world is the source of social ills,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying group best known for its Nuns on the Bus campaigns challenging income inequality and pressing for immigration reform. “Until we remedy that, we won’t have any sort of real peace or good community.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Nothing to do with Islam or Muslims or Terrorists and everything to do with red-blooded Americans bubbling over with hate, armed and ready to kill for a cause; what that is no one knows for sure. 

The man arrested on suspicion of killing three young Muslims in North Carolina described himself as an “anti-theist” and criticised all religions online.

Police said 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks handed himself in to officers in Chapel Hill overnight in the wake of the deaths of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

He has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. As tributes poured in for the young family, a Facebook page in Hicks’ name showed that he read paralegal studies at Durham Technical Community College and described himself as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality”.


A regular social media user, his last three posts were a cute dog video about the Pavlov effect, a viral advert for Air New Zealand involving mountain bikes, and a picture from United Atheists of America asking “why radical Christians and radical Muslims are so opposed to each others’ influence when they agree about so many ideological issues”.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


For seemingly coming out on the side of those who advocate NOT "sparing the rod"?

After just coming out against "nip & tuk" (elective cosmetic surgery) and referring to it as an "aggression" against women it's surprising to read that he seems soft on "aggression" against children.

Of course, he also didn't hold back when he claimed he would "punch" anyone who miss-spoke about his mother (I'm OK with that one) so my guess is Francis operates in the "grey" rather than the "black & white" reality many of us feel more comfortable in.  What I like to call the "Bush Doctrine" (you're either with us or against us) world view.

                                       Pope Francis on spanking | National Catholic Reporter

I'm going to safely assume that Francis was not endorsing this;

A warrant for the arrest of Adrian Peterson, one of the National Football League’s top stars, was issued Friday after he was charged in a child abuse investigation in Texas, the latest criminal case to rock the country’s most popular sport.

The charges against Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings regarded as one of the best in history, came after the police investigated claims that he had abused his son while disciplining him with a switch, or a small tree branch.

Peterson, through a lawyer, quickly sought to play down his behavior, saying he had engaged only in stern parenting.

“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said, adding that Peterson, 29, had experienced such discipline as a child in East Texas. “Adrian has never hidden from what happened.”

Beating children in Texas is commonly referred to as "stern parenting." My response to all those "stern" parents is to say, "please, can I borrow your switch for a second? And then can you bend over, pull down those pants, and allow me to give you a sense of what "stern" parenting feels like".

Monday, February 9, 2015


Here's another example of why Republican run Congress is the worse run organization in the country.

 Congressman's spending brings Schock and awe

His “Downton Abbey” decor fits a pattern of spending on resort hotels, charter flights and a personal photographer.

He charters private planes and employs a personal photographer. In Aspen, Colorado, he stays at the Little Nell, a five-star resort near the ski slopes. In Las Vegas, he prefers the pricey Wynn hotel. While in Vail, Colorado, and San Francisco, it’s the Four Seasons. In Miami Beach, he’s sampled the Delano, Fontainebleau and the exclusive Soho Beach House. And in Beverly Hills, California, he’s tried both the Peninsula and the Beverly Wilshire.

Illinois GOP Rep. Aaron Schock raises a lot of money, for himself and other Republicans — he had $3.2 million in the bank at the end of December. And through his web of campaign committees, the 33-year-old lawmaker also spends lavishly.

Schock’s spending, which was always a subject of internal GOP chatter, has come under scrutiny since The Washington Post revealed last week that he had his Capitol Hill office redecorated to resemble “Downton Abbey.”

In addition to staying at expensive hotels, Schock also has spent more than $90,000 in campaign dollars on private air charters, an unusually high sum for a rank-and-file member of the House. His allies say it’s necessary so he can quickly hop between Republican districts across the country. House financial records also show that he has spent thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on private planes, which his office says helps him get around his Illinois district.

'Downton Abbey' congressman's aide resigns over Facebook posts
Schock’s campaign has also purchased a $74,000 Chevrolet Tahoe to help get him around back home in Illinois, in addition to a $27,000 Ford.

To keep track of all his comings and goings, Schock has hired a personal photographer. Jonathon Link, a former Dallas-area wedding photographer, now snaps shots for Schock, and both his campaign and taxpayers pick up the bill.

To pay for all of this, Schock is constantly fundraising, and he has repeatedly attended high-profile events. On Jan. 31, 2014, Schock cut a check to the NFL for more than $10,000 to cover the cost of Super Bowl tickets. In April 2013, Schock spent $3,320 on tickets to the CMA Country Music Awards. Instead of holding fundraisers at golf courses — as dozens of other Republicans do — Schock insiders say he prefers sporting and music events.

And to keep track of this burgeoning political operation, Schock has spent more than $200,000 on lawyers since 2011, including $91,369 in the past two years. He has come under the scrutiny of the Office of Congressional Ethics for allegedly soliciting a contribution for a super PAC above the legal limits. Schock has denied any wrongdoing.

Read more:

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Is Creation a failed experiment? Is the "Grand Design" severely flawed? If humans are made in God's image what does that say about God? Or, did humans just make the story up to perpetuate a big con on the rest of creation?

A common position among young-earth creationists, and even the wider evangelical community, is that mankind has dominion on earth. This means that mankind has been given a special authority and rule over the creatures and the Creation. This concept is so widely applied and held that it has even earned a special doctrinal name, which is the dominion mandate.

From this concept, it has been inferred by many that a command was given to Adam, and all of his descendants, to have dominion and rule over all the animal kind, and the Creation. Therefore, all of humanity are recipients of this perceived Adamic dominion.

The dominion mandate, itself, is not named nor defined in Scripture, and so offering a deeper definition, which everyone can agree on, is not possible. However, it is possible to locate where the idea of the dominion mandate stems from. It is the biblical passage in Genesis 1:26–28:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

There's evidence beginning to pile up that humans have failed miserably in protecting their environment and the creatures they are accountable to. 

The problem seems to lie in how humans exercise their God-given gift of "free will." From day one the consequences have been disastrous. Much like a kid on a sliding board, humanity has been on a slide into self extinction and taking every other living thing with them;

Some scientists, Guy McPherson included, fear that climate disruption is so serious, with so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already in play, that humans are in the process of causing our own extinction. Are Humans Going Extinct?

You would expect that "survival of the species" would trump everything else. That's not case with humans;

As the global impacts of anthropomorphic climate disruption continue to intensify, corporations and the global elite continue to plunder our planet, subjecting areas of the planet that already face fresh-water scarcity issues and other environmental contamination problems to still greater risks from various forms of pollution. Planet or Profit?

So where does that leave us?

With atomic scientists' "Doomsday Clock" two minutes closer to midnight and a report from the National Climatic Data Center confirming that 2014 was the hottest year on record, Congress is trying to move us closer to ecocide. Reversing course will require urgent, concerted action. Three Minutes to Midnight: Can We Turn the Clock Back in Time?

So, is it possible to save ourselves from ourselves?  Or, will God come to our rescue? The prophets of old and today's Evangelicals (the Armageddon fans) would say No! Too Late! Sorry! The time has come to meet our Maker or; for some of us?

There are a few voices out there who still cling on to hope. Not in humanity as we know it, but a by-product in what could be what God had in mind all along;

Some futurists think the singularity — the point at which artificial intelligence can match, and then overtake, human smarts — might happen in just 16 years, while others say by 2100. Either way, it's near.   Intelligent Robots Will Overtake Humans by 2100, Experts Say


Former tax inspector Richard Brooks tells BBC Panorama in a programme to be aired on Monday night: “I think they were a tax avoidance and tax evasion service. I think that’s what they were offering.

Although tax authorities around the world have had confidential access to the leaked files since 2010, the true nature of the Swiss bank’s misconduct has never been made public until now. Hollywood stars, shopkeepers, royalty and clothing merchants feature in the files along with the heirs to some of Europe’s biggest fortunes.

HSBC’s Swiss bankers routinely handed over large sums of cash to visiting clients, asking few questions, the files show. The bank said it had since tightened its controls. “The amended terms and conditions allowed the private bank to refuse a cash withdrawal request, and placed strict controls on withdrawals over $10,000 [£6,600],” its statement said.

The Guardian’s evidence of a pattern of misconduct at HSBC in Switzerland is supported by the outcome of recent court cases in the US and Europe. The bank was named in the US as a co-conspirator for handing over “bricks” of $100,000 a time to American surgeon Andrew Silva in Geneva, so that he could illegally post cash back to the US.

Another US client, Sanjay Sethi, pleaded guilty in 2013 to cheating the US tax authorities. He was one of a group of convicted HSBC clients. The prosecution said an HSBC banker promised “the undeclared account would allow [his] assets to grow tax-free, and bank secrecy laws in Switzerland would allow Sethi to conceal the existence of the account”.

In France, an HSBC manager, Nessim el-Maleh, was able to run a cash pipeline in which plastic bags full of currency from the sale of marijuana to immigrants in the Paris suburbs were collected. The cash was then taken round to HSBC’s respectable clients in the French capital. Bank accounts back in Switzerland were manipulated to reimburse the drug dealers.

HSBC is already facing criminal investigations and charges in France, Belgium, the US and Argentina as a result of the leak of the files, but no legal action has been taken against it in Britain.

“There are very few reasons to have an offshore bank account, apart from just saving tax. There are some people who can use an ... account to avoid tax legally. For others it’s just a way to keep money secret.”

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Looks like the best way to get football fans to pay attention is to go for their wallet(s)

A Wisconsin mother filed a $5-million lawsuit against the Pop Warner youth football organization on Thursday, blaming it for her son's suicide after years of playing the "combat sport."

The suit comes amid scrutiny and continuing litigation over the effects of repeated blows to the head in American football, and the potential for such injuries to contribute to depression and other mental health problems among players.

Debra Pyka filed the complaint against Pop Warner Little Scholars and its liability insurer in a federal Wisconsin court. Pyka said her son, Joseph Chernach, hanged himself at the age of 25, after developing brain diseases from playing in the league as a youth.

"Tackle football with helmets is a war game. It is not only a 'contact' sport, it is a 'combat' sport," the complaint said. "Joseph Chernach's suicide was the natural and probable consequence of the injuries he suffered playing Pop Warner football."

And she has some unexpected alies who agree with her;

NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka has dedicated his life to football. But if he had a son today, he wouldn’t want that child to do the same, according to a Saturday report by the Chicago Tribune.

In an episode of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” set to air on HBO on Tuesday, Ditka asks sports reporter Bryant Gumbel if he himself would want his child to play football.

“I wouldn’t,” Gumbel says. “Would you?”

“Nope,” Ditka replies. “I wouldn't. And my whole life was football. I think the risk is worse than the reward. I really do.”

Friday, February 6, 2015


Compared to Cronkite & Morrow Williams is NOT a news anchor. Unfortunately he is nothing more than a pitch man for BigPharma  fixes for dry vagina's and limp penises ;; just to name a few a long list of "ask your doctor" messages that occupy close to 50% of the network news slots. The other 50% is baked in chaos, drama, tear jerk trivia with a pinch of information that Cronkite and/or Morrow would call news. Imagine Cronkite reporting on the assassination of JFK having to break away for 30/60 second sales pitch for a "time is right" drug. 

In exaggerating the news Williams was doing what he is paid to do; entertain the crowd, the majority of which are brain dead and need a constant jolt of "breaking news" just to keep them focused till the next sales pitch.   

Want 100% news?  PBS is the only island of real news in this waste land of faux/entertainment news. 

Mr. Williams has not addressed the issue publicly since Wednesday, when he apologized on his newscast for embellishing an account of an incident in 2003; over the years he came to say that he was in a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire, an assertion he now says is not true. On his newscasts Thursday and Friday, he did not mention the controversy.

If Mr. Williams is forced to step down, it would be a huge blow to the news division, which is in a cutthroat ratings race with the rival networks. In this season to date, NBC has averaged 9.3 million total viewers for its nightly broadcast, compared with 8.7 million for ABC and 7.3 million for CBS, according to Nielsen.

For NBC, Mr. Williams is more than just a nightly news anchor. He’s a bona fide celebrity on par with Jimmy Fallon, Matt Lauer and Bob Costas in representing the face of the broadcast network. Should Mr. Williams be forced to step down, it is not clear who a successor would be, industry executives said.

Creating a succession plan has not been a top priority at the network as it has focused on sorting out issues with its “Today” show. Mr. Williams has been viewed as a block of stability, and in December the network extended his contract, with the terms reported to be as much as $10 million per year for five years.

Some media critics and TV industry insiders questioned NBC’s plan to conduct an internal investigation rather than work with an outside group.

“Internal investigations are inherently suspect because NBC has a literal financial investment in Brian Williams and his brand,” Mr. Feldstein said. “They have been paying him millions of dollars a year and spending millions more to promote his image as their public face, as their brand, specifically promoting his integrity as a source for news.”

In other media scandals, Mr. Feldstein said, changes in personnel and practice mostly came after external investigations.

Others in the TV news business questioned the point of the investigation, given that Mr. Williams already admitted that he had made false claims about his experiences in Iraq.

News of the internal investigation was first reported by The Daily News of New York.

Mr. Williams now admits that his portrayal of the helicopter journey was misleading, and that he had been on a different helicopter, behind the one that was hit. He said he had “conflated” the two versions, and apologized.

It’s not clear whether other people at NBC were aware that Mr. Williams’s version of the events was inaccurate.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


This study attempts to answer that question;

Does money corrupt?

What is it about being wealthy that might make people behave differently?

Is it the feeling of societal advantage? Or maybe it's the belief that wealth is proof of hard work, and therefore comes with certain entitlements.

A PBS "News Hour" report titled “Money on the Mind”explores these concepts and more, attempting to zero in on how and why money affects attitudes and behavior.

Citing the research of Paul Piff, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, the report claims that having more money typically leads to more aggressive, selfish and “morally reprehensible” behavior.

For those who question that, the following example might help support the results;

                               Son allegedly killed hedge-funder dad after $200 allowance cut

The old man stiffed the kid out of $200.00! So what would you expect him to do? Sounds reasonable to me looking at it from a 1% point of view. After all, money is sacred. How dare someone deprive their 30 year old son of part of their allowance. 

This should be a clear message to all those money worshipers out there in 1% ville. Don't mess with your kids allowance. 

The bratty 30-year-old son of a millionaire Manhattan hedge-fund founder was charged Monday with murdering his dad after the old man cut his allowance — by a measly $200, law-enforcement sources said.

Thomas Gilbert Jr. faces multiple charges including murder and criminal possession of a weapon after he allegedly fired a single shot at his father’s head Sunday night.

The son, who just found out he was getting a $200 cut in his monthly allowance, asked his mother to go get him a sandwich so she’d be out of the family’s tony Beekman Place apartment just before he pulled the trigger and executed his dad, sources told The Post.

“He was cutting his allowance. He had been giving him $2,400 a month for rent and $600 for spending money, and he was cutting that to $400 a month for spending money,” a source said about
Thomas Gilbert Sr., founder of the Wainscott Capital hedge fund.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Here's another example of why the capitalist free market needs to be regulated by government.

A warning to herbal supplement users: Those store-brand ginkgo biloba tablets you bought may contain mustard, wheat, radish and other substances decidedly non-herbal in nature, but they’re not likely to contain any actual ginkgo biloba.

That’s according to an investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office into store-brand supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. All four have received cease-and-desist letters demanding that they stop selling a number of their dietary supplements, few of which were found to contain the herbs shown on their labels and many of which included potential allergens not identified in the ingredients list.

“Contamination, substitution and falsely labeling herbal products constitute deceptive business practices and, more importantly, present considerable health risks for consumers,” said the letters, first reported today by the New York Times.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Is being a conservative harmful to your health?

To test this the researchers set out to evaluate whether time to death was associated in any way with party political affiliation or political ideology, along with the impact of self-reported health and happiness.

Data was taken from the American 2008 General Social Survey-National Death Index dataset. The time to death for 32,830 participants was analyzed, between the years of 1976 and 2008. This dataset is comprised of interviews conducted in person, utilizing a core set of questions asked each year to a different set of participants.

While there was no difference in time to death between participants affiliated with the Democrat and Republican parties, participants who described themselves as "independents" were significantly less likely to die during the study period. This difference became apparent after the researchers adjusted the data for individual variables such as age, sex, education and household income.

However, participants identifying as liberal were less likely to die early compared with moderates or conservatives. This finding remained the same after adjusting the data for individual variables.

Wonder why? It's obvious. They are "anti-people"; more concerned about making money than protection the environment. Believe that they are entitled to a bigger piece of the economic pie because they deserve it.

Looks like the forces of nature (and the Man upstairs) don't agree. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Many Americans like to live in a "Disneyland" reality. You can't them because seeing the real world we live in is enough to make your head explode. Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) made everybody's day with American Sniper; a fantasy about how we want to believe war is like. 

The shameful atrocities of Vietnam are slowly fading into history as are those that lived through it, so the time is ripe to start rewriting the history of the disastrous war(s) we do remember.

Garett Reppenhagen served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the US Army and deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and a combat tour in the Diyala Province, Iraq in 2004. Garett works as a Regional Director for Vet Voice Foundation and is a veterans advocate and social justice organizer.

"When I heard of the bigoted reaction some Americans had after watching the film, I was disgusted, but not surprised. Audience members are mistaking Chris Kyle’s view of the war as “the” story about the war. No wonder someone tweeted that the movie made them “want to go kill some ragheads.” It’s sad that such a nearsighted portrayal of Iraqis has caused more people to fear Arabs and glorify violence against them."

"It would be refreshing if a big Hollywood movie would take on the task of creating a less dramatized, more nuanced version of warfare. There are some incredible documentaries on the subject. “Occupation: Dreamland” and “Restrepo” capture the life of a service member in a modern deployment without sugarcoating the hard political environment that is a backdrop to the conflicts."