Monday, July 29, 2013

North Carolina Passes the Country's Worst Voter Suppression Law by Ari Berman

I’ve been in Texas this week researching the history of the Voting Rights Act at the LBJ Library. As I’ve been studying how the landmark civil rights law transformed American democracy, I’ve also been closely following how Republicans in North Carolina—parts of which were originally covered by the VRA in 1965—have made a mockery of the law and its prohibition on voting discrimination.
Late last night, the North Carolina legislature passed the country’s worst voter suppression law after only three days of debate. Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog called it “the most sweeping anti-voter law in at least decades” The bill mandates strict voter ID to cast a ballot (no student IDs, no public employee IDs, etc.), even though 318,000 registered voters lack the narrow forms of acceptable ID according to the state’s own numbers and there have been no recorded prosecutions of voter impersonationin the past decade. The bill cuts the number of early voting days by a week, even though 56 percent of North Carolinians voted early in 2012. The bill eliminates same-day voter registration during the early voting period, even though 96,000 people used it during the general election in 2012 and states that have adopted the convenient reform have the highest voter turnout in the country. African-Americans are 23 percent of registered voters in the state, but made up 28 percent of early voters in 2012, 33 percent of those who used same-day registration and 34 percent of those without state-issued ID.
And that’s just the start of it. In short, the bill eliminates practically everything that encourages people to vote in North Carolina, replaced by unnecessary and burdensome new restrictions. At the same time, the bill expands the influence of unregulated corporate influence in state elections. Just what our democracy needs—more money and less voting!
“I want you to understand what this bill means to people,” said Representative Mickey Michaux (D-Durham), the longest-serving member of the North Carolina House and a veteran of the civil rights movement who grew up in the Jim Crow South. “We have fought for, died for and struggled for our right to vote. You can take these 57 pages of abomination and confine them to the streets of Hell for all eternity.”
Here are the details of everything bad about the ball, via North Carolina Policy Watch. It’s a very long list:
· The end of pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds
· A ban on paid voter registration drives
· Elimination of same day voter registration
· A provision allowing voters to be challenged by any registered voter of the county in which they vote rather than just their precinct
· A week sliced off Early Voting
· Elimination of straight party ticket voting
· A provision making the state’s presidential primary date a function of the primary date in South Carolina
· A provision calling for a study (rather than a mandate) of electronic candidate filing
· An increase in the maximum campaign contribution to $5,000 (the limit will continue to increase every two years with the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
· A provision weakening disclosure requirements for ”independent expenditure” committees
· Authorization of vigilante poll observers, lots of them, with expanded range of interference
· An expansion of the scope of who may examine registration records and challenge voters
· A repeal of out-of-precinct voting
· A repeal of the current mandate for high-school registration drives
· Elimination of flexibility in opening early voting sites at different hours within a county
· A provision making it more difficult to add satellite polling sites for the elderly or voters with disabilities
· New limits on who can assist a voter adjudicated to be incompetent by court
· The repeal of three public financing programs
· The repeal of disclosure requirements under “candidate specific communications.”

House Republicans Are on the Hook for Killing 1.6 Million Jobs By: Sarah Jones

Want jobs? Get Congress to end sequestration.
Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, requested an analysis of the costs of the sequester cuts – something I’ve been asking around for since they took place to no avail.
Guess what? The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office(CBO) reiterated their projections about the sequester slowing growth, and estimated that the Republican inflicted spending cuts would cost up to 1.6 million jobs if left in place through fiscal 2014.
The CBO determined that canceling sequester cuts would create between 300,000 (.3 million) to 1.6 million new jobs. Gee, we’ll take it! Sounds pretty good to us.
Their break down:
Those figures represent CBO’s central estimates, which correspond to the assumption that key parameters of economic behavior (in particular, the extent to which higher federal spending boosts aggregate demand in the short term) equal the midpoints of the ranges used by CBO. The full ranges CBO uses for those parameters suggest that, in the third quarter of calendar year 2014, real GDP could be between 0.2 percent and 1.2 percent higher, and employment 0.3 million to 1.6 million higher, under the proposal than under current law. Because those estimates indicate the effects of a prospective change in law, they do not encompass the full impact of the sequestration that has already occurred.
The sequester was always a Republican dream, and Republican Budget God Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been championing it since 2004.
On August 1, 2011, Paul Ryan went on Fox News to crow that he finally got his way when sequestration was put into place via the 2011 congressional debt ceiling deal. Yes, that’s right. We got there because House Republicans were holding the economy hostage over raising the debt ceiling because they didn’t want to pay for the things they’d already bought.

To read more, click on the following link:

'Boycott Florida' isn't so simple, experts say By Michael Martinez

(CNN) -- Many angry Americans are urging a punishment on Florida in the killing of Trayvon Martin: a boycott.
Musician Stevie Wonder won't perform there. Martin Luther King III is considering deploying the tactic -- often used by his famous father in the civil rights era -- against Florida products like orange juice. Social media activists advance boycott plans even on the state's official tourism page on Facebook.
Their actions seek the repeal of Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law, which was at the center of a national debate in the wake of Martin's shooting death. George Zimmerman's lawyers didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law in court, but it was included in the instructions to the jury that acquitted him.
But will a boycott work? And when are they effective?
The win column is spotty for boycotts against controversial state laws, experts say. The matter becomes further complicated by the fact that more than 20 states -- not just Florida -- have such a law.
"For boycott organizers, it's more difficult with a state," said Daniel Diermeier, a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
"Let's say your goal is to change a particular law," he continued. "If you think about a political process, you could have multiple chambers and a governor. The political process is much slower and messier than a corporate decision process."
One example of success -- at least economically, one group says -- is the recent boycott of Arizona for its immigration laws.
Akin to the Florida "stand your ground" law, the Arizona immigration law "triggered a fierce, national public-opinion backlash against the state and led many national organizations and opinion leaders to call for economic boycotts," said a 2010 report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress.
Arizona lost at least $141 million after groups canceled their conventions there, according to estimates in the 2010 study.
"This report provides a clear window into the potentially catastrophic impacts of pursuing harsh, state-based immigration policies," the center said.

To read more, click on the following link:
http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/27/us/florida-boycott/index.html?c=us

How new student loan bills could affect you

A look at the crucial differences between a student loan reform bill proposed by the Senate and one already passed by the House.
WASHINGTON — The House is set to go along with a bipartisan Senate compromise that would link college students' interest rates to the financial markets and offer borrowers lower rates this fall.
The Senate bill hews closely to one the House has already passed, and leaders from both parties and in both chambers expect that those differences won't stand in the way of quick resolution, perhaps as early as Wednesday.
House approval would send the measure to President Barack Obama, who has said he would sign it into law "right away."
But critics note that if the economy improves as expected, rates could climb higher.
If the Republican-led House consents to the Senate's tinkering with the House's earlier proposal, and Obama signs the legislation before students start returning to campus, families would see better deals on some federal loans this year than they did in 2012. Undergraduates could borrow at rates as low as 3.4 percent for subsidized Stafford loans and 6.8 percent on unsubsidized Stafford loans last year, while graduate students and parents borrowed at 7.9 percent last year.
Those 3.4 percent rates doubled on July 1 because Congress didn't act. Lawmakers from both parties said the rate increase was unacceptable and worked on various proposals to extend rates, overhaul rates and even remake the entire program before classes start this fall.
Both chambers would link the interest rate to the 10-year Treasury note plus an added percentage, based on the type of loan. Each sets caps on how high the loans can go.
To read more, click on the following link:
http://news.msn.com/us/how-new-student-loan-bills-could-affect-you

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wheybolic Extreme 60 Ripped Protein and Mega Men Ripped VitaPak Program

Saturday July 20, 2013

I strolled into my neighborhood GNC store yesterday afternoon due to the fact that I needed to purchase more of the protein product that I have been using for the last two years.  However, I noticed something different on the shelves people!  I noticed that the company has produced a “ripped formula”.  This protein keeps the calories in check and acts as a thermogenic as well.  I will share the specs at the bottom of the page.  I also purchased the Mega Men powered ripped Vitapak program in conjunction with the protein product.  These two products are designed to create lean muscle for those folk who want to “cut up”  the muscle that has been created.  At this point, I need to shed excess fat and lean up.  I can always bulk up later.  So, check out the specs and keep posted.  I will share thoughts and comments as the months tick by using another GNC Product.Clinically Proven Ingredients Deliver 30% More Strength Energizing Thermogenic Blend with 3x More Calorie Burn*
30% Increase in Muscle Strength
This unique protein blend includes an anabolic module of 20 grams of whey protein and 6.2 grams of leucine that was clinically tested in an 8-week study of athletes performing an intense resistance exercise training regimen. The athletes using this proprietary module of whey protein and leucine demonstrated an increased improvement in muscle strength and muscle size as compared to those performing the same exercise training regimen who did not consume the proprietary module. In a clinical study of participants using a unilateral lower limb resistance training protocol, even the untrained limb demonstrated increases in muscle size.*

What is Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ Ripped?
GNC's most advanced protein, Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™, has evolved even further to help meet your specific training goals and develop more strength and power. This product is the only whey protein isolates to combine the whey and leucine clinically shown to the fuel increased strength and size with additional ingredients proven to amplify power and anabolism. This formula features a protein blend that has been validated in clinical studies to give you a 30% increase in strength, increased muscle size and a 100% improvement in exercise efficiency.* Our GNC scientists have AMPed up the protein with a Shredded Complex and a Metabolizer Matrix with clinically proven ingredients to maximize your results, making this product a combination of 7 products in 1!*

Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ Ripped – Burn Calories, Build Muscle
This breakthrough formula takes protein functionality and performance to new levels so you can achieve chiseled, highly developed muscles.*
30% Increase in Muscle Strength
This unique protein blend includes an anabolic module of 20 grams of whey protein and 6.2 grams of leucine that was clinically tested in an 8-week study of athletes performing an intense resistance exercise training regimen. The athletes using this proprietary module of whey protein and leucine demonstrated an increased improvement in muscle strength and muscle size as compared to those performing the same exercise training regimen who did not consume the proprietary module. In a clinical study of participants using a unilateral lower limb resistance training protocol, even the untrained limb demonstrated increases in muscle size.*

What is Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ Ripped?
GNC's most advanced protein, Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™, has evolved even further to help meet your specific training goals and develop more strength and power. This product is the only whey protein isolates to combine the whey and leucine clinically shown to the fuel increased strength and size with additional ingredients proven to amplify power and anabolism. This formula features a protein blend that has been validated in clinical studies to give you a 30% increase in strength, increased muscle size and a 100% improvement in exercise efficiency.* Our GNC scientists have AMPed up the protein with a Shredded Complex and a Metabolizer Matrix with clinically proven ingredients to maximize your results, making this product a combination of 7 products in 1!*

Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ Ripped – Burn Calories, Build Muscle
This breakthrough formula takes protein functionality and performance to new levels so you can achieve chiseled, highly developed muscles.*


  • Clinically Proven Ingredients Deliver 30% More Strength Energizing Thermogenic Blend with 3x More Calorie Burn*
  • Powerful Metabolism Activators with 1000mg L-Carnitine + 400mg Svetol® Green Coffee Bean Extract*
  • Scientifically Formulated to Fuel Lean Muscle & a Ripped Physique with 60g Whey Protein Isolate & Hydrolysate Formula + 10g Leucine*
  •  
30% Increase in Muscle Strength
This unique protein blend includes an anabolic module of 20 grams of whey protein and 6.2 grams of leucine that was clinically tested in an 8-week study of athletes performing an intense resistance exercise training regimen. The athletes using this proprietary module of whey protein and leucine demonstrated an increased improvement in muscle strength and muscle size as compared to those performing the same exercise training regimen who did not consume the proprietary module. In a clinical study of participants using a unilateral lower limb resistance training protocol, even the untrained limb demonstrated increases in muscle size.*

What is Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ Ripped?
GNC's most advanced protein, Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™, has evolved even further to help meet your specific training goals and develop more strength and power. This product is the only whey protein isolates to combine the whey and leucine clinically shown to the fuel increased strength and size with additional ingredients proven to amplify power and anabolism. This formula features a protein blend that has been validated in clinical studies to give you a 30% increase in strength, increased muscle size and a 100% improvement in exercise efficiency.* Our GNC scientists have AMPed up the protein with a Shredded Complex and a Metabolizer Matrix with clinically proven ingredients to maximize your results, making this product a combination of 7 products in 1


VitaPak Program

MEGA MEN® POWERED
Advanced Sports Vitamin System to Fuel A Tight Chiseled Physique With Over 50 Powerful Ingredients
·         Features GNC's Highest-Potency Sports Multivitamin to Fuel a Ripped Physique
·         Fuels Shredded Muscles and Supports a Healthy Body Composition with 4g of Clinically Studied CLA
·         Burns 12 Times More Calories and Boosts Training Performance
·         Helps to Regulate Excess Water

What is Pro Performance® AMP Ripped Vitapak® Program?Athletes today are developing their speed, athleticism, muscle performance and complete physical potential faster than ever before. The ability to maintain a lean, ripped physique requires absolute fine-tuning of your sports nutrition regimen to enable the body to burn more calories, metabolize fats and achieve the best possible results from your training. Championship athletes know that you must have an effective, targeted and balanced nutrition regimen to achieve maximum training benefits, GNC Scientists have created the breakthrough Pro Performance® AMP Ripped Vitapak® Program. This unparalleled, powerful program combines a daily premium multivitamin, sports nutrients and clinically studied ingredients to fuel an athletes' physique repartitioning efforts.

The Pro Performance® AMP Ripped Vitapak® Program EvolutionNow you have the ability to overcome regular training limitations through the all-new Pro Performance® AMP Ripped Vitapak® Program. This elite breakthrough program is designed to maximize training effects, enhance calorie burning and support lean, toned muscles to achieve a healthy body composition.*Most athletes today are not utilizing the proper combinations and ratios of critical sports nutrition. This system features potent supplements used by elite athletes and supplies what the muscles need to fuel intense training designed to deliver the ripped, lean body athletes want.
·         Mega Men® Sport – This high-potency clinically studied^ sports multivitamin formula includes critical components to fill important nutrient gaps in regular supplementation programs. Mega Men® Sport contains B-vitamins that are important for energy production and carbohydrate metabolism.* It provides amino acids, including BCAA, and a joint cushioning blend for healthy joint cartilage.* Also features a broad spectrum of cell-protecting antioxidants and nutrients that aid in boosting immunity.*
·         Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – Features 4 grams of CLA clinically shown to support the lean, toned muscles for a healthy body composition that elite athletes push to achieve.* CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is present in fatty foods many athletes cut from their training diet programs.
·         Thermo Igniter 12X- Push your performance to higher levels, increase energy and speed up metabolism.* This clinically proven, proprietary thermogenic blend has been shown to help you burn 12 times more calories* and increase your metabolism before , during and after exercise. In addition, just one capsule supports improved endurance and performance to help your body work longer and harder than ever before.



The East Hartford Book Mobile Presented by the Library Commission, Rotary Club and the Town of East Hartford

I just thought that I would share a few pictures of the new van that will serve as a temporary service center while the town library undergoes renovation.  The van looks awesome and I hope that the kids and adults alike will visit the book mobile whenever it is seen in town.  I am sharing of few pictures of when the van was commemorated by the town of East Hartford.















Monday, July 15, 2013

New studies prove failings of education reform industry…Jonathan Pelto


Fellow public school advocate and education columnist, Wendy Lecker, had a piece in this weekend’s Stamford Advocate that should be on the “must read” list for this week.

In “Education fails on an assembly lineWendy Lecker writes,

As any parent knows, every child is different, with different strengths and challenges. The goal of education is to develop each child’s strengths and help her overcome her challenges. Because every child is unique, a one-size-fits-all education will never work. To paraphrase Einstein, standardization is good for cars, but not for people.

Sadly, our leaders are taking public education down a different, damaging and more costly path. Current education policy removes the focus from the needs of children toward methods that have nothing to do with improving learning or well-being. The prime example of this misdirection is the obsession with high-stakes standardized testing.

Americans spend billions of tax dollars and thousands of hours on test prep, administration, scoring and reporting. With the advent of the Common Core, we will spend billions more to develop, administer and score new tests. The Common Core tests, taken and scored entirely on computers, will also require massive investments to upgrade technology.

Policy makers demand that the fate of students, teachers and schools rest on standardized test scores. How do standardized tests help improve learning or life outcomes?

The National Research Council determined that 10 years of No Child Left Behind test-based accountability has had zero to little effect on student achievement. In fact, experts have found that student learning grew at a faster rate prior to NCLB. Evidence also shows that the skills necessary to succeed in life are not captured in standardized tests. Faced with these facts, the logical path would be to reduce the over-emphasis on standardized testing.

Instead, our government, egged on by the education reform industry, claims that the new Common Core tests will assess those “higher order” skills that universities and employers demand. This false assertion flies in the face of the research proving that computer-scoring can only measure rudimentary text-production skills; essentially basic grammar. Computer-scoring cannot assess any higher order skills such as critical thinking, audience awareness, argumentation or creativity.

Thus, we already know that Common Core high-stakes testing will be an expensive failure, as was NCLB.

The cost of high-stakes testing extends beyond the tests themselves. We must count the weeks of lost learning time diverted to tests and test prep each year. Anecdotal evidence from physicians, psychologists and school nurses also reveals a spike in headaches, phobias, and other anxiety-related ailments, along with an increase in the use of anxiety medication during state testing periods.

Now two studies support the claim that standardized tests do more damage than good.


 

A Cop's take on the Verdict by Militant Apathy



The verdict was ridiculous but not surprising.  The only way I would describe the way that I feel is nausea.  I am just sick that this guy got off and his lawyers are going to shamelessly be doing victory laps on TV for the next several weeks.  I also feel so terrible for Trayvon Martin's parents who had to live through that clown show just to see this punk Zimmerman walk. But right now my burning issue is with all of the police officers that defended this idiot from the beginning.  Because as a cop of 11 years myself this burns me especially deeply.

First off I'll just say that for me to write this post I have to be brutally honest about a side of the job that most non-police don't even know that much about, the police-adjacent characters that play a pretty significant role in the career of the average police officer. NO not fireman and EMS.  I'm talking about the other people that if you work the street you get to know by name because you see them that often. They are the medical examiners, the tow truck drivers, and yes at times the Security Types. Security types come in basically two flavors; bouncer types and security guard types.

Security Guard Types:

If you've gone to the calls and done the job you know dudes like this.  You usually meet them pretty early on in your career and you get used to them, they can be clingy at times.  As you gain experience you learn what they do well and what they don't. Most of the time the whole precinct knows who they are.  They will work security at an apartment complex or a gated community.  In my case I worked a pretty rough side of Atlanta so there were no gated communities there, only apartments, and trust me the apartments that had gates were the roughest of all. These security guard types usually know all the neighborhood "stuff".  They know (or purport to know) who sells the drugs and who is breaking in houses.  They definitely know about the noise complaints and the unruly kids.  The teens smoking weed.   Most of the time they wan't you to run some dope-boy off or break up the couple having sex in the parking lot. Or maybe they are in over their head with a thug that they have talked a little to sassy too and they have been told they are going to get beat up or worse.  Sometimes they do get beat up and worse.  There is a place for people like this.  They should be respected for what they do. But they should always respect what role they play and even more than that the limits of their authority.

In my experience this person gets in over their head a lot. There seems to be this struggle between what they perceive as their authority and what they know is their responsibility.  As a cop they can make your life easier if they just keep the little stuff tamped down, (i.e. kids running at the pool, loud music complaints).  But When you drive up and the security guard hands you a 27 ounce bag of weed that they just "confiscated" from someone in a car that is now unoccupied, the occupant of which has since run into a now locked apartment that Mr security just happens to have the key to, and they are begging you to enter (with no warrant), so that they can "help you apprehend the perp", well I think you get the picture. Every single day police officers have to make decisions like this.  All are trained, some better than others. Security officer's choose to make these decisions without the training.

The Bouncer Types:

I can't lie, I've worked off duty at night clubs and been thankful for the security there. I have been in bar fights so massively bad that they looked like a scene from brave heart.  When you are alone and the music is loud and everybody is yelling and screaming and running its hard to get backup so the only thing that has saved my ass a few times was the folks in security until the cavalry got there.  Some of these folks are top notch, some are ex-pro athletes and martial artists. Some are even models and actors so you get a healthy mix. Many a night standing in the cold waiting on my shift to end I've talked to these guys about their dreams and some I've thought would be some really excellent police officers and I've told them so. I've encouraged them in the process, called friends in the department that were recruiters, even given personal references for them.  So I definitely appreciate and respect what they do. At times I've worked with security that were more professional than some of the sworn officers that I worked the streets with. But then of course you've got the real knuckle-dragger's that just love to beat people up and then bring them to you looking like a grapefruit expecting you to look the other way.  They are just clowns through and through and most likely sociopaths.  Some of them may be doing drugs on the job but if they are real turds they may be the ones selling the drugs in the same club they work in. It's a dirty business. But they probably only make up a small part of the population.  

In both groups, a lot of these guys probably work security because they have a desire at some level to be a police officer.  I always took that as a compliment not with disdain.  Law enforcement is an honorable profession and people do good work. But like any other job you have to have good people to do the good work.  I've always believed that it is the combination of intelligence, integrity and courage that makes an average police officer a good officer, but I believe it is empathy that comes with experience that makes a good officer great.  It is the same dynamic for security officers.  The vast majority of these people are hard working folks that are very good at what they do.  They are a true asset to law enforcement as long as they stay in their lane and do what they are supposed to do.  I'm no longer a police officer I'm actually a counselor now.  We have this term in the mental health field that we use that's called "scope of practice".  If you are a mental health counselor, practicing outside of your scope will get your ass in trouble and your license revoked.  Practicing outside your scope of practice in law enforcement will get your certification revoked and your ass prosecuted and put in prison.  But what happens if you are a security guard and you "work outside of your scope of practice"?  Well it looks like you can shoot somebody and walk free.

George Zimmerman:

George fits into a special category that we will just term the perpetual wanna-be. He loves guns, he loves MMA, he watches cops.  He fancies himself a criminal investigator in the making.  He patrols in his personal vehicle, keeps a police scanner and thinks that he has a direct line into dispatch.  The dispatchers on night shift probably do know him by name only because he shows up on caller ID so much.  On the night in question he probably sees Trayvon and for some tragic reason made his mind up that this sneaky perp wasn't going to get away from him this time.  His GUN makes him do things that he shouldn't do because he is basically a coward.  He follows, attacks, then is bested in a ground fight by a 17 year old boy that he outweighed by several pounds that he then decides to shoot at point blank range.  Even the fight scene that played out in Zimmermans mind was written like an urban contemporary movie with Trayvon's last words saying "you got me". (really?)  As a police officer you are trained to use the necessary force to subdue the threat but if there is no longer a deadly threat, deadly force is no longer necessary or approved. Translation = Had this been a real police officer, his ass would be in deep shit.  The local police knew he was a cheese ball. That's why they never hired him. They probably knew him by name.

I think what we have in George Zimmerman is a person who very likely has tried to be a police officer many, many, many times but couldn't for some very good reasons. He has probably tried to apply to police departments and could not pass the entry requirements.  Now from the surface you would say this is because of his size.  You may surmise that he probably couldn't meet the weight or fitness standard. But I disagree.  I would wager that Mr. Zimmerman has probably never gotten past the psyche evaluation.  I'm sure laws prohibit the release of applicant information but I would bet that he has applied to at least 2 or more sheriff or police departments in the area and has been declined.  You see even in a big city it's a relatively small community.  Once you begin applying and fail a polygraph or fail a psych, that follows you.  Chances are he's failed a few and has likely been blacklisted.  Judging from his demeanor and some of the witness statements he may have some delusions as well.  As many voter purges as FL has done it is amazing that this man was able to purchase a weapon after an altercation with police and a DV but I assume that is what having a father in law enforcement will get you.  Just from the 30,000 foot view Zimmerman probably never should have been able to purchase a gun.  Zimmerman never should have held the job that he did. And Zimmerman never should have been able to get away with murder but he did.

That is what is so infuriating and confusing about this case.  Good police officers that I know personally very well, that I have policed with, bled with, have taken sides on this case that are completely contrary to everything they have ever demonstrated in their entire professional lives.  People that would be pulling their eye teeth out with pliers if they had to deal with a guy like Zimmerman on their beat are cheering his acquittal. People that supervise officers.  If this scenario had played out with one of their subordinates shooting an unarmed teen after pursuing them under these circumstances they would have recommended termination at the least and gone all in on an Internal Affairs Investigation are saying the prosecution never had a case.  I am sure that my old department would not have hesitated a moment to prosecute any off duty police officer if they had done the same thing that George Zimmerman did. But for some reason this case triggered some sort of collective fugue state that has clouded every bodies mind.  At some point this became a basketball game for them, our team versus their team. Now we've got defense lawyers doing victory laps, cops cheering prosecutors losing a case and 60% of the country feeling like a guilty man is going free.

Best Five Minute Workout by Micheal Chang on YouTube

I have found this high intensity workout to be most interesting.  I have integrated this into my regular workout schedule.  I have improvised on the exercises a bit but still I must say very effective! 
For increased intensity, try this with your weight vest strapped on.  Super Intense!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u1DjsQz7l0

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Will Zimmerman Be Prosecuted By The Feds? by Norm Pattis


Six women -- five white, and one Hispanic -- acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jurors rejected both a charge of murder, which, under Florida law, required showing of hatred or animus, and manslaughter, which required a lesser showing of a lack of justification for the shooting death. They set Zimmerman free late Saturday night in a verdict that stunned many who suspected that this crime reflected less the exigencies of self-defense than it did the raw edges of the new American frontier between white, or near-white, privilege, and the black underclass.

Does that mean the case is now closed?

As a matter of Florida criminal law, the answer is yes. The Fifth Amendment’s ban on double jeopardy shields Zimmerman from another prosecution in the Sunshine State. Yes, there may be a civil suit. But claims for money damages ring hollow when there’s a dead body to account for. 

Will Zimmerman face federal prosecution?

How can Zimmerman be prosecuted again?

The bar on double jeopardy applies to one sovereign at a time. In the Zimmerman case, that means he can be prosecuted but once by the State of Florida. However, a separate sovereign, the United States Government, can prosecute him if his conduct violates a federal criminal statute. There’s no bar on what I call “existential double jeopardy.” That’s the law, as crazy as it may sound. We may call ourselves the land of the free, but two sovereigns can call us to account for our conduct.

The federal Justice Department under Eric Holder has been uncommonly aggressive in its prosecution of civil rights claims. It has prosecuted cops for conduct that many civil rights practitioners regard as garden variety misconduct. 

What of a federal prosecution of George Zimmerman?

There is a precedent for the feds stepping in to prosecute after a failed state prosecution. Recall the Rodney King case? After a California jury acquitted the police officers who beat King, a federal jury was empaneled, and several of the officers were then convicted and sent to prison.

Typically, federal civil rights actions require that the defendant be a state actor, that is, a person acting under color of law, whether that be a law enforcement officer, or some other official. However, 18 U.S.C. Section 249 holds open the possibility that a private person can be prosecuted for violating the rights of another.

The statute seems tailor-made for a case such as Zimmerman’s.

To read more, click on the following link:

http://www.pattisblog.com/index.php?article=Will_Zimmerman_Be_Prosecuted_By_The_Feds_6408&limit=2

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ohio district OKs firearms at school for teachers with gun permits


So, people what do you think of this?  I personally do not agree with it.

An Ohio school has joined the ranks of those allowing faculty and staff to carry firearms. The Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District's Board of Education approved a plan that will allow authorized staff to carry guns on school property when the new school year begins in August. "It's part of our safety plan," Superintendent Jeff Staggs said. Newcomerstown joins schools in Michigan and South Dakota, where the state legislators gave the OK to arm teachers, as well as another Ohio school that allows janitors to carry guns. The Newcomerstown school board has stipulated that gun carriers will have to participate in a tactical training course and maintain gun permits. [Source]

 

Monday, July 8, 2013

World’s first telescopic contact lens gives you Superman-like vision By Sebastian Anthony


An international team of researchers have created the first telescopic contact lens; a contact lens that, when it’s equipped, gives you the power to zoom your vision almost three times. Yes, this is the first ever example of a bionic eye that effectively gives you Superman-like eagle-eye vision.

As you can see in the photo above, the telescopic contact lens has two very distinct regions. The center of the lens allows light to pass straight through, providing normal vision. The outside edge, however, acts as a telescope capable of magnifying your sight by 2.8x. This is about the same as looking through a 100mm lens on a DSLR. For comparison, a pair of bird-watching binoculars might have a magnification of 15x. The examples shown in the image below give you a good idea of what a 2.8x optical zoom would look like in real life.

The main breakthrough is that this telescopic contact lens is just 1.17mm thick, allowing it to be comfortably worn. Other attempts at granting telescopic vision have included: a 4.4mm-thick contact lens (too thick for real-world use), telescopic spectacles (cumbersome and ugly), and most recently a telescopic lens implanted into the eye itself. The latter is currently the best option currently available, but it requires surgery and the image quality isn’t excellent.

To create a 1.17mm-thick telescope, the researchers — led by Joseph Ford of UCSD and Eric Tremblay of EPFL — had to be rather creative. The light that will be magnified enters the edge of the contact lens, is bounced around four times inside the lens using patterned aluminium mirrors, and then beamed to the edge of the retina at the back of your eyeball. The mirrors magnify the image 2.8 times, but also correct for chromatic aberration, resulting in a surprisingly high fidelity image. To switch between normal and telescopic vision, the central (normal, unmagnified) region of the contact lens has a polarizing filter in front of it — and then the wearer equips a pair of 3D TV spectacles. By switching the polarizing state of the spectacles (a pair of active, liquid crystal Samsung 3D specs in this case), the user can choose between normal and magnified vision.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/160052-worlds-first-telescopic-contact-lens-gives-you-superman-like-vision

Grad students lash out against Teach for America in scathing statement by Michaela Gianotti

Things can get a little awkward for students paying for a degree in education when their university partners with an organization that uses a five-week training program to pump out teachers. Teach for America, a group that places recent grads in low-income schools to teach for two years, should have thought twice before seeking a partnership with the University of Minnesota. In a less-than-polite statement, 10 students in Minnesota's teaching program accused the organization of sending "underprepared teachers into communities of students already often marginalized by the education system." The group argued that teachers should have long term investments in their communities. According to Erin Dyke, a Ph.D. candidate who helped write the statement, the majority of TFA corps members leave their schools after two years. 
http://now.msn.com/teach-for-america-attacked-by-university-of-minnesota-graduate-students