Category Archives: Uncategorized

Parkland Shooting ~ One Year Later

By Hook Or By Book

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Sadly, here in the U.S., today is also the first anniversary of the mass shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, that resulted in the deaths of fourteen high school students and three school faculty members.

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While an initial sense of hopelessness descended upon our nation, for those of us who believe in common sense gun reform, that’s slowly given way to cautious optimism. The students who survived that horrifying massacre have created a movement for change that for the first time has outlasted the initial news cycle. In 2018, at least 67 new gun laws were enacted in in Florida and 26 other states, as well as the District of Columbia. In Washington, 17 newly elected House members are supporters of stricter gun laws and more than two dozen House members who were backed by the National Rifle Association were defeated…

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Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Trump’s veiled threats of blackmail or extortion on Cohen’s father-in-law are illegal. In my opinion, rather than depending on Congress to do more than use strong words, Cohen should file a criminal complaint against Guiliani and Trump.

The Secular Jurist

WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, announced through a spokesman Wednesday that he wouldn’t testify before Congress on Feb. 7 because of “threats” from the president.

[…]

“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” said Lanny Davis, a Cohen spokesman. “This is a time when Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”

Continue reading:  Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  Two weeks ago, I wrote the following regarding Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony:

Knowing Trump as Americans do now after two tumultuous years in office, it is conceivable that the president…

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Dr. King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail

Padre Steve's World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Not long ago I posted an article about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’sLetter from a Birmingham Jail.

I included the link to the letter in my article, but I realize that most people, unlike me we not follow a link to get to the original source of the information supplied.

For those that don’t understand, my position as a Priest, if I am actually to be faithful to my vows requires that I be faithful to the Gospel. Sometimes that vow requires stating things that some in denial of their own faith would condemn as partisan politics. But this is not partisan, it echoes both the Christian and American propositions that all men are created equal.

With that in mind here is the full text of King’s letter. It is worthy of your full consideration and contemplation, and for that reason I make no…

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Unpaid United States government workers interviewed

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This Washington Post video from the USA says about itself:

Furloughed employees rally against shutdown: ‘Stop playing politics with our lives’

Furloughed federal employees and supporters protested the ongoing government shutdown Jan. 10, urging President Trump and Congress to open the government.

From the World Socialist Web Site in the USA:

“We are being treated like pawns”

As payless payday looms, federal unions stage protests in US cities

By our reporter

11 January 2019

Friday will be the first payless payday for hundreds of thousands of federal workers forced to work without pay during the US government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands more are on furlough without pay, impacting everything from federal food inspections to environmental health and safety, services on Indian reservations and the operation of national parks.

The continuation of the government funding cutoff has put other programs in jeopardy, such as school meals and the Supplemental Nutrition…

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FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

The FDA is working to restore some food-safety inspections for products deemed high-risk, such as seafood and raw fruit, that have been suspended or delayed because of the government shutdown. “We’re taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk…

via FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

The FDA is working to restore some food-safety inspections for products deemed high-risk, such as seafood and raw fruit, that have been suspended or delayed because of the government shutdown. “We’re taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk…

via FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

‘Never been more depressed’: Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

President Donald Trump has rejected a plan proposed by a bloc of Senate Republicans who had hoped to break an impasse over the government shutdown, leaving Congress and the White House with little obvious way out of the extended battle over Trump’s border wall.On the 20th day of the shutdown, the GOP group tried to…

via ‘Never been more depressed’: Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

2018

Abagond

My look back on the year 2018 as it ended:

The bad news: Donald Trump is still the US president.

The good news: Trump lost control of the lower house of Congress in the midterm elections.

This year’s theme: Fear. Criminalizing and fear-mongering on mom-and-pop asylum seekers from Central America. The caravan of several thousand asylum seekers crossing Mexico were painted as an invasion bringing disease, crime, and terrorism to the US. When they tried to cross the border, they were gassed, men, women, and children (pictured at top).

Making a comeback:family separation.

This year’s new/old trend: Calling the police on Black people minding their own business. Among this year’s trendsetters: Starbucks, #BBQBecky, #PermitPatty, #PoolPatrolPaula, #CornerStoreCaroline, #BrooklynBecky, #PaulBlartPoolCop, #BaggageClaimBecky, #CouponCarl, #DepressedDebbie.

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate to serve on the US Supreme Court, giving it a 5-4 hard-right majority. In spite of riveting…

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Friday Roundup: Oil Prices, Mueller investigation, Trump, Clinton, N.C. Election Fraud, and a Bomb Threat

Thanks for the updates. Today I learned that yet another Trump appointee might resign. The revolving door makes my head swim.

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Here’s the news roundup for another busy Friday:

oil prices

Russia has negotiated a deal between bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran to raise crude oil prices on the world market by implementing across-the-board production cuts (with exemptions) which have been long-desired by OPEC nations and which have been vociferously opposed by President Trump.  However, the cuts may benefit U.S. shale oil producers who struggle to compete when market prices are low.  OPEC’s move also boosts Vladimir Putin’s prominence on the world stage as the Russian strongman appears to be abandoning his close relationship with the weakening American president.

Mueller investigation

Later today, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will submit disclosures in the court cases involving Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort.  Although the information will likely be redacted, as was evident in the court case for Trump’s former national…

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Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94 — Variety

Former President George H.W. Bush has died, his son, former president George W. Bush, announced Friday night. He was 94. “Jeb, Nell, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush said in a statement. “George H. W. Bush was a man of […]

via Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94 — Variety

Good People Doing Good Things — After The Fire

Filosofa's Word

Y’know … sometimes it takes a catastrophic event, a tragedy, to bring out the best in people.  The devastating wildfires in California earlier this month seems to have brought out an awful lot of good in some people and it is those stories I’m bringing you today … those good people who gave of themselves to help others.  None of these good people are millionaires with money to spare, they are all just people like you and me, working every day just to pay the bills.  But they gave of whatever they had, be it food, information, love … they just gave.  These are the real heroes …


The spirit of the team …

The Cougars is the name of the Paradise, California, Adventist school’s volleyball team.  Sadly, as you might expect, they lost everything – equipment, uniforms, their school – in the wildfires that literally burned Paradise to the…

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Veterans Day 2018

By Hook Or By Book

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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

~ Joseph Campbell ~

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Happy Veteran’s Day !

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We’d like to thank those who have served our country and to their families as well. Both have made tremendous sacrifices and we won’t forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Take care !

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Not a Blue Wave, but Dems win control of U.S. House of Representatives and gain some Governorships

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

The hoped for “blue wave” didn’t materialize in the 2018 midterm elections held yesterday, but it still was a good night for the Democratic opposition to President Trump.  Dems won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and gained some governorships and in some state legislatures across the nation by about the middle margins that were expected while Republicans added to their majority in the U.S. Senate by the high-side margins that were projected (see the full results here).

Voter turnout was high for a midterm, and the U.S. Elections Project currently puts the number at just over 47% – precisely where my pre-election assessment report had anticipated.  However, it did not uniformly favor one party over the other.  Democratic candidates did very well in the suburban areas I cited in the report, but Republican candidates for statewide offices excelled in the red states won…

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72 hours in America: 3 hate-filled crimes. 3 hate-filled suspects. — WTVR.com

Three incidents in 72 hours shared one thing: hate.

Consider the past week in America.

Wednesday, a white man with a history of violence shot and killed two African-Americans, seemingly at random, at a Kentucky Kroger store following a failed attempt to barge into a black church.

After mail bombs were being sent to people who’d been criticized by the President, a suspect was arrested Friday — a man who had railed against Democrats and minorities with hate-filled messages online.

And Saturday morning, a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people attending Jewish services.

via 72 hours in America: 3 hate-filled crimes. 3 hate-filled suspects. — WTVR.com

Squirrel Hill, PA

ron stotyn's northof49blog

It is nearly a year since I have felt I could write again about terrorist attacks. The Squirrel Hill Massacre is an event that I cannot ignore in this blog. For any who for some reason do not know about this terror attack on US soil, know this: An American terrorist stormed a Jewish synagogue and executed 11 worshiping Jews in the midst of a naming ceremony. Police arrested the perpetrator who shouted words to the effect that all Jews must die. His crime has been termed Hate Crime by authorities. That is appropriate designation but I believe there is much more than hate crime in this event. More of my opinion about that comes below.

Before I continue with my comments about the Squirrel Hill murders, let me put some of my cards face up on the table. I am a former journalist and retired Associate Professor of Broadcasting…

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A 97-year-old, an elderly wife and husband: These are the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

Viral News Updates

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Thousands of people jammed an intersection amid light rain for a vigil Saturday evening for the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day. The gathering included prayers and singing in memory of those killed and wounded.(Oct. 27)
AP

The Jewish congregants were there to celebrate life, but were met by death. Most never had a chance.

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, suspected gunman Robert Bowers, 46, burst into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh and, yelling ?All Jews must die,? killed 11 before himself being wounded and taken into custody.

The list of those killed Saturday included middle-aged brothers, an elderly husband and wife and a grandmother nearing 100.

Many of them were there for a naming…

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To the friends of Buffalo Tom Peabody

We in the Word Press Community, as well as his family, have lost a great, talented person. My heart hurts.

The Dallas Police Officer who shot and Killed Botham Jean, Officially fired By Dallas PD

Thanks for this updated information.  I wonder if they received her toxicology report and that helped them make the decision?

THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Amber Guyger, the white woman Dallas, police officer who shot and killed 26-year Botham Jean, a seemingly law abiding citizen in his own apartment was officially fired by former police department.

After the shooting, Guyger, originally claimed that she some how confused, Mr.Jean’s apartment for her own, and claimed she shot him when he didn’t respond to her verbal commands.

According to some news outlets, some neighbors gave conflicting accounts to what they heard.

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall, reportedly fired Amber Guyger after an internal investigation was concluded and determined the former Dallas police officer “engaged in adverse conduct’.

She has reportedly been charged with manslaughter in the death of, Jean.

For more information use the link below:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/amber-guyger-dallas-officer-fired-today-botham-jean-shooting-fired-2018-09-24/

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Is Soy In Our Food Making Us Sick?

Earlier this year, an itchy rash appeared on my left arm, then my right arm.  The appearance of the skin indicated to me that it was an allergy.  I had not eaten anything unusual, so was very puzzled what could be causing the reaction.

Then, my doctor placed me on an anti-biotic.  The rash went away.  Also this year, I’ve had recurring sinus infections more than usual.  The rash on my arms reappeared about two weeks ago.  It was worse than the first time.

Last week Friday while getting ready to take my second dose of Vitamin D3, I happened to read the ingredients.  Mostly, I order vitamins and supplements from a company that advertises no preservatives, artificial coloring, etc.  In fact, I’ve ordered from that same company for years and trusted their products.  Such it was with Vitamin D3 which I began taking this year.

For those unfamiliar, Vitamin D3 contains vitamin D, calcium which is necessary for the body to process vitamin D, and magnesium.

On the label of the Vitamin D3 was “calcium source; oyster shells”.  I am allergic to shellfish!  So all year, I’ve been consuming something in the Vitamin D3 that I am allergic to and didn’t know it.  It’s been 6 days since I took that brand of Vitamin D3.  The rash is clearing.  My breathing is no longer shallow.  Then I noticed another ingredient in my vitamins.  Soy.

That caused me to start researching soy, and I was shocked by what I found.  I stopped taking those vitamins that contain soy and since doing so, my sinuses have immensely improved.  I began to check the ingredients on other things in my cabinets and refrigerator.  A short list of what I discovered contains soy, or soybeans, or soybean oil includes:

Canned tuna in water; Green Giant brand frozen broccoli, including with cheese, and with carrots; Three different brands of salad dressing; Miracle Whip; Worchester Sauce; bread, including hamburger and hot dog buns.

It’s all in the garbage now.

Since part of my reason to learn about soy is to decide on what is best for me as a cancer patient, I began by researching soy and breast cancer.  Is soy safe or not?  That depends on what you read.   The Mayo Clinic says:

“Studies show that eating a moderate amount of soy foods does not increase risk of breast cancer — or other types of cancer. A moderate amount is considered one to two servings a day of whole-soy foods, such as tofu, soy milk and edamame. Soy contains protein, isoflavones and fiber, all thought to provide health benefits.”

“So where did the idea come from that soy increases breast cancer risk? Isoflavones, which are found in soy, are plant estrogens. High levels of estrogen have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. However, food sources of soy don’t contain high enough levels of isoflavones to increase the risk of breast cancer.”

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