Thursday, December 19, 2013

Consumer Reports finds 97 percent of raw chicken contaminated - CBS News

Consumer Reports finds 97 percent of raw chicken contaminated - CBS News

Consumer Reports magazine has released its most comprehensive study on meat and poultry and found potentially harmful bacteria in 97 percent of the chicken breasts they tested nationwide.

Urvashi Rangan, the magazine's director of consumer safety and sustainability, told the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts that they went to 26 different states and shopped for 316 raw chicken breasts.

“We did find 97 percent of one of the six bacteria that we looked for that can all be potentially harmful,” she said. “But, even more concerning, about half of those were resistant to three or more antibiotic classes, making them multiple drug resistant.”

Rangan said that in terms of food-borne illness and disease “chicken is a big culprit” and “people should be really careful when they’re out there buying their chicken.”

“You should handle it carefully. You should make sure that you buy it first in the store with a plastic bag, and there is no better choice out there. When we looked at all of the data out there, there’s no better choice when it comes to safety,” she said. “However, for other things – for other production practices – things like organic, other welfare labels do provide value, but what people don’t really realize is that the natural label actually means nothing and often confuse it for those labels.”

She explained that to protect against possibly contaminated chicken, consumers want to be very “vigilant about how you handle that chicken.”

“You want to use really careful practices in the chicken. You don’t want to put your chicken in the sick and pour the faucet on it. You want to use a dedicated cutting board and put that right in the dishwasher,” she said. “All the way through from when you buy it in the store to you serve it on your plate, you want to exercise really good hygiene.”

She said that the other statistic the magazine found was that 37 percent of people own a meat thermometer but the majority of people think they cook it to 165 degrees.


Attention Target Shoppers ! !

News from The Associated Press

The chain said customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.

The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said.

The stolen information included Target store brand cards and major card brands such as Visa and MasterCard.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ever Wonder Where Telemarketers Get Your # ? ?

'Data Brokers' Are Collecting and Selling Some Very Private Information About You - The Wire

Have you been to a gynecologist in the last 12 months? Ever been treated for depression? Have you been raped? Data brokers may very well know about it and are selling that information to marketers in a largely unregulated $156 billion industry.

A Senate Committee released a 36-page report today and had a hearing on its findings, which showed that the data brokerage industry -- which isn't new but has more ways than ever to collect information on us -- could be, in the words of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, more worrisome than the NSA.

Things like your credit score and medical records are not available to data brokers under federal law, but "e-credit scores" are not covered by those laws, nor are products you might buy to treat a health condition over the counter or searches you may perform about health conditions online (or searches you perform about ANYTHING online). You may not know that this information was provided to a data broker, and there's no way to find out what information, if any, a data broker has on you. It may not even be accurate...

Most of the time, the data is used for marketing purposes. That can include predatory lenders looking for people who fall into the "hard times" or "rural and barely making it" category. But there have been cases where it falls into worse hands. In October, for instance, it was reported that Experian sold Social Security numbers to an identity theft service posing as a private investigator.

TED:Top Hacker Shows us How It's Done QjQ

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Applications for the 2013-2014 MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program due Monday, January 27, 2014

MALDEF's Law School Scholarship Program is open to all law students enrolled at an accredited United States law school.

MALDEF's Law School Scholarship Committee assesses applicants based on three main factors: 1) Personal Background and Financial Need; 2) Academic and Extracurricular Achievement; and 3) Record of Service to the Latino Community and Plans for Future Service.

Applications for the 2013-2014 MALDEF Law School Scholarship, due January 27, 2014, are available for download through our website,


There are many reasons to feel disgust over a judge in a juvenile court in Fort Worth, Texas, sentencing 16-year-old Ethan Couch to 10 years of probation for killing four pedestrians and paralyzing his friend while driving drunk this summer.

Leading up to the tragedy that killed Breanna Mitchell (aged 24), Hollie Boyles (42) and Shelby Boyles (21) and Brian Jennings (43), Couch and a group of friends stole alcohol from a Walmart nearby. At the time of the crash, he was driving a pickup owned by Cleburne Sheet Metal, his father's company. Couch had seven passengers in his truck and a blood-alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit in Texas. He also had valium in his system. Two of his passengers were severely injured, including Sergio Molina, who suffered brain damage that has left him with blinking as his only form of communication.

The prosecutors had asked for Couch to receive 20 years in prison. Instead and as a result of the defense's argument, Judge Jean Boyd ordered Couch to a long-term, in-patient facility for therapy, no contact with his parents, and 10-years probation. His attorneys have stated that his parents have offered to pay for him to do his in-patient therapy at a center in Southern California that costs $450,000 a year. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Judge Boyd said that "she is familiar with programs available in the Texas juvenile justice system and is aware that he might not get the kind of intensive therapy in a state-run program that he could receive at the California facility suggested by his attorneys. Boyd said she had sentenced other teens to state programs but they never actually got into those programs."

Ethan Couch, therefore, will spend no time behind bars for killing four people and paralyzing another despite admitting guilt and despite the fact that the diagnosis the defense centered their case around – that of "affluenza" – is not even recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an actual mental illness. On top of it, it appears that the judge found therapy and probation to be valid because his parents could pay for an expensive center and that he would not have to rely on the state programs. In summary, Couch got off because he comes from a wealthy family.

Jessica Luther

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Best Fireplace Bars in Los Angeles: LAist

The Wellsbourne is located at 10929 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, (310) 474-0102
The Churchill is located at 8384 W 3rd St, West Hollywood, (323) 655-8384
Dominick's is located at 8715 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood, (310) 652-2335
Terranea is located at 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, (310) 265-2800
1886 is located at 1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, (626) 441-3136
The Griffin is located at 3000 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 644-0444
Harvard & Stone is located at 5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 466-6063
Warwick is located at 6507 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 460-6667
Parq Bar is located at 225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, (310) 860-7800
Red Room is located at 17499 Ventura Blvd, Encino, (818) 386-0278

Thursday, December 12, 2013

'Rape insurance,' a new front in the GOP's clueless 'war on women' -

'Rape insurance,' a new front in the GOP's clueless 'war on women' -

Rape insurance?

Is that really a thing?
Well, yes, though the anti-abortion legislators in Michigan who passed a law Wednesday making it necessary don’t really call it that. They call it the “Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act.”

From now on in Michigan, all public health insurance plans and most private ones will not be able to automatically include coverage for abortion services in their comprehensive policies.

Women will have to purchase separate riders in order to be covered for any sort of elective abortion. It doesn’t matter to the Michigan Legislature if the pregnancy is wanted but the baby has a medical condition incompatible with life. It doesn’t matter to the Michigan Legislature whether a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.,0,6521483.story#ixzz2nKZYHuMw

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Talea De Castro, Indigenous Mexican Community, Defies Telecom Mogul Carlos Slim And Installs Own Cellular Network For Mere Cents Per Day [VIDEO]  : News : Latin Times

Talea De Castro, Indigenous Mexican Community, Defies Telecom Mogul Carlos Slim And Installs Own Cellular Network For Mere Cents Per Day [VIDEO]  : News : Latin Times

Talea De Castro is receiving renewed attention following their tremendous feat of defying Mexican telecommunication providers by creating their own phone system. The small village in Oaxaca's mountains established the country's first independent phone network by utilizing the internet to make phone calls. The town's indigenous Zapotec community voted to invest $400,000 pesos ($30,000) of the community's money into the system which defies Telecom mogul Carlos Slim's nationwide Telmex service which many Mexicans see as a monopoly of the country's communication system.

Talea De Castro's indigenous residents used to have to walk down to the single community landline in order to make a phonecall. "We have been constantly requesting Telmex to come install land lines in the village," says a resident in the village. "But they have refused every time and we haven't been able to get more phones here." The new system utilizes a small antenna to capture incoming calls using software-controlled radio. The new system allows villagers to make calls for as little as 15 pesos ($1.12) - rates cheaper than what most people pay in Mexico City.

Telmex has long been accused of running a communications monopoly in Mexico. A 2012 report from the OECD found that "the lack of competition has led to extremely high prices for consumers and businesses and slowed the take-up of new services. The OECD estimates the cost to the Mexican economy to be around USD 25 billion each year, equivalent to nearly 2% of GDP." Carlos Slim, who owns Telmex, is listed by Forbes as the worlds richest man, worth an astounding $74 billion dollars.

Friday, December 6, 2013

REALLY ?.....No Special Treatment for Obama's Uncle ?

No Special Treatment for Obama's Uncle - AOL On

I’m not sure Microsoft appreciates how much some users hate Windows 8 - Yahoo News

I’m not sure Microsoft appreciates how much some users hate Windows 8 - Yahoo News

Let’s be clear: I think that Windows 8 is in many ways a good operating system. But it is also a very polarizing one among longtime Windows users and that’s something Microsoft will ignore at its own peril. First, let’s go through Windows 8′s obvious virtues — it runs much more smoothly than earlier versions of Windows, it starts up more quickly and is generally a more stable platform than Windows 7. However, for a sizable chunk of PC users these plusses are outweighed by the giant minus of the big changes Microsoft made to the traditional Windows user interface.

Of course, there’s a lot more than just my friends’ personal anecdotes to show that Windows 8 is either a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for many longtime users. Amazon customer reviews of Windows 8 have shown it to be remarkably polarizing whereas past Windows versions have either been mostly loved (Windows 7) or hated (Vista) by PC users. And then there’s usage data: We learned earlier this week that Windows 7 is still growing more quickly than Windows 8 and 8.1. And this chart from Statista shows that Windows 8′s overall adoption rate among PC users is lagging badly behind where Windows 7 was at this point in its life cycle.

There are two issues here, both of which have been rehashed to death: Many people miss the Start menu and they hate the Metro UI. Microsoft has tried to assuage these users with Windows 8.1 by giving them the option of booting up to desktop mode and by putting in a Start button in the bottom right-hand corner of the main Desktop mode screen.

The trouble with the new Start button, however, is that left-clicking on it simply returns these users to the Metro screen that they hate with all their hearts. And for a lot of users, dislike of the Metro screen has reached Dr. Seuss-like proportions: They do not like it in their homes, they do not like it on their phones; they will not click upon its tiles, they won’t use it to access files; they wish that it would go and die, they do not like Metro UI.

Now, there are certainly some important rejoinders to this: You can right-click on the new Start button to get a more traditional menu that will give you access to some, although not all, of the features of the old Start menu. You can also install a third-party applications such as Classic Shell and StartMenu8 to bring back the classic Start menu. And you can take a bunch of different steps to change your settings and make sure that you never have to see another “Live Tile” ever again.

But it seems like a lot of longtime PC users simply want the UI of Windows 7 with the speed and stability improvements of Windows 8 and they don’t want to have to do any tinkering to get it. If Microsoft really wants these people to remain loyal users in the coming years, it may have to suck it up and bring back the full traditional Start menu.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Parent involvement at L.A. schools getting new look -

In Cudahy, parents collected more than 600 signatures demanding a new principal. In Culver City, they fought attempts to unionize classroom aides and formed a group that elected a school board majority.

In Los Angeles, parents are organizing for more effective school disciplinary practices. And hundreds recently flocked to a Sacramento hearing to demand a voice in shaping rules for the state's new school funding plan.

This may well be the new look of parent power. While the PTA and other school-based groups used to be the primary vehicle for parent involvement, a plethora of new organizing models has proliferated — many of them reaching out to immigrants to boost their activism in schools.

"The face of parent involvement is definitely changing in California, as it should, given that 70% of our state's population under age 25 are youth of color," said Mary Lou Fulton, senior program manager at the California Endowment, the state's largest healthcare foundation.

Community and civil rights organizations are supporting much of the parent organizing. Asian Americans Advancing Justice and MALDEF, a Mexican American civil rights organization, are coordinating a network of 16 parent groups to educate families on such problems as school budgets and train them in leadership skills to push for translation services, better nutrition and other matters.

Arizona-Mexico Tensions Begin To Thaw | Fronteras Desk

Arizona-Mexico Tensions Begin To Thaw | Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX – Every week at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport, some 120 jets take off bound for Mexico.
But that wasn't quite enough, so the city courted the Mexican airline Volaris to offer new flights, including a nonstop one to Mexico City that begins in December.
City of Phoenix Aviation Department
Volaris flights from Phoenix to Guadalajara began in October and flights to Mexico City begin in December.
“In recent years demand to and from Phoenix and Mexico has been growing,” said Deborah Ostreicher, the airport’s deputy aviation director.
Ostreicher said the new flights reflect that demand, and are also part of a conscious effort by the city to create more links with Mexico.
“Because it really is our largest trading partner,” Ostreicher said. “It is very important to us and we want to offer more air service so that people can come and go to and from Mexico.”
Not too long ago, Arizona was internationally known for its efforts to crack down on illegal immigration from Mexico. Now local mayors are seeing legal Mexican visitors as key to economic development.

Monday, December 2, 2013

House Only Working 8 More Days This Year

House Only Working 8 More Days This Year

Working during the holidays sucks. Luckily for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, they don't have that much of it before the new year begins.

The House is only scheduled to work eight days between now and January 7, when members return for the second session of the 113th Congress.

The House had 239 days off scheduled during 2013, and they have even more off days scheduled for next year.

The 2014 calendar for the House, released in October by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), shows members will only work only 113 days. That's down from 2013, when House lawmakers were scheduled to meet for 126 days. Only 107 days were scheduled in 2012.

As HuffPost reported in July, the 113th Congress is on pace to be the least productive in modern history. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been defensive of that report.

"We should not be judged on how many new laws we create," Boehner told CBS News' Bob Schieffer in July. "We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce."

Friday, November 29, 2013

Colbert rips into Walmart

The GOP’s Hunger Games: More Food Stamp Cuts for the Holidays?

Republican lawmakers are on the defensive as the country heads into the holiday season, with cutbacks in food stamps stressing needy families while Congress debates how much more to cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “Which of your constituents do you think should go hungry?” asks a holiday card electronically delivered to members of Congress this week. It points out that the proposed cuts mean “less food and more hunger for millions of low income seniors, veterans, working families with children and disabled Americans.”

At the same time, assistance to farmers, traditionally coupled in the same bill with SNAP, appears to be weathering the GOP’s budget-cutting knife just fine. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat,” said Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), invoking the Bible to explain his vote earlier this year to cut food stamps while calling for increased crop subsidies for farmers. His family farm received more than $3.5 million in federal money over the years, making him the poster boy for 33 members of Congress who voted to cut food stamps, a program that helps the least among us, while having no qualms about accepting federal largesse for their farm businesses.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Wishes from Spanglish Today =D

What is Hanukkah ?

FOR Jews all over the world, a familiar annual festival, celebrating the re-establishment of their religion in its purest form after a time of alien oppression, is about to begin. But for Jews in the United States, this year's celebrations have an unusual, and slightly awkward, feature: they coincide with the secular, pan-American celebration of Thanksgiving.

Hanukkah, then, celebrates the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple, the focal point of Jewish worship, after an uprising against the Hellenised rulers of the eastern Mediterranean. These rulers had been trying to make the Jews follow the practices and culture of the pagan Greeks. The provocations came to a head in the year 167BC, when Emperor Antiochus decreed that an altar to Zeus should be erected in the Temple. He also banned circumcision and ordered the ritual sacrifice of pigs. Two years later, a revolt against the Hellenised dynasty was successful and the victorious Jews decreed that the Temple must be cleansed of impure influences and reconsecrated. The feast of Hanukkah, recalling this event, lasts for eight days and nights, and involves the lighting of the eight branches of a special menorah or candelabrum, plus a ninth candle which illuminates all the others. The lights recall a miraculous event that is said to have marked the rededication: a tiny quantity of olive oil was enough to keep the Temple menorah lit for eight days

What is Thanksgiving ?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Be there or be square =D

Psst....1 in 10 Women Loves Her Pet More Than Her Partner

A study released this week found that one in 10 women feels more strongly about her pet than her significant other. So if you thought you only had to be on the lookout for other guys, you now have Rover to compete with, too.

The Brooke, an international animal welfare organization that conducted the study, also found that more than half of the women polled turn to their pets for emotional support right after an argument with their partners.

Los Angeles one step closer to citywide Wi-Fi

It’s not every day that proposals in the Los Angeles City Council get talked about in media outlets like LA Weekly and Salon, but it’s also not every day that councilmembers seriously discuss bringing free citywide Wi-Fi to a city as a big as Los Angeles.

That’s just what the Council has been grappling with since Councilmember Bob Blumenfield first introduced his proposal back in August, and while some pointed at the idea as a symbolic and altruistic pipe dream that would go nowhere, Blumenfield recently told the California Economic Summit that that’s not the case.

The City Council agreed. Earlier this month, the Council unanimously directed the city’s Information Technology Agency to draft a Request for Proposals for the service, a key move forward if Los Angeles is to join other California cities like San Jose and Riverside in offering free Wi-Fi

Monday, November 18, 2013

An E-mail I had 2 share...To all the baby-boomer out there

First, we survived being born to mothers
Who smoked and/or drank while they were

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing,
Tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,
Locks on doors or cabinets and
when we rode
Our bikes, the most we wore were baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
As infants & children,
We would ride in cars with no car seats,
no booster seats,
no seat belts,
no air bags,
bald tires
and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day
Was always a special treat.

We drank water
>From the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends,
From one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon..
We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.
And, we weren't overweight.

Because we were
Always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day,
As long as we were back when the
Streetlights came on.

No one was able
To reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill, only to find out
We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes
a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.
There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable,
No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's,
No cell phones, No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth
And there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt,
And the worms did not live in us

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and,
Although we were told it would happen,
We did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and
Knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
Walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't, had to learn to deal
With disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law
Was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best
Risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years
Have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them?
You might want to share this with others
who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the
lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives
for our own good .

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know
how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house
with scissors, doesn't it ?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Latino donors set sights on GOP lawmakers who oppose immigration overhaul - The Washington Post

Latino donors set sights on GOP lawmakers who oppose immigration overhaul - The Washington Post

A network of Latino donors that played a pivotal role in raising money for President Obama’s reelection is now focused on a new campaign: an effort to oust lawmakers who stand in the way of overhauling immigration laws.

The Latino Victory Project, a new political advocacy organization modeled after the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, is planning to spend as much as $20 million on campaigns targeting members of Congress who have sizable Latino communities in their districts but oppose comprehensive immigration reform.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yo Knuckle Heads !

The Cry of the True Republican

Throughout my family’s more than 170-year legacy of public service, Republicans have represented the voice of fiscal conservatism. Republicans have been the adults in the room. Yet somehow the current generation of party activists has managed to do what no previous Republicans have been able to do — position the Democratic Party as the agents of fiscal responsibility.

The Cry of the True Republican
Published: October 22, 2013

Love it when he's in rare form =D

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Tea Party logic

Daily Kos: Tea Party logic

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Opinion: America's problem -- we're too dumb

Opinion: America's problem -- we're too dumb -

I'm a sucker for all of those man-on-the-street interviews that late-night shows do to reveal just how dumb Americans are.

It's fun to laugh at the people who struggle with simple math problems or are unable to find any country we're at war with on a map.
More than a few even get tripped up trying to name the branches of government.
It's all fun and games until you remember that elections have consequences, and that many of those people who said they could name the president -- but not the commander in chief -- will soon be standing in a voting booth, armed with a ballot.
If you think government dysfunction is the country's No. 1 problem -- and according to a recent Gallup poll, a third of the nation does -- then maybe we should take those hilarious late-night interviews a little more seriously.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Costco recalls 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken for salmonella risk - NBC

Costco recalls 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken for salmonella risk - NBC

A Costco wholesale store in South San Francisco, Calif., is recalling nearly 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken products because the food may be linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning that now has sickened more than 300 people in 20 states, federal health officials said early Saturday.

The Costco store at 1600 El Camino Real is recalling 8,730 Kirkland Signature Foster Farms rotisserie chickens and 313 units of Kirkland Farm rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters and rotisserie chicken salad, according to a notice issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The products were sold directly to consumers between Sept. 11 and Sept. 23.

The rotisserie chickens may have been contaminated with a type of salmonella Heidelberg rarely found in the United States, FSIS officials said. The strain is linked to an ongoing food poisoning outbreak associated with three Foster Farms poultry plants in Fresno and Livingston, Calif. The USDA issued a public health alert for products from the plant on Monday, but on Thursday agreed that the facilities could remain open if the company made promised food safety fixes.

Monday, September 30, 2013

If It Happened There ... the Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON, United States—The typical signs of state failure aren’t evident on the streets of this sleepy capital city. Beret-wearing colonels have not yet taken to the airwaves to declare martial law. Money-changers are not yet buying stacks of useless greenbacks on the street.

But the pleasant autumn weather disguises a government teetering on the brink. Because, at midnight Monday night, the government of this intensely proud and nationalistic people will shut down, a drastic sign of political dysfunction in this moribund republic.

The capital’s rival clans find themselves at an impasse, unable to agree on a measure that will allow the American state to carry out its most basic functions. While the factions have come close to such a shutdown before, opponents of President Barack Obama’s embattled regime now appear prepared to allow the government to be shuttered over opposition to a controversial plan intended to bring the nation’s health care system in line with international standards.

Six years into his rule, Obama’s position can appear confusing, even contradictory. Though the executive retains control of the country’s powerful intelligence service, capable of the extrajudicial execution of the regime’s opponents half a world away, the president’s efforts to govern domestically have been stymied in the legislature by an extremist rump faction of the main opposition party.

The current rebellion has been led by Sen. Ted Cruz, a young fundamentalist lawmaker from the restive Texas region, known in the past as a hotbed of separatist activity. Activity in the legislature ground to a halt last week for a full day as Cruz insisted on performing a time-honored American demonstration of stamina and self-denial, which involved speaking for 21 hours, quoting liberally from science fiction films and children’s books. The gesture drew wide media attention, though its political purpose was unclear to outsiders.

With hours remaining until the government of the world’s richest nation runs out of money, attention now focuses on longtime opposition leader John Boehner, under pressure from both the regime and the radical elements of his own movement, who may be the only political figure with the standing needed to end the standoff.

While the country’s most recent elections were generally considered to be free and fair (despite threats against international observers), the current crisis has raised questions in the international community about the regime’s ability to govern this complex nation of 300 million people, not to mention its vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Americans themselves are starting to ask difficult questions as well. As this correspondent’s cab driver put it, while driving down the poorly maintained roads that lead from the airport, “Do these guys have any idea what they’re doing to the country?”

By Joshua Keating/Slate

Affordable Health Insurance | Covered California™

Affordable Health Insurance | Covered California™

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Government shutdown is no idle threat -

Government shutdown is no idle threat -

WASHINGTON — Outside the capital the prospect might seem unthinkable, but inside it seems increasingly likely, and to some inevitable: In less than two weeks, the federal government, from the Agriculture Department to the Weather Service, may shut its doors.

Agencies already have contingency plans for stopping all but essential work. Soldiers would be required to report for duty but would not be paid. National parks would be closed and overnight campers would be given two days to leave. Social Security checks would go out, but the agency would stop updating people's earning records. The State Department would stop issuing most passports.

The snarl this time is worse than in the Clinton era in at least two ways: It involves not just one deadline, but a series of deadlines over the next several weeks, any one of which could see normal government activities come to a halt. If Congress manages to slip past the end of the budget year, the next crisis will come when lawmakers face a vote in mid-October on raising the limit on the nation's debt.

Moreover, the fight has morphed from a straightforward battle between Republicans and Democrats into a three-way brawl in which the GOP congressional leadership must contend not only with the White House, but with conservative insurgents in their own ranks.

Either way, economists warn that if a shutdown happens, the U.S. economy will suffer, particularly if it goes on a while.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Big Heart Open to God | America Magazine

A Big Heart Open to God | America Magazine

Father Spadaro met the pope at the Vatican in the pope’s apartments in the Casa Santa Marta, where he has chosen to live since his election. Father Spadaro begins his account of the interview with a description of the pope’s living quarters.

House GOP votes to cut $39 billion from food stamp program - In Plain Sight

House GOP votes to cut $39 billion from food stamp program - In Plain Sight

With only Republicans voting in support, the GOP-led House passed a bill Thursday to reduce spending for food stamps by $39 billion over 10 years.

The vote was 217-210. No Democrats voted for the measure

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What say ye ole......teaparty animals and wise birthers ?

Ted Cruz birth certificate released | Senator born in Canada, U.S. citizen | - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON — Born in Canada to an American mother, Ted Cruz became an instant U.S. citizen. But under Canadian law, he also became a citizen of that country the moment he was born.
Unless the Texas Republican senator formally renounces that citizenship, he will remain a citizen of both countries, legal experts say.

That means he could assert the right to vote in Canada or even run for Parliament. On a lunch break from the U.S. Senate, he could head to the nearby embassy — the one flying a bright red maple leaf flag — pull out his Calgary, Alberta, birth certificate and obtain a passport.

“He’s a Canadian,” said Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section.

'Senseless' shooting of Australian Chris Lane sparks calls for U.S. boycott

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why !.....can't we just all get along ? We'd be dangerous if we did =D

Los Angeles Neighborhood Tries to Change, but Avoid the Pitfalls -

LOS ANGELES — When Juan Romero was a boy in the 1980s, people talked about his neighborhood, Boyle Heights, as a place to escape. The area was besieged by gangs, public schools were struggling, and a vast majority of residents were barely above the poverty line.

These days, the crime rate has plummeted. And while many residents in the largely immigrant neighborhood on the eastern edge of Los Angeles are still struggling to get by, there are signs of rapid change. Primera Taza, a coffee shop Mr. Romero opened, is one of them, evidence of what some local residents call gentefication, as more well-to-do and younger Mexican-Americans return to the neighborhood their parents fled.
The transition has provided a jolt of energy and a transfusion of money, but it has also created friction with working-class residents here. And tensions over just whom this neighborhood belongs to are a clear sign that Latinos have come of age in Los Angeles, where they are expected to become the majority this year. The changes highlight strong class divisions that continue — or are even worsened — among immigrants.

Friday, August 16, 2013

O.C. braces for 20-hour closure of 405 Freeway near L.A. County -

O.C. braces for 20-hour closure of 405 Freeway near L.A. County -

Residents of Orange County and surrounding areas are girding for a 20-hour closure of a stretch of the 405 Freeway that starts at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Call it the Bridge Bash, the Orange Jam or just a pain. A four-mile stretch of the southbound 405 will be closed between the 605 and 22 freeways, probably until 5 p.m. Sunday . The northbound side will be closed at Valley View Street. Officials warned drivers to stay away, if possible.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bottom line on curb and street repair is bad news for homeowners -

Bottom line on curb and street repair is bad news for homeowners -

"I want my city to keep its obligation to me as a homeowner," Ken Davis said to me in an email. "Been paying taxes for a long time. Make me proud to be a contributing part of Los Angeles."

"I'm a Realtor," Terri told me as we stood near her damaged curb. "If I were selling a house in Culver City and there was a crack in the sidewalk, I could call City Hall to fix it because it's a tripping hazard. And they'd fix it."

Across the street, a "Vote No" sign sits on the front porch at the home of Mike and Kerry Cowden, who would have to fork over $7,343 for curb repair. And by the way, if you vote no, you still have to pay if the "yes" vote wins a simple majority.

Mike Cowden told me that when Bill Rosendahl was running for City Council eight years ago, the candidate knocked on the door asking for support. Mike says his mother asked Rosendahl if he would fix the streets, and when he said yes, she stuck a Rosendahl campaign poster in the frontyard.

Eight years later, Rosendahl has come and gone, the street is worse, and the Cowden family has had to pay for repair of flat tires and car alignment damage caused by the lousy streets.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Best Butchers In L.A.: LAist

The Best Butchers In L.A.: LAist

The relationship one has with their butcher should be a very personal one, where there's a sense of trust and respect for the craft. (Have a go at using a band saw and you'll see why "respect" is an operative word here.) And considering the craziness we know about commercial agriculture and the importance of how animals are raised, its increasingly important to trust your purveyor of protein. So while we hardly have as many butchers as some other major U.S. cities, there are a handful of truly excellent options right here in L.A. Here are our faves. on link to view list

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kids !.... a perfect example of "Diarrhea of The Mouth"

Rep. Steve King Says Latino Immigrants Are From A 'Violent Civilization,' Will Bring 'More Violence' To America | ThinkProgress

At the rally, King said:
If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right? It’s like pouring hot water into cold water, does it raise the temperature or not?
King’s characterization of undocumented immigrants as violent individuals is not only offensive, but geographically nonsensical. While some parts of Latin America like Ecuador and Honduras are seeing a rise in crime, King’s claim that individuals become more violent as one moves further south in Latin America is simply false. Chile, one of the largest southern countries in South America has a lower ratio of car theft, punitivity, homicide, and rape than the United States. And Costa Rica, which is further south of Honduras has a low homicide rate.
King’s reference to hot water diluting cold is the same kind of claim that white nativists have made in the past to “preserve” racial purity.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Anti-Obama protesters get racial in Arizona

Anti-Obama protesters get racial in Arizona

Protesters outside President Obama’s event in Arizona on Tuesday taunted the president over his race, with one labeling him ’47 percent Negro’ and others singing “Bye Bye Black Sheep,” according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

Here’s the paper’s recap of the protests outside Desert Vista High School in Phoenix:

Obama foes at one point sang, “Bye Bye Black Sheep,” a derogatory reference to the president’s skin color, while protesters like Deanne Bartram raised a sign saying, “Impeach the Half-White Muslim!”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Washington Post Reaches the End of the Graham Era -

The Washington Post Reaches the End of the Graham Era -

So after 80 years of control and editorial leadership by the Graham family, The Post began to change ownership Monday, when Mr. Bezos agreed to buy it for $250 million.
The sale, when it is completed, will end the special relationship the paper has had with the nation’s capital. Washington has been through all manner of tumult and change in the last eight decades, with years of racial strife, the resignation of a president, a terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the evaporation of a bipartisan political process.
But through it all, The Washington Post under the Graham family has been a source of both constancy and coverage, a center of gravity and a force in the civic, social and cultural life of a city where many others came and went.

Suit filed challenging at-large voting in Whittier city elections - Whittier Daily News

Suit filed challenging at-large voting in Whittier city elections - Whittier Daily News

WHITTIER - The day before the Whittier City Council was set to meet to discuss threatened voting rights act lawsuits, a suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court making that claim.
The suit was filed Monday evening by three Latino residents of Whittier and is supported by the Whittier Latino Coalition, which at a June City Council meeting served notice that a lawsuit would be filed if the city did not change its system for municipal elections.
Angie Medina, chairwoman of the Whittier Latino Coalition, said the city's recent actions in hiring a Northern California law firm to advise it on the threatened suit indicated that city officials wanted to delay action as long as possible.

Read more: Suit filed challenging at-large voting in Whittier city elections - Whittier Daily News

Monday, August 5, 2013

WTF is therapy going to do 4 ole Bob ? ?

San Diego Mayor Starting Rehab; Accusers Count Now At 10/

Today's the day San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who's now been accused by 10 women of sexual harassment, is to start two weeks of treatment at a behavior counseling clinic.

Even though the Democratic mayor will be at an undisclosed location, he apparently won't be completely out of touch. According to San Diego's Union-Tribune, "Filner won't be ceding any authority during his self-imposed therapy sessions and plans to be briefed each morning and night on civic affairs and give direction to city staff."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

CBS channels go dark on Time Warner Cable -

CBS channels go dark on Time Warner Cable -

Unable to come to terms on a new distribution agreement, CBS-owned channels have gone dark on Time Warner Cable systems around the country, including Los Angeles and New York City.

In Los Angeles, the signals of KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 were pulled around 2:15 p.m. Friday. In New York, WCBS-TV, the flagship station of the CBS network, was also off of Time Warner Cable systems.

Other channels that were dropped include the CBS-owned cable channels Showtime and The Movie Channel (TMC). The dispute covers only CBS-owned channels. CBS affiliates that are carried by Time Warner Cable are not part of this fight.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

WSJ's Wireless Savings Calculator

Confused by which wireless plans are right for you? Mobile-phone plans are increasingly complicated. To help you find the best option, the Journal created a comparison tool for those looking to subscribe to one of the four biggest U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

KKK Cross-Burning Photo Stripped Of First Prize At County Fair In Ohio

XENIA, Ohio — A photo taken at a 1924 Ku Klux Klan rally with burning crosses was stripped of its winning blue ribbon at a county fair after a complaint that it was offensive.

The photo, which won first place in an antique photo category at the Greene County Fair in Xenia, depicts robed and unrobed KKK members kneeling in a circle at a Dayton rally. Burning crosses are visible in the background of the white supremacist group's gathering. On the photo is written "Dayton Klan 23 ... Realm-of-Ohio ... September 27, 1924."

The photo was removed from the western Ohio fairgrounds Tuesday after someone complained to a fair board member about what it showed and said it shouldn't have been rewarded by the fair, the Dayton Daily News () reported.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart confronts Rep. Steve King

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


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stomach Bug Sickens People in 8 States - ABC News

Stomach Bug Sickens People in 8 States - ABC News

Boehner calls out Rep. King on immigration insult - Yahoo! News

Boehner calls out Rep. King on immigration insult - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday elevated his criticism of fellow Republican Rep. Steve King over King's suggestion that many immigrants in the country illegally are drug runners, calling the comments "deeply offensive and wrong."

Boehner already had issued a written statement earlier in the week condemning King's remarks, but at his weekly news conference he ramped up his criticism even without being asked. The Ohio Republican took the unusual step of calling King out by name, dramatizing the concern among GOP leaders that incendiary comments from the right can tarnish the party's image even as lawmakers struggle to find a solution to the immigration debate.

"I want to be clear. There's no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials," Boehner said.

Let's Play !

As promised, YouTube has started its Easter egg hunt in preparation for the upcoming Geek Week.

The first clue has been dropped via YouTube's Twitter account — it's a code one needs to crack to "go retro".

If you think you're geeky enough and want to crack the code yourself, stop reading now, as there are spoilers below.

For those who are less cryptography-savvy, the code translates to "/ geekweek". Type that into YouTube search and the site will turn into a retro, ASCII version, bringing those of a certain age among us back into the time of Bulletin Board Systems.

Check it out:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

You Believe This Guy ?

Enough !

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) declared on Monday that he and other congressional Republicans would be willing to shut down the federal government in order to block further implementation of President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

Speaking on Fox News, Lee said Republicans determined that refusing to fund Obamacare was the "last stop" before the individual mandate and the law's health insurance exchanges are set to go into effect at the beginning of next year.

“Congress of course has to pass a law to continue funding government -- lately we’ve been doing that through a funding mechanism called a continuing resolution," Lee said. "If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it. We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”

Friday, July 19, 2013

Player-Haters !

Apparently, some people need to be reminded that Marc Anthony is an American.

The New York-born singer of Puerto Rican descent touted his roots on "Live with Kelly and Michael" on Thursday after some people criticized his selection to sing "God Bless America" at this week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, held in New York City.

In an interview, the Grammy-winning salsa star said that he heard people were questioning why a foreign-born person was singing the patriotic song. He told Ripa and Strahan, "There were some statements made that people were upset that they would have somebody from another country sing the national anthem." Anthony said he was born in New York and added: "You can't get more New York than me."

Similar comments were made last month when a Texas-born 11-year-old mariachi singer sang the national anthem during the NBA finals. Both Anthony and the child are Latino.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boston Bomber: How Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Fell Into Radical Islam | Culture News | Rolling Stone

Boston Bomber: How Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Fell Into Radical Islam | Culture News | Rolling Stone

In the new issue of Rolling Stone, contributing editor Janet Reitman delivers a deeply reported account of the life and times of Boston bomber Jahar Tsarnaev. Reitman spent the last two months interviewing dozens of sources – childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case – to deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster. Here are five revelations about Tsarnaev from our latest cover story, "Jahar's World":

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meet JUROR B37

Juror B37. Holy Smokes !

Did you see or hear that interview with her on CNN? Seems very clear that she makes no effort to be informed about the world at all, and that she carries around a set of racial assumptions, let us say, and is utterly and totally unconscious about them. She thinks Zimmerman's--get this--"heart was in the right place." She thinks this would have gone down the same way no matter what color anybody was. Including, as she put it, "Spanish." Spanish?

What's more incredible than her proud ignorance is that the prosecution didn't strike her in the first place, as Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Slate. She kept bragging--bragging--that she doesn't pay any attention to the world. That she worries about her life and that's it. That she doesn't trust the media, which no one does, but she doesn't even read a thing, not one thing. That "you never get all the information." That last point should have been the clincher.

She's apparently not completely hopeless. Someone talked some sense to her, and she seems to have had enough sense to cancel the grubby book deal she made over Trayvon Martin's grave just the day before. The best thing that can happen to this woman is that some local interfaith working group reaches out to her and tries to awaken in her a small flicker of curiosity about the world beyond the parrots and dogs and lizards to which she pledged her devotion and persuade her that people, even different kinds of people, have something to offer the world too.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hackers Attacked Microsoft

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said hackers have attacked some computers by exploiting a bug in Windows first disclosed two months ago by a Google Inc researcher, who came under fire at the time for publicizing the flaw without going to the software company first.

Microsoft provided few details about the attacks. In an advisory on Tuesday, it said hackers had launched "targeted attacks," a term generally used by security experts to refer to cyber attacks on corporate or government targets, with espionage and sabotage as the motive.

Google security engineer Tavis Ormandy's disclosure in May was controversial because he posted technical information on the Web that described the bug in the Windows operating system, which some experts said could help malicious hackers launch attacks, before Microsoft had released software to fix it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bolivia complains to UN after Evo Morales' plane 'kidnapped'

In Bolivia, the treatment of the president stirred up patriotic and anti-imperialist sentiment. Several labour and indigenous organisations planned a welcome rally for the president on his arrival in La Paz on Wednesday evening.

The Argentinian president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, attacked the "vestiges of colonialism" in a speech in Buenos Aires. "We believe this constitutes not only the humiliation of a sister nation but of all South America," she said. An emergency meeting of the Union of South American Nations was expected to be convened on Thursday.

Be Safe my Friends !

4th of July Graphics provided by

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

10 wild immigration quotes - Photos - 1 of 10 -

10 wild immigration quotes - Photos - 1 of 10 -

“Immigrants are more fertile and they love families and they have more intact families and they bring a younger population,” he said on how immigrants can be the solution to declining fertility and population declines in the country, June 14, 2013.

Study: People With a Lot of Self-Control Are Happier - Lindsay Abrams - The Atlantic

Study: People With a Lot of Self-Control Are Happier - Lindsay Abrams - The Atlantic

PROBLEM: "Among humankind's most valuable assets" is self-control, according to Wilhelm Hofmann and his team of researchers at the University of Chicago. They define it as "the ability to override or change one's inner responses" and to refrain from acting on impulses. As an immediate consequence of leading lives of constant self-denial, it would seem that people with a lot of self-control aren't likely to derive a lot of pleasure from life, although in the long run they might benefit from the satisfaction of being better able to realize long-term goals. They don't get to enjoy the cronuts, but they get to be thin, healthy, and otherwise better than the rest of us.

RESULTS: The more self-control people reported having, the more satisfied they reported being with their lives. And contrary to what the researchers were expecting, people with more self-control were also more likely to be happy in the short-term. In fact, when they further analyzed the data, they found that such people's increased happiness to a large extent accounted for the increased life satisfaction.

IMPLICATIONS: As they go about their daily lives, people with a lot of self-control appear to generally be in higher spirits; in the long run, they're happier with their lives. To explain why this would be so, the researchers conducted another online survey. What they figured out is that instead of constantly denying themselves, people high in self-control are simply less likely to find themselves in situations where that's even an issue. They don't waste time fighting inner battles over whether or not to eat a second piece of cake. They're above such petty temptations. And that, it would seem, makes them happier ... if still just a little bit sad.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How to Tell If It's Time to Euthanize Your Pet - ABC News

How to Tell If It's Time to Euthanize Your Pet - ABC News

My 14-year-old border collie was so crippled with arthritis that I had to lift him out of the car and gently set him on the pavement. One last hug, and full of trust, he struggled across the parking lot to the stranger standing beside an open door.
It was the last time I saw him. Constant pain had taken the joy from his life. Yet until the end, he was my constant companion, in some ways my closest friend, and I wondered if I had done the right thing.
Was I being selfish, having him put down because I could not stand his pain anymore? Could a different vet have given him another year or two? Was killing him really necessary? Doubts. Grief. Guilt.

Nearly all of us have gone through that process, trying to decide if the time has come to let go. It's one of the hardest decisions we ever have to make. Pets are not just other animals. They become members of our family, soul brothers, devoted companions.