I am an Environmental Health and Safety Professional, as well as a science/technical writer for a variety of news and professional publications. I have been a citizen activist since 2009, and am one of the co-founders of the San Diego-based group, Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition.
Belle Knox (Miriam Weeks) made headlines when it was revealed that she is a Duke University student paying for tuition by doing porn. Belle has used her new found fame to have an honest discussion with Americans about the state of college tuition & the federal government’s wasteful spending.I would have more respect for Knox if she put her expensive education on hold and perhaps learned a trade that would provide her the income necessary to get the degree she wants. I would feel exactly the same way if Knox were male, though it seems the porn industry is one in which women earn substantially more than men. Perhaps the current administration could focus on this particular wage gap?
California has handed out 110,000 driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally during the first seven weeks of applications. The figures for all of January and much of February were released this week by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. In early January when the law took effect, hundreds of immigrants lined up at designated DMV offices for walk-in appointments. The applicants have to submit documents and take a written test, and later, they must take a road test. They receive licenses that read "not acceptable for official federal purposes" like boarding planes.Let's take a look at the written test requirements for a moment. I remember studying diligently for several hours before taking my exam several years ago, and being very nervous about getting the correct answers. It is difficult to believe so many immigrants who have not had basic educational opportunities either here or in their native land would pass the exam.
Various unconfirmed reports are emerging indicating that there may be joint international action planned in Libya as early as next week. Egypt is already conducting air strikes against ISIS-linked targets in Derna, close to where Egyptian Coptics were massacred recently, as displayed in a gruesome video. Debka reports that Egypt’s president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi is planning further action in Libya, including more air strikes and possible ground troops, within a few days. According to the report, Egyptian commando and marine forces are preparing for sea landings to seize Derna and destroy the terrorist elements there. If this attack is actually launched, it will be the first time in modern times that an Arab country has sent ground forces into another Arab country. Al-Jazeera television reports that the Italian navy is getting ready to carry off sophisticated military drills off the coast of Libya as early as Monday. Although Italy claims that it will be a regular exercise, there are many more vessels taking part in this year’s exercise than have in the past, which Italy explains by saying that they are testing out sophisticated new technologies. ...Some reports indicate that Russia has hinted at a willingness to participate in a naval blockade of Libya to prevent arm supplies from leaving Libya for other countries. Russia could play a role in this because it already has a naval fleet in the Mediterranean.
The United States fumbled its response to the Ebola epidemic before it even began, neglecting experiments to make vaccines and drugs against the virus, and cutting funding to key public health agencies, a presidential commission said Thursday. Americans focused on their own almost nonexistent risk of catching Ebola from travelers instead of pressing to help the truly affected nations, the scathing report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues says. They've been acting against their own best interest, the commission said in its report. "Both justice and prudence demand that we do our part in combating such devastating outbreaks. Once we recognize our humanitarian obligations and the ability of infectious diseases to travel in our interconnected world, we cannot choose between the ethical and the prudential," it reads. "Ethics and enlightened interest converge in calling for our country to address epidemics at their source."
Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing the role of Spock in the "Star Trek" movies and television series has died at age 83, his rep confirmed to FOX411. Nimoy was taken to the hospital earlier this week and treated for lung disease. His son told the Associated Press he died in Los Angeles. The actor wrote on Twitter last month that he suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, despite quitting smoking 30 years ago. On Sunday, he tweeted: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. "
Islamic State thugs have destroyed a collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years. Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul. Video footage shows a group of bearded men in the Nineveh Museum using tools to wreck 3,000-year-old statues after pushing them over.The pieces in the video date to the Assyrian and Akkadian empires. The destruction is being decried by the international community.
...Kitzhaber handed oversight of the Cover Oregon mess to a secretive campaign consultant who liked to call herself the Princess of Darkness. By her own admission, Patricia McCaig knew virtually nothing about health care reform or the reasons Cover Oregon had crashed. Her primary mission was not to save a beleaguered state program but to get Kitzhaber re-elected. Emails that Kitzhaber’s office tried to delete from state computers show McCaig was effectively in charge of all decision making for Cover Oregon beginning in February 2014.
Since 1990, scientists have used complex models to predict how climate change and manmade greenhouse emissions will affect the world. But a team of experts - including an astrophysicist, statistician, and geography professor – has claimed these models ‘very greatly exaggerate’ the effects of global warming. Using a simpler, solar-based model, the researchers arrived at figures that are more than half those previously predicted. The paper, ‘Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model’, was written by Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, astrophysicist and geoscientist Willie Soon, Professor of Geography at the University of Delaware David Legates, and statistician Dr Matt Briggs. It has been peer reviewed and is published in the journal Science Bulletin.Interestingly, one of the scientists who authored the paper has a connection to Cornell. Dr. Matt Briggs, who has a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from that university, has been the focus of a lot of heat from global warming advocates. He explained the smear campaign to Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Sunday.
For the government in Italy, the prospect of IS-inspired attacks was cause for real concern. Indeed, the Italian foreign minister said last week that Rome would weigh participating in any military intervention to keep Islamic State forces from advancing in Libya. But while some in Italy fear the risk that terrorists, mingled among boatloads of migrants, could reach Italy from Libya, others have greeted the prospect with humor. They exploited the #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome Twitter hashtag to offer mock travel advice to IS operatives, including warnings about Rome’s terrible traffic congestion and restaurant recommendations.They promised ISIS entertainment:
Children from Egypt's El Mahalla El Kubra have been video-taped “slaughtering” other children ISIS-style while playing with wooden sticks. The video raises more questions than answers on the “merits” of sharing horrific videos detailing the terror group's crimes, particularly with children. The Al Qaeda off-shoot ISIS, which has come to control larges swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, has taken great pride in releasing highly-produced videos, showcasing how they behead their captives. Despite a cat and mouse chase to remove their graphic propaganda online, many continue to share the videos, unconcerned by the damage they could cause to viewers. This El Mahalla El Kubra video may have been made after the militant group “ISIS in Libya” beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian workers who had been abducted in Libya more than a month ago. On February 15, the terrorists posted a gruesome and bloody video on YouTube that showed the beheading of the hostages, creating an uproar in Egypt, including the bombing of ISIS sites in Libya. El Mahalla Al Kubra is an industrial and agricultural city in Egypt, located in the middle of the Nile Delta on the western bank of the Damietta branch, and is home to about half a million people.(Click HERE for Tamer Abdo Amin's Facebook page with the full video).
...Nearly a week of cold and ice has contributed to 18 weather-related fatalities in Tennessee since Monday, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. They include nine people who died of hypothermia and five victims of motor-vehicle accidents. And in Kentucky, 10 people have died since Monday in weather-related incidents, said Buddy Rogers, a spokesman for Kentucky Emergency Management. Pennsylvania authorities said Friday at least two people had frozen to death outside. A 119-year-old record low temperature for February 20 was broken in Washington, with a temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius) recorded at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Egyptian special forces have allegedly launched a ground attack in Libya's Islamic State-held Derna capturing dozens of Islamist militants, according to Egyptian and Libyan reports. Ansa news agency cited unnamed local sources as saying that an Egyptian commando stormed the eastern Libyan town, a stronghold of the Islamic State (Isis) there, "capturing 55 Daesh [IS] militants". The Libyan National Army wrote on its Facebook page that Egyptian forces in coordination with the local army stormed IS camp in Derna, "killing a large number of IS militants and capturing several terrorists including Egyptians, foreigners and Arabs". An Egyptian newspaper, ElWatan News, reported that several jihadists were killed in the operation.I suspect that the only jobs program Sisi is interested in providing ISIS involves the funeral industry. You might think that such a robust response to the terror group that has threatened President Obama would be winning all sorts of support from the White House. Sadly...not so much.
She’s been out of public life for years, she’s never run for office and she’s a Republican, but Condoleezza Rice is now the first choice of California voters to replace Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2016. A Field Poll released Wednesday showed that the former Bush administration official leads a list of 18 potential Senate candidates, with 49 percent of likely voters saying that they would be inclined to vote for her and 39 percent not inclined.At this point, it's probably the fact that she has never been an elected official---and has been out of the spotlight for many years---that has endeared her to the California electorate.
“They were murdered just for the fact they were Christians,” Pope Francis said. “The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out,” said the Pope. “If they are Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it is not important: They are Christians. The blood is the same: It is the blood which confesses Christ.” Pope Francis said that in remembering “these brothers who have been killed simply for confessing Christ,” Christians should encourage one another in the ecumenical goal, noting the “ecumenism of blood.”Scalia then lists the name of the 21 slaughtered Copts, and asks these new martyrs for their prayers. If ISIS has its way, Pope Francis will be joining those sacrificed: “And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him,” stated one of the butchers. This regional map shows the location in of Sirte (the ISIS stronghold where those Egyptians were held captive) and Rome (and Vatican City that is enclaved within its boundaries). The terror group is now knocking on the doors of Europe...and its stated target is due north and not terribly distant.
Egypt’s air force bombed ISIS targets in Libya at dawn on Monday, a day after the militant group released a video purporting to show the execution of 21 Egyptian Copts there. "Your armed forces on Monday carried out focused air strikes in Libya against Daesh camps, places of gathering and training, and weapons depots," the military said in a statement, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. It was the first time Egypt confirmed launching air strikes against the group in neighboring Libya, suggesting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is ready to escalate his battle against militants seeking to topple his government.The airstrikes killed 50 militants and destroyed training bases and weapons stockpiles. Egyptian Copts featured in the video that preceded the strikes had been working in Libya and were kidnapped over the course of 2 months, then beheaded by the terror group. Shortly before the jets took off, Egypt's President Abdel el-Sisi said Cairo “reserved the right to respond in any way” to the butchery.
Egypt's Sisi: "Reserves Right of Retaliation"-After Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS Libya http://t.co/oEaTa2ic0T pic.twitter.com/tkaaEanwJ9 — Tom T. (@VRWCTexan) February 16, 2015
The storm's predicted barometric pressure, a measure of the storm's intensity, "is typically observed with a Category 2 hurricane," the National Weather Service in Boston said. The heaviest snow will stretch from northeastern Massachusetts to coastal Maine with more than a foot expected, AccuWeather predicts. Wind gusts could approach 70 mph in some spots — strong enough to cause structural damage and widespread power outages, the weather service said.You know a storm is going to be bad when it is given a name, and the state's governor makes a statement about it before the first flake strikes the ground.
“New Yorkers should take every appropriate precaution as subzero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions hit the state this weekend,” Cuomo said in statement. According to the National Weather Service, [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo said some areas of the state may experience some of the “coldest temperatures in generations.” Cuomo claimed that temperatures at LaGuardia Airport may drop to their lowest since 1943 and Central Park may experience its lowest temperature since 1888.Back in California, I'll be strolling along the beach enjoying sunny weather. However, my state is also facing its own generational climate crisis -- a drought that is the worst in US history, and severe enough to earn the term "megadrought".
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Sr. Contrib Editor