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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: New Orleans
Member since: Wed Jul 20, 2011, 09:14 AM
Number of posts: 10,175

About Me

Well lets see, stuff about me... Veteran, Navy Admiral's Staff 2nd Fleet. I practice Kendo as my primary martial art. I am also a ranking Iaidoist (Japanese Sword). Working on a Master's in International Forensics' Accounting. Filmmaker, originally commercials, now working on my first feature comedy film, should be released Summer or Fall of 2016.

Journal Archives

Pope Signals Near Openness to Same Sex Families

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican conceded Thursday that most Catholics reject its teachings on sex and contraception as intrusive and irrelevant and officials pledged not to "close our eyes to anything" when it opens a two-year debate on some of the thorniest issues facing the church.

Core church doctrine on the nature of marriage, sexuality, abortion and divorce isn't expected to change as a result of the debate that opens in October. But Pope Francis is well aware that the church has lost much of its relevance and credibility in today's secular world and he is seeking to redirect his ministers to offer families, and even gays in civil unions, a "new language" that is welcoming and responds to their needs.

The Vatican on Thursday issued the working document for the synod discussions, which in itself marked a sharp change from past practice: The Vatican sent out a 39-point questionnaire seeking input from ordinary Catholics around the world about their understanding of, and adherence to, the church's teaching on sexuality, homosexuality, contraception, marriage and divorce.

Thousands of ordinary Catholics, clergy and academics responded, providing the Vatican with an unprecedented compilation of grass-root data to guide the discussion. Usually, such working papers are compiled by bishops alone.


Louie Gohmert demands Obama stop ‘luring’ lice and scabies-ridden immigrant children

Republicans are just rabid animals.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Wednesday objected to President Barack Obama’s immigration policies because he said that they were “luring” diseased children to the United States.

Speaking at a House Judiciary hearing titled “An Administration Made Disaster: The South Texas Border Surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors,” Gohmert accused President Obama of giving undocumented children a “free pass” to stay in the country.

“And what is occurring by this administration luring these children into America by the promise of a free pass once they get here, there are children that are suffering and being hurt, being lured here to their detriment,” the Texas Republican opined. “Now, if they get here successfully, that’s a different story.”

Gohmert said that he had visited a facility in Texas over the weekend where children were “lying on a concrete floor.”


How Republicans Are Creating a Crisis of Competence in Government

In January of 2001, a blue-ribbon Senate committee headed by Sens. Gary Hart (D-CO) and Warren Rudman (R-NH) released a report that would become famous for its prescient warning that “the persistence of international terrorism will end the relative invulnerability of the US homeland to catastrophic attack.”

But what most people don’t remember is that the Hart-Rudman report also cautioned that “the United States finds itself on the brink of an unprecedented crisis of competence in government” that made such an attack more likely to succeed. Blaming a variety of factors for a “decay” in “the human resources of government,” the committee concluded that Americans’ “declining orientation toward government service” is “deeply troubling.”

In the new issue of The Washington Monthly, Paul Glastris and Haley Sweetland Edwards look at how Republicans have deepened that crisis by gutting congressional staff — the faceless research, oversight and policymaking apparatus that makes the government function. Conservatives, they write, have engineered a “debilitating brain drain” that has “been under way in Congress for the past 25 years.”

Glastris and Sweetland Edwards write:

In 1995, after winning a majority in the House for the first time in forty years, one of the first things the new Republican House leadership did was gut Congress’s workforce. They cut the “professional staff” (the lawyers, economists, and investigators who work for committees rather than individual members) by a third. They reduced the “legislative support staff” (the auditors, analysts, and subject-matter experts at the Government Accountability Office [GAO], the Congressional Research Service [CRS], and so on) by a third, too, and killed off the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) entirely….


It's Been 150 Years Since the U.S. Was This Politically Polarized

A new survey from the Pew Research Center reveals that political polarization in the United States has reached a dangerous extreme. The gap between what Democrats and Republicans believe is enormous, with almost no center ground. We haven't seen such strong polarization since the Civil War.

Photo by Andrew Kuznetsov

At this point, you might be thinking, "bullshit." We're seeing more polarization than the 1960s, with Vietnam and the culture wars? The 1950s, with segregation and McCarthyism? The answer is yes, those were decades of profound ideological division within the United States. But they weren't the apex. Political polarization has grown more pronounced with each passing decade, until we've reached…well, now.

A quick visualization (below):
In 2012, political scientists Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal quantified the degree to which Democrats and Republicans have become ideologically homogenous and separated from one another. In the chart above, which portrays voting patterns in Congress, high numbers represent polarization—the House and Senate vote predictably along party lines, even on issues that are not typically sources of division—while low numbers represent voting that was less predictable and more mixed, indicating there were opportunities for compromise and bipartisan coalitions. The post-Civil War, Reconstruction era saw divisions gradually erode as we entered into the two World Wars and the Depression, and picked up again as we moved into the latter half of the century.

So, in one sense, the results of the new Pew survey were not entirely unexpected—but they still manage to surprise, in terms of the extent to which our ideologies have come to define us.

Enemy Mine

BREAKING: Suspects in Vegas Walmart shooting wanted ‘revolution’, commit suicide after killing


KSNV is reporting a shooting at a Las Vegas Walmart, with 3 unconfirmed deaths.

UPDATE (5:40PM) Five people are dead, including two Metro police officers, in a shootout that concluded at Las Vegas Walmart.

According to reports, the two suspects — a man and a woman — killed the two police officers as they were eating lunch at a Cici’s Pizza. Witnesses told police that one of the shooters yelled, “This is the start of a revolution” before shooting the officers. The suspects then took the police officer’s weapons and extra ammunition and went to a Walmart across the street where they shot and killed a customer before barricading themselves in a corner of the store.

The suspects reportedly told customers they wanted to have a shootout with the police.

After the store was surrounded by SWAT officers, the suspects took their own lives as part of an apparent suicide pact.
Posted by Katashi_itto | Sun Jun 8, 2014, 10:55 PM (7 replies)

Obama To Use Executive Actions To Address Student Loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is prepping new executive steps to help Americans struggling to pay off their student debt, and throwing his support behind Senate Democratic legislation with a similar goal but potentially a much more profound impact.

Obama on Monday will announce he's expanding his "Pay As You Earn" program that lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in loan payments, the White House said. Currently, the program is only available to those who started borrowing after October 2007 and kept borrowing after October 2011. Obama plans to start allowing those who borrowed earlier to participate, potentially extending the benefit to millions more borrowers.

"At a time when college has never been more important, it's also never been more expensive," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address released Saturday.

Obama also plans to announce he's directing the government to renegotiate contracts with federal student loan servicers to encourage them to make it easier for borrowers to avoid defaulting on their loans. And he will ask the Treasury and Education departments to work with major tax preparers, including H&R Block and the makers of TurboTax, to increase awareness about tuition tax credits and flexible repayment options available to borrowers.

Marine gets death threats after confronting Texas assault rifle activists on public street

A Marine veteran in Texas was forced to change his phone number and is now carrying a gun with him at all times after a confrontation with members of a gun-rights group on a public street led to Internet death threats.

James Henry told KDFW that he had decided to film members of Open Carry Tarrant County protesting with assault-style rifles for his production company over the Memorial Day weekend. Henry said that things got heated, and the men eventually followed him back to his vehicle.

“I got aggravated and I did get a bit snarky,” he recalled.

After the confrontation, the activist posted a video to YouTube of Henry returning to his SUV, which had his company name and phone number printed on the side. Soon after that, he started receiving harassing phone calls.

Posted by Katashi_itto | Tue Jun 3, 2014, 05:42 AM (3 replies)

Seattle city council unanimously approves minimum wage increase to $15 per hour

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The Seattle city council voted unanimously on Monday to approve a sharp increase in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years, marking the first time a major U.S. city has committed to such a high base level of pay.

Under the terms of the plan, businesses with fewer than 500 workers must raise wages to the $15 mark in the next seven years, an increase of more than 60 percent from Seattle’s current minimum wage of $9.32 an hour.Larger businesses must meet that level within three years, or four if they provide health insurance.

“We have worked alongside organized labor in Seattle who have campaigned vigorously for $15 (an hour),” said socialist council member Kshama Sawant, a supporter of the measure (pictured above).

“We forced the establishment to lift the wages of 100,000 low-wage workers in Seattle, to transfer $3 billion from business to workers at the bottom of the pay scale over the next 10 years. We did it. Workers did it,” Sawant said.

Posted by Katashi_itto | Tue Jun 3, 2014, 05:11 AM (5 replies)

Conservatives Turn Their Criticism Toward Bergdahl's Father

The conservative criticism of the prisoner swap that led to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl over the weekend has extended to the rescued soldier's father.

It didn't take long for some on the right to scrutinize Bob Bergdahl, the Idaho man who grew an unkempt beard as a show of solidarity during his son's five years of captivity in Afghanistan.

The suspicion toward the elder Bergdahl stems from the criticism surrounding his son's mysterious disappearance. Some soldiers who served alongside Bowe Bergdahl consider him a deserter and have said that lives were lost in the subsequent manhunt. Bowe Bergdahl's stated misgivings with the military's actions have only deepened the suspicion of his disappearance.

In a tweet written days before the soldier's release, according to conservative news sites, Bob Bergdahl said he is "working to free all Guantanamo prisoners" and that "God will repay for the death of every Afghan child." He reportedly deleted it on Saturday after it was announced that his son was released in exchange for five Taliban detainees held at the detention facility, but not before it was preserved by conservatives.
Posted by Katashi_itto | Tue Jun 3, 2014, 05:10 AM (1 replies)
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