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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 12:43 PM PDT

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

by phantomlib

I am strongly opposed to the death penalty, however in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, there is, in my opinion, a larger reason to sentence him to life imprisonment without parole than simple opposition to the death penalty or the anguish of the victims at the prospect of facing a long drawn out appeals process, and that is the encouragement his death will give to further terrorist suicide attacks.

Istishhad (Arabic: استشهاد‎) is the Arabic word for "martyrdom", "death of a martyr", or "heroic death".Heroism in the act of sacrifice" rather than "victimization",  has developed into a military and political strategy", often called "martyrdom operations"

Islamist militant organisations (including Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad) continue to argue that suicide operations are justified according to Islamic law.

I believe that life imprisonment for Tsarnaev will help to discourage future terrorist suicide attacks, while sentencing him to death will make him a "martyr" in the eyes of his fellow terrorists.  


Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 10:31 AM PDT

Autism,Ultrasound And Whales

by phantomlib

For many years I have noted the link between the increased use of ultrasound and the increase in autism and autism spectrum disorders. The studies have clearly shown the effect of the Naval sonar systems on whales and porpoises, especially the increased stranding of juvenile whales.

Here are some recent studies and findings that relate to this issue:

Autism begins when certain brain cells fail to properly mature within the womb, according to scientists who say the scattered pattern of the undeveloped cells may explain the wide range of symptoms seen in children.

The finding, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, may one day offer a way to diagnose the disorder earlier, when the potential for treatment is greatest. The cause of autism and its related disorders is unknown. Affecting 1 in 50 U.S. children, it is mostly diagnosed from the ages of 3 to 5, based on behavioral changes that can occur.

“We found a novel aspect of cortical development never seen before that provides clues to the potential cause of autism and when it began,” said Eric Courchesne, director of the University of California at San Diego’s Autism Center of Excellence. “The type of defect we found points directly and clearly to autism beginning during pregnancy.”

What triggers the brain-cell disruptions remains a mystery, Courchesne said in a telephone interview. The cause could be genetic, environmental or a combination, he said.
safe fetal ultrasounds are the source of the worldwide rise in autism

Matching Timelines. Twenty years ago, the FDA increased the allowable intensity of prenatal ultrasound 8-fold to improve images.Autism rates have risen dramatically since that time. Today, it affects 1 in 88 U.S. children, and 1 in 54 U.S. boys.Prenatal ultrasound was once a rare medical procedure, reserved for women with high-risk pregnancies. Prenatal ultrasound is now routine for most pregnant women in developed countries. CDC reports rate of autism in 8-year-olds rose 80% in the six-year period between 2002 and 2008. The number of ultrasounds per U.S. pregnancy rose approximately 73% between the years matching the gestation times of these age groups, 1993 and 1999. Every year, more women have prenatal ultrasounds and have them earlier more often during a pregnancy.Now, the ultrasound vaginal probe, which places the acoustic beam closer to the embryo is in common use. The children of obese mothers have a higher rate of autism. Their abdominal fat layer often requires more of the scans to be done with the probe. The prevalence of autism continues to rise.

Naval Sonar Affects Whales
The Navy’s most widely used sonar systems operate in the mid-frequency range. Evidence of the danger caused by these systems surfaced dramatically in 2000, when whales of four different species stranded themselves on beaches in the Bahamas. Although the Navy initially denied responsibility, the government's investigation established that mid-frequency sonar caused the strandings.
Displacement of whales
Experts agree that exposure to sonar blasts can cause serious injury or death from hemorrhages or other tissue trauma. Whales can also suffer from temporary and permanent hearing loss, displacement from preferred habitat, and disruption of feeding, breeding, communication and other behaviors essential to survival.

Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:17 AM PST

District 18 St Lucie Recount Update

by phantomlib

Murphy camp declares victory due to missed deadline.
Fort Pierce —

Update: Campaign officials for Patrick Murphy, Democrat candidate for the congressional district 18 race, are calling their candidate the winner because the St. Lucie Canvassing Board has missed the noon deadline to certify results to the state Division of Elections.
Under Florida law, if the deadline passes with final certified results, the unofficial certified results filed last Sunday stand. Those results show Murphy ahead by .58 percent – above the .5 percent spread which would trigger an automatic recount.

The recount which was illegal by Florida law and pushed by Gov. Scott's minions upon the Canvassing Board has been going on all day yesterday from 9AM to 10PM and then resumed today at 9 AM. It is still going on as of 12:15PM 15 minutes past the deadline.

West's lawyers are rushing up to Ft Pierce to file an injunction against the certification of the unofficial results and to extend the 12 noon deadline.


Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:50 PM PST

Voter Suppression Worked- In Reverse

by phantomlib

With all the moaning and groaning about the dysfunctional Florida vote,
and all the attempts to suppress the minority votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania
and many other States, there is one thing that stands out in my mind.

It is the fact that the efforts of voter suppression worked to bring out the vote.

The people waiting in long lines for as much as 5 hours in Florida, the people who
patiently cast their provisional ballots and then made sure they would count, the people who voted, perhaps for the first time, the people who carried their invalid parents and grandparents to the polls, who voted while in labor, who voted in the midst of a heart attack, these are the real winners of this election.

Many of these dedicated stubborn Americans voted because they were told that the "powers that be" were trying to STOP them from voting.

I have never been prouder of my Democracy than seeing these long lines and dedicated voters who understood that their vote was PRECIOUS and could not be stolen from them.


Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:59 AM PST


by phantomlib

Romney: Elect Me Or House GOP Will Wreck The Economy
This should be disseminated in ALL the Congressional candidate races as an additional reason to throw out the Republican obstructionists.


In what his campaign billed as his "closing argument," Mitt Romney warned Americans that a second term for President Obama would have apocalyptic consequences for the economy in part because his own party would force a debt ceiling disaster.

"Unless we change course, we may well be looking at another recession," Romney told a crowd in West Allis, Wisconsin.

Romney said that Obama "promised to be a post-partisan president, but he became the most partisan" and that his bitter relations with the House GOP could threaten the economy. As his chief example, he pointed to a crisis created entirely by his own party's choice -- Republican lawmakers' ongoing threat to reject a debt ceiling increase. Economists warn that a failure to pass such a measure would have immediate and catastrophic consequences for the recovery.

"You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress," Romney said. "He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy."


Our Governor who purchased his way into his position has now decided to outdo Romney for lies and misrepresentations and to bring Jim Crow back into the Florida School system.

First he decreased school funding, after swearing he wouldn't do that:

Scott's proposed budget for next year includes billions of dollars in education cuts. (The actual cut depends on what education budget figure you consult, but the cut would be between $3.3 billion and $4.8 billion, with per-student funding to decrease by 10 percent.) Some of that loss is offset by having teachers contribute 5 percent to their retirement and by the inclusion of temporary federal education dollars. Still, per-student funding would shrink if Scott's budget is ultimately approved.

"I've heard nothing but that education funding wasn't going to be touched," said Florida Education Association spokesman Mark Pudlow. "We all were wondering what kind of alchemy we were going to see. Of course, what we saw was tons of cuts to education."

NOW, he is imposing old stereotypical racist criteria to the already horrible "teaching to the test" schools:

Race Based Testing

Florida is setting different goals for reading improvements among its students -- based on race and ethnicity. By 2018, 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanic students, and 74 percent of black students are to be reading on grade level.

The new targets approved by the State Board of Education on Tuesday set loftier benchmarks for Asian and white youngsters and lower ones for black and Hispanic children.


Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:14 AM PDT

Campaign Finance Laws Are A Joke

by phantomlib

Recently, in my Town a complaint was filed with the State for violations of the Campaign Finance Laws because a local woman made up a flyer with a list of "recommended" candidates that she distributed outside of primary polling places and through local churches and community centers. She signed her name as "publisher" of the list, but the complaint ( which made FRONT PAGE headlines) was made against ONE of the candidates on the list ( who won in the primary and is on the general election ballot). The complaint stated that the woman did not form a "campaign committee" and that the $25. or so that was spent printing the flyers was not reported by the candidate.

Now we have a very wealthy individual purchasing 2 & 1/2 full page ads against Obama,he signs his name, but is not registered as a political action committee, and gets away with it??
Private Political Ad

Tuesday's edition of the Press Journal was highly unusual in that "a concerned American citizen" placed 2½ pages of ads berating President Barack Obama for his record on jobs and the national debt."New Hampshire man placed 2+ pages of political ads in today's paper. Clue about his view: He refers to president as 'Barack Hussein Obama.he placed the same three ads in Sunday's edition of the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire.All three ads — full pages on 5A and 10A, and a half-page on 9A — included the man's name, Harold Oberkotter, and a contact address in New London, N.H.'"
It is bad enough that the Supreme Court ruling allowed the super rich and Multi- National Corporations to BUY elections, but at least there are SOME registration and regulation requirements.

Do we now have a "free for all" where anyone can say or do anything in their own name and get a "political ad discount"??


Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:38 AM PDT

Wearing An Aluminum Hat

by phantomlib

I am usually immune to conspiracy theories, but lately I have begun to wonder--
In my small City there appears to be undue influence by Republicans in a ( supposedly) non partisan race.

And now, with the Republicans claiming that the employment figures were "cooked" ( something which has been disavowed by all reputable news agencies), I have begun to wonder about the gas shortage in California and Nevada.

Is it just a coincidence?? Or was there some secret deal made by the oil producers to jack up the cost of gas just before the election??


Last week, the Florida GOP launched a campaign to remove three sitting state supreme court justices who previously ruled against Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL). If this campaign succeeds, Scott will be able to appoint three of the court’s seven justices, giving the Tea Party governor control over nearly half the court.

Today, the Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity — which is chaired by GOP energy billionaire David Koch — joined this effort as well. The Koch group’s first ad attacks the three justices because they joined a 5-2 opinion blocking an unconstitutional ballot initiative seeking to nullify the Affordable Care Act:

We can not allow this to happen, please let us find a way to support these Judges and maintain SOME semblance of sanity in the Florida political system.

The Supreme Court race is proving to be especially contentious, as various conservative groups and other individuals have been fighting against the retention of Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.

Please support these 3 Judges in their efforts to keep the Florida Judicial system out of the hands of partisan extremists.


There is an epidemic of violence and gang activity destroying our Cities and the future of our Country.

Although there have been many efforts to stop gang violence, drugs and criminal behavior among the youth, there has been one overlooked opportunity to PREVENT crime and drug use, and that is to make young folks aware of the risks of losing FOREVER their right to vote.

If there were a combined effort on the part of those making efforts to stop crime, and those seeking to register voters, to enlist some of their peers who have already lost their right to vote to explain that by doing drugs and committing crimes they are giving up their best weapon to have power in our society, their VOTE, it might enable more young people to register and PROTECT their right to vote by not being involved in crime and drugs.

Doing voter registration on College Campuses is commendable, but it leaves out the young people who are NOT going to College and who are on a fast track to nowhere.


Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM PDT

Patrick Murphy's Terrible Ads

by phantomlib

As a lifelong Democrat senior citizen and supporter of Patrick Murphy ( I signed his nominating petition and contributed to his campaign) I am annoyed and aggrevated by the lousy campaign ads he is running.

There are many important issues that need to be brought to the attention of voters in the 18th District. Issues that need to be clearly described and presented in a convincing mature fashion, but his juvenile irritating commercials seem to be designed by Republicans to turn off support for him rather than gather support.

Name calling or ads calling attention to name calling are not going to win him the votes he needs to beat West. They are not only counterproductive but their creepy irritating format seems designed by a bunch of silly amateurs.

If he loses to West it will be because his commercials were bad enough to annoy even a strong Democrat like me.


Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:20 AM PDT

Theater Doors

by phantomlib

The tragedy in Colorado was unavoidable in terms of the having ANY way of preventing this previously seemingly sane young man with no criminal record from obtaining the guns and bomb making material.

However, the fact that he could buy a ticket, enter the theater and then sneak OUT an UNGUARDED exit and PROP IT OPEN for reentry with his lethal arsenal to wreak havoc was certainly avoidable.

What theater, especially one showing a first run expensive film like this would not have precautions in place to prevent people sneaking in without tickets? An ordinary common precaution to prevent someone from buying a ticket and then sneaking in non paying friends would have prevented this tragedy.

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