Saturday, February 18, 2017

President Trump Press Conference Feb-16-2017

The Deep State Speaketh
Sardoniky blog
By Karen Garcia
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
*2/16 Update Below.

The first Deep State leg of the punishing journey that Senator Chuck Schumer called "six ways from Sunday" is now complete. The Intelligence Community has officially begun its vendetta against Donald J. Trump.

Not that we should mourn the newly deposed General Mike Flynn, of course. The man was not just a loose cannon in a whole cabinet full of them, he was a human cluster bomb. A ground war with Iran on his watch was never a question of if, but of when. Flynn was practically salivating blood in his hateful haste to kill as many Muslims as possible. So good riddance to him.

 I have just a few thoughts on what could possibly be going on with the Consensuals of the Washington establishment.

1. They just really, viscerally hate Donald Trump's guts, as well as his unfiltered Queens-accented voice speaking uncomfortable truths about the Military Industrial Complex and American imperialism. Above all, they just hate that he is ruining their long-held plans for at least a warming of the cold war with Russia. They don't want all those troops in Norway and Estonia and Poland just going to waste. If there is a true peace with Putin, the American-based oil cartels might have to negotiate nicely with Russia over all that oil lurking in the Bering Sea. And they don't want to share. Read more...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rockin in the Free World

Pearl Jam with Neil Young - Rockin in the free world Toronto 2011 COMPLETE lyrics

Neil Young: I'm OK With Donald Trump Using 'Rockin' in the Free World'

Rolling Stone
By Daniel Kreps
May 24, 2016

"Once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything," rocker says

Donald Trump's presidential campaign got off to a rocky start last June when – after playing Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" after the rally announcing his presidential bid – the rocker immediately asked the mogul to stop using the Freedom track on the campaign trail. The issue sparked a public argument between Young and Trump, as Young stated that Trump was "not authorized" to use the track, while a spokesperson for the GOP candidate insisted they had acquired the necessary publishing rights.

However, in a new interview with Reuters, Young said he doesn't harbor any resentment towards Trump for using the Freedom track; in fact, he might have okayed the mogul's usage if Trump had just asked permission first.

"The fact that I said I was for Bernie Sanders and then [Trump] didn't ask me to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' doesn't mean that he can't use it," Young said. "He actually got a license to use it. I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything. But if the artist who made it is saying you never spoke to them, if that means something to you, you probably will stop playing it. And it meant something to Donald and he stopped."

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told Rolling Stone in June 2015 after Young protested the song's usage on the campaign trail, "We won't be using it again. There are plenty of other songs to choose from, despite the fact that Mr. Trump is a big fan and likes Neil very much. We will respect his wish and not use it because it's the right thing to do."

After the "Rockin' in the Free World" incident, Young's rep issued a statement saying, "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America." Eleven months later, Young is still supporting the Vermont senator.

"He's the only one talking about the issues, about issues that matter to me, the issues on my mind," Young told Reuters. "Problems of corporate control of democracy and everything slipping away and not being able to have six major companies owning all the media in the United States."

Although Young supports Sanders, come November, he won't be able to vote for the Vermont senator, or any other candidate for that matter: The rocker maintains his Canadian citizenship, making him ineligible to vote in the presidential election. When asked if he'd consider U.S. citizenship, Young quipped, "Oh, that would be a big ruse. I'm a Canadian. There's nothing I can do about that."

"I vote in my own way, by making a lot of noise. If you don't want to listen to me, fine. If you don't want to vote like I would, don't," Young said. "But I still have a voice." Read more

Neil Young admitted in an interview that he might have allowed Donald Trump to use "Rockin' in the Free World" had the mogul asked permission first. Gus Stewart/Redferns/Getty

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Combat veterans with genital injuries find little help overcoming intimacy, pregnancy challenges

Combat veterans with genital injuries find little help overcoming intimacy, pregnancy challenges

Seema Yasmin, Staff writer
Dallas News
December 15, 2016

Five months after his 32nd birthday, Aaron Causey stepped on a bomb. The newlywed from Alabama was on his second overseas Army deployment, working as an explosives technician in Afghanistan. That morning in 2011, Aaron was on the hunt, peering inside tunnels for improvised explosive devices.

Before he saw the small bundle of plastic and copper wires, he had stepped on it. The blast ripped off his legs and traveled through his groin. One testicle was destroyed, only two-thirds of the other remained.

Four days later in a German hospital, Kat Causey walked into her husband’s hospital room. "Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up," she told herself. The words repeated in her head as she stared at Aaron. How can he still be alive, she wondered. Her husband was in pieces. Surely their plans for having a baby were shattered.

The blast from an IED hits from below. It can hollow out a soldier’s pelvis, shredding the shaft of the penis, obliterating testicles and destroying the bladder and the tubes that carry urine and sperm.

Fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan means hopping out of trucks to walk on foot in terrain too rugged for military vehicles. Experts say service members are more vulnerable to IED blasts than ever before.

That could explain why more than 1,400 U.S. troops suffered injuries to the penis, testicles or bladder from 2001 to 2013 while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their average age was 24. Experts describe the rise of genital injuries from combat as "unprecedented."

Blasts powerful enough to amputate legs and genitalia used to mean almost certain death. These days, advanced medical care in the field and quick evacuation to specialist trauma centers means soldiers who suffer severe blast injuries have a better chance of surviving.

Surviving means repeat surgeries, re-imagining relationships and wondering if you’ll ever enjoy sex or have children. And while there are more conversations about brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder in troops, experts and families say there’s not enough discussion about the men who return home with the most taboo of injuries.

Counting the injured

At his office in the San Antonio Military Medical Center, Army Maj. Steven Hudak tracks the number of wounded military service members. When he’s not treating the injured — Dr. Hudak is a reconstructive urologist — he studies the Department of Defense Trauma Registry to learn what kinds of injuries are afflicting military members across the services.

In a recent paper (PDF) published in the Journal of Urology, Hudak and colleagues wrote that there are more U.S. service members surviving with genitourinary injuries than ever before in the history of war. They described the different types of genital trauma suffered by young military men and said the range of trauma to the penis and testicles is varied. (Press release)

"There’s no characteristic pattern among the men who have penile injuries," Hudak says. "Really every service member that I’ve treated for a penile injury had a different kind of injury."

Of the more than 1,400 men who suffered injuries to the genitals while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan over a 12-year period, 75 men died from their wounds and were excluded from the analysis.

Hudak found that of the 1,367 wounded service members who survived, 3 out of 4 had injuries to the penis, scrotum or testicles. A third had injuries that were classified as severe and 84 suffered severe injuries to the penis.

In a separate study of soldiers injured in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom between 2001 and 2011, Hudak's team found 501 men suffered genital and urinary system injuries and that 1 in 5 of them had an injury to the penis.

Overall, the greatest number of severe injuries were among those who had testicular damage, says Hudak. "That obviously has a different set of ramifications with regards to long-term fertility potential." Read more

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Aaron Causey (retired), wife Kat Causey, and daughter Alexandra Jayne Causey

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

The Field Negro blog
By Wayne Bennett
A Philadelphia Lawyer
Monday, January 16, 2017

It's MLK Day here in America, but I would like to remind you Negroes (I see you Steve Harvey) who believe that we are now "post-racial", that three states (Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi) celebrated Robert E. Lee Day, today. And in some towns across America, folks are upset because they have to give up their Lee parade for that King fellow.

Anywhoo, the following incident took place in October of 2015, but the police department involved is just releasing the video because of a previous lawsuit that was filed by the victim.

"Pinned to the ground by officers who kneed and struck him, Lawrence Crosby screamed whatever he could think of to convince them that he was a law-abiding PhD student, not a violent car thief.

"This is my vehicle, sir," he said, his voice captured by the dashboard-camera video. "I have evidence. ... I purchased this vehicle Jan. 23, 2015, from Libertyville Chevrolet."

It wasn’t enough. The officers placed him in handcuffs in the driveway of a church, two blocks from the police station in Evanston, Ill.

Police released the dash-cam video earlier this week, detailing the half-hour encounter that sparked a civil lawsuit from Crosby and a discussion about race and policing in this city of 75,000, just north of Chicago.

The video includes footage from the dash cam of one of the officers involved in the altercation. But it’s also synced with video of a personal dash cam Crosby kept running in his car.

On that night in October 2015, Crosby was headed to Northwestern University, where he was studying for his doctoral degree in civil engineering.

But something was wrong with the molding on his car, so he pulled out a metal bar to try to fix the strip on the roof, he says on the video.

A woman passing by saw him — a black man, wearing a hoodie, with some kind of bar pressed up against a car.

[Yesterday’s Ku Klux Klan members are today’s police officers, councilwoman says]
She picked up the phone and called 911, telling the dispatcher she thought she was witnessing a car break-in.

"He had a bar in his hand, and it looked like he was jimmying the door open," she told the dispatcher. Read more

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.)[1] is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. Read more

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader of revolution, dies at 90

Castro visiting the United States in 1959
Lawyer Biography: Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro Short Biography
Lawyer Issues - Blog About Lawyers
Legal Blog for Everyone

Fidel Castro has been the longest serving head of state in the world. This despite a concerted effort by the CIA and the United States Government to overthrow him or even assassinate him by what ever means available.

Fidel Castro was born on farm in Cuba on August 13, 1926. Fidel was born out of wedlock and his father, Angel Castro, did not officially claim him as his son. While growing up he went by the name of Fidel Ruz. Later, his father would marry his mother and Fidel would change his last name to Castro.

Castro attended Jesuit boarding schools. Fidel was smart, but wasn't a great student. He did excel in sports, however, especially baseball.

In 1945 Fidel Castro entered law school at the University of Havana. At University he became involved in politics and protesting against the current government. He thought the government was corrupt and there was too much involvement from the United States.

In 1952 Fidel Castro ran for a seat at Cuba's House of Representatives. However, that year General Fulgencio Batista overthrew the existing government and canceled the elections. Castro began to organize a revolution. Fidel and his brother, Raul, tried to take over the government, but were captured and sent to prison. He was released two years later.

Fidel Castro did not give up, however. He went to Mexico and planned his next revolution. There he met Che Guevara who would become an important leader in his revolution. Castro and Guevara returned with a small army to Cuba on December 2, 1956. They were quickly defeated again by Batista's army. However, this time Castro, Guevara, and Raul escaped into the hills. They began a guerrilla war against Batista. Over time they gathered many supporters and eventually overthrew Batista's government on January 1, 1959. In July of 1959 Castro took over as leader of Cuba. He would rule for nearly 50 years.

A new dawn for Cuba as it opens for business
American Bar Association
By Victor Li
Posted Jun 01, 2016 12:10 am CDT

The 90-mile corridor between Key West and the north coast of Cuba is far wider, deeper and considerably more dangerous when you factor in everything that's happened between the two countries during the last 57 years. Former ABA President Stephen Zack (with a flag from pre-revolutionary Cuba in his office) escaped from the island as a teenager two years after Fidel Castro seized power.

When Fidel Castro and his band of revolutionaries took control of Cuba in 1959, they established a Communist dictatorship antithetical to everything the U.S. represented—and aligned with America’s enemies. In 1961, a CIA-backed invasion by Cuban refugees to overthrow the Castro regime failed, almost from the moment it began, at the Bay of Pigs. The following year, the Cuban Missile Crisis nearly triggered World War III.

Former ABA President Stephen Zack had long expected the day would come when Cuba and the United States would finally break the Cold War-inspired status quo in place for more than half a century that has impoverished and isolated Cuba while creating a sworn enemy of America within 90 miles of its border. But like Godot saying he would be back any day now, Zack had expected a change for so long that he stopped expecting it.

The two countries haven’t had diplomatic relations since the Eisenhower administration, and a near-total embargo on American imports from and exports to Cuba has been in place since the early days of John F. Kennedy’s presidency. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State officially designated Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism" in 1982 for its history of supporting violent revolutionaries throughout the world. The designation functioned as a scarlet letter of sorts, as U.S. banks refused to lend money to domestic and foreign companies wishing to do business with countries on that list. Indeed, for most of the world, Cuba was forbidden territory.

Then, suddenly, it happened. On Dec. 17, 2014, President Barack Obama surprised Zack and many, many others when he announced he would pursue normalization of relations with Cuba. What began as negotiations for a swap of long-imprisoned intelligence officers in both countries became a wide-ranging agreement that finally closes the curtain on nearly 60 years of hostility.

US Blocks Cuban Grammy nominees
BBC News
Friday, 6 February, 2004

US authorities have refused to let five Cuban Grammy Awards nominees travel to Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles.

Musicians up for best tropical Latin album award - including veteran star Ibrahim Ferrer - have not got visas.

Ferrer, 77, told press in the capital Havana: "I am not a terrorist. I couldn't be one. I am a musician."

A US diplomat in Havana said the US administration could suspend the entry of people deemed to be "detrimental to the interest of the United States".

The US has imposed economic and travel sanctions on Cuba for 40 years - and President Bush has strengthened the country's policy against Cuba and cut back on cultural exchanges.

Cuban vice-Culture Minister Abel Acosta accused the US of making a political decision to please Cuban-American voters in Florida.

"How can these musicians be considered terrorists?" asked Mr Acosta, who is also head of the Cuban Music Institute.

"Something as noble as music is being converted into a policy against Cuba." Read more

Backstory: ABA Journal freelance photographer recalls meeting Fidel Castro
American Bar Association Journal
By Brenan Sharp

PHOTO OP: As a young photographer, Tom Salyer shakes hands with communist Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, in January of 1984.

Longtime ABA Journal freelancer Tom Salyer has been taking photographs for our 101-year-old publication for roughly 25 years. If you enjoyed this month’s Cuba cover story, you have him to thank for the portraiture of seven of the attorneys quoted, including a compelling shot of former ABA president and Cuban-American Stephen Zack posed in his Miami office with his framed, prerevolutionary Cuban flag. This particular assignment, accompanied by the timing of the easement of the trade embargo, brought to light a unique recollection of Salyer’s brief brush with notoriety—an actual meet-and-greet with Fidel Castro.

As a young man, Salyer was a United Press International staff photographer. And in January of 1984, UPI had a nearly three-hour private interview with Castro in Havana.

"I found Fidel to be charismatic and thoroughly versed in world affairs," Salyer said. Read more

A Sustainable Cuba
By Anel Quiroz, a student in
UAA’s Honors 192 course
on Limits to Growth

A small island in the Caribbean that people usually associate with an evil dictator is one of the most sustainable countries in the world. This little island is the island of Cuba where the people might not have it all, and they may dislike their ruler but they have a healthier environment than most third world countries or first world countries. The island of Cuba has achieved a goal that most successful countries are too developed to reach in a lifetime. Cuba has learned how to sustain its people to succeed even if that success is slow. Cuba is a role model for all underdeveloped and developed countries to follow.

As a young child I lived in Mexico, a country where most of the people don’t have riches and where people mostly live off the land. In the state of Veracruz, where my family is from, the people flourished by growing their own basic crops and other plants such as tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, fruits as well as other needed plants for a daily meal. I remember that we bought the rest of needed crops in the markets where the best fresh fruits and vegetables were available. Aside from growing their crops in small home gardens, some people are lucky and own small plots of land that they use not for building great expensive houses but for growing crops. One such person is my grandfather, Guillermo, who to this day in his old age grows coffee plants and sugar canes as well as oranges or limes and sometimes mangoes.  He does not grow these crops for a source of food; he grows them to sell to the state which sends the food off to a distant land where the crops are sold for much more than what the worker is paid. Although I live far from my home state of Veracruz and I am now accustomed to the American ways of living.  I still try to remember that there is a simpler much more sustainable way of life, where people grow their own fresh food and where life is much simpler.

Another Latin American country where people live a simple yet happy life is Cuba. This small island was once on its way to a success then it was stopped in its tracks when the Soviet Union, its ally, crumbled to the ground. Cuba no longer had any help; the oil embargo isolated it from rich countries. According to Peters (2010), "prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s agricultural system was largely monocultural, highly mechanized, and dependent upon petrochemicals, oil, and machinery, similar to the present U.S. agricultural system" (p.231). Without the Soviet Union, Cuba was all alone and no longer prospering like it once had, since it no longer had its hands on oil to produce products for the people to thrive. The people feared and suffered while food and basic resources ran scarce making the government take action towards helping its people. Most importantly the people started helping themselves to live beyond the stage of crisis. The problems Cubans faced had to do with food, energy, transportation and the economy to name a few. This problem that had just started with a loss all soon developed into a problem with peak oil. The time in which this crisis occurred was called the special period.

The way that the Cuban people began to get out of this crisis was by starting to farm their own food on any available land that was capable of growing crops. They did this to eat enough calories in their diets so that people would stop losing weight and so that people would find a way to help others who had no food at all.  The people saw that if they did not start acting that they would soon die off from starvation or from other sanitation problems from the lack of proper electricity. According to Peters (2010), "independent of government action, Havañeros spontaneously began to plant food crops in the yards, patios, balconies, rooftops and vacant land sites near their homes"(p. 232). By planting food in whatever small area of land they could find it is obvious that the people were extremely desperate for food. This also shows that they were in no means ready for a crisis as such. With the history of political problems that Cuba has faced in the past, the people were only ready for political protests or other type of government related problems not unexpected food shortages. "In agriculture, organic fertilisers and pesticides, crop-rotation techniques and organic urban gardens were developed. Tractors were replaced with human and animal labour" (Yaffe, 2010, par. 13). All that the Cuban people needed was a kick-start to use things that they made within their country instead of using much more expensive things from others. Read more

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Marbury v. Madison

Marbury v. Madison

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. The landmark decision helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the American form of government.

The case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia by President John Adams but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force the new Secretary of State, James Madison, to deliver the documents. The Court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, found firstly that Madison's refusal to deliver the commission was both illegal and correctible. Nonetheless, the Court stopped short of ordering Madison (by writ of mandamus) to hand over Marbury's commission, instead holding that the provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that enabled Marbury to bring his claim to the Supreme Court was itself unconstitutional, since it purported to extend the Court's original jurisdiction beyond that which Article III established. The petition was therefore denied. Read more

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Spirit of Compromise with co-author Dr. Amy Gutmann

The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It
Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson
Princeton University Press

To govern in a democracy, political leaders have to compromise. When they do not, the result is political paralysis--dramatically demonstrated by the gridlock in Congress in recent years. In The Spirit of Compromise, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson show why compromise is so important, what stands in the way of achieving it, and how citizens can make defensible compromises more likely. They urge politicians to focus less on campaigning and more on governing. In a new preface, the authors reflect on the state of compromise in Congress since the book's initial publication.

Calling for greater cooperation in contemporary politics, The Spirit of Compromise will interest everyone who cares about making government work better for the good of all. Read more