Dave Stancliff 2014-08-31 blogarama.com

Saturday, September 6, 2014

GOP’s Latest Attempt to Restrict Voter Access Fails in Ohio

Good Day World!

You have to hand it to the Republican Party; their creativity knows no bounds when it comes to trying to control election results.

It took a federal judge Thursday to stop their latest attempt at restricting voter access. U.S. District Judge Peter Economus blocked an Ohio law that scales back early voting just prior to the upcoming fall elections.

It took a lawsuit by civil rights groups and churches to halt the GOP’s latest attack on minority voters.

A directive from Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted that established uniform early voting times and restricted weekend and evening hours was overturned.

Another attempt to restrict voting access was a GOP-backed law that eliminated golden week, when people could both register to vote and cast ballots. Without those days, early voting would typically start 28 or 29 days before Election Day instead of the prior 35-day window.

Thanks to the judge, early voting will begin Sept. 30 instead of Oct. 7.

The ruling directs Husted to require boards to set expanded evening hours and adds another Sunday to the state's early voting schedule this fall.

The judge also blocked Husted from preventing boards from adopting additional early voting hours beyond his order.

According to Freda Levenson, managing attorney for ACLU of Ohio, the state's early voting opportunities are key to residents with inflexible work schedules or other responsibilities that prevent them from getting to a polling place during regular business hours.

This ruling means voters will not see their access to the ballot compromised during the upcoming election. It doesn’t mean however, that the GOP will not continue to try to restrict voter access.

It’s a pathetic ploy that the GOP should be ashamed of. By narrowing minorities ability to participate in the voting process the GOP is showing it’s true colors – and they’re not Red-White-and Blue.

What the GOP is doing is conceding that they’ll never get a majority without restricting some Americans ability to vote.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, September 5, 2014

Punk Report: Bieber, CeeLo. Fries, Pick Up Punk Points

Here’s a quick look at three punks in the news recently.

What is a punk?

The answer is simple. Someone who thinks he can get away with doing whatever he/she wants. Punks hurt animals. Punks hurt people. Punks are thoughtless twits who think the world revolves around them.

A punk can be rich or poor. Doesn’t matter. The main ingredient is they think they can get away with anything. Here’s three good examples of punks in the news:

Justin Bieber

High-powered attorney Gloria Allred is representing two people who were involved in an all-terrain vehicle wreck and subsequent fight that led to pop star and punk, Justin Bieber’s, arrest.

Bieber, 20, was arrested and charged with dangerous driving and assault after the singer allegedly crashed his ATV into a minivan near Stratford, where he grew up, and then got into a physical confrontation with the minivan’s driver, Perth County Ontario Provincial Police said. Allred, in a statement Tuesday, called the accident “a serious matter that could have an impact on Mr. Bieber’s probation status in California.

”Bieber is on probation after accepting a plea deal to settle a case in which he was alleged to have thrown eggs at a neighbor’s house in Calabasas in Los Angeles County. (source)

Ceelo Green

"The Good Life" for CeeLo Green is over.

Four days after the singer-songwriter and punk was sentenced to three years of probation in Los Angeles and was ordered to complete 360 hours of community service and 52 Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meetings, the Grammy winner's TBS reality show was canceled.

Green, 39, pleaded no contest to drugging a woman who later woke up naked in his bed with no memory of what happened. Prosecutors previously rejected a rape charge against Green, after the woman claimed he gave her ecstasy and assaulted her after a dinner party. Green maintained they had consensual sex. (source)

David J. Fries

New Hampshire police say a motorcyclist clocked at 127 mph bragged after being arrested that he had reached 185 mph during the chase.

State police say 31-yearDavid J. Fries of Manchester, N.H., was arrested after allegedly going 127 mph on his motorcycle. (Photo courtesy of NH State Police)-old David J. Fries, of Manchester, a punk who was spotted by a trooper on Interstate 93 in Bow at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

The first trooper eventually ended the chase, but another trooper saw Fries crash into a guardrail after he exited Interstate 393.

Police say Fries then led officers on an hourlong foot chase in Concord. He was subdued with help from a police dog. Fries was treated for injuries from the crash and from the dog. He faces a variety of charges and is being held on $30,000 bail. (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

 

Throwing Hot Water on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Good Day World!

I’ve got nothing against fundraisers to help people, but caution should be courted before parting with your money.

Not all charities are created equal.

This may come as a surprise to you, but a serious search reveals even the biggest names in charity only put a small portion of your donation towards what you think is going directly to benefit someone.

For example, lets take the recent (is it still going on?) Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS research. The campaign has gone viral and over $100 million in donations have been collected.

Where is that money going?

According to the ALS Foundation, not towards ALS.

Over 73% of all donations raised are going to fundraising, overhead, executive salaries, and external donations. Less than 27% is actually used for the purpose we donated for.

According to the ECFA, a charitable watchdog, 27% of donations actually making it to the cause they are donated to is unacceptable.

In fact, the ECFA won't deem a non-profit as a reliable charity unless at least 80% of donations make it to their intended projects.

The illustration on the right shows the breakdown of the ALS Foundation's Financials.

Employee salaries at the ALS Foundation are out-of-this-WORLD!

Jane H. Gilbert – President and CEO –$339,475.00
Daniel M. Reznikov – Chief Financial Officer – $201,260.00
Steve Gibson – Chief Public Policy Officer – $182,862.00
Kimberly Maginnis -Chief of Care Services Officer – $160,646.00
Lance Slaughter -Chief Chapter Relations and Development Officer – $152,692.00
Michelle Keegan – Chief Development Officer – $178,744.00
John Applegate – Association Finance Officer – $118.726.00
David Moses – Director of Planned Giving – $112,509.00
Carrie Munk – Chief Communications and Marketing Officer – $142,875.00
Patrick Wildman – Director of Public Policy – $112,358.00
Kathi Kromer – Director of State Advocacy – $110,661.00

The ALS Foundation is a terrible organization to send your money.

If you decide to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, may I humbly suggest that you select a well-researched charity (on your own, no endorsements here) and send it to them.

If you’re wondering what charities are the best, I refer you to CHARITY NAVIGATOR, an excellent website and Guide to Intelligent Giving.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meet The New Spy On the Block: Fake Cellphone Towers

Mysterious Fake Cellphone Towers Are Intercepting Calls All Over The US

Good Day World!

It seems like everyone wants to spy on us these days. By us, I mean the American public.

No one is exempt from having their civil liberties infringed upon by agencies like the NSA, Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI, and local cops.

(Photo-REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Now, there may be a new “player” looking to learn anything they can about us. None of the aforementioned agencies claim to know about the new spy on the block: Fake Cellphone Towers.

Chances are someone knows whose behind these mysterious Cellphone Towers that are popping up across the country. But no one is talking. Yet. Just listening.

According to numerous sources, those Cell Phone Towers are intercepting calls.

Seventeen fake cellphone towers were discovered across the U.S. last week, according to a report in Popular Science.

Rather than offering you cellphone service, the towers appear to be connecting to nearby phones, bypassing their encryption, and either tapping calls or reading texts.

Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, used ESD's CryptoPhone 500 to detect 17 bogus cellphone towers. ESD is a leading American defense and law enforcement technology provider based in Las Vegas. 

It's probably not the NSA — that agency can tap all it wants without the need for bogus towers, according to VentureBeat:

Not the NSA, cloud security firm SilverSky CTO/SVP Andrew Jaquith told us. “The NSA doesn’t need a fake tower,” he said. “They can just go to the carrier” to tap your line.

ComputerWorld points out that the fake towers give themselves away by crushing down the performance of your phone from 4G to 2G while the intercept is taking place.

So if you see your phone operating on a slow download signal while you're near a military base ... maybe make that call from somewhere else.

In an amazing coincidence, police departments in a handful of U.S. cities have been operating "Stingray" or "Hailstorm" towers, which — you guessed it — conduct surveillance on mobile phone activity.

They do that by jamming mobile phone signals, forcing phones to drop down from 4G and 3G network bands to the older, more insecure 2G band.

With most phones, these fake communication towers are undetectable. But not for the CryptoPhone 500,  a customized Android device that is disguised as a Samsung Galaxy S III but has highly advanced encryption. (Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

To End the War on Drugs Legal Pot Must Succeed in Washington and Colorado

Good Day World!

As Colorado and Washington license pot growers and sellers, cops elsewhere continue to carry out marijuana busts at a rate of one every 42 seconds.

If you drop a gram of Sour Diesel on the sidewalk in Seattle, a police officer may help you sweep it up. Do that in New Orleans and you could face 20 years hard labor.

What we're witnessing now is a political movement giving birth to an economic awakening. The struggle to end the War on Drugs – at heart a movement to stop the mass incarceration of black men – is creating one of the greatest business opportunities of the 21st century.

For the War on Drugs to end, Colorado or Washington must succeed. That will require risk-taking entrepreneurs, not movement leaders. If both states fail, it may be impossible for others to follow.

Wall Street analysts believe there are going to be two or three billionaires minted in the marijuana industry in the next 10 years.

Top-quality weed currently retails for $250 to $300 an ounce. Over the long term, though, that could drop by as much as 80 percent prior to taxation.

BLACK PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO BE ARRESTED FOR POT USAGE

Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, spent nearly a year mining data on the racial makeup of marijuana arrests. The ACLU found that black people were 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people. This at a time when white and black marijuana usage rates are virtually identical, about 12 to 14 percent.

That racial disparity has grown worse with time. Over the past decade, the white arrest rate for marijuana possession held steady, around 192 arrests per 100,000 white people. Meanwhile, the black arrest rate skyrocketed. In 2001, it stood at 537 arrests per 100,000 black people. By 2010, it had climbed to 716.

Going into the project, Edwards suspected the numbers might be bad. But not this bad. "We knew about racial disparities in New York," he tells me. "We didn't expect to find racial disparities everywhere, urban and rural, 49 of the 50 states." (Only Hawaii had a nearly even black-white arrest rate.) The war on marijuana, Edwards says, "has been a war on people of color."

To understand what those numbers mean on the ground, you only have to visit the American marijuana gulag that is the state of Louisiana. New Orleans, of course, famously welcomes and celebrates bacchanalian debauchery.

But Louisiana lawmakers take a perverse pride in maintaining some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. One joint can get you six months in the parish prison. Second offense: up to five years. Third: up to 20.

BIG PLAYERS WAITING TO EXPAND POT INDUSTRY

Marijuana today is a craft-scale industry. It may not stay that way very long. Bigger players are waiting in the wings. In the past year, Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, the nation's biggest marijuana-­advocacy group, has met half a dozen times with representatives of the beer, wine and liquor industries.

They've talked about the coming legalization of marijuana and what it will mean for the sector of what St. Pierre calls "problematic adult commerce." The NORML leader didn't ask for those meetings. The booze people came to him. (Snippets from the January 16th, 2014 issue of Rolling Stone. Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sleep, Successful People, & Slouches Who Still Manage To Get By

Good Day World!

You’ve heard their stories.

They all have one thing in common – achieving success despite numerous life challenges.

Famous people who share their success often credit it to simple things. Like sleep, for example.

It’s important to everyone. The difference between a “good night’s sleep” and a lousy one can make or break your day.

Experts say the very last thing you do before bed affects your mood and energy level the following day, since it often determines how well and how much you sleep.

I hated sleeping when I was young – up until my early teens. Then it suddenly became a precious commodity after long nights of partying.

Sleep took on even more significance when I was sent to Vietnam in 1970.

I learned to sleep in every imaginable position. Even standing – leaning against something. If I got a total of six hours sleep in a 24 hour period I considered myself a lucky dogface.

Having said all this, I now consider myself a slouch. No apologies. Thanks to daily naps and a early bedtime I get a lots of sleep. I have no interesting pre-sleep rituals to share with you.

That is, unless you count drifting off and taking your brain out of gear. In my “non-system” no coherent thoughts are allowed to trouble my brain.

Successful people however, look at sleep as a necessary function that one must prepare for each night.

In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin outlined a schedule that would lead him to "moral perfection."

In this ideal schedule, Franklin asked himself the same self-improvement question every night: "What good have I done today?"

He described his other rituals before bed as "put things in their places, supper, music or diversion or conversation, and examination of the day."

Franklin tracked his progress on self-improvement daily. Now that’s dedicated.

Take Winston Churchill, The British Prime Minister during WW II. He kept to a similar daily routine no matter what happened. In the book "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work," author Mason Currey recorded Churchill's schedule:

“Around 5 p.m., the prime minister would drink a weak whisky and soda before taking a nap for an hour and a half. Churchill said this siesta, or short nap, allowed him to work for 1.5 days every 24 hours. When he woke, he bathed and got ready for dinner.”

At 8 p.m., Churchill would eat dinner, which was often followed by drinks and cigars well past midnight. Due to his irregular sleep schedule, Churchill was said to hold War Cabinet meetings in his bath.

That couldn’t have been a pretty picture, but anything went during wartime I suppose.

One of my favorite authors, Stephen King, has a nightly routine that includes washing his hands and making sure all the pillows face a certain way.

"It’s not any different than a bedtime routine," says King as recorded in Lisa Rogak's book "Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King."

"I brush my teeth, I wash my hands. Why would anybody wash their hands before they go to bed? I don’t know. And the pillows are supposed to be pointed a certain way. The open side of the pillowcase is supposed to be pointed in toward the other side of the bed. I don’t know why."

Hint…can you say OCD?

One last example of preparing for a successful sleep:

Bill Gates reads for an hour before bed, no matter what time he gets home.

The Microsoft billionaire told the Seattle Times: "I read an hour almost every night. It's part of falling asleep."

He enjoys "deeply informative and beautifully written" books (in June he released a list of six books he recommends) and his reading topics range from healthcare to climate change to business and politics.

In conclusion, some of us are slouches who still manage to get by and actually have a successful, but unspectacular, career. Slouches, like myself, are seldom famous. But they’re always well-rested!

Here’s some related stories if you want to be a success: 

101 Inspirational Quotes From Super Successful People

Here’s How Your Clothing Affects Your Success

5 Things Successful People Never Do

It’s time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, September 1, 2014

Corporations & Billionaires Busy Violating the Publics Rights

Image: Surfers are arrested during a dispute over beach access

Good Day World!

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have more rights than citizens in this country, the divide between “Haves” and “Have Nots” has increased.

Millionaires and Billionaires live in a different America than the rest of us.

(Photo -Surfers were arrested in 2012 after bypassing a locked gate to reach Martins Beach in San Mateo County, California.)

In their world it’s okay to deny access to public beaches because they have enough money to fight the laws protecting the public’s rights to them. Putting it mildly, they don’t share very well! 

The beach is so central to California’s identity that the right of surfers and sun lovers to access the sand is guaranteed in the state Constitution.

That doesn’t mean anything to the wealthy landowners snatching up beach front properties on both coasts.

Many California landowners want to block public access to their chunks of the coveted coastline. There are several hundred alleged violations pending before state officials, including a highly charged case in which Vinod Khosla, a green energy billionaire with ties to President Obama, is fighting surfers over access to a beach south of San Francisco.

Property owners and the public have clashed over beach access nationwide.

In Hawaii, for example, the state has sanctioned landowners whose overgrown vegetation blocked paths to the strand. But the fight has proven particularly rancorous in California, where two-thirds of the state’s nearly 40 million people live in the counties that hug the coast. (source)

At the rate things are going the day is going to arrive when California’s beaches are no longer accessible to the public. You may think that’s an exaggeration. But consider the current lawsuits filed by the wealthy and the new precedents being set by their legions of lawyers.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Celebrating Our 40th Anniversary Today With a Look Back at 1974

shirdave

Good Day World!

Today is my wife, Shirley Ann, and I’s, 40th Anniversary.

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the things that happened the year we got married.

Let’s start off listening to this vintage concert from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium on this day in 1974.

While we were walking down the aisle Crosby,Stills,Nash, & Young were playing:


Love The One You're With

(Link to the rest of the concert)

Also, in 1974…

-The 55 MPH speed limit was imposed by Richard Nixon.

-The "Joker" by the Steve Miller Band peaked at #1

-"Happy Days" began an 11 year run on ABC

-Patricia Hearst, daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

-Remember Jefferson Starship? They began their 1st tour in 1974.

George Foreman TKO’d Ken Norton in 2 for the heavyweight boxing title in Caracas, Venezuela.

The NFL granted franchise rights to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Far out! The 1st extraterrestrial message was sent from Earth into space.

The US performed a nuclear Test at the Nevada Test Site.

WHO CAN FORGET WATERGATE?

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Nixon had to turn over the Watergate tapes.

The House Judiciary Committee voted on the 3rd & last charge of "high crimes & misdemeanors" to impeach President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up.

Aug 8th - US President Richard Nixon announced his resignation at 12 P.M., Aug 9.

Richard Nixon resigns presidency, VP Gerald Ford becomes 38th US president.

President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon of all federal crimes.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Air Vietnam flight 727 is hijacked, then crashes while attempting to land with 75 on board.

The National Guard mobilized to restore order in Boston during a school busing crisis.

Muhammad Ali KO’d George Foreman in 8th round in Kinshasa Zaire ('The Rumble in the Jungle').

Dodger, Mike Marshall, was the 1st relief pitcher to win Cy Young Award.

Goodbye forever…The Beatles were legally disbanded (4 years after suit was brought).

Time for me to walk on down the road…