Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gangsters are a bigger threat than international terrorists

Good Day World

Make no mistake, more Americans are killed by gangsters than from international terrorists.

According to FBI statistics there’s 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs with about 1.4 million members are criminally active in the U.S. today.

Many are sophisticated and well organized; all use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities, which include robbery, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion, and prostitution rings.

The number of gangs in the U.S. is on the rise across the country, as is gang-related violence, with no sign that it will let up anytime soon, according to a leading expert.

The gangsters continue to get younger. A fatal shooting allegedly carried out by a baby-faced 12-year-old named Jarrell Milton is the most recent example of gang violence in Nebraska.

Experts all agree that the problem remains a generational one: Gang members raising their children into the lifestyle.

In addition, gangs are using the allure of hip hop stardom to draw recruits. Slickly produced music videos uploaded online show members counting money, cooking drugs and flashing firearms.

To get a current overview of gang activity throughout the country go to the National Gang Center website.


Gang Violence Is on the Rise, Even as Overall Violence Declines

No city is safe from gangs.

While Washington DC deals with multiple neighborhood-based street crews that could span just three blocks, surrounding suburbs are homes to chapters of national gangs, such as Bloods and MS-13.

In the Virginia suburbs, “every town, every city, every county is at risk,” said Robert Vilchez, Arlington County Regional Gang Task Force coordinator. “Nobody is immune from this gang problem.”

The only way to really address our national gang problem is to break the generational gang ties. That’s going to take education and dedication from the communities riddled with gangs.

This idea is nothing new. There’s individual programs in communities that attempt to steer children away from a life of crime, but they are often limited by scant funds and participation from families.

The gang culture has to change. As long as gangsters are idolized by youngsters, they will continue to recruit them through the media, online videos, and from within gang families.

Perhaps that’s why I look at these gangs as domestic terrorists, and more of a threat to our society than international terrorists. 

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Friday, July 10, 2015

Clueless comments common in presidential campaign

  Good Day World!

It’s absolutely amazing to hear some of the world-class out-of-touch comments coming from political candidates these days.

One of my recent favorites came from Jeb Bush when he told New Hampshire’s The Union Leader that to grow the economy, “…people should work longer hours.”

He later went on to clarify his comment (something he has had to do a lot of since declaring his candidacy). In a statement, a Bush aide clarified that he was referring to the underemployed and part-time workers.

Jeb isn’t the only clueless candidate.

Without a doubt, Donald Trump epitomizes clueless when it comes to politics and what Americans want in a leader. The guy is a joke, but Republicans aren’t laughing because he’s burning their brand with comments such as calling Mexican immigrants, "rapists" and "killers."

The quotes that really rang the bell were Trump’s claiming to have “…a great relationship with the Mexican people.” And, that he was going to “win the Latino vote” in the 2016 presidential election!

Then we have the following:

Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who believes the human brain is too complex for anyone but God, and who compares gays to child molesters.

“Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn't matter what they are.”

Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist who refuses to talk about the age of the Earth and who thinks people in government are after him.

Paul didn’t help his credibility as a presidential candidate by declaring, during his Monday Senate speech against National Security Agency counterterrorism surveillance, that “people here in town think I’m making a huge mistake. Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.”

Marco Rubio, a man who doesn’t believe in climate change (despite the opinion of 97% of the world’s climate experts), or that man contributes to it.

“Our climate is always changing,” he said, noting that human activity has nothing to do with it and that any efforts to do something about it “will destroy our economy.”

Ted Cruz, a Harvard-trained lawyer beloved by creationists. He flat-out doesn’t believe in climate change.

Cruz is convinced the whole thing is a hoax. “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming,” he told CNN earlier this year. “Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.”

Anyway, I could go on and on, but this is enough for today.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Message to Millennials: Ear Buds Aren’t Your Buds!

                                         Good Day World!

Now hear this…

Pull those ear buds out before it’s too late!

Doctors warn that a steady onslaught of loud noise, particularly through ear buds, is damaging the hearing of a generation wired for sound — although they may not realize it for years.

Earlier this year the World Health Organization warned that 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of personal audio devices, such as smartphones, and damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues like electronic dance music festivals, where noise levels can top 120 decibels for hours, according to an NBC report.

"Probably the largest cause [of hearing damage] is millennials using iPods and [smartphones]," says Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an ear, nose, and throat specialist from Munster, Indiana.

Hearing loss among today's teens is about 30 percent higher than in the 1980s and 1990s, Cherukuri estimates.

"You (once) had a Walkman with two AA batteries and headphone thongs that went over your ears," he told NBC News.

"At high volume, the sound was so distorted and the battery life was poor. Nowadays, we have smart phones that are extremely complex computers with high-level fidelity."

Cherukuri tells young patients to stop wearing headphones — especially earbuds, which place the sound closer to the ear drum, enhancing volume by as much as 9 decibels.

According to the National Institutes of Health, repeated exposure to sound over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. Permanent damage can happen in minutes, experts say, and when the damage is done, it's irreversible.

"Noise exposure in kids is a growing concern," said Nicole Raia, a clinical audiologist at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

Raia said she sees more tinnitus in young people, an early sign of hearing loss, but, "we don't catch them until they are in their 20s and 30s."

A study published in 2014 revealed that nerve synapses can be more vulnerable to damage than hair cells in the inner ear.


Experts say the best way to protect young ears is to apply the "60/60" rule: Keep the volume on the MP3 player under 60 percent and only listen for a maximum of 60 minutes a day.

When using headphones in a noisy place like a school bus or subway, the tendency is the turn the volume up, so use headphones that cover up outside noise.

How is your hearing? Take this online audio test

Time for me to walk on down the road…

A 3-D printed car, 5-story apartment building, and other amazing 3-D products

"3D-Printed-Building-5641" by EdytaZwirecka - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

                                       Good Day World!

In the 1960s it was – “Beam me up Scotty.”

In 2016, it will be “Go ahead and 3-D me a car please.” 

I wondered where 3-D technology would go when I first read about it in 2010. What’s amazing is how fast 3-D printing has become commercial. It seems literally anything can be 3-D printed.

Some examples:

Startup Local Motors plans to get into the automotive industry next year when it launches what it promises will be the world's first 3D printed car.


A Chinese company has successfully 3-D printed a five-story apartment building and a 1,100 square meter villa from a special print material.

World's first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China


The 3-D Printing In Zero-G Technology Demonstration (3D Printing In Zero-G) experiment by NASA demonstrates that a 3-D printer works normally in space. In general, a 3-D printer extrudes streams of heated plastic, metal or other material, building layer on top of layer to create 3 dimensional objects.

3D Printing In Zero-G Technology Demonstration (3D Printing In Zero-G)


What Can 3D Printing Do? Here Are 6 Creative Examples


What’s next? Are you wondering what’s coming up in the 3-D printer world?

Here’s Five big 3D printing trends to shape the year ahead

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The New Normal: Why I feel like a dinosaur

Good Day World!

I feel like a dinosaur sometimes.

Try to imagine the following scene:

Your standing on the steps of the New York Public Library watching three fat nude women getting their bodies painted by an artist.   

Nearby, little children, and their parents, check out this blatant act of public nudity with curiosity…and not much more.

This event actually happened.

The event was organized by Kimberly Massengill — who goes by the name of Substantia Jones — to mark the eighth anniversary of the Adipositivity Project, which celebrates fat bodies and works to combat sexism.

Okay. So this is supposed to be a good thing.

When I was growing up this same scenario would have been viewed quite differently. All three women, and the artist, would have been arrested for public indecency. Parents would have covered their children eyes up and hoped they weren’t scarred for the rest of their lives.

As my fellow baby boomers and I fade away into history, it’s not without a sense of wonderment, and disgust, at how some things have changed. The new normal has no limits.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I just know that once you cross some boundaries there’s no turning back. Like the dinosaurs.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

When You Know Things are Going Wrong : 3 Brief Stories

                                            Good Day World!

The following three stories that I’ve selected to share with you today go under the category – When You Know Things Are Going Wrong…

1) Things haven’t been going well for the Iraqi Army – their ability to fight ISIS has been called into question numerous times. Think Ramadi. They had 10 times as many soldiers as their ISIS attackers but they fled the moment they came into sight.

How much worse could it be than that?

How about bombing themselves? An Iraqi military plane returning from a raid targeting ISIS positions mistakenly dropped a bomb on a Baghdad neighborhood on Monday, killing or wounded at least 16 residents, according to an NBC report.


2) There were more than 2,000 shootings in Chicago last year, and the city is on pace for more this year.

When You Know Things Are Going Wrong

Newspapers run weekend shooting trackers, and the July Fourth holiday numbers are stark: at least 46 people were wounded and 9 others killed — including a 7-year-old boy.

The reality for residents: everyone knows what gunfire sounds like. Families learn to stay away from windows. Parents pray for safety everyday they send their children to school.


3) Airplanes and terrorists. No more “Friendly Skies.”

Flying anywhere in the world today involves some measure of security – from light to heavy – depending upon the country, destination, etc.

People panic at the slightest thought of a terrorist on board (or waiting to board). If a person fits the description of what a terrorist should look like, sound, and say, they could be arrested.

A recent example, Meditating Portuguese actor mistaken for terrorist on Paris plane 

Sometimes it makes you wonder if the terrorists are winning.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, July 6, 2015

Wow! Here’s two ways no one should have to die

Good Day World!


The observations I make about the following two news stories may come across as heartless. It’s not intended to be, although some may disagree.

Photo – Would you set one of these mortar tubes off on your head?

The first news article is one of those cautionary tales. Read sign. Obey sign and stay safe. Ignore at your own risk.  

The owners of a private marina put up a sign warning folks not to go swimming in their stretch of the Sabine River located in Southeast Texas. If anyone wondered why, they explained they had sightings of an 11-foot alligator recently.

Local residents couldn’t miss the sign.

Despite that stern warning local resident Tommie Woodward, decided to go there for a late-night swim with a woman. The 11-foot alligator was also out for a swim. The result; the man was mauled to death. 

From the woman’s account she only jumped from a dock after he screamed for help.

Was the woman aware of the sign? Did Woodward feel lucky despite seeing the sign? Or, is it possible he wasn’t aware of the sign? Here’s the article.

The second news article defies the imagination.

Every year I hear about crazy things people do with fireworks during the 4th of July.

Accidental injuries are as common during the holiday as chicken wings and Apple pie. Sometimes the results are tragic. Very often it’s children mishandling fireworks. But the adults do their part too.

Believe it or not, a 22-year-old Maine man was killed after setting a fireworks mortar tube off on top of his head on the Fourth of July.

According to news reports Devon Staples of Calais was killed in what police described as a "bizarre" accident around 10 p.m. Saturday while drinking with friends and setting off fireworks at one of their homes on South Street.

A bizarre accident? Plain stupidity? A case for banning alcohol?

It’s hard to imagine any adult putting a firework mortar tube on their head and lighting it. But it’s true. Here’s the video/article. 

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A close look at the ways the ‘9 Supremes’ can be unduly influenced

                                 Good Day World!

I don’t begrudge the nine most powerful people in America for earning nearly a quarter of a million dollars a year. (source) Federal Judicial Center.

What concerns me about our Supreme Court Justices is all of the side gigs they have going on.

For example: free travel. The justices do not have to disclose the costs of their reimbursed travels. Anyone can pay their travel expenses to get on their good side, and not worry about the world knowing about it.

Why is that? Are the “Supreme 9” satisfied with this gap in their accountability?

They also make money on books, speaking engagements, and teaching on the side. Almost makes you wonder when they actually spend time adjudicating cases. Each of these activities are open to the possibility of influence peddling.


Read This story , it’s part of Justice Obscured. The book  lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding the financial holdings and activities of the nation’s most powerful judges.

There’s more to this story. Click here to read the rest at the Center for Public Integrity.

FACT: Majority of Supreme Court members millionaires

Related stories:

  1. 5 weeks after filing, justices' finances still not public Associated Press
  2. 3 Supreme Court justices maintain substantial stock holdings Associated Press
  3. Supreme Court justices held stakes in companies who appeared before court MarketWatch

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...