NASA discovers 715 new planets/UKRAINE in the brink of civil WAR/Jordan Threatens to Revoke Peace Treaty Over Temple Mount/Pentagon giving ‘free’ armored trucks to police/Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide causing a spike in Celiac disease/Beijing air pollution now 800% higher than World Health Organization limits and more signs of JESUS’ soon return


31 Percent Of All Food In America Is Wasted – And Why That Is About To End

According to a stunning new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly a third of all food produced in the United States gets wasted.  We are probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet, and we are also one of the most gluttonous.  More than 35 percent of all Americans are considered to be officially “obese” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Unfortunately, this era of gluttony and taking food for granted will soon be coming to an end.  Thanks to crippling drought in key growing areas and other extremely bizarre weather patterns, a massive food crisis is beginning to emerge all over the planet.  If you don’t think that this is going to affect you, then you simply are not paying attention.  Approximately half of all produce grown in the United States comes from the state of California, and right now California is suffering through the worst stretch of drought on record.  Food prices are going to start soaring, and that is going to affect the household budget of every family in America. More

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: NASA discovers 715 new planets

130626101023-eso-habitable-planets-horizontal-galleryOur galactic neighborhood just got a lot bigger. NASA on Wednesday announced the discovery of 715 new planets, by far the biggest batch of planets ever unveiled at once. By way of comparison, about 1,000 planets total had been identified in our galaxy before Wednesday. Four of those planets are in what NASA calls the “habitable zone,” meaning they have the makeup to potentially support life. The planets, which orbit 305 different stars, were discovered by the Kepler space telescope and were verified using a new technique that scientists expect to make new planetary discoveries more frequent and more detailed.More

POLICE STATE – Pentagon giving ‘free’ armored trucks to police.

With the Pentagon, under President Obama’s leadership, announcing plans to drastically cut back America’s military might to below WWII levels, one way it is disposing of super-expensive battlefield vehicles is by giving them away to America’s police departments. A new Bloomberg News report reveals that the U.S. Department of Defense already has handed over to various law enforcement agencies a number of the $500,000 vehicles – to Columbia, S.C.; Washakie County, Wyo.; Queensbury, N.Y.; and Salinas and Yreka, Calif.  Of the 28,000 such vehicles, called MRAPs because they are “mine resistant ambush protected,” an estimated 13,000 are to be distributed around the country. They weigh about 20 tons and get five miles per gallon. More

Wi-fi computer virus goes ‘airborne’ like common cold

Researchers in Britain have shown for the first time how a computer virus can spread through Wi-Fi “as efficiently as the common cold spreads between humans.” The ‘Chameleon’ Wi-Fi AP-AP virus infiltrates dense networks and spreads at an alarming rate. Chameleon was designed by a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool, and displayed a ‘remarkable amount of intelligence’ in its capacity to spread in a similar way to the common cold. The virus “was able to avoid detection and identify the points at which Wi-Fi access is least protected by encryption and passwords,” according to a release published on the university’s website. The areas which are generally ‘least protected’ are public access points – such as free Wi-Fi in cafes and airports. More

Members of Congress and constitutional law experts testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, warning that the legislative branch is in danger of ceding its power in the face of an “imperial presidency.” The hearing, “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” focused on the multiple areas President Barack Obama has bypassed Congress, ranging from healthcare and immigration to marriage and welfare rules. Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, testified that the expansion of executive power is happening so fast that America is at a “constitutional tipping point.” More

Kindergarteners Caught ‘Having Sex’ in Bathroom​ — Where Was the Teacher?!

DAYS OF LOT –  The South Jersey kindergarten teacher who stumbled across two of her pupils naked and “having sex” in a bathroom was suspended for supposedly failing to supervise the students, a teachers’ union official said Monday. But Kelly Mascio “acted in a professional manner and responsibly reported the incident,” Mullica Township Education Association President Barbara Rheault told the Daily News. Now school officials are looking to fire the popular teacher who has been with the district for 16 years.  “Originally they said it was failure to supervise her students,” said Rheault. So far the district has not said why they suspended Mascio with pay, but the police who investigated the incident have not charged her with a crime. Macio got into hot water on Sept. 30 when she found two 5-year-old students — a boy and girl — naked in the bathroom at her classroom said. More


When a hypertotalitarian banana republic takes another turn for the gigasurreal, even Elon Musk is speechless. In the most glaring example of how farcical idiocy has become the new normal, we will remind readers (especially those who do not follow us on twitter), of the following blurb from last night:  Sure enough, this attempt at comedy has just failed once more, as less than 24 hours later, it describes an increasingly surreal reality. Just out from the WSJ: The Obama administration has asked a special court for approval to hold onto National Security Agency phone records for a longer period–an unintended consequence of lawsuits seeking to stop the phone-surveillance program. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Justice Department was considering such a move, which would end up expanding the controversial phone records database by not deleting older call records. Under the current system, the database is purged of phone records more than five years old. The Justice Department, in a filing made public Wednesday, said it needs to hold onto the older records as evidence in lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others.More

Just two days after the Pentagon outlined major cuts to the U.S. Army and other military programs, President Obama is calling for a whopping $300 billion commitment for America’s roads, bridges and mass transit systems — though as much as half comes from a tax plan that has bleak prospects on the Hill.  The president talked about the stimulus-style plan during a stop Wednesday afternoon in St. Paul, Minn. Officials say the money, as proposed, largely would come from “pro-growth business tax reform.” But aside from the challenges in pushing tax reform, Obama could have a hard time making the sell when his military leaders, just days ago, were complaining about the budget crunch.  Moments before the president took the podium, the Republican National Committee also questioned whether new transportation spending would be the jobs engine the administration claims. More

A federal judge has struck down a ban on same-sex marriage in Texas, ruling Wednesday it has no “rational relation to a legitimate government purpose.” The decision is the latest in a series of federal and state court moves to overturn current laws forbidding gay and lesbians from legal wedlock. The judge, however, stayed enforcement of his decision pending appeal. That means same-sex couples in Texas, for the time being, cannot get married. CNN


DAYS OF LOT – Despite Christian Opposition, Support for Gay Marriage Surges

Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The survey on attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comes as U.S. lawmakers and courts are increasingly allowing same-sex couples to wed. Some 53 percent of the 4,509 Americans surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute said they supported gay marriage, up from 32 percent in 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage, with bans overturned in several states after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that legally married same-sex couples were eligible for federal benefits. Fewer Americans who describe themselves as religious oppose same-sex marriages, the survey found. Negative church teachings or treatment of gay couples was cited by 31 percent of millennials, or people 18 to 33, as a major factor in leaving their childhood religion. More

Kerry: Russia Must Be ‘Very Careful’ in Judgments on Ukraine

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Wednesday that Russia must be “very careful” in decisions it makes about Ukraine and that it must keep its commitment to respect the sovereignty of the nation. “I think Russia needs to be very careful in the judgments that it makes going forward here,” he said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “We are not looking for confrontation. But we are making it clear that every country should respect the territorial integrity here, the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia has said it would do that and we think it’s important that Russia keeps its word.” Kerry said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should “listen carefully to Ukrainians who have voiced their desire for change,” repeating that the United States does not view its relationship with Russia as a “sort of continuation of the Cold War.” More

Google ordered to remove anti-Islamic film from YouTube

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ordered Google Inc to remove from its YouTube video-sharing website an anti-Islamic film that had sparked protests across the Muslim world. By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected Google’s assertion that the removal of the film “Innocence of Muslims,” amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, had objected to the film after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie, which had been partially dubbed and in which she appeared to be asking: “Is your Mohammed a child molester?” Representatives for Google could not immediately be reached for comment. Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Garcia, said she is delighted with the decision. More

An atheist attacked the Ten Commandments as an abrogation of freedom, declaring that America’s laws are not based on this Judeo-Christian source. He made these comments denouncing a bill to support public appearances of the Ten Commandments, which passed the Alabama State House last week. ”The Ten Commandments deny freedom of religious expression,” Dan Barker, co-president of The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. Barker declared that “the first four commandments basically reject our First Amendment.” More

WARS N RUMORS OF WARS – Hezbollah threatens to respond to Israeli air strike

Hezbollah will respond to an Israeli air strike that hit one of its bases on the border with Syria on Monday night, the Lebanese militant group said on Wednesday. ”The new aggression is a blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory… The Resistance (Hezbollah) will choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it,” Hezbollah said in a statement. The strike, which Israel has not confirmed, hit the Lebanese-Syrian border near the Bekaa Valley village of Janta, Hezbollah said. It denied reports that the strike targeted artillery or rocket bases and said there were no casualties. More

Jordan Threatens to Revoke Peace Treaty Over Temple Mount

Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur warned on Wednesday that Jordan might review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after the Knesset began a debate on allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, according to AFP. ”If Israel wants to violate the peace treaty in this issue, the entire treaty, its article, details and wording will be put on the table,” Nsur told Qatar’s Al-Watan paper in an interview. A majority of Jordanian MPs voted earlier Wednesday to seek the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to the kingdom after the Jewish state’s parliament debated religious freedom for Jews and Christians at the Temple Mount. Prominent lower house deputy Khalil Attieh told the news agency that 86 out of 150 members of parliament voted to seek the expulsion of Israeli envoy Daniel Nevo. The vote, which is not legally binding, came a day after 47 Islamist MPs, including Attieh, signed a motion demanding that a 1994 peace treaty with Israel be annulled. More

DAYS OF LOT -Republicans urge Brewer to veto controversial denial of service bill

Prominent Republicans are calling for Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a controversial bill that would allow businesses to deny service over religious beliefs. The Republican governor returned home Tuesday afternoon to a political climate that is much different from just a week ago when she left for Washington the last five days for a governor’s conference. The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination. The legislation has caused a national uproar. The chorus of opposition has grown each day, with the business community, the state’s Super Bowl Committee and both Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was the latest prominent voice to weigh in and urge Brewer to veto the bill. More

Water Found in Atmosphere of Nearby Alien Planet

Water vapor has been detected in the atmosphere of one of the first alien planets ever identified by astronomers. Advances in the technique used to scan the atmosphere of this “hot Jupiter” could help scientists determine how many of the billions of planets in the Milky Way contain water like Earth, researchers said. The exoplanet Tau Boötis b was discovered in 1996, when the search for worlds outside our solar system was just kicking off. At about 51 light-years away, Tau Boötis b is one of the nearest known exoplanets to Earth. The planet is considered a “hot Jupiter” because it is a massive gas giant that orbits close to its parent star. [A Gallery of the Strangest Alien Planets] To analyze the atmosphere surrounding Tau Boötis b, scientists looked at its faint glow. Different types of molecules emit different wavelengths of light, resulting in signatures known as spectra that reveal their chemical identify.More

Megyn Kelly, speaking to Brit Hume about Arizona’s infamous SB 1062: ”I look at this bill and I wonder whether this is … an overreaction [by religious] people who feel under attack on this score, and in the end, they may have struck back in a way that’s deeply offensive to many and potentially dangerous to folks who are gay and lesbians and need medical services and other services being denied potentially.” Hume: “I think you’re right.” More


DAYS OF LOT –  Corporate leaders are trying to convince Arizona’s Republican governor Jan Brewer that allowing businesses to discriminate is bad for business. From Apple to Delta Airlines to Petsmart to Yelp, more companies joined the fight on Tuesday to get Brewer to veto SB 1062 — a bill passed by the Arizona Senate that would allow businesses to refuse to serve any customers based on the owners’ religious beliefs. Arizona Senate Democrats, who tried to thwart the bill, argue that the the proposal essentially legalizes discrimination against LGBT individuals. On Tuesday night David Lenhardt, the CEO of PetSmart, which is headquartered in Arizona, told CNBC that the bill is “bad for Arizona business. We think it’s bad for the people of Arizona.” If passed, the law “would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses,” Delta Air Lines said in a statement Tuesday, joining its competitor American Airlines in protesting the bill. In a letter to Brewer earlier this week, American executives wrote “the reality is that (the bill) has the very real potential of slowing down the momentum we have achieved by reducing the desire for businesses to locate in this state.” More


Staggering Number Of Millennials Who Left Their Religion Did It Because Of Anti-Gay

DAYS OF LOT –  It’s widely accepted that young people tend to be less religious than their elders. While recent surveys have revealed that one-in-five adults in America claim no religious affiliation, the number reaches around one-in-three for Millennials under 34. Now, a new study has uncovered the reason why some of those Americans have dropped out of the fold. In a survey released Wednesday, nearly one-third of Millennials who left the faith they grow up with told Public Religion Research Institute that it was “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” related to gays and lesbians that played an significant role in them leaving organized religion. Specifically, 17 percent of Millennials, or adults between 18 and 33-years-old, said negativity around LGBT issues in religion was “somewhat important” to their departure, while 14 percent said it was a “very important” factor. More

California’s Smart Phone ‘Kill Switch’ Proposal Going Nationwide?

A lawmaker in Illinois has introduced a bill that would mandate a ‘kill switch’ in all smart phones, potentially allowing the authorities there to shut them down at will. The bill, introduced by State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, would require any phone bought or sold in the state to have the technology. Providers would also be mandated to insure smart phones against theft if the phone cannot be rendered completely inoperable.The legislation is a replica of a bill recently introduced in California, aimed, according to lawmakers, at discouraging theft of phones and black market trading. Critics have warned, however, that such a system could be abused by government and police in order to stifle dissent. More


Russian Troops Take Up Positions In Sevastopol As Ukraine Teeters On The Brink Of Civil War

Russian military vehicles have been photographed in the main square of Sevastopol, and there are fears that Ukraine is about to plunge into a very bloody civil war. The pro-Russian eastern half of Ukraine is in a state of shock, and many living there are openly calling on Russia to militarily intervene to protect them against the protest groups that have seized power in Kiev. Down in the Crimea, where approximately 60 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, militia groups have formed to protect their region from the “fascist scum running around in Kiev with swastikas“. That quote is from a recent Time Magazine article, and it demonstrates the extreme level of tension that exists between the two halves of Ukraine right now. Perhaps a peaceful resolution can still be achieved, but at the moment a civil war seems quite likely. And if war does erupt, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult for Russia to stay out of it. More

DISTRESS OF NATIONS: Activist Predicts Ukraine-Style Uprising in China

Exiled Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says that Beijing should prepare for a Ukrainian-style uprising provoked by the Communist country’s hardening crackdown on human rights.  “It is possible for the Chinese to have a similar revolution to the one in Ukraine. It could happen any time,” Chen told AFP. Guangcheng, who lives in New York after miraculously escaping house arrest in China in 2012, warns that the number of arrests of political dissidents in China is on the increase but that demonstrations in general are growing. Given the admitted involvement of the U.S. in plotting the overthrow of the Ukrainian government, an action that many have warned risks sparking a new cold war with Russia, for the west to become embroiled in any potential Chinese revolution would represent a huge risk. More

Putin orders ‘combat readiness’ tests for western, central Russian troops

putin-drill-combat-army.siRussian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an urgent military drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces across western and central Russia. The drill included troops dealing with mock security and terrorist threats. The surprise drill tested ground troops, Air Force, airborne troops and aerospace defense, according to Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu. Putin ordered to “test combat readiness of troops in dealing with crisis situations that threaten the military security of the country, as well as with antiterrorist, sanitary and epidemiological, or technogenic situations,” Shoigu said. According to the Defense Minister, the drill, which started at 14:00 GMT, will be held from February 26 until March 3 in two stages. The second stage involves an opposing-force exercise with the participation of Russia’s Northern and Baltic fleet and bomb strike drills. While Western media was quick to connect the drill to the situation in Ukraine, such exercises were proposed by Putin as early as last September and followed massive 2013 drills. More

Beijing air pollution now 800% higher than World Health Organization limits

525ee090-9e87-11e3-9e9c-9bb39f5fb59f_2014-02-25T095703Z_26299144_GM1EA2P1DSM01_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-POLLUTIONChina continues to sing the environmental blues, with air pollution levels in the capital city of Beijing now so high that they exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended safety level by nearly eight-fold. Bloomberg reports that recent air samples taken by Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center reveal levels of fine particulate matter, PM2.5, hovering just under 200 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3), or about 800 percent higher than the WHO limit of 25 mcg/m3. The most threatening form of particulate matter, PM2.5, is the designation given to very fine particles that measure smaller than 2.5 mcg in diameter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists PM2.5 as the most harmful type of particulate pollution for humans, because it is easily inhaled and, due to its small size, capable of lodging and accumulating deep within the lungs and respiratory system. More

Massachusetts judge orders sick girl abused by medical system to be taken from family

The medical mafia in Massachusetts has successfully removed a teenage girl from the guardianship of her parents and placed her into the cold arms of the government after first kidnapping and holding the child hostage for more than a year. CBS Boston and others report that 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, who for months has been wasting away in a mental facility upon orders from Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), will now be placed into foster care rather than go home with her parents following an outrageous ruling by a Boston judge. In case you missed it, young Justina was admitted to BCH back in early 2013 for complications arising from her mitochondrial disease, a rare condition that had previously been diagnosed by doctors at nearby Tufts Medical Center. But when doctors at BCH disagreed with this diagnosis, as well as with Justina’s parents’ choice of care, the hospital proceeded to illegally assume custody over the child, which has ever since resulted in a nightmarish battle for the Pelletiers to get their daughter back. More

Syria says 175 rebels killed in ‘ambush’ near Damascus

Syrian state media said troops killed scores of al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels in an ambush near the capital, Damascus. Wednesday’s report by SANA said the rebels, belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, were killed near Oteibah Lake southeast of Damascus.  According to SANA, quoting a military source, 175 people were killed in the operation. The news outlet published photos showing slain fighters lined in a row along a dirt road. The attack was apparently the deadliest against the rebels for months. SANA said an army unit “spotted Al-Nusra Front (jihadist) and Liwa al-Islam (Islamist) terrorists” near Damascus, and “killed 175 of them and wounded several others.” Saudis, Qataris and Chechens were among the dead, it said. More

Supreme Court hands police more power to conduct warrantless house searches

The US Supreme Court has ruled that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant despite the objection of one occupant if that occupant has been removed from the premises. With its 6 to 3 decision in Fernandez v. California on Tuesday, the Court sided with law enforcement’s ability to conduct warrantless searches after restricting police powers with its 2006 decision on a similar case. In 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department sought suspect Walter Fernandez, believed to have stabbed someone in a violent gang robbery. When police first arrived at the suspect’s home, they heard yelling and screaming before Fernandez’s live-in girlfriend Roxanne Rojas answered the door, appearing “freshly bruised and bloody,” and with an infant in hand, according to argument recap by SCOTUSblog. More


Knesset hosts first-ever parley on Temple Mount sovereignty in plenum

The State of Israel is pointless without the Temple Mount, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beytenu) said at the first-ever plenum discussion of Israeli sovereignty over the holy site on Tuesday. The debate came on the same day as the latest in a series of rioting on the Mount in the past month, by Arabs who object to any Jewish presence on the holy site. Tuesday morning’s riot resulted in three arrests and two police officers lightly injured. Stun grenades were used to disperse the rioters. Feiglin opened his motion to the agenda by describing the destruction of archeological artifacts on the Mount. He said that “behind the nation’s back, we gave up every remnant of Israeli sovereignty on the Mount. Any terrorist organization can wave its flag, but the Israeli flag? It’s unmentionable.” The Likud Beytenu MK protested the limitations on Jewish worship on the Mount. More

China developing world’s most accurate cruise missiles

China has begun developing the world’s most accurate cruise missiles with the ability to hit targets in Japan as well as US military bases, according to a recent report published by the Washington-based Project 2049 Institute. In the article titled China’s Evolving Reconnaissance-Strike Capabilities, author Ian Easton claims that after many years of efforts, China has acquired a considerable amount of cruise missile systems, including the PLA Second Artillery Force’s ground-launched Changjian-10 or Long Sword (CJ-10) land attack cruise missiles (LACMs), the PLA Navy’s ground- and ship-launched Yingji-62 “Eagle Strike” anti-ship cruise missile, and the PLA Air Force’s Yingji-63 and CJ-20 LACMs. With up to 500 missiles deployed on 40-55 road-mobile, tri-canister launchers in the Second Artillery Force, China’s strategic CJ-10 LACM may be of particular concern to US and Japanese defense planners, the report said, as the missile’s range of over 1,500 kilometers can theoretically place all of Japan’s main islands under threat. More

Yuan Drops Most Since 2010 on Speculation PBOC Wants Volatility

China’s yuan tumbled the most in more than three years on speculation the central bank wants an end to the currency’s steady appreciation to ward off speculators before a possible widening of the trading band. The yuan fell 0.46 percent, the most since Nov. 1, 2010, to close at 6.1266 per dollar in Shanghai, according to China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices. It slid for a sixth day and reached a six-month low of 6.1310. The spot rate ended the day weaker than the central bank’s reference rate for the first time since September 2012, having been 0.77 percent stronger on average so far this year. It can diverge by a maximum 1 percent from the fixing, which was set at 6.1184 today. The yuan has strengthened in all but three quarters since a dollar peg ended in July 2005 and its 35 percent advance against the greenback in that time is the best performance among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Two-way capital flows will become the “new norm” for China and the exchange rate is likely to be more volatile as U.S. monetary stimulus is reined in, State Administration of Foreign Exchange said today in areport. More

Founder of Liberation Theology hailed at Vatican

The founder of liberation theology, the Latin American-inspired Catholic theology advocating for the poor, received a hero’s welcome Tuesday at the Vatican as the once-criticized movement continues its rehabilitation under Pope Francis. The Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez of Peru was the surprise speaker Tuesday at a book launch featuring the head of the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller; one of Francis’ top advisers, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga; and the Vatican spokesman. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spent much of his tenure at Mueller’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith battling liberation theology and disciplining some of its most famous defenders, arguing that they had misinterpreted Jesus’ preference for the poor into a Marxist call for armed rebellion. That interpretation was powerfully attractive to many Latin Americans in the 1960s and 1970s who were raised Catholic, taught by Marxist-influenced teachers and outraged by the inequality and bloody repression around them. More

Court Rules Student-Teacher Sexting Considered “Protected Free Speech”

The case against a Dallas-area junior high teacher has been dropped after an appeals court found that some level of sexting between a teacher and student is allowed.  Sean Williams, a 31-year-old Everman ISD middle school teacher, was arrested in 2012 after he was found to have sent sexually-related text messages to a 13-year-old student. In a separate case, a Texas appeals court ruled that sexting conversations can be protected under the First Amendment, leading authorities not to pursue criminal charges against Williams.  ”You can talk trash, you can talk disgusting things, but if you’re not soliciting someone to meet you or engage in an act, then it’s protected by the First Amendment,” said defense attorney Jim Shaw, who also conceded that the current law is “morally wrong.” The new development could lead lawmakers to craft a new law. More

A Florida woman who has been living “off the grid” for more than a year will be forced to partially plug in or face consequences from the city, a special magistrate ruled last week. In December, Robin Speronis became engaged in a dispute with the city of Cape Coral for her refusal to use modern amenities such as running water and electricity. A code enforcement officer at the time visited her home and deemed it as “uninhabitable property.” “I was exercising my First Amendment rights of free speech in discussing living off the grid,” Speronis said in December.  The legal system, however, did not agree with her assessment of the situation on Thursday. The magistrate ruled she was guilty of not being hooked up to a proper water supply, WBBH-TV reported. She was acquitted, however, of not having a proper sewer and electrical system. “I’m choosing to live without being dependent on the system,” Speronis said. More

Record-Breaking Meteorite Crash on Moon Sparks Brightest Lunar Explosion Ever

The high-speed impact of a wayward space rock on the surface of the moon last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say. Video footage of the record-breaking meteorite strike on the moon, which occurred on Sept. 11, 2013 and was unveiled today (Feb. 24), shows a long flash that was almost as bright as the North Star Polaris. That means the boulder-sized meteorite’s lunar crash could have been visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring up at the moon at 8:07 p.m. GMT, weather permitting. ”At that moment I realized that I had seen a very rare and extraordinary event,” Jose Madiedo, a professor at the University of Huelva, said in a statement. Madiedo witnessed the collision using two moon-watching telescopes in the south of Spain that are part of the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System, or MIDAS observatory. More



Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast

8274148153AC5D9BC0EFD02F534Radiation from Japan’s leaking Fukushima nuclear power plant has reached waters offshore Canada, researchers said today at the annual American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu. Two radioactive cesium isotopes, cesium-134 and cesium-137, have been detected offshore of Vancouver, British Columbia, researchers said at a news conference. The detected concentrations are much lower than the Canadian safety limit for cesium levels in drinking water, said John Smith, a research scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Tests conducted at U.S. beaches indicate that Fukushima radioactivity has not yet reached Washington, California or Hawaii, said Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Mass. ”We have results from eight locations, and they all have cesium-137, but no cesium-134 yet,” Buesseler said. (Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei. In this case, cesium-137 has more neutrons than cesium-134.) More

Mitt Romney Calls On Jan Brewer To Veto Arizona Anti-Gay Bill

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came out Tuesday against Arizona’s controversial anti-gay legislation known as SB 1062, calling on Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to veto it. SB 1062 would allow businesses in Arizona to refuse service to individuals on the grounds of “religious freedom,” effectively allowing them to discriminate against same-sex couples. The state legislature passed the bill last week, and the governor now has until the end of Saturday to sign or veto it. If she does nothing, it automatically becomes law. More

Supreme Court Allows Ruling to Stand: AZ Can’t Strip Planned Parenthood of Medicaid Funding

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a case regarding whether officials in Arizona may strip Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funding, allowing a lower court ruling to stand. As previously reported, U.S. District Judge Neil Wake, appointed in 2004 by George W. Bush under the recommendation of Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, issued a temporary injunction against a new state law surrounding the matter in October 2012 while the matter moved forward in the courts. While Arizona already bars federal funds from being used for abortions, the new law served as a supplemental measure to ensure that no funds would indirectly go to abortion providers. It prohibited Medicaid funds, which cover low-income families, from going to organizations that offer family planning services. There are thirteen Planned Parenthood locations in the state. More


Judge Rules Against Mississippi Professor Allegedly Punished for Sharing Christian Faith

JACKSON, Miss. – A federal judge in Mississippi has ruled against a public university professor that was allegedly punished for sharing his faith, stating that government employees do not have a right to promote a specific religion in the classroom. According to reports, Thomas Payne, a professor in the criminal justice department at the University of Southern Mississippi, received negative evaluations, was denied a promotion, and was told that his contract would not be renewed after a student that identifies as a Hindu lodged a complaint about his Christian speech. “Sometimes during conversations with Dr. Payne, religion or Bible verses are usually brought up by him in some way. This makes me and others very uncomfortable,” the student, Lacey Stewart, wrote in the informal complaint. “While in Scotland with CJA staff, Dr. Payne made the statement that anyone who is not a Christian is going to hell.” More

More airborne radiation confirmed near New Mexico nuclear site

About one week after a leak resulted in record levels of radiation near the United States’ first nuclear waste depository, more airborne radiation has been detected, according to the Associated Press. The latest readings were confirmed on Monday by the US Department of Energy, which stated that multiple air tracking stations around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico, are monitoring the situation. Earlier this month, a sharp rise in radiation levels forced WIPP managers to suspend operations at the plant. As RT noted previously, the WIPP is one of three deep nuclear repositories in the world, storing leftover radioactive material 600 meters underground. The cause of the initial spike was linked to a leak inside one of the underground salt tunnels that holds nuclear waste. Despite the leak, officials said that no employees were underground when the alarm sounded, and no one’s health had been harmed. They added that radiation levels were still significantly below those outlined by Environmental Protection Agency’s safety standards. Even with the new radiation readings, officials said there was no threat to the public. More

United Nations chief urges Uganda to repeal anti-gay law

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Uganda on Tuesday to repeal a law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality, warning it could fuel prejudice and encourage harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Ban also conveyed his concerns to Uganda’s U.N. envoy Monday, just hours after Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the law in the face of protests from rights groups and criticism from Western donors. ”The Secretary-General urges the Government to protect all persons from violence and discrimination, and hopes that the law can be revised or repealed at the earliest opportunity,” Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Tuesday. More


Opponents of California’s radical “coed bathroom law,” which allows public school students to choose whether to identify themselves as boys or girls, are vowing to continue their fight even though state officials claimed they did not turn in enough signatures to have voters decide the issue.  “Make no mistake, Pacific Justice Institute is committed to protecting the privacy of children,” said Brad Dacus, president of the legal organization that has been working on the case. “We are ready to review and challenge every signature that was not counted toward the referendum of this impudent and in-your-face bill. Our children’s privacy is worth doing all that we can,” he said. State officials, after facing earlier defeats in court over disputed signature counts, announced this week that the measure needed 504,760 signatures to put the referendum on the November ballot. There were more than 619,000 signatures turned in, but Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office said only 487,484 were valid. More

Benefits for active­ duty personnel and their families would be slashed under a budget proposal released Monday by the Pentagon. The budget would dramatically reduce the Army’s size and trigger a new round of controversial base closures while cutting healthcare copays and deductibles and reducing the subsidies military families get for housing and low-cost goods. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged the cuts would be controversial but argued they were unavoidable in a belt-tightening era following the end of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Congress has taken some important steps in recent years to control the growth in compensation spending, but we must do more,” he said. Lawmakers, as well as groups that represent veterans and the military, accused the Pentagon of balancing its pocketbook on the backs of soldiers and their families. More




Sandra-Korn-harvard-liberal-600A student writer at Harvard University is raising eyebrows after publishing her belief that free speech on campus should be abolished and professors with opposing views be fired.  Sandra Korn, a senior who writes a column for the Harvard Crimson newspaper, thinks radical leftism is the only permissible political philosophy, and the First Amendment only hinders colleges from brainwashing students with her viewpoint. “Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice,” states the subtitle of her Feb. 18 column, in which she insists Harvard stop guaranteeing students and professors the right to hold controversial views and conduct research putting liberalism in a negative light. “If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals?” Korn asks. “It is tempting to decry frustrating restrictions on academic research as violations of academic freedom. Yet I would encourage student and worker organizers to instead use a framework of justice. After all, if we give up our obsessive reliance on the doctrine of academic freedom, we can consider more thoughtfully what is just.” More


President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service today quietly released a series of Obamacare “Health Care Tax Tips” warning Americans that they must obtain “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by the federal government – or face a “shared responsibility payment” when filing their tax returns in 2015. The term “shared responsibility payment” refers to the Obamacare individual mandate tax, one of at least seven tax hikes in the healthcare law that directly hit families making less than $250,000 per year.  In “Four Tax Facts about the Health Care Law for Individuals” the agency writes: Your 2014 tax return will ask if you had insurance coverage or qualified for an exemption.  If not, you may owe a shared responsibility payment when you file in 2015. In “The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment- An Overview” the agency warns Americans they must prove they were covered each and every month of the year: For any month in 2014 that you or any of your dependents don’t maintain coverage and don’t qualify for an exemption, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment with your 2014 tax return filed in 2015. More


Ukraine Vows to Protect Bank Deposits.

Ukraine is weighing measures to stem cash withdrawals after as much as 7 percent of deposits were taken from banks during last week’s bloody uprising, underscoring the need for action to fend off a default. Withdrawals peaked with as much as 30 billion hryvnias ($3.1 billion) Feb. 18-20 as police and anti-government demonstrators fought in the center of Kiev, Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy Governor Stepan Kubiv, 51, appointed Feb. 24, said yesterday in his first interview. The interim government is scrambling to secure as much as $35 billion in financial aid to fend off a possible default. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov yesterday pushed back a parliamentary vote on the formation of a new administration to Feb. 27 after indicating that a new administration should be formed quickly. The U.S. and the European Union have pledged support to the new government. More

David Yonggi Cho, pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, has been a personal friend of our family for more than 40 years. He has stayed in our home, and my father and I have served on his church growth board for a combined 38 years. Presently, I serve as president of Church Growth International of the Americas. Because of the slant of some of the media reports, it is important certain details of the situation be made known. Not only was I present in Seoul during much of the trial, but there was also information disclosed during closed-door meetings which has not yet been made public. I want to share some of this as follows. First, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Cho, 78, to a three-year prison term suspended for five years. He had been indicted for allegedly causing financial losses worth more than $12 million. He was also fined $5 million. He will not have to serve prison time, but he is on probation. More


FTD News : 2 Kindergarten Students Caught Having SEX In Classroom












Gun Confiscation: Connecticut Tells “Unregistered” Gun Owners to Surrender Firearms



Prince Charles flown to HMS Dragon warship

Ukraine revolution: 150,000 Russian troops on alert as U.S. warns Putin



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