In 2013, the average number of people on food stamps increased to 47,636,000. The Census Bureau will not publish its report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage for 2013, which includes the data on women working full-time, until September. The Department of Agriculture’s website lists the annual average number of food stamps participants going back to 1969. That year, there were only 2,878,000 people on food stamps. Since then, food stamps participants have increased by 44,758,000—or about 1,552 percent. In 1969, there were 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States. Through 2012, their numbers had increased by 28,381,000—or about 181 percent. Since 1969, there have been three years when the number of Americans taking food stamps outnumbered the women who worked full time, year-round. In 1976, there were 18,549,000 food stamps participants, and only 18,372,000 women working full-time. Then, in 2011, there were 44,709,000 food stamp participants and 43,702,000 women who worked full-time. (The Census Bureau has not published data for the number of women who worked full-time, year-round in 1974.) So far, 2011 and 2012 are the only back-to-back years on record when the number of Americans taking food stamps outnumbered the women working full-time year-round. CNSNEWS.COM
-79 tax increases for FY 2010
-52 tax increases for FY 2011
-47 tax increases for FY 2012
-34 tax increases for FY 2013
-137 tax increases for FY 2014
-93 tax increases for FY 2015
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President. In addition to the 442 tax increases in his annual budget proposals, the 20 signed into law as part of Obamacare, and the massive tobacco tax hike signed into law on the sixteenth day of his presidency, Obama has made it clear he is open to other broad-based tax increases. During an interview with Men’s Health in 2009, when asked about the idea of national tax on soda and sugary drinks, the President said, “I actually think it’s an idea that we should be exploring.” During an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in 2010, Obama said a European-style Value-Added-Tax was “something that would be novel for the United States.” Obama’s statement was consistent with a pattern of remarks made by Obama White House officials refusing to rule out a VAT. “Presidents are judged by history based on what they did in power. But presidents can only enact laws when the Congress agrees,” said Norquist. “Thus a record forged by such compromise tells you what a president — limited by congress — did rather than what he wanted to do.” Americans for Tax Reform
The West has accused Moscow of fomenting the unrest. And European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg Monday to consider additional sanctions against Russian officials because of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. The USS Donald Cook is now in port at Constanta, Romania. Romanian President Traian Basescu visited the ship Monday and said a second U.S. Navy warship – a frigate from the Navy’s Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea – is also heading to the Black Sea. ”My visit to the ship is symbolic, which first of all shows our respect to our NATO allies’ reaction who have strengthened their presence in the Black Sea after Russia’s annexation of Crimea,” said Basescu, who is a former ship captain. He said the Russians “had created a circle of fire around the Black Sea.” The U.S. frigate, which has not yet been identified, is expected to arrive in the Black Sea in the next two weeks. According to a U.S. military official, the frigate is likely to replace the USS Donald Cook, which is expected to return to the Mediterranean Sea.Associated Press
Never let it be said Miami Beach doesn’t know how to party — especially during Gay Pride weekend. From a rainbow-colored police car to a street race in high heels, the big bash on Ocean Drive has always been one of the nation’s most fabulous celebrations. 2014′s big weekend, with Grand Marshals Gloria Estefan and choreographer Kenny Ortega, was no different. Check out the puppies, drag queens, pop star, socks and couples who make Miami Beach a place of pride. More
CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge is expected to issue what could be the most sweeping ruling yet for gay marriage in Ohio by ordering the state to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in states that allow same-sex marriage. Judge Timothy Black indicated in court on April 4 that he expects to rule on Monday, ordering Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages because the state’s ban violates constitutional rights and denies a fundamental right for people to marry the person of their choosing. His ruling would allow gay couples in Ohio to obtain the same benefits as any other married couple in the state, including property rights and the right to make some medical decisions for their partner. The ruling would not have a direct impact on any other state but Ohio. Black is not expected to force Ohio to allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.
The state plans to appeal Black’s ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage, which voters did overwhelmingly in 2004. Attorneys for the state also have said they’ll ask Black to issue a stay of his ruling to stop it from going into effect immediately as their appeal is pending if he doesn’t automatically do so. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he believes marriage is between a man and woman, and that Ohio voters decided the same in 2004 when they passed the statewide gay marriage ban. ”My job as attorney general is to defend statutes and defend Ohio’s constitutional provisions,” he said. “This was voted on by voters so my job is to do that.” DeWine declined to speculate what the outcome of the state’s appeal will be or the future of gay marriage rights as a whole. ”Every state is having a lively debate over this and I think that’s a proper thing to do,” he said. “I think it’s pretty obvious that all these issues are going to be resolved by the 6th Circuit and some cases are going to get to the Supreme Court. They’re going to have a decision in the United States Supreme Court and we’re all going to have to accept that.” Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Federal judges recently have struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia, though stays have been issued pending appeals. Similar to Ohio’s expected ruling, judges in Kentucky and Tennessee have ordered state officials to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. The Kentucky decision has been stayed pending appeal, while Tennessee’s ruling applies to only three couples. Al Gerhardstein, the Cincinnati civil rights attorney who has filed three gay marriage lawsuits in Ohio since June, said several gay couples who want to win the right to marry in Ohio have contacted him. He’s considering filing a new lawsuit on their behalf aimed at striking down Ohio’s gay marriage ban entirely. ”The ultimate goal is full marriage equality,” Gerhardstein said. Huffington Post
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House of Representatives has rejected a bill that would have banned ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ for homosexual youth. HB 5569 was sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), a lesbian lawmaker who also pushed for the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in the state last year. Cassidy’s bill, known as the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, asserts that there is nothing wrong with desiring to have sex with the same gender and bars mental health professionals from providing reparative or conversion therapy to youth under 18. “Being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency or shortcoming,” the legislation states. “Illinois has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.” It then mandates that “[a]ny sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a person under the age of by a mental health provider or any referral made by a mental health provider to a third party practicing sexual orientation change efforts shall be considered unprofessional conduct.” While the Act prohibits mental health professionals from helping youth fight homosexual temptation, it specifically states that it “does not include counseling or mental health services that provide acceptance, support and understanding of a person without seeking to change sexual orientation.” “The experts have weighed in. This is codifying the positions of every major mental health profession’s organization,” Cassidy declared prior to the vote, according to CBS Chicago. “This gives the Department of Professional Regulation the tools they need to protect the victims that I have heard from who have been horribly, horribly humiliated and abused.” But Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) opposed the bill, stating that legislators have no business regulating mental health practices.More
Historically, food supplies were more much more local; transportation costs, therefore, were much reduced (and that was during the era of much cheaper fuel). Not anymore; the impact on prices that California’s drought is having demonstrates how vast the U.S. food supply chain has become. With it has come higher transport costs. Kimberly Amadeo, a U.S. Economy Guide at About.com notes: Food prices rise in response to high gas prices. That’s because transportation is a large cost of food you buy at the store. When you notice prices at the pump rising, expect to see the same thing happen in about six weeks at the grocery store. High gas prices are, themselves, usually caused by high oil prices. Here again, it usually takes about six weeks for increases in oil futures to translate to the pump.
Government policies don’t help keep prices down – Regulations and laws are also behind the increase. As NaturalNews has reported, with Americans hungry and hundreds of millions around the world starving, U.S. lawmakers have adopted an insane policy of burning up our food supply in the form of a corn-based ethanol fuel mandate (and by the way, ethanol-laced fuel gets much worse mileage, meaning you have to buy more of it to get where you’re going). It’s a policy that has never made much sense, but adopted more as a sop to Big Agriculture creating a market that otherwise would not have existed. Also, growing corn for ethanol reduces the available farm land to grow food crops. What’s more, a recent Congressional Budget Office report concluded that the increased use of ethanol accounts for 10-15 percent of the increase in food prices. Speaking of inane government policy, ever-changing subsidies for certain crops (which creates shortages) and paying farmers in some regions not to grow crops are two more factors that enhance shortages.Natural News
In a report released last Friday, computer scientist Allen Downey of Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts found with the numbers of non-religiously affiliated Americans jumping from 8 to 18 percent from 1990 to 2010, the prevalence of Internet use has also increased from essentially zero to nearly 80 percent. Downey’s study suggested that increases in Internet use accounted for about 20 percent of the observed decrease in affiliation. In the 1980s, Internet use was essentially nil, but in 2010, 53 percent of the population spent two hours per week online and 25 percent surfed for more than seven hours, it says. Downey posits that the correlation might be due to the Internet allowing individuals who grew up in one faith but are now interested in another religion to connect with people who share their current beliefs. ”For people living in homogeneous communities, the Internet provides opportunities to find information about people of other religions (and none), and to interact with them personally,” says Downey. “Conversely, it is harder (but not impossible) to imagine plausible reasons why disaffiliation might cause increased Internet use … Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation.” Writing on his personal, non-work affiliated blog earlier this week, Joe Miller, who works for the Christian publishing company Nelson Books, arrived at a different conclusion. ”Downey’s answer plays off the modernist prejudice that equates religion and ignorance. That’s false on its face,” he wrote. “But once we consider the Internet as a factor at all, there’s a far more obvious answer than wider horizons: porn.” ”Porn has been part of the Web from day one. And the stats for online consumption are staggering, even among Christians,” he continued.
Miller argued that porn inhibits “prayer and beneficial contemplation.” ”Given the Christian understanding of the spiritual life, we’re not capable of simultaneously pursuing our lusts and sanctification. Such a pursuit causes internal dissonance, and the only resolution involves eventually conceding to the pull of one or the other,” Miller wrote. Miller also pointed to Nate Larkin’s Samson and the Pirate Monks, where the author writes that he grew increasingly angry and then distant from God as he grew ever more immersed in porn. ”If the rise of the internet has anything to do with a loss of faith — and it’s an interesting thought — the role of ideas is likely minimal. Arguments don’t cool many hearts, but sin surely does,” he added. Orthodox Christian and writer Rod Dreher, who excerpted Miller’s post on his own blog, seconded Miller’s conclusions. ”If you accept the modern world’s view on sex, and abandon Christianity’s teaching, you will soon abandon Christianity. People don’t like to hear that, but it’s true.” In 2012, Pew Research reported that one-fifth of U.S. adults and one third of adults under 30 are not religiously affiliated. The number spiked five percent from 2007 and includes atheists, agnostics and those who simply do not label themselves with any particular religious affiliation. Project Know, which is currently running a campaign aimed at helping those addicted to pornography, states that according to WebMD, 420 million web pages contain pornographic material. The second-largest pornography site on the web “receives 100 million page views a day, and shows 4,000 videos a second during its peak hours. This one site receives an astounding 2 percent of the Internet’s total traffic.”Christian Post
The shootings, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, began around 1 p.m. Two males were shot in a parking lot outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, one dying at the scene and the other at a hospital later, according to Reuters. The shooter then drove a mile away to the Village Shalom retirement community and killed a woman. The shooting came at a time when hundreds of high school singers were expected to audition for a contest. One of the victims has been identified as William Lewis Corporon, a Johnson County doctor. His 14-year-old grandson, identified as Reat Griffin Underwood, an Eagle Scout, died later at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The third victim has yet to be identified. Corporon and his grandson attended United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. The church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Adam Hamilton, told the congregation about the incident during Sunday evening service. “Help us, o Lord, to grieve as people of hope,” Hamilton was quoted as praying. The Jewish Community Center has said it will remain closed Monday. “Our hearts go out to the families who have suffered loss on this tragic day,” the center said in a statement. “Our heartfelt gratitude as well to all those in Kansas City and around the world who have expressed sympathy, concern and support.”Christian Post
The objectives were achieved in full, Yegorov said. RS-24 Yars was designed by the academician of Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology Yuri Solomonov. This missile is based on scientific, technical and technological solutions implemented in a rocket complex Topol-M, which significantly reduced the time and cost to create it. Adopting RS-24 with a multiple warhead increased combat capabilities of Russia’s strategic missile force to overcome missile defense systems, thereby strengthening the nuclear deterrence potential of the Russian strategic nuclear forces. This missile replaced ICBM RS -12M Topol, RS-18 Stiletto. ”In future, the SS-24 mobile groups form the basis of the Strategic Missile Forces, which will be capable guarantee the security of the country and its allies until the middle of the XXI century,” Yegorov said. ITAR TASS News Agency
Western nations on Sunday accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of well-equipped troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for a Crimea-style invasion, while Russia denounced what it said was Ukraine’s Russophobic, anti-Semitic leadership. ”Satellite images show that there are between 35,000 and 40,000 Russian troops in the vicinity of the border with Ukraine, equipped with combat aircraft, tanks, artillery and logistical support units,” Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said. ”This is in addition to the 25,000 Russia troops based illegally in Crimea,” Lyall Grant added in his speech during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Ukraine. French Ambassador Gerard Araud echoed Lyall Grant’s remarks. The meeting of the 15-nation council, the first emergency session on the Ukrainian crisis in weeks, was convened at Russia’s request. Council diplomats said Moscow wanted it to be a closed meeting by France and other Western insisted that it be a public session. The council has held numerous emergency meetings on Ukraine but has been incapable of taking concrete action because of Russia’s sharp disagreements with the United States and Europe. Last month Russia vetoed a Western draft resolution that would have condemned Crimea’s referendum on secession from Ukraine, held when it was already occupied by Russian military forces. As expected, the council took no action on Sunday. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin dismissed the criticisms of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, telling the council, “Many inaccurate accusations were made against Russia.” He blamed the Kiev government for the unrest across southeastern Ukraine and described its threatened military operation in the region as a “criminal use of force.” He was referring to Ukraine’s ultimatum to pro-Russian separatists to disarm by Monday or face armed force. ”Things might take an irreversible turn for the worst,” Churkin said about the ultimatum, without elaborating. ”The authorities (in Ukraine) do not want to listen to those who do not accept the imposed dominance in Kiev of national radicals and chauvinists, Russophobic, anti-Semitic forces,” he said. “The grotesque Russophobia and embedded hatred has become the norm in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) as well.”
Kiev has repeatedly said the rebellions across Ukraine are inspired and directed by the Kremlin. But action to dislodge the armed militants risks tipping the stand-off into a new, dangerous phase as Moscow has warned it will protect the region’s Russian-speakers if they come under attack. One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five were wounded on the government side in Sunday’s operation in Slaviansk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power suggested that Russia was dissembling about its true intentions in eastern Ukraine, where many Russian-speakers live. ”You have heard these last weeks Russia disclaim any intention of occupying or invading,” she said. “You have heard it publicly, and we have heard it privately.” ”Unfortunately, the fact is that the armed seizure of buildings in six eastern Ukrainian towns yesterday and several more today mirrors the tactics Russian forces used in the early stages of the Crimea invasion,” Power said, adding that the instability “was written and choreographed in, and by, Russia”. Ukraine’s envoy, Yuriy Sergeyev, echoed the remarks of Power and other Western envoys, noting that the troops massing near Ukraine were “obviously the professional special forces”. He also said, “We don’t want any clashes.” Lithuanian Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite spoke of Russia’s “unending provocations” and attempts to dismember Ukraine. ”Where there was no unrest, unrest and chaos are being created by pro-Russian militias, again anonymous without insignia, again carrying the same modern models of assault weapons as seen in Crimea,” Murmokaite said. ”Again the external anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western propaganda machine is in full swing, inciting suspicion, mistrust and hatred waiting to explode,” she added. No country on the council spoke out strongly in Russia’s defense. Moscow’s traditional ally and fellow veto power on the Security Council, China, merely called for all parties in Ukraine to “keep calm and exercise restraint.” Yahoo News
NICARAGUA – A third earthquake in less than a week struck Nicaragua early on Monday morning, shaking buildings in the capital, Managua, though there were no immediate reports of damage. An official at Nicaragua’s seismological authority said the quake magnitude was 5.6, but its shallow depth had imparted a greater impact. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck some 6 km (4 miles) northwest of Managua at a depth of 14 km. The USGS initially registered the quake at magnitude 5.1. Emergency services in Managua were checking for signs of impact, but did not immediately report any damage. Earthquakes also struck Nicaragua on Thursday and Friday last week. The latter, of magnitude 6.6, was felt as far away as El Salvador and Costa Rica. –Times of India A 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook Nicaragua on Sunday night, the third quake to hit the Central American nation within a week.
Seven homes collapsed but there have so far been no reports of any casualties. Officials said the quakes could be an indication that the geological fault line which runs underneath the capital, Managua, has been re-activated. Movement in the Estadia fault caused the 1972 quake which killed at least 5,000 people and devastated Managua. Nicaragua was struck by another two earthquakes on Thursday and Friday last week, raising fears a bigger quake may hit “within days.” The president said there had been reports of injuries, but did not give further details. Angelica Munoz of Ineter, the Nicaraguan state body which monitors tremors, said there had been nine aftershocks following Sunday’s quake. She said one of the aftershocks had originated in the fault line which caused the 1972 earthquake, in which large parts of Managua’s city centre were destroyed and two thirds of its one million residents displaced. Extinction Protocol
Progress on safe staffing levels has been glacial and that means poorer care and patients still at risk. ”It’s clear that despite nurses working through breaks and beyond their hours, they simply do not have enough time to give patients the care and attention they need. That is distressing for patients and for the staff trying to care for them. ”The government needs to face up to the damage it is inflicting on patients and staff, by not introducing legally enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios, and take urgent action.” The union claimed that the survey also revealed an overuse of agency staff in the NHS. In another study last week, Unison said the ambulance service was on the verge of breaking down because of stress levels among staff. The issues will be debated at Unison’s health conference in Brighton, which opens on Monday. The Guardian
“If you believe in the business, why would you take out money at what is presumably a lower valuation in the private market?” As the lock-ups which prevented insider sales after their 2012 IPOs expired, executives and directors at companies such as Workday, Service Now and Splunk have sold steadily, raising almost $750m between them over the past 12 months. Shares in these so-called “software as a service” companies, which sell online access to software applications running in their own data centres, have fallen 30-45 per cent from peaks hit six weeks ago. “It was a great deal for them – they took advantage of a big run-up,” said one tech investor. Many of the sales were made through pre-arranged stock trading plans that spread disposals over a long period of time, so that corporate insiders have no discretion over the timing of individual transactions. Also, the slump in tech stocks has in many cases only wiped out the gains of the past six months, leaving share prices still above the levels at which insiders were selling for much of last year. More
“One of the fundamental tenets of The Satanic Temple is personal sovereignty and the inviolability of one’s body and mind,” Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said. “Hitting a child or placing them in solitary confinement goes entirely against our beliefs.” According to an Education Week article, there are no federal laws regarding corporal punishment, and the practice is legal in 19 states. The article and The Satanic Temple’s press release both cite a U.S. Department of Education statistic stating that in one year, over 200,000 students were physically punished in school. ProtectChildrenProject.com provides fact sheets on physical and psychological abuse in schools, an FAQ for students, and a Satanic activity book. ”We want children to know that they are permitted to pray to Satan in school and that they can even share their religious beliefs with others in accordance with certain guidelines,” Greaves said. Christian Today Australia
He says the products sold inside will all be tracked by radio frequency identification chips. ”This takes a little pressure off of the people monitoring the medicine area so they don’t have to look over shoulders. You can fit a lot more choices in a small area,” Honan said. “There’s no theft issue, There’s no product disappearing.” Since the machines will be located inside dispensaries with a necessary driver’s license verification, Shearin says people do not have to worry about marijuana getting into the wrong hands. ”I’m a father of a 12-year-old daughter and I wouldn’t want her having access to it, so we paid close attention to that,” Shearin said. The vending machine was unveiled in Avon to the company’s investors who travelled from around the country to see it take pictures with the Zazzz. ”Almost like it’s a part of history,” Jerry Skinner, an investor from Massachusetts, said. “If it works out, it could be a big thing.” Right now, the vending machine will not be in the open public, but Shearin says that could change. ”As time and laws evolve, who knows where it will be,” Shearin said. “At that point, we’ll have higher security. But, at this point, it’s not something we have to address because versions one, two will never be in the town square.” 9 NEWS