Apr 24

Guns everywhere: Georgia governor makes his state the most firearm-friendly



Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a new law into effect – nicknamed the “guns everywhere bill” – that allows individuals to carry weapons into bars, schools, and even some churches and government buildings.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: rt.com/usa/154620-guns-everywhere-georgia-law-friendly/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/guns-everywhere-georgia-governor-makes-his-state-the-most-firearm-friendly/

Apr 24

CIA Is Quietly Ramping Up Aid To Syrian Rebels


By kurtnimmoadmin
npr.org | Change in strategy comes as the White House sees Syrian leader Bashar Assad growing in strength.

Source: www.infowars.com/cia-is-quietly-ramping-up-aid-to-syrian-rebels/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/cia-is-quietly-ramping-up-aid-to-syrian-rebels/

Apr 24

Artists Create Street Light That Monitors Conversations, But It Already Exists For Real


By steve_watson
Steve Watson | What was meant as a creative warning about surveillance is already really in use on the streets of America.

Source: www.infowars.com/artists-create-street-light-that-monitors-conversations-but-it-already-exists-for-real/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/artists-create-street-light-that-monitors-conversations-but-it-already-exists-for-real/

Apr 24

Plainclothes Philly Cops Shoot At Pizza Delivery Guy 14 Times


By Ed Krayewski

shot by cops

Who is the criminal element here?
Via the Philadelphia Inquirer

20-year-old [Philippe Holland] from Upper Darby had
been running orders two nights a week for Slices & More for a
few weeks. That was on top of another job at an airport

Maybe he had heard the gunshots two blocks away – the
ones two plainclothes officers were responding to – when they
attempted to stop him just before 10 p.m. Moments later, they
riddled the Taurus with 14 shots.

Holland was struck at least three times, in his neck, a leg, and
his head. He was in critical but stable condition late Wednesday at
the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The officers would later tell investigators that they had
identified themselves as police. Maybe Holland heard them.

Or, as Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said, maybe he didn’t, and
thought he was about to become a victim in a neighborhood where
gunshots are not uncommon and robberies of deliverymen are a
constant threat.

Ramsey suggested Holland may have thought he was being robbed, a
reasonable assumption, especially when your job involves carrying
around cash and you are confronted by armed gunmen. Police say he
had a hoodie on and his hands in his pockets when they approached
him. Holland survived the shooting and is in the hospital, and
Ramsey hopes police can talk to him.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department told the
Inquirer the department has a policy against shooting at
moving vehicles, although he also said he wasn’t there so he
couldn’t say if they were right or wrong. In the real world, it
would seem pretty clear if a rule says don’t do that, than doing
that meant you were, according to the rules, wrong. The
spokesperson admitted cops getting in the way of a moving vehicle
would not be “tactically sound.”

Court records indicating Holland had a recent minor run in with
the law (over allegedly throwing a cellphone at his girlfriend) are
already being reported. But the names of the officers involved have
not yet been released.

Source: reason.com/blog/2014/04/24/plainclothes-philly-cops-shoot-at-pizza


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/plainclothes-philly-cops-shoot-at-pizza-delivery-guy-14-times/

Apr 24

FCC denies plans to kill net neutrality



The chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission is attempting to refute recent reports that suggest that the FCC is on track to terminate the basic principle of net neutrality.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: rt.com/usa/154628-fcc-wheeler-denies-reports/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/fcc-denies-plans-to-kill-net-neutrality/

Apr 24

Another large forest fire breaks out in New Jersey despite cool Spring temperatures


A forest fire continues to grow in Downe Township, Cumberland County, fanned by strong winds.

As of Thursday morning, officials said about 1500 acres have been consumed in a remote area of the Edward G. Bevan Fish and Wildlife Management Area.

So far, no structures or people have been threatened.

At least 50 firefighters were battling the blaze, which started Wednesday as a Red Flag warning went into effect in New Jersey.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277945-Another-large-forest-fire-breaks-out-in-New-Jersey-despite-cool-Spring-temperatures


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/another-large-forest-fire-breaks-out-in-new-jersey-despite-cool-spring-temperatures/

Apr 24

Banker death 'epidemic' spreads to China


Until now, the terrible trail of dead bankers has been only among US and European financial executives. However, as Caixin reports, the increasing pressures on the Chinese banking system appear to have take their first toll. Li Jianhua, director of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), died this morning due to a “sudden heart attack” – he was less than 49 years old.

Li was among the main drafters on new “caveat emptor” market-based rules on China’s shadowy banking system and recently said in an interview that “now is not only a time to control risk, but to transform the trust industry.. if it’s too loose, it’s a big problem.” Li was found by his wife.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277946-Banker-death-epidemic-spreads-to-China


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/banker-death-epidemic-spreads-to-china/

Apr 24

U.S. real inflation rate hits 50%


Do you love bacon? How much?

The price of bacon has gone up 13% in the last year and a whopping 53% since January 2010, according to 24/7 Wall St.

Prices of fruit, meats – even coffee – have increased dramatically over the last few years. Drought conditions and disease affecting crops and livestock are reducing supply and driving up the prices of many food staples.

While food prices are rising, the Federal Reserve is concerned that inflation is too low. In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, “With inflation running at around 1%, at this point I think the risk is greater that we should be worried about inflation undershooting our goal and getting inflation back up to 2%.”

In the corresponding video, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task spoke with Lauren Lyster about rising food prices at the same time the Fed is concerned about inflation being too low.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277947-US-real-inflation-rate-hits-50


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/u-s-real-inflation-rate-hits-50/

Apr 24

Peter Suderman on Paying for Obamacare


By Reason.com

From the earliest days of
Barack Obama’s presidency, much of the debate about the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act—the health care law known as
Obamacare—has revolved around questions of cost.

Would the law reduce the cost of typical family health insurance
premiums? Would it reduce the federal budget deficit? Would it slow
the unsustainable growth of national health spending? The law’s
backers initially insisted that it would do all three, and
over time took to arguing that its positive effects were already
visible. But as the law settles into place, Peter Suderman notes,
the pretense that the Affordable Care Act actually makes health
care more affordable is increasingly difficult to sustain.

View this article.

Source: reason.com/blog/2014/04/24/peter-suderman-on-paying-for-obamacare


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/peter-suderman-on-paying-for-obamacare/

Apr 24

Paying for Obamacare


By Peter Suderman

From the earliest days of Barack Obama’s
presidency, much of the debate about the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act—the health care law known as Obamacare—has
revolved around questions of cost.

Would the law reduce the cost of typical family health insurance
premiums? Would it reduce the federal budget deficit? Would it slow
the unsustainable growth of national health spending? The law’s
backers initially insisted that it would do all three, and
over time took to arguing that its positive effects were already
visible. But as the law settles into place, the pretense that the
Affordable Care Act actually makes health care more affordable is
increasingly difficult to sustain.

For most people, affordability is about one thing: health
insurance premiums. President Obama’s campaign-trail promise that
the law would reduce average family premiums by about $2,500 has
obviously not come true, but Obamacare’s backers say it is a
success on this front anyway. That’s because average premiums have
come in lower than the Congressional Budget Office projected.

That may be comforting to liberal wonks, but it’s doubtful that
most people’s first—or last—instinct when looking at new health
insurance rates is to compare them to the CBO’s old scores. A
November 2013 analysis of individual market rates under the law by
Avik Roy of Forbes and the Manhattan Institute
that the majority of states have seen premium hikes
under the law. Insurance industry sources have
already warned that in many states
, rates next year will be far
higher still. A Morgan Stanley survey this month of health
insurance brokers
finds double-digit increases in both the small group and individual
, with some states seeing outsized spikes. The report
says that the “increases are largely due to changes under

Lower than expected rates may be partially a temporary benefit
of the start-up process, with
insurers posting artificially low premiums in order to gain
customers up front
, especially in heavily populated states. If
so, then premium spikes will eventually have to follow;
pocketbook-friendly below-cost rates won’t be sustainable in the
long run.

The law’s system of health insurance subsidies will offset some
of the increase. But given how common cost concerns already seem to
amongst those choosing to remain uninsured
, it seems unlikely
that they will fully insulate lower-income individuals from higher
premium costs.

The $2 trillion worth of public spending the law calls for will
inevitably have an impact on federal finances as well. The law’s
supporters have long argued that its deficit impact would be
positive, pointing to a CBO score that calculates a net deficit
reduction once all the law’s new taxes and spending cuts are
factored in. But several of those revenue mechanisms have already
proven troublesome: the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services
and Supports) Act, a long-term care program that was to be the
source of a significant portion of the law’s officially scored
deficit reduction, was shut down when it was revealed that it would
not be self-sustaining, as required by law. Medicare Advantage cuts
intended to offset the law’s spending have not gone into

Even ignoring the loss of these offsets, the law’s deficit
effects were never as positive as the law’s backers claimed. As
Charles Blahous, a Mercatus Center scholar and one of Medicare’s
public trustees, has repeatedly
, the CBO’s score was an artifact of the budget office’s
scoring conventions. Obamacare, he
, “unambiguously adds to federal deficits in that it
authorizes more additional spending than it generates in additional
tax revenues.”

Finally, there is the issue of total national health spending.
This is less a matter of what Obamacare is doing as what
it is not doing: The law was pitched as a cost-control
system designed to hold the growth of health care spending in check
through a series of innovative health care delivery reforms. And
for the last few years, liberals have argued that this is exactly
what it has done. Health spending growth has flattened since 2009,
and Obamacare’s backers, as well as
Obama himself
, have been keen to
the health law for at least some of the effect.

But now there are signs that health spending may be growing
again. At the end of last year, just as Obamacare’s coverage
expansion was coming online, health care cost growth began to grow
once more—growth that has continued into this year, and now
represents the
fastest pace in seven years
. Health spending data from the
Bureau of Economic Analysis
shows recent spending levels to be
growing the fastest since 2004.

This merely points in the direction of what more sober analysts
: that the slowdown in spending was a temporary lull
largely by the recession
in combination with preexisting
changes in how employers are financing care. Spending growth had
slowing for almost a decade before Obamacare passed
. Much
evidence suggested that Obamacare’s various delivery system reforms
not be effective on a large scale

Now that Obamacare’s coverage expansion has begun providing the
means for more people to access health services, and the worst
effects of the recession are winding down, people will begin to
spend more on health care once again.

Because so much of the federal budget is tied up in health care
spending, a return to growth would have disastrous effects on the
country’s future fiscal health. This would have been true without
Obamacare, of course; future federal health spending commitments
were unsustainable before the law and remain so now. But with the
health law in place, layered on top of the already byzantine old
system, meaningful reforms will be even more difficult to achieve.
Obamacare has not only added to the nation’s already unaffordable
health care tab, it has further narrowed the ways in which we might
pay for it. Now that we’ve passed it, we not only have to figure
out what’s in it, we have to figure out how to pay for it,

Source: reason.com/archives/2014/04/24/paying-for-obamacare


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/paying-for-obamacare/

Apr 24

Watchdog: Chris Christie Sheds His ‘Open And Honest’ Reformer Disguise


By Watchdog.org

This article, written by Mark Lagerkvist, was originally published April 24 by Watchdog.org.

Governor Chris Christie’s office sends New Jersey Watchdog a message every other Tuesday — a reminder of how the governor and his staff flout the law and fight transparency in State government.

“This email serves to hereby request a two-week extension regarding your OPRA request nos. W82964 and W82965,” it states.

Since January, the Governor has so far taken seven two-week extensions.

Under OPRA, the State Open Public Records Act, a governmental agency must grant or deny access to records “as soon as possible but not later than seven business days after receiving the request.” An agency is only allowed extra time if it needs to retrieve records from storage or archives.

In contrast, Christie and company already have had 15 weeks to decide whether to provide records of the State-paid travel expenses of the Governor and his senior staff. Requests for explanation of the delays have gone unanswered.

By stringing out the process indefinitely — a devious tactic that clearly circumvents the letter and spirit of OPRA — Christie’s crew technically avoids making a decision that can be appealed in court. Meanwhile, the public’s right-to-know languishes in limbo.

The great irony is that Christie promoted himself as a champion of reform throughout his first term in office.

“These measures are about good, open and honest government, where the playing field is level for everyone and the rules are unambiguous,” said Christie in 2010 while campaigning for reforms.

While Christie has advanced transparency in some areas, such as the YourMoney.NJ.gov website, he has repeatedly sought to avoid release of information that could be used to hold the Governor’s office accountable.

A tale of two OPRA requests

The latest battle with all the governor’s men began with OPRA requests submitted to Christie’s office on Jan. 15. Each request focused on records of different aspects of the travel expenses of the governor and his senior staff.

W82960 seeks specific records of travel paid for by third-parties on behalf of Christie and his senior staff. After three two-week extensions, the governor’s office denied the request as being “unclear.” Javier Diaz, a legal specialist to the governor, did not respond to questions on what was unclear about OPRA request.

In response, a New Jersey Watchdog reporter is suing the governor’s office for the records in Mercer County Superior Court. A hearing before Judge Mary C. Jacobson is scheduled for June 23.

“There is the public interest in assessing just who is paying for our government officials to visit with them,” argued attorney Donald M. Doherty Jr., in a brief filed last week. “If a person is judged by the company he keeps, politicians are similarly judged by who they travel to see.”

W82965 seeks specific records of travel by Christie and his senior staff paid by the state taxpayers. Regulations require the documents to be created and kept on file by the governor’s office.

So far, the only communication from the governor’s office has been to keep pushing back the deadline without making a decision.

“W82965 is a clear and specific request for public records,” the reporter wrote in a March 12 email to the records custodian. “If, for some reason, you believe it to be unclear, as your office has contended with W82960, please state exactly why you believe that is the case.”

The governor’s office has not replied. Nor has it acknowledged New Jersey Watchdog’s offer to drop W82964 because it was a duplicate request caused by a snafu in the state’s web site.

Christie, meanwhile, postures as a proponent of “good, open and honest government.” Yet the extension notices that delay access to public records continue to arrive every other Tuesday.

DISCLOSURE: Investigative reporter Mark Lagerkvist is the plaintiff in Lagerkvist v. Office of Governor, Mercer County Superior Court, MER-L-821-14

The post Watchdog: Chris Christie Sheds His ‘Open And Honest’ Reformer Disguise appeared first on Personal Liberty.

Source: personalliberty.com/watchdog-chris-christie-sheds-open-honest-reformer-disguise/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/watchdog-chris-christie-sheds-his-open-and-honest-reformer-disguise/

Apr 24

‘Hate Crime Reporting Act’ a “Dangerous” Threat to Free Speech


By yihan
Paul Joseph Watson | Boston Herald editorial labels bill a “frankly chilling proposition”.

Source: www.infowars.com/hate-crime-reporting-act-a-dangerous-threat-to-free-speech/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/hate-crime-reporting-act-a-dangerous-threat-to-free-speech/

Apr 24

Internet giants unite to fight against a second Heartbleed



​In the wake of what’s been called the biggest computer bug to ever affect the internet, tech giants including Google, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Cisco have started a non-profit organization aimed at preventing another Heartbleed.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: rt.com/usa/154604-heartbleed-linux-core-initiative/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/internet-giants-unite-to-fight-against-a-second-heartbleed/

Apr 24

Democracy and Affirmative Action


By Steve Chapman

The question of racial preferences in university admissions has
bedeviled the nation for decades. In 2003, the Supreme Court
finally issued a verdict that gave something to either side of the

In a case involving the University of Michigan, it said public
universities may not adopt rigid formulas to help one minority
group or another—but may consider race as one factor in admissions
as part of an effort to create a diverse student body. The decision
had the distinct feel of a compromise.

There was one more element of splitting the difference: Though
states could adopt these race-conscious policies, they didn’t have
to. Affirmative action for student body diversity was neither
required nor forbidden. The Supreme Court left the decision to the
states or their educational administrators.

So in 2006, opponents of racial preferences put a state
constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban their use by
Michigan’s public universities. It passed with 58 percent of the
vote. Democracy was put to work, and democracy produced a result
that fell within the guidelines established by the Supreme

Or appeared to. The advocates of affirmative action said
otherwise. In their view, it didn’t matter that the court allowed
states to ban racial preferences, and it didn’t matter that
preferences were banned by a free and fair vote of the people of

Opponents of racial preferences, in this view, may not amend a
state constitution to forbid them. To do so violates the
constitutional guarantee of equal protection by making it too hard
for minority groups to get their way.

It was a strange and unconvincing argument on several grounds.
The first is that it would create different rules for the two sides
of the debate. Those who favor affirmative action would be free to
establish it by amending state constitutions, but those who reject
it would not. How is that “equal protection”?

The second oddity is the notion that banning race discrimination
amounts to race discrimination. The Michigan amendment didn’t say
whites would enjoy preferential treatment and blacks would not. It
said neither would. Instead, admissions would be color-blind. As a
lower court judge wrote in this case, “A state does not deny equal
treatment by mandating it.”

Not every racial minority benefits from race-conscious
admissions. When California abolished them, the number of
Asian-Americans on state university campuses didn’t fall—it rose.
Setting a floor for African-Americans and Latinos put a ceiling on
those of Chinese, Indian, Korean and Pakistani ancestry.

Racial “diversity” can be misleading. After the end of
affirmative action in the California state university system,
schools accepted more poor students than before. The kids of black
doctors lost an edge. The kids of black janitors didn’t.

The other problem with the critics’ argument is that it implies
there is something wrong with democracy—which, after all, is built
upon majority rule. That’s supposed to be a virtue: consent of the
governed and all that.

For racial minorities, ballot initiatives have the advantage of
spurring broad public debate, taking decisions out of closed rooms
along the halls of power. The referendum process gives racial
minorities the chance to confront the arguments of their opponents
openly and build coalitions to prevail. Genuine racism does not
fare well when forced to defend itself.

The fact that a group is a minority does not actually mean it
will lose. A new Pew Research Center poll shows that 2 out of 3
Americans—and a majority of whites—support university affirmative
action efforts.

Colorado is whiter than the nation as a whole, but in 2008,
voters there turned down a ban on affirmative action. In 2003,
Californians rejected a measure to prevent race-conscious policies
by barring governments “from classifying any person by race,
ethnicity, color, or national origin.”

Justice Stephen Breyer, part of the court’s liberal wing, noted
that the Michigan measure took power away from unelected university
officials and gave it to ordinary people. To invalidate the
amendment, he said, would violate the constitutional principle that
“favors decisionmaking through the democratic process. Just as this
principle strongly supports the right of the people, or their
elected representatives, to adopt race-conscious policies for
reasons of inclusion, so it must give them the right to vote not to
do so.”

Democracy is not a perfect way to resolve complex policy issues
that implicate competing and deeply held beliefs on every side. But
it will do until a perfect way comes along.

Source: reason.com/archives/2014/04/24/democracy-and-affirmative-action


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/democracy-and-affirmative-action/

Apr 24

California Officials Dread Rail Project Trial


By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO — Those readers who are familiar with Judge
Gideon Tucker’s words that “No man’s life, liberty, or property are
safe while the legislature is in session,” might chuckle that two
good-news-for-taxpayers stories came out of Sacramento last week.
They came, coincidentally, as legislators had left town to enjoy
their spring break.

The first came from the Brown administration, which announced
its support
for a revised rainy-day fund ballot measure
that would set
aside surpluses in boom years and use them to soften the blow
during downturns. If the Brown plan is approved, the state will
have new sources of cash that can be used to pay down debts and

The second came from a California appeals court
. It rejected a
motion by the California High Speed Rail Authority to overturn a
decision that slows its $68-billion rail plan. The ruling has set the stage for
something state officials have long been dreading
: a trial
about whether the current rail project complies with the legal
promises in the initiative that created it.

The two issues are related in a broad sense. The governor is
looking for funds that could, in part, make a dent in the state’s
long-term liabilities, but he has championed this new rail idea
that will ramp up debt spending. Perhaps the courts will save the
governor from himself.

Experts at a state Senate hearing
late last month argued
that the current rail price tag is far below its likely cost – not
surprising, given the cost overruns that are typical on virtually
every major infrastructure project built anywhere. Critics wonder
whether a new round of debt spending is wise before the state has
gotten its last rounds under control.

In 2008, voters gave the OK for the state to spend nearly $10
billion in bonds to finance the initial construction of a rail
system that promised to take riders from Los Angeles to San
Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes. But they approved a carefully
drafted initiative that included a host of taxpayer protections,
which are now the subject of the litigation. Even the father of the
rail project, former state Sen.
Quentin Kopp
, has argued to the court that the current plan
doesn’t resemble the one voters approved.

Previously, Sacramento
Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny
barred the state from
spending the $10 billion until it provided a financial plan (rather
than “theoretical possibilities”) that properly
identified income streams
for the rail plan’s initial
segment. Last week, the court rejected the authority’s attempt to
toss out a portion of the decision dealing with other promises made
in 1A.

“Despite the fundamental promise of Proposition
to provide a genuine high speed rail system for this
state, the authority completely changed that goal by adopting a
blended system,” argues the
lawsuit by Kings County
and two county residents. The
“blended” approach would mean that trains would, in some places,
share routes with slower commuter trains – making it highly
unlikely that the trains could comply with the promised trip

The initiative also assured voters that the system would not
need an operating subsidy. The lawsuit (and most observers)
contends that it will need such subsidies and argues that the
authority’s “wildly exaggerated figures on costs, ridership, train
speed … demonstrate a credibility problem that taints the entire
project.” It will be useful to examine the project’s credibility in

So far, the courts are siding with the rail line’s Kings County
critics. Its legislative supporters have discussed plans to use
the fees
generated from the state’s cap-and-trade system to provide a
dedicated funding stream
for the rail line and other
“green” projects.

In her legal brief, Attorney General Kamala Harris argued, “The
trial court lost sight of the purpose of the Bond Act, which is to
build a high-speed-rail system that will foster the future
prosperity of the State. The Bond Act must be reasonably
interpreted to achieve that purpose.” She said the court has
imposed a “straitjacket.”

But is the specific, legal language in a voter-approved
initiative a binding law
or a mere suggestion
? If the courts agree with Harris, then the
legislature and state agencies will have much more latitude to use
taxpayer funds in a way that even Tucker might not have

Source: reason.com/archives/2014/04/24/california-officials-dread-rail-project


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/california-officials-dread-rail-project-trial/

Apr 24

Gay Marriage Book Aims to Give Small Group of Connected Elites Victory for the War


By Scott Shackford

History is written by the winners, but apparently only certain winners.

The saying goes, “Victory has a
thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” But the Hollywood
version of a victory doesn’t have room for a thousand fathers, does
it? Won’t somebody think of the screenwriters, not to mention
casting directors? Within the gay community, a just-released book
has caused some fairly loud fractures by apparently reducing the
entire work and battle for gay marriage recognition to a handful of
elite people in positions of power and acting as though the
struggles didn’t begin until 2008, making a potential movie or
documentary narrative nice and pat.

The book, Forcing the Spring, by Pulitzer Prize-winning
New York Times reporter Jo Becker, was released on
Tuesday, and the response from those who know the history of the
gay marriage movement has been loudly negative. Major names in the
gay community like
Andrew Sullivan
Dan Savage
, and
Michelangelo Signorile
have blasted the book for whitewashing
the lengthy history of activism for gay marriage recognition that
goes back decades, not just years. Journalists
Chris Geidner
Lisa Keen
, both of whom have lengthy histories writing about
the gay marriage movement, have documented many of the problems
with the book. Current
Amazon reviews
are not kind.

The book focuses mostly on the battle to strike down
California’s Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment that
outlawed gay marriage recognition. Opponents of Proposition 8
ultimately succeeded, but because the Supreme Court ultimately
determined that the federal government had no authority to rule on
the matter because backers of the initiative lacked standing, the
win does not extend beyond California. It’s the Windsor
ruling, the Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the
federal Defense of Marriage Act, that’s being invoked now to take
down laws against gay marriage recognition in other states. Thus,
trying to make the Prop. 8 fight central to the narrative creates a
situation where those who were involved in this one battle are
elevated over the many, many other people involved in the fight.
Geidner notes at BuzzFeed in his analysis:

The book appears to have been carefully, but narrowly,
fact-checked. It excels in covering the actual case, however,
whether it’s the 2010 trial in San Francisco, the four plaintiffs
and their families, or any of the case-specific details. Becker
fastidiously details every aspect of the preparation, trial, and
appeals that the lawsuit took on its four-year path, providing
information and insights never before published. She marshals the
access she received from the Prop 8 case team and plaintiffs to
provide a comprehensive and compelling narrative of an important
piece of the marriage equality story in this country.

But Becker’s reliance on the [American Foundation for Equal
Rights] AFER (and, later, [Human Rights Campaign] HRC)
team—primarily lawyers [Ted] Olson and [David] Boies, staffers
[Chad] Griffin and Adam Umhoefer, and consultants [Hilary] Rosen
and Ken Mehlman—is ultimately the book’s downfall. Almost any
contextualizing of the case is done by people with a vested and
open interest in advancing the narrative that Griffin, with Olson’s
help, rescued a cause that Becker claims “had largely languished in

Claiming that the gay marriage cause “had largely languished in
obscurity” prior to Prop. 8 is just a crazy thing to say. Even if
Becker looks only at California, Proposition 8, an amendment to the
state’s constitution, itself only existed because the California
Supreme Court struck down a previous ban created by a previous
initiative (Proposition
) as unconstitutional on the state level.

I’ve just picked up the book myself and am planning my own
review. Because some of the critics of the book are so heavily
involved in gay marriage debate and activism, I did wonder if there
weren’t some sour grapes from those the book failed to acknowledge.
But here’s how the book opens:

This is how a revolution begins.

It begins when someone grows tired of standing idly by, waiting
for history’s arc to bend toward justice, and instead decides to
give it a swift shove. It begins when a black seamstress named Rosa
Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in the
segregated South. And in this story, it begins with a handsome,
bespectacled thirty-five-year-old political consultant named Chad
Griffin, in a spacious suite at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San
Francisco on election night 2008.

This is just absurd. You don’t have to be a major gay marriage
activist or an insider to realize how wrong this opening is. You
don’t even need to be gay. You just need to have paid attention.
But it makes for a great opening establishing scene for a movie,
right? Just think of the casting opportunities for a handsome,
bespectacled 35-year-old political consultant! I vote for Ryan

Source: reason.com/blog/2014/04/24/gay-marriage-book-aims-to-give-small-gro


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/gay-marriage-book-aims-to-give-small-group-of-connected-elites-victory-for-the-war/

Apr 24

Finally catching up - Could the Black Death actually have been an Ebola-like virus?


Could the Black Death Actually Have Been an Ebola-like Virus?
Things seem to be looking up for rats. After more than 500 years, rats may be off the hook for causing the Black Death, the horrible plague that claimed up to 60% of the European population. In virtually every textbook the Bubonic Plague, which is spread by flea-ridden rats, is named as the culprit behind the chaos. But mounting evidence suggests that an Ebola-like virus was the actual cause of the Black Death and the sporadic outbreaks that occurred in the following 300 years.

At the forefront of this theory are two researchers from the University of Liverpool, Dr. Christopher Duncan and Dr. Susan Scott. Let’s look at six small pieces of this puzzle.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277939-Finally-catching-up-Could-the-Black-Death-actually-have-been-an-Ebola-like-virus


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/finally-catching-up-could-the-black-death-actually-have-been-an-ebola-like-virus/

Apr 24

FBI Informant Directed Hack Attacks on Iran, Syria and Pakistan


By kurtnimmoadmin
Kurt Nimmo | “FBI took advantage of hackers who wanted to help support the Syrian people against the Assad regime.”

Source: www.infowars.com/fbi-informant-directed-hack-attacks-on-iran-syria-and-pakistan/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/fbi-informant-directed-hack-attacks-on-iran-syria-and-pakistan/

Apr 24

Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Putin warns of consequences


Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of “consequences” if Kiev used the army against its own people.

Interior Ministry forces backed by the army removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled town of Slaviansk, the ministry said in a statement.

“During the armed clash up to five terrorists were eliminated,” it said, adding that one person had been wounded on the side of government forces.

Under an international accord signed in Geneva last week, illegal armed groups, including the rebels occupying about a dozen public buildings in the largely Russian-speaking east, are supposed to disarm and go home.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277940-Ukraine-forces-kill-up-to-five-rebels-Putin-warns-of-consequences


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/ukraine-forces-kill-up-to-five-rebels-putin-warns-of-consequences/

Apr 24

Putin: The Internet Is A ‘CIA Project,’ Russia Needs Greater Control


By Adan
CBS DC | He also made comments about Russia’s biggest search engine Yandex, sending the company’s shares plummeting.

Source: www.infowars.com/putin-the-internet-is-a-cia-project-russia-needs-greater-control/


Permanent link to this article: http://rickmick.com/putin-the-internet-is-a-cia-project-russia-needs-greater-control/

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