Saturday, June 30, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Washington, DC AP reported, today -- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the vast majority of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance.
The 5-4 decision means the huge overhaul, still taking effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.
The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call "Obamacare."
Stocks of hospital companies rose sharply, and insurance companies fell immediately after the decision was announced that Americans must carry health insurance or pay a penalty.
Breaking with the court's other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.
The justices rejected two of the administration's three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. "Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.
The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension.
The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.
Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
"The act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding," the dissenters said in a joint statement.
Kennedy summarized the dissent in court. "In our view, the act before us is invalid in its entirety," he said.
The legislation passed Congress in early 2010 after a monumental struggle in which all Republicans voted against it. House Republicans announced in advance of the ruling they would vote to wipe out whatever was left standing by the justices, and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has joined in calls for its complete repeal.
After the ruling, Republican campaign strategists said Romney will use it to continue campaigning against "Obamacare" and attacking the president's signature health care program as a tax increase.
"Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause," said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. "This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history."
Democrats said Romney, who backed an individual health insurance mandate when he was Massachusetts governor, will have a hard time exploiting the ruling.
"Mitt Romney is the intellectual godfather of Obamacare," said Democratic consultant Jim Manley. "The bigger issue is the rising cost of health care, and this bill is designed to deal with it."
Justice Ginsburg said the court should have upheld the entire law as written without forcing any changes in the Medicaid provision. She said Congress' constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce supports the individual mandate. She warned that the legal reasoning, even though the law was upheld, could cause trouble in future cases.
"So in the end, the Affordable Health Care Act survives largely unscathed. But the court's commerce clause and spending clause jurisprudence has been set awry. My expectation is that the setbacks will be temporary blips, not permanent obstructions," Ginsburg said in a statement she, too, read from the bench.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -
Kraft Foods recently posted a picture of a Gay Pride Oreo on its Facebook page.
It shows an Oreo stuffed with rainbow-colored layers of frosting, with the caption "Proudly Support Love."
Since Monday night, nearly 200,000 people have liked the post, 60,000 have shared it, and 30,000 have commented on it.
Most of the comments were positive, but some people threatened to boycott Oreo because of the post.
The rainbow-colored cookie will not be sold in stores.
It was just created for an advertising campaign during Gay Pride month.
Kraft said it has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness.
Monday, June 25, 2012
|Navy official Charles Berry was removed because of what he did after a sailor reported an attempted rape.|
The Associated Press reported today - Navy official Charles Berry was removed from his post aboard the U.S.S. Florida because he failed to take action against gay hazing, according to a recently-released military report.
Before being reassigned in the spring, Berry served as Master Chief Machinist's Mate and Chief of Boat aboard the Navy nuclear submarine. Berry was removed from the ship because he failed to take action against the hazing of a sailor, who was harassed after he reported an attempted rape. The sailor reported that a man held him at knifepoint at the port of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Other sailors on the U.S.S. Florida discovered the incident and hounded the sailor viciously, hurling gay slurs and jokes at him.
"Among other things, he was called a derogatory term for a gay person and referred to as 'Brokeback,'" the Associated Press reports, "a reference to the gay-themed movie Brokeback Mountain. In addition, someone posted a drawing of a stick figure being sexually assaulted." The aggrieved sailor also endured taunting when sailors underwent training for the end of "don't ask, don't tell."
According to the report, the U.S.S. Florida has a culture of antigay harassment and hazing. Berry, who wasn't accused of hazing but simply not doing anything about it, was reassigned, while the accused sailors were reprimanded, and counseling and training was ordered for all on the ship.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis released the following statement:
"At SLDN, we are disappointed by what happened aboard the USS Florida, but it appears that this command took swift and appropriate action once the incidents were disclosed . This unfortunate and unprofessional conduct underscores that we must continue to be vigilant as implementation continues, by and large, without major challenges."
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
thegiro.com reports - It’s hard to imagine having to say goodbye to a 7-year-old, but that is exactly what doctors told Leila Neve, 31, to do as her daughter, Charlotte, lay comatose in a UK hospital. Charlotte suffered from a brain hemorrhage in her sleep on April 13th. She was rushed to their local hospital where she underwent two surgeries, according to Spinner.com, and suffered from a series of strokes. After being in a coma for a week, doctors recommended that the family start saying their goodbyes.
Charlotte’s mother, Leila, climbed into her daughter’s hospital bed to say goodbye, as Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, her daughter’s favorite song, came on the radio. Leila started to sing the song to her daughter, and Charlotte started smiling. Her mother and nurses were in disbelief.
Australian Women’s Weekly reported Leila’s initial response: “Charlotte started smiling and I couldn’t believe it. It was the first time she had reacted to anything since the hemorrhage. The nurses were astounded and told me to keep singing, and she smiled again.”
Just a few days after smiling, Charlotte began talking and learning to walk again. Charlotte returned to school and dance class just two months after the initial incident, although she now suffers from memory loss and partial blindness, reports Ace Showbiz. Her recovery is considered a miracle.
Food for thought:
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
AP reports: Los Angeles, CA (June 17, 2012) -- Rodney King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers was the touchstone for one of the most destructive race riots in the nation's history, died Sunday. He was 47.
King's fiancÃ© called 911 at 5:25 a.m. to report she found him at the bottom of the swimming pool at their home in Rialto, Calif., police Lt. Dean Hardin.
Officers arrived to find King unresponsive in the water, Hardin said. He was transported to Arrowhead Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.
There were no signs of foul play, Hardin said. He was transported to Arrowhead Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.
There were no signs of foul play, Hardin said. The San Bernardino County coroner will perform an autopsy within 48 hours.
The 1992 riots, which were set off by the acquittals of the officers who beat King, lasted three days and left 55 people dead, more than 2,000 injured and swaths of Los Angeles on fire. At the height of the violence, King pleaded on television: "Can we all get along?"
King was stopped for speeding on a darkened street on March 3, 1991. Four Los Angeles police officers hit him more than 50 times with their batons, kicked him and shot him with stun guns.
A man who had quietly stepped outside his home to observe the commotion videotaped most of it and turned a copy over to a TV station. It was played over and over for the following year, inflaming racial tensions across the country.
It seemed that the videotape would be the key evidence to a guilty verdict against the officers, whose trial was moved to the predominantly white suburb of Simi Valley, Calif. Instead, on April 29, 1992, a jury with no black members acquitted three of the officers; a mistrial was declared for a fourth.
Violence erupted immediately, starting in South Los Angeles.
Police, seemingly caught off-guard, were quickly outnumbered by rioters and retreated. As the uprising spread to the city's Koreatown area, shop owners armed themselves and engaged in running gun battles with looters.
During the riots, a white truck driver named Reginald Denny was pulled by several black men from his cab and beaten almost to death. He required surgery to repair his shattered skull, reset his jaw and put one eye back into its socket.
The police chief, Daryl Gates, came under intense criticism from city officials who said officers were slow to respond to the riots. He was forced to retire. Gates died of cancer in 2010.
In the two decades after he became the central figure in the riots, King was arrested several times, mostly for alcohol-related crimes. He later became a record company executive and a reality TV star, appearing on shows such as "Celebrity Rehab."
In an interview earlier this year with The Associated Press, King said he was a happy man.
"America's been good to me after I paid the price and stayed alive through it all," he says. "This part of my life is the easy part now.
Coming Full Circle
(Dedicated to the memory of my father Richard)
Syneeda Penland ©2012
Syneeda Penland ©2012
Does death immortally bond us,
or does our love fade away?
Will thoughts of you always be with us,
with each passing day?
Death is a strange thing.
Oftentimes you don't know how to feel,
a feeling of numbness is first felt,
while accepting the truth
everything around you seems surreal.
What’s left are the memories of your smile,
the words that you have spoken,
the many ways you touched our hearts,
your memories become a token.
Your generosity and your kindness
always showing that you care,
those who truly knew you
could count on you
to always be there.
No matter how you chose to live your life,
experiencing many trials and tribulations,
you maintained your faith in God,
in the end,
receiving his affirmation.
Through your life’s journey,
finally “Coming Full Circle”,
you remained grounded in your beliefs.
With each passing word you spoke,
you never showed discern of disbelief.
It was your wish
we celebrate this occasion,
to always remember you
at your very best.
Now you say farewell, to all of us,
as we lay you down to rest.
I stand here today
to proudly accept the torch
of your legacy,
the memories of your kind spirit
and caring ways
will forever remain inside of me.
If I may speak on behalf of my siblings
as we proudly say:
“I am my Father’s Daughter!
“I am my Father's Son!”
it is your legacy,
We will continue to carry on.
We love you,
and may you Rest in Peace!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Origins of Affirmative Action
by Marquita Sykes
Affirmative action, the set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, is under attack.
- Originally, civil rights programs were enacted to help African Americans become full citizens of the United States. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution made slavery illegal; the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection under the law; the Fifteenth Amendment forbids racial discrimination in access to voting. The 1866 Civil Rights Act guarantees every citizen "the same right to make and enforce contracts ... as is enjoyed by white citizens ... "
- In 1896, the Supreme Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson upheld a "separate, but equal" doctrine that proved to be anything but equal for African Americans. The decision marked the end of the post-Civil War reconstruction era as Jim Crow laws spread across the South.
- In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 which outlawed segregationist hiring policies by defense-related industries which held federal contracts. Roosevelt's signing of this order was a direct result of efforts by Black trade union leader, A. Philip Randolph.
- During 1953 President Harry S. Truman's Committee on Government Contract Compliance urged the Bureau of Employment Security "to act positively and affirmatively to implement the policy of nondiscrimination . . . ."
- The 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson.
- The actual phrase "affirmative action" was first used in President John F. Kennedy's 1961 Executive Order 10925 which requires federal contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." The same language was later used in Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Executive Order 11246.
- In 1967, Johnson expanded the Executive Order to include affirmative action requirements to benefit women.
- Other equal protection laws passed to make discrimination illegal were the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title II and VII of which forbid racial discrimination in "public accommodations" and race and sex discrimination in employment, respectively; and the1965 Voting Rights Act adopted after Congress found "that racial discrimination in voting was an insidious and pervasive evil which had been perpetuated in certain parts of the country through unremitting and ingenious defiance of the Constitution."
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
"Investigation" Report details CO’s affair with captain’s wife
| Capt. Robert Marin confessed to having an affair with another captain's wife |
and was relieved from his position as cruiser Cowpens' commanding officer.
Navy Times article recently reported:
Monday, June 11, 2012
(CNN) Reports -- A Texas father caught a man sexually assaulting his 4-year-old daughter and punched him in the head repeatedly, killing him, authorities said.
The father was casually acquainted with the alleged abuser, said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.
Neither has been publicly identified.
The girl was left inside the family's house during the social gathering, while other members of her family were tending to horses, the sheriff said.
The alleged abuser was known for his horse-grooming abilities, Harmon said.
The father returned to the house, caught the man in the act, and stopped him by striking him in the head several times, Harmon said.
The man was pronounced dead on the scene, while the daughter was taken to a local hospital in Victoria, Texas, for examinations before being released.
The incident took place Saturday.
Harmon described the girl as "OK besides the obvious mental trauma."
Asked whether they would press charges against the father, the sheriff responded, "You have a right to defend your daughter. He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him."
Harmon described the dad as "very remorseful," adding that he didn't know the man was going to die.
Authorities were withholding the deceased man's name while they notified next of kin. Officials did not know immediately if he has a prior criminal history.
Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons, who is coordinating information in the case including autopsy results, said Monday that a preliminary autopsy report indicated the victim "died from blunt-force head and neck injuries."
"It will take six weeks to get the full report back because they also did a toxicology report," Lyons said.