These seven simple commonsense steps are adapted from a post I published on my blog after the horrific Newtown massacre. Our hearts ache, but we are not completely helpless or hopeless in the face of evil and the unknown. And we are not alone. This Christmas, cherish life, keep faith, and practice self-empowerment. 7. Teach our kids about the acts of heroes in times of crisis. Tell them about Newtown teacher Vicki Soto’s self-sacrifice and bravery. Tell them about Clackamas-mall shopper Nick Meli, a concealed-carry-permit holder whose quick action may have prevented additional
The holidays are traditionally a time where we renew our optimism about the future. Gatherings with friends and family, festive meals and sparkling decorations are all powerful elixirs to the wear-and-tear of daily life. A new ABC/WaPo poll, however, shows that this year the holiday spirit is powerless to boost the public´s mood. Almost half of Americans, in fact, are fearful about their own lives in the new year. 44% of Americans report they are fearful about what the new year holds in store for their lives. It's the highest recording ever in the poll. At the start of the decade, just 16% of
Beirut - The general who heads Syria´s military police has defected and joined the uprising against President Bashar Assad´s regime, one of the highest walkouts by a serving security chief during the country´s 21-month uprising, a pan Arab TV station has reported. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal appeared in a video aired on Al Arabiya TV late Tuesday saying he is joining "the people´s revolution." Al-Shallal´s defection comes as military pressure builds on the regime, with government bases falling to rebel assault near the capital Damascus and elsewhere across the country.
The U.S. government will hit the $16.4 trillion federal debt limit on Monday and turn to “extraordinary measures” to continue borrowing, the Treasury Department said Wednesday, beginning a countdown until Congress either passes legislation to allow for more borrowing or the government defaults on its debt. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to senior lawmakers that the Treasury would begin to undertake “extraordinary measures” in order to forestall default. Geithner said the measures could create about $200 billion in additional funding available to the government – giving
Michigan’s Thaddeus McCotter is many things — guitar player, chain smoker, ill-fated presidential candidate, and Led Zeppelin quoter — but he is not an expert at hiring competent people. This year, his staff failed to collect the requisite signatures to put his name on the Republican-primary ballot to keep his House seat. And a race that should have been over before it started got really, really weird. When the dust settled, only one name was left on the primary ballot: that of Kerry Bentivolio, a Santa Claus impersonator and former schoolteacher who’s served in three wars and owns six
Children of conservative religious backgrounds who spend a lifetime rebelling against their parents often replicate the “fundamentalism” of their youth. Except their mutated version is often angrier, more intolerant, and unmitigated by the sense of divine grace that permeates even the most zealous of Christian “fundamentalists.” Franky Schaeffer, hyper resentful son of the late great evangelical thinker Francis Schaeffer, is an icon of this pathology. But in the wake of the horrible Connecticut killings, he has outdone even the most foaming at the mouth caricature of himself.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters accuse us [the opposition] of laying in wait to pounce on President Morsi and of rushing to judge him without giving him a chance to perform his duties. Their main argument is that we began opposing the president on the first day of his tenure without giving him enough time, but this reasoning is false because any president can be criticised on the first day of office based on his platform. So, what if the elected president doesn’t actually have what amounts to a platform? Surely this wouldn’t take us five months to discover.
New York - An ailing, endangered finback whale has been found washed ashore in a coastal enclave of Queens that was hard hit by superstorm Sandy. Emergency workers and marine biologists responded to a report of a 60-foot whale that was stranded on the bay side of the Rockaways. The call came around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday. Biologist Mendy Garron says it´s unclear what caused the whale to beach itself, but its chances of survival appear slim. She says the whale isn´t moving around much and "looks very compromised." Garron says biologists are waiting for the tides to subside to determine
Washington - President Obama and members of the Senate are set to return to Washington on Thursday to make a last-ditch effort at a deal to avert more than a half-trillion dollars in automatic tax increases and spending cuts just five days before they start kicking in. Even with so much at stake, there appeared to be little sense of urgency. Senate aides say most senators are not likely to be back on Capitol Hill before Thursday evening. And while the House may technically be in session, Republican leaders told members last week they would be given a 48-hour notice before they should return,
NEW YORK- Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington. The world´s biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington, D.C. area to scribble the words "Come Together" on cups for drink orders on Thursday and Friday. CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the "fiscal cliff." (Snip) While companies generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, the plea to "Come Together" is a sentiment unlikely to cause controversy.
In October we showed you this video, of a Norwegian kicker named Havard Rugland and his amazing kicking skills. The compilation exploded across the Internet and currently has nearly one million views. Even some NFL scouts took notice. And, to say the least, they were impressed. So the scouts asked kicking coach and former NFLer Michael Husted to work with Rugland in San Diego. After some training Rugland, who has never played American football, recently had a tryout with the New York Jets. "It went well," Rugland told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. "They tested me on field goals and kickoffs. Source name corrected by staff.
NBC News asked Washington D.C. police for a high-capacity magazine clip to use on Meet the Press, but was denied, according to a report by Washington Post. The information comes amid an investigation into host David Gregory‘s use of a 30-round magazine on the show. “It’s not clear where the prop used during the show was obtained, or who obtained it,” the report noted. The Post alludes emails from the police department posted online: After the show, people contacted D.C. police asking whether they would charge Gregory with a crime. A response from the department’s customer service section
The joint naval and air force base in Hawaii where President Obama and the First Family landed to begin their Christmas vacation was also the site of a town hall meeting in March at which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff explained to service members the “fiscal realities” facing the U.S. military and discussed the looming threat of sequestration. President Obama and his family landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam December 22 to begin their Christmas vacation. The Obamas rented private homes for their vacation on Kailua Beach on the island of Oahu.
California senator Dianne Feinstein said in a press conference last week that President Clinton may be involved in helping Senate Democrats draft the gun-control legislation they plan to bring to the floor in the coming month. “Yesterday, President Clinton called and said if there’s anything he can do to help, he will do it,” she said. Ironically, it was Clinton who, in 1998, spearheaded a program akin to the school safety initiative proposed by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre on Friday, which was widely criticized by Democrats, that would put armed guards in schools across the country.
Bear with me on this one. We are all flawed individuals. We´re all sinners. So let´s get that part out of the way. But there should still exist a means by which the measure of a man can be taken, whether or not he is someone you´d want to hang with, someone you´d want your children to look up to, someone you´d want your daughter or niece to marry. A few of them come to mind quickly.
Amid Hispanic calls for immigration leniency, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is scrapping a program that allowed specially trained state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law. On Dec. 21, the Friday before Christmas, ICE announced that it has decided "not to renew any of its agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies that operate task forces under the 287(g) program." ICE said it has concluded that "other enforcement programs, including Secure Communities, are a more efficient use of resources for focusing on priority cases."
President Obama will return to Washington from Hawaii Thursday while First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters plan to continue their vacation, adding at least $100,000 and probably more than $200,000 to taxpayer costs for the excursion. Instead of accompanying her husband home on Air Force One, Mrs. Obama will fly on her own Air Force jet at a later date and require security and staff to remain in place in Hawaii for the length of her stay, which reportedly could extend until January 6.
MSNBC personality Toure, currently a co-host of the cable network’s mid-day chat show “The Cycle,” declared on his blog Monday that it’s morally acceptable for slaves to kill their owners. Toure made the declaration on toure.com, in a review of Quentin Tarantino’s new slavery-themed action film “Django Unchained.” “For the descendants of slaves, who live in a world still tangibly doused in slavery’s residue, watching Django kill his oppressors could possibly feel cathartic. If murder can ever be morally justified by the presence of clear, undiluted,
Nearly a third of children with food allergies are bullied, according to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. That´s a lot of kids across a nation where nearly eight percent of children are allergic to foods like peanuts, tree-nuts, milk, eggs, and shellfish. The suffering is often done in silence. Nearly half of parents surveyed said they were unaware of the bullying, though both the bullied children and their parents reported experiencing higher stress levels and lower quality of life. "Child and Parental Reports of Bullying in a Consecutive Sample of Children with Food Allergy,"
When Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and certain Democrats in the House of Representatives, promise to push for more gun control in January 2013, they overlook four important words: "shall not be infringed." These words form an integral phrase in the 2nd Amendment, and speak to our Founders´ intent that the U.S. government not "infringe" on the peoples´ God-given right to keep and bear arms. Consider the text of the 2nd Amendment: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a
Trenton — Police Director Ralph Rivera Jr. made his first public comments on the disbanding of the police department’s street crime units on Friday, defending the move as part of his ongoing realignment and recalibration of the department. The change in strategy, which he issued Dec. 16, has drawn strong criticism from a city police union, whose president argued that by shifting detectives to patrol assignments it will reduce the department’s effectiveness and it improperly cut officers´ pay. Rivera’s comments on the elimination of the Tactical Anti-Crime (TAC) units came at a press conference to announced an arrest in the
A report on climate change completed for NJ Transit months before superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey urged the agency to begin planning for higher storm surges that could envelop rail yards, destroy track beds and corrode switches, gates and signals. The Oct. 29 storm caused more than $400 million in damage to the agency’s system. The $45,990 study included a map that shows the Kearny and Hoboken rail yards sit squarely in “storm surge areas.” Sandy floodwaters inundated both yards, swamping locomotives and rail cars — including 84 new multilevel passenger cars — and damaging spare parts. In those two yards, damage
The tyranny is in full swing in Egypt, where the government has now banned anyone wanting to leave the country from taking more than $10,000 with them. This is the same measure used by the government of Iran to prevent emigration, or to confiscate the cash of those who do wish to emigrate. The purpose of the measure is supposedly to prevent deflation, with Egyptians running to withdraw their cash and get out of the Muslim Brotherhood-run quasi-dictatorship. Since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian central bank has poured $20 billion in foreign reserves into the pound
Newark — Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, gave $100 million to the Newark public schools in hopes of encouraging contributions as small as $5 and $10 from everyday people, but that never happened. The City of Newark released dozens of emails to The Star-Ledger late on Christmas Eve to comply with a Superior Court order. Among the behind-the-scenes details never disclosed, the emails showed the Newark philanthropist Ray Chambers wanted to arrange a million-dollar donation, but a top aide to Mayor Cory Booker dismissed it as too small. Indeed, the heavily redacted emails provide a window
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), hit hard by the collapse of the housing bubble, is still making risky loans on the taxpayers´ dime, and may need a bailout in 2013. An exhaustive study of the subject by the American Enterprise Institute´s Edward Pinto reveals some shocking statistics: An estimated 40 percent of the FHA’s business consists of loans with either one or two subprime attributes—a FICO score below 660 or a debt ratio greater than or equal to 50 percent (based on loans insured during FY 2012). The FHA’s underwriting policies encourage low- and moderate-income families