"The Global Consciousness Project, also known as the EGG Project, is an international multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists, engineers, artists and others continuously collecting data from a global network of physical random number generators located in 65 host sites worldwide. The archive contains over 10 years of random data in parallel sequences of synchronized 200-bit trials every second."
Archive for the ‘- Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated’ Category
This belongs… somewhere I do not know. But not in the sense that you don’t know where, but that you don’t KNOW where – because you’ve never experienced it. That is to say, not knowledge itself, but rather comprehension.
Retired state trooper Capt. Mark Whitaker ran the Protective Services Division and Capitol Police in the Alabama Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) until this year. This is the DPS division responsible for guarding and driving Governor Robert Bentley. Wendell Ray Lewis was a sergeant under his command.
While running his division, Whitaker learned that Lewis’ overtime pay was pre-approved by Bentley and never to be questioned. This was even true with regard to Lewis’ claimed entitlement to 24 hours of overtime for a single day. Prior to Lewis, Whitaker had never seen a trooper make a claim for or receive 24 hours of overtime pay for a single day.
On January 14, 2014, Whitaker was called into then-DPS Director Hugh McCall’s office where McCall told Whitaker that his entire division would be transferred to the newly created Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (“ALEA”). As a result of the transfer, Whitaker, a highly respected captain, would fall under the command and supervision of Lewis, who at that time was a sergeant. Unbelievably, Captain Whitaker would be reporting to Sgt. Lewis.
This order came directly from Governor Bentley.
This humiliating role reversal was the ultimate insult for Whitaker, a career officer who had climbed the ranks within DPS and earned his command position. According to published reports, Whitaker believes this demeaning and insulting personnel action – a captain reporting to a sergeant – occurred merely because he sought to question Lewis’ overtime pay in the months prior.
“This is what I get for doing my job,” Whitaker complained to McCall at the time. He retired soon after.
Whitaker is the second high-ranking trooper to retire over the Bentley-Lewis overtime pay scandal. In 2011, Major Marc McHenry, now retired, served as the DPS chief over Protective Services and the Capitol Police. Lewis also worked under McHenry.
When McHenry realized in 2011 that Lewis had accumulated a gigantic amount of overtime pay, he tried to put an end to Lewis’ financial windfall. At the time, troopers were not being paid for overtime. They were given time off instead.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 10, 2014
Pippa Abston, MD, PhD, is considered by many, to be the preeminent, board-certified general pediatric physician in the Tennessee Valley, and is author of the following commentary, written in response to a news item entitled “Ebola hasn’t surfaced in Alabama but state ready, Gov. Bentley says,” published October 08, 2014 at 9:03 AM, updated October 08, 2014 at 12:59 PM at http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/gov_robert_bentley_on_ebola_vi.html.
In his press conference, Governor Bentley said, “In the event that Ebola spreads to Alabama, we are ready and we are prepared to respond.”
Thursday, 9October2014, 6:18am
By Pippa Abston, MD, PhD
Alabama Governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, MD (a retired dermatologist) holds a Press Conference Wednesday, 08 October 2014 purporting to assert state readiness for the Ebola virus.
No, Dr. Bentley, we are in no way prepared.
First and most seriously, people lack insurance or have high co-pays/ deductibles, so they will delay going to the doctor or ER and expose others in the meantime.
Second, our public health infrastructure is underfunded and understaffed.
A couple of years ago I let the local HD (Health Department) know about a new viral syndrome I was seeing, which needed Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 8, 2014
This cute meme reminds me of the story of a somewhat uncouth, and slovenly church lady who was almost constantly inviting the pastor over for a meal.
Being aware of her less-than-hygienic life practices & household condition, he politely declined at every opportunity when invited.
One day, she confided in him that she had “turned over a new leaf,” and that she’d spent quite some time cleaning & tidying up, and that her household was spic and span, from top to bottom. Being completely wearied of her seemingly incessant requests, he reluctantly accepted, and hoped to find her household in somewhat better condition than he’d seen it years ago.
When the day finally arrived, not knowing what to expect, he approached the front door with a mixture of eager anticipation, and trepidation.
He had no sooner finished knocking on the door, than Sister Smith opened the door and cheerily greeted the pastor.
“Hello, Pastor Jones!,” she excitedly exclaimed. “I’m ~so~ very glad you came! Won’t you please come in?”
“Thank you, Sister Smith,” he said as he stepped over the threshold into the living room.
Glancing around, he was utterly amazed at what he saw.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The Department of Defense is a bloated organization, rife with fraud, waste and abuse.
Even then-Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Donald Rumsfeld remarked on Monday, September 10, 2001, that, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. … We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well.” ref: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430
More recently, on December 21, 2010, the Governmental Accountability Office wrote that they “cannot render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.”
In his capacity as Acting Comptroller of the United States, Gene Dodaro wrote that, “(1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that have prevented DOD’s financial statements from being auditable, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.”
Included in that scathing report of fiscal recklessness and laziness were “material weaknesses involving an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments, information security across government, and tax collection activities,” which were rife in “three major agencies DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor did not get clean opinions. Nineteen of 24 major agencies did get clean opinions on all their statements.”
No entrepreneur, accountant, fiscal analyst, businessman or Chief Financial Officer in their right mind would tolerate what has been allowed to happen with it. Consider the F-35 Lightning II aircraft as a case in point.
At a cost now exceeding $400,000,000,000 ($400 Billion – that’s very nearly 1/2 Trillion), it is by far, THE most costly program EVER to have emerged from the DoD. Among the numerous reasons why it is THE most expensive program ever, are Read the rest of this entry »
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – When an employee at Gino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge cut into an eggplant Monday, he found “GOD.”
Chef Jermarcus Brady couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “I saw a miraculous image formed by the seeds,” said Jermarcus Brady. “It spelled out the word God!” Chef Brady has many responsibilities, one being cutting, salting and sauteing eggplants.
Jemarcus Brady holding the “GOD” eggplant (Source: Jemarcus Brady)
“When you sliced into it, the pattern showed from the seeds that were forming in the inside the letters G-O-D as God,” said Brady. “I couldn’t think of anything. I just had to tell somebody to come look at it.”
Brady showed the eggplant to the owner of the restaurant and fellow coworkers and took photos, but he believed it was meant to be shared with everyone.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 4, 2014
SC Restaurant Owner Refuses To Serve Blacks, Cites Religious Beliefs
July 2, 2014
By Manny Schewitz
In South Carolina, a BBQ restaurant owner (Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ) claimed that he was within his rights to refuse service to blacks based on his religious beliefs. In the case brought before the Supreme Court, Maurice Bessinger stated that his religion required him to keep black people from eating in his restaurant, although he was perfectly OK with taking their money, so long as they ordered their food to-go.
The attorney representing the petitioners suing Piggie Park also addressed in court the “First Amendment religious privilege claim that petitioner asserted that his religion required him” to deny service to black customers.
“I’m just a fair man. I want to be known as a hard-working, Christian man that loves God and wants to further (God’s) work throughout the world as I have been doing throughout the last 25 years.” (Source)
And now for you who actually took the time to read the story instead of basing your outrage solely off a headline before sharing with an ALL CAPS blurb of “SEE? I TOLD YOU THE SOUTH WAS FULL OF RACISTS!!!”, this case was Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Hobby Lobby’s Hypocrisy: The Company’s Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers
When Hobby Lobby filed its case against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, its retirement plan had more than $73 million invested in funds with stakes in contraception makers.
—Molly Redden on Tue. April 1, 2014 6:00 AM PDT
Hobby Lobby supporters pray to end abortion outside the US Supreme Court. Jay Mallin/ZUMA
When Obamacare compelled businesses to include emergency contraception in employee health care plans, Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores, fought the law all the way to the Supreme Court. The Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the company’s owners argued, forced them to violate their religious beliefs. But while it was suing the government, Hobby Lobby spent millions of dollars on an employee retirement plan that invested in the manufacturers of the same contraceptive products the firm’s owners cite in their lawsuit.
Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).
Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan have stock holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby’s health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.
We’re good with Sharia Law as long as it’s for business purposes.
Think about that next time someone’s favorite religious nut job goes to court.
Because of extremist, right-wing religious radicals, women are again being relegated to second class citizens, WITHOUT full rights and being further victimized by having access denied to birth control/oral contraceptives – i.e., Ortho Novum 777, progesterone, estrogens, etc. – NOT abortion.
Those medications also treat other diseases exclusive to women, including polycystic ovarian disease, endometriosis, amenorrhea/ dysmenorrhea, etc.
The question before the court was this:
“At issue here are regulations promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), which, as relevant here, requires specified employers’ group health plans to furnish “preventive care and screenings” for women without “any cost sharing requirements,” 42 U. S. C. §300gg–13(a)(4). Congress did not specify what types of preventive care must be covered; it authorized the Health Resources and Services Administration, a component of HHS, to decide.”
One’s private personal religious beliefs should never be on trial.
Yet now, because of extremist right-wing radicals, the door is now opened wide to mandate any employee of a “closely held” multi-national corporation, to FORCE them to adhere to THEIR religious beliefs… even when it jeopardizes their health.
Chris Arnade received his PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. He spent the next 20 years working as a trader on Wall Street. He left trading in 2012 to focus on photography. His “Faces of Addiction” series explores addiction in the south Bronx neighbourhood in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @Chris_arnade
As a college student, Chris Arnade picked Florida watermelons to pay for school. His daughter can’t do the same. Photograph: Alamy
When I entered Wall Street in 1993 with a PhD, I was an anomaly. One of my bosses was a failed baseball player, another a frustrated jazz musician. One of the guys running one of the most profitable businesses, in both my firm and all of Wall Street, was a former elevator repairman. Their college degrees – if they even had them – were from all sorts of schools, not simply the Ivy leagues.
By the time I left Wall Street a few years ago, the only people being hired were the “play it safe kids”. The ones with degrees from Princetons and Harvards. You know, the ones who had organized a soup kitchen in eighth grade (meaning, really their parents had) to load their resumes. The ones who had gone to the state science fair (meaning their parents or nannies had spent many weekends and nights helping with a science project). Few of these hires where rags-to-riches stories. Most had parents very much like those already working on Wall Street – wealthy and dedicated to getting their children whatever they needed, regardless of cost. Many were in fact the children of Wall Street parents.
It is not just Wall Street. Most of the best paying jobs now require a college degree, or post-college degree, and still rarely hire from state schools. They want Ivy schools, or similar. That feels safe.
This is a problem. Businesses have abdicated their primary role in hiring, handing it over to colleges, which have gladly accepted that role, and now charge a shit-load for it. Want a job kid? Pay $60,000 a year for four years. Then maybe pay for another two to get a MBA.
Yet, those best schools do not teach kids anything radically different from what the average colleges do. They do not prepare them better for the day-to-day work of Wall Street. Those finance skills are learned with experience and instinct after two years of training – on the job.
Rather, a prestigious education is a badge given to students who can follow the established rules, run through the maze, jump through hoops, color between the lines, and sit quietly. It shows that they really, really want to be a grown-up. For that, they pay $60,000 per year.
It has become a test. Are you part of the meritocracy?
It also has become a barrier of entry to professionalism – a very costly barrier of entry.
• Today, in Tennessee, over 100,000 students benefit annually, and Republican Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill written by Republican TN legislators which will pay for 2 years of community/junior/technical college education for every Tennessee high school graduate.
You can’t stop a shot in mid-air, so do not fire unless you know exactly where your shot is going and what it will strike. Never fire at a sound, a movement or a patch of color. A hunter in camouflage can easily be mistaken for a target by an impulsive shooter. Before you pull the trigger be absolutely sure of your target and what’s behind it. Make sure your shot has a backstop such as a hillside or dense material like sand.
Remember, bullets can travel great distances with tremendous velocity. Know how far your shot will go if you miss your target or the bullet ricochets.
No one can call a shot back. Once a gun fires, you have given up all control over where the shot will go or what it will strike. Don’t shoot unless you know exactly what your shot is going to strike. Be sure that your bullet will not injure anyone or anything beyond your target. Firing at a movement or a noise without being absolutely certain of what you are shooting at constitutes disregard for the safety of others. No target is so important that you cannot take the time before you pull the trigger to be absolutely certain of your target and where your shot will stop.
Be aware that even a 22 short bullet can travel over 11/4 miles and a high velocity cartridge, such as a 30-06, can send its bullet more than 3 miles. Shotgun pellets can travel 500 yards, and shotgun slugs have a range of over half a mile.
You should keep in mind how far a bullet will travel if it misses your intended target or ricochets in another direction.
Be sure of your target and what is in front of and beyond your target.
Before you pull the trigger you must properly identify game animals. Until your target is fully visible and in good light, do not even raise your scope to see it. Use binoculars! Know what is in front of and behind your target. Determine that you have a safe backstop or background. Since you do not know what is on the other side, never take a shot at any animals on top of ridges or hillsides. Know how far bullets, arrows and pellets can travel. Never shoot at flat, hard surfaces, such as water, rocks or steel because of ricochets.
Know your target and what is beyond. Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
Man thinks woman is groundhog in tall grass, shoots her
Kristin Anderson, WKYC
1852 EDT May 8, 2014
SUGAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, Stark County, Ohio –
On the <LEFT< is a rodent commonly known as a “groundhog,” or “woodchuck,” which scientific name is Marmota monax. It’s length approximates between 18-30 inches, walks on four legs, though it may stand when alerted, and weighs between 5-10 pounds. It is further characterized by dense, brown to gray colored fur. On the >RIGHT> is a human being, a young lady (now deceased, and about whom this story is written), which scientific name is homo sapiens. She obviously has long blonde colored hair, no fur, stands approximately 5 feet tall, weighs at least 100 pounds, and walks on two legs. Closely examine the two images, and tell me you could “mistake” one for the other.
A 22-year-old woman from New Philadelphia is dead after a farmer mistakenly shot her thinking she was a groundhog in the tall grass.
The shooting happened Monday in Sugar Creek Township in Stark County.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 9, 2014
If Alabamians can’t work because they’re sick, and can’t get care because they’re poor, they can’t be productive citizens.
Should we just throw ‘em to the wolves?
What will become of Alabama’s present, much less it’s future?
Alabama medical students argue for expansion of Medicaid
on May 07, 2014 at 9:39 AM, updated May 07, 2014 at 9:51 AM
By Swaroop Vitta and Davis Bradford
In medical school, our professors often show us maps of the U.S. illustrating where diseases strike hardest and where patient outcomes are the worst. Most of the time, Alabama is red, really red. Red is bad. So bad that over 600,000 Alabamians are uninsured and have limited to no access to health care.
Alabama is our home and this state’s spirit of compassion made us who we are. Every Sunday a small group of us with other medical students and volunteer physicians heads to a homeless shelter across from Regions Field that houses our free clinic. As we open our doors to many men and women that could not otherwise see a physician, we see first-hand what life without health insurance in Alabama is like.
Ms. C, a hardworking Alabamian, came into clinic with a terrible headache. It turned out that it was due to emergently high blood pressure. Ordinarily, this is easily treatable, but because Ms. C had gone without care for so long, she was now in danger of a stroke. Only the emergency room could provide relief. But for Ms. C, like so many others in Alabama, that relief was accompanied by a bill she could never pay with the risk of unsurmountable debt. Ms. C has since become our regular patient. While her health has improved, there is only so much a group of well-intentioned medical students can do.
Had Ms. C received medical care during the years before we saw her, her high blood pressure could have been controlled before it left her with permanent injuries. Despite treatment, the chronic issues from those years without care now leave her unable to work. And at 58 years of age, her options are running low.
“Shrout allegedly named and targeted five black students and a black teacher for serious harm in a series of bomb attacks, using improvised hand grenades that authorities say he was assembling in his military family’s home. A white classmate, who Shrout suspected of being gay, was also on the alleged hit list.
“The authorities were alerted to the journal and Shrout was arrested and charged with felony attempted assault. “By his own admission, he is a white supremacist, but we haven’t been able to link him to any specific organization or any organization to him,” Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told the Intelligence Report in an interview about Shrout and his plans, which Shrout had “obviously put a lot of thought into.”
“When sheriff’s investigators searched the teenager’s home they discovered a couple of dozen small tobacco cans and two larger metal containers marked “Fat Boy” and “Little Man.” The names are apparent references to the code names “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” used for the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States during World War II. All of the containers were filled with pellets and had holes drilled in them. Sheriff Taylor said other ingredients needed to complete the devices, such as black powder and fuses, were not found.Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
There is probably little sympathy for a man who is a convicted murderer & rapist.
And without commentary on the merits of the Death Penalty, however, I hasten to add this: If the state is going to kill a man as punishment for his crime, they should ensure the means of death is swift and efficient. For if it is not, it opens the state to liability and potential prosecution for torture.
Ours is a civil society, and the civility of it’s citizens in matters of criminal penalty ensures that society does not fundamentally break down into chaos and disorder.
Oklahoma Postpones Execution After First Is Botched
Clayton D. Lockett, left, died of a heart attack Tuesday after his execution was halted in Oklahoma. A second execution, that of Charles F. Warner, right, was then stayed. Credit Oklahoma Department of Correction
Oklahoma Department of Corrections Death Penalty
McALESTER, Okla. — What was supposed to be the first of two executions here Tuesday night was halted when the prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, began to twitch and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious and called out “man” and “something’s wrong,” according to witnesses.
The administering doctor intervened and discovered that “the line had blown,” said the director of corrections, Robert Patton, meaning that drugs were no longer flowing into his vein.
At 7:06 p.m., Mr. Patton said, Mr. Lockett died of a heart attack.
Mr. Patton said he had requested a stay of 14 days in the second execution scheduled for Tuesday night, of Charles F. Warner.
It was a chaotic and disastrous step in Oklahoma’s long effort to execute the two men, overcoming their objections that the state would not disclose the source of the drugs being used in a newly tried combination.
It did not appear that any of the drugs themselves failed, but rather the method of administration, but it resulted in what witnesses called an agonizing scene.
“This was botched, and it was difficult to watch,” said David Autry, one of Mr. Lockett’s lawyers.
A doctor started to administer the first drug, a sedative intended to knock the man out, at 6:23. Ten minutes later, the doctor said that Mr. Lockett was unconscious, and started to administer the next two drugs, a paralytic and one intended to make the heart stop.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 17, 2014
Historically, our nation has prospered when tax rates on the ULTRA wealthy and corporations were highest.
In the period following World War II, under President Dwight David Eisenhower – a Republican, and former Supreme Allied Commander / 5ive Star General – Corporate Tax rates have continually declined.
Now, during the Obama administration, they are at the LOWEST they have EVER been.
Corporate Income Tax Rates have continually declined the peaked during the Eisenhower administration. The formula is: b/(a+b) Where (a) Corporate Profits After Tax (without IVA and CCAdj), Billions of Dollars, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (CP); And (b) Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income, Billions of Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted (FCTAX)
Tax Havens Leave U.S. Filers $1,259 Tab Each, Report Says
By Derek Wallbank – Apr 15, 2014
U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 4, 2014
It occurred to me recently in a couple conversations I had with friends in various parts of our United States, that equal representation is a matter with which we still struggle.
While on occasion I’ve opined about injustice through inequality – the United States’ Constitution guarantees Equal Protection and Equal Rights under law via the 14th Amendment – it occurred to me recently that there are some who “just don’t get it.”
More to the point, I was spurred by a photograph sent to me by a friend in one of our Northern sister states – the Land of the Frozen Chosen, sometimes also referred to as “The Great White North.”
It was a photograph of my friend’s co-worker which sparked my interest, and subsequent curiosity.
The co-worker was Afro-American, aka “Black.”
I was somewhat surprised to see a Black person in Minnesota, so I queried the Census Bureau for some Quick Statistics about our United States.
Here’s what I found:
Only 5.5% of Minnesota’s population is Black.
In comparison to the United States at large, 13.1% of our American population in general is Black. And in Alabama, 26.5% are Black, while in neighboring Mississippi, 37.4% of that state’s residents are Black. Alabama’s Eastern neighbor Georgia has a closely similar percentage with a 31.2% Black population, while Tennessee is nearly half, with a 17% Black population.
Examining some other states, I found that Alabama’s Southern neighbor, Florida has a very closely similar Black population with 16.6%, while Louisiana’s Black population is just about double with 32.4%. The “Natural State” of Arkansas has a 15.6% Black population, while North and South Carolina are almost evenly tied with 22 & 28% respectively.
On the other hand, Texas has a lower Black population than either Tennessee or Arkansas with only 12.3%.
Kentucky? Only 8.1% of Kentuckians are Black.
Interestingly, of the 16 players on the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, only 6 are not Black. In other words, 62.5% of the team is Black – a clear majority. And yet, the state’s general population is completely and disproportionately unrepresentative of the team.
What about Virginia? With a 19.7% Black population, Virginia stands in distinct contrast to West Virginia, which only has a 3.5% Black population – a very stark contrast, indeed.
But what about some of the other Midwestern states?
Missouri has an 11.7% Black population, while only 3.2% of corn-fed Iowans are Black.
From Minnesota moving West, South Dakota has a mere 1.7% Black population, while Montana…
Well.. there just about no Black folks in that state, at all. Only a mere 0.6% – 6/10ths on one percent – of that state’s residents are Black.
A casual observation would be that it’s mighty White up North.