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marble falls

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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 10,269

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George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammatory terms’ banned from trial

Source: Yahoo News

George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammatory terms’ banned from trial
The Lookout
By Jason Sickles, an arrives for a pretrial hearing on Thursday. (Joe Burbank/Getty)



“Self-appointed Neighborhood Watch Captain”

“Wannabe cop”

Suspected murderer George Zimmerman’s defense team calls the above list “inflammatory terms” and wants them banned from the opening statements of his trial. Jury selection begins on Monday.

“Some of these terms are disparaging, inappropriate, and if used in trial would serve only to unfairly prejudice the jury by eliciting unfounded connotations and unfair emotional responses,” defense attorney Mark O’Mara wrote in a motion to the court.


The request also asks that prosecutors be prohibited from using these phrases during opening statements:

“He got out of the car after the police (or dispatcher) told him not to.”

“He confronted Trayvon Martin.”

Motions seeking to limit evidence in a trial is not uncommon, but seldom target phrases or characterizations.


Judge Debra S. Nelson has not yet ruled on the motion. She recently ruled defense lawyers, in their opening statements, would not be permitted to mention pictures of drugs and guns found on Martin's cell phone.

Zimmerman, 29, faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/george-zimmerman-wants-inflammatory-terms-banned-trial-163405912.html

I don't think he stands a chance of this.

Paul Rand and his claims on the Affordable Healthcare Act

Rand Paul claims Obamacare will include diagnostic codes for injuries sustained from a turtle, walking into a lamppost and burning water skis

By David Martosko

PUBLISHED: 13:22 EST, 27 May 2013 | UPDATED: 23:14 EST, 27 May 2013

In a little-noticed speech to the Iowa Republican Party this month, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul mocked President Obama's signature health care overhaul, noting the 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes doctors will have to use in order to inform the government about injuries sustained by Americans.

Those codes, said Sen. Paul, a medical doctor himself, include line-items for 'injuries sustained from a turtle,' 'walking into a lamppost' and 'injuries sustained from burning water skis.'

Paul has attracted attention in recent weeks for spending time in the Hawkeye State, because it' will be among the first states to weigh in during the 2016 Republican presidential primary season.

As a video of Paul's remarks surfaced Monday on YouTube, news emerged that a CNN/Opinion Research poll showed 54 percent of Americans don't support Obamacare.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331716/Rand-Paul-Obamacare-include-medical-diagnostic-codes-injuries-sustained-turtle-walking-lamppost-injuries-sustained-burning-water-skis.html#ixzz2VRMSBwY0

Video at link.
Posted by marble falls | Thu Jun 6, 2013, 08:57 AM (1 replies)

We all live on a heavy submarine....

Spain Seeks US Help to Slim Down Overweight Sub


By MICHAEL MELIA Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. June 5, 2013 (AP)

A new, Spanish-designed submarine has a weighty problem: The vessel is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it goes out to sea, it will not be able to surface.

And a former Spanish official says the problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place.

"It was a fatal mistake," said Rafael Bardaji, who until recently was director of the Office of Strategic Assessment at Spain's Defense Ministry.

The Isaac Peral, the first in a new class of diesel-electric submarines, was nearly completed when engineers discovered the problem. A U.S. Navy contractor in Connecticut, Electric Boat, has signed a deal to help the Spanish Defense Ministry find ways to slim down the 2,200-ton submarine.

The agreement with Groton, Conn.-based Electric Boat calls for Spain to pay $14 million over three years for an assessment of the problem with the S-80 submarine program and the scope of the work that would be required to correct it, the Spanish Defense Ministry said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Bardaji, now a senior fellow with the Strategic Studies Group think tank in Madrid, said officials will review options provided by Electric Boat. But he said the preference has been to extend the length of the submarine's hull, perhaps by 5 to 6 meters, to increase buoyancy.
Overweight Submarine.JPEG

Otherwise, the weight of the submarine would have to be reduced, and he said the Spanish Navy would not want to compromise features such as the combat system or an air-independent propulsion system.

The Isaac Peral, named for a 19th century Spanish submarine designer, is one of four vessels in the class that are in various stages of construction. The country has invested about $2.7 billion in the program. The first was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 but the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder, Navantia, has said the weight problems could cause delays of up to two years.

The 233-foot-long submarine will carry a crew of 32, along with eight special forces troops, and weapons systems for surface and anti-submarine warfare.

The Defense Ministry said technical problems are normal for projects of this scale.

"The technology challenges that these programs face during development are much more than simple calculations," the ministry said. "All the major military programs, especially submarines, have experienced delays and often have required the support of a technology partner."

Bardaji said the problem was discovered in the second half of last year, and Navantia told defense officials that somebody had apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place.

"Apparently somebody in the calculations made a mistake in the very beginning and nobody paid attention to review the calculations," he said.

Electric Boat, the primary contractor for the U.S. Navy's fleet of nuclear submarines, accepted the contract through a foreign military sales agreement between the American Navy and the Spanish Defense Ministry, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command announced this week.

Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamic Corp., has helped other countries with their submarine programs. It began assisting with development of the Astute-class nuclear attack submarine for the British Royal Navy in 2003, and it is working under another foreign military sales agreement on Australia's Collins class of submarines.


Associated Press writer Jorge Sainz contributed to this report from Madrid.
Posted by marble falls | Thu Jun 6, 2013, 08:19 AM (2 replies)

Judge accused of racial bias in speech

Complaint Accuses U.S. Judge in Texas of Racial Bias
Published: June 4, 2013


A group of civil rights organizations and legal ethicists filed a complaint of misconduct against a senior federal judge on Tuesday, alleging that recent remarks of hers showed bias against minority groups and an inappropriate religious belief in the death penalty.

The complaint, against Judge Edith H. Jones of Houston, who sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, asserts that at a speech at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in February she said that blacks and Hispanics were more prone than others to commit violent crimes and that a death sentence was a service to defendants because it allowed them to make peace with God.

The complaint is signed by representatives of, among others, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program and cites a number of people who attended the lecture.


One of the affidavits accompanying the complaint is from Marc Bookman, a veteran death penalty lawyer in Pennsylvania, who attended the lecture. He quoted Judge Jones as saying, “Sadly, some groups seem to commit more heinous crimes than others.” When asked to elaborate, Judge Jones “noted there was no arguing that ‘blacks’ and ‘Hispanics’ far outnumber ‘Anglos’ on death row and repeated that ‘sadly’ people from these racial groups do get involved in more violent crime,” the affidavit said.

Mr. Bookman said in a telephone interview that when the judge was questioned by angry students, “She defensively backed off what she had said or, at least, what the audience had interpreted it to mean.”


Judge Jones is alleged to have said that the defenses often offered in capital cases, including mental retardation and systemic racism, were “red herrings.” She also said, according to the witnesses, that Mexicans would prefer to be on death row in the United States rather than in prison in Mexico.

Charles W. Wolfram, one of the country’s experts in legal ethics who is retired from Cornell Law School, said Judge Jones’s alleged statements were a cause of great concern.

“If I were a parent of a black with borderline IQ accused in a capital case, would I be distressed in knowing that Judge Jones was sitting on my case?” he asked in a telephone interview. “Yes, I would. She seems to have made up her mind on these issues. She is slanted. That is the whole point of the impartiality requirement.”

Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics scholar at New York University, said that if Judge Jones really did say that death penalties serve the condemned by forcing them to face God, that was troubling.

“If a judge were to say that during sentencing, that sentence would be vacated,” he said. “It suggests that she believes she is helping the accused by giving a death sentence. That is totally inappropriate.” He said the central question concerning her alleged statements about race and crime depended heavily on tone and context.

The fate of the complaint now lies with the circuit’s chief judge, Carl E. Stewart of Louisiana, the first black in the job. He could dismiss it, speak privately with Judge Jones or order an investigation and set up a committee of judges either in his circuit or another one. Most complaints against judges, many of which come from inmates, are dismissed.

Another reason to be careful with whom I share my being from Texas.
Posted by marble falls | Wed Jun 5, 2013, 08:58 AM (2 replies)

Los Angeles air pollution drops after tailpipe laws

Source: BBC

Los Angeles air pollution - and its infamous eye sting - have declined due to California's strict vehicle emission controls, scientists have said.

Despite a three-fold rise in the number of vehicles on southern California roads since 1960, air pollution there has decreased, a study found.


She said the study "confirms that California's policies to control emissions have worked as intended".
'Better' air

In addition, ozone pollution has improved, although Los Angeles remains the worst city in America for ozone pollution, according to the American Lung Association. The researchers compared atmospheric data collected since 1960 with new findings from a research aircraft mission in 2010 to devise a long-term model of change in the region's atmosphere.


While pollution has decreased since 1960, scientists say vehicles are still the "dominant" source of emissions in Los Angeles.


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22772933

Regulations, even watered down, work.
Posted by marble falls | Tue Jun 4, 2013, 02:58 PM (2 replies)

Amazon plans major move into grocery business

Source: Reuters

The company has been testing AmazonFresh in its hometown of Seattle for at least five years, delivering fresh produce such as eggs, strawberries and meat with its own fleet of trucks.

Amazon is now planning to expand its grocery business outside Seattle for the first time, starting with Los Angeles as early as this week and the San Francisco Bay Area later this year, according to the two people who were not authorized to speak publicly.


"Amazon has been testing this for years and now it's time for them to harvest what they've learned by expanding outside Seattle," said Bishop, chief architect at Brick Meets Click, a consulting firm focused on retail technology.

Still, groceries have proven to be one of the most difficult sectors for online retailers to crack. One of the most richly funded start-ups of the dot-com era, Webvan, was a spectacular failure as the cost of developing the warehouse and delivery infrastructure proved overwhelming.


(Reporting by Alistair Barr Editing by Jonathan Weber and Tim Dobbyn)

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/04/net-us-amazon-grocery-idUSBRE95311Q20130604

Audit: Calif. Utility Didn't Spend $50M for Safety

Source: From ABC News

SAN FRANCISCO June 4, 2013 (AP)

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. did not use $50 million it collected from ratepayers that was meant to improve its gas pipeline network in the decade leading to a deadly explosion in a San Francisco Bay area suburb, an audit shows.

From 1999 to 2010, the utility regularly failed to use all the money to fix and maintain small gas lines that deliver natural gas to homes and businesses, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/18QE2FM), citing the audit by Leawood, Kan.-based Overland Consulting for the California Public Utilities Commission.


A previous report by Overland found that PG&E had diverted tens of millions of dollars from maintenance of its gas transmission pipes as well, the newspaper said.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/audit-calif-utility-spend-50m-safety-19320337#.Ua4R95ziWco
Posted by marble falls | Tue Jun 4, 2013, 12:21 PM (2 replies)

Zimmerman’s Attorney: If Jury Rules Trayvon Was Aggressor, Is That A ‘Loss For Civil Rights’?

Zimmerman’s Attorney: If Jury Rules Trayvon Was Aggressor, Is That A ‘Loss For Civil Rights’?
by Evan McMurry | 1:24 pm, June 1st, 2013 video » 555 comments

Following a judge’s ruling on Tuesday to not admit elements of Trayvon Martin‘s past, including drug use and prior incidents of fighting, as evidence in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, CNN’s Victor Blackwell interviewed Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara on this decision’s potential ramifications to the defense’s argument, especially given the loaded racial connotations of the case.

“Parks and Crump,” Blackwell asked, referencing the Dickensian-named law firm representing Martin’s family, “have said a lot about how this is a landmark in justice as it relates to African Americans, and racial injustice. How do you keep this trial limited to a few minutes on one night in February?”

“Well, let me ask you this. If they acquit George because the jury says Trayvon was the aggressor, if they make that decision, is that going to be a loss for civil rights? Is it? If the jury decides he’s acquitted because Trayvon was the aggressor, is that a civil rights event? I would suggest not. If they convict George because they think he was the aggressor, is that a benefit to civil rights? Some might say maybe, because at least a young black male victim of a homicide was justified, or his loss was not in vain. So they might say, ‘If you get the conviction then at least he wasn’t a lost life.’ Maybe. But the real decision is going to be who was the aggressor and whether or not George acted reasonably. Those two decisions have nothing to do with rights. They just don’t.

“Now, had the case never gone to trial, maybe. Had they said, ‘We’re not going to prosecute this guy because he killed a black kid,’ then, okay, maybe that’s a civil rights issue. But the jury decides what they’re going to decide, I just don’t see the civil rights connotation to it. I know civil rights, not as well as many of my compatriots, but I know it pretty well. And I grew up in the Sixties and Seventies, so I get a feel for this stuff, and I don’t see civil rights in this day today.”

“Was today a loss for you?” Blackwell asked.

“No!” O’Mara said. “I like the idea that we’re limiting the evidence to what it should be. It was five to six minutes that happened from the time of the non-emergency call to the time of the gunshot and afterwards with the emergency call. If we limit it to that, whatever that jury decides has to be the proper verdict, as long as they follow the evidence and the law, and then we’re done.”

Watch the whole interview here: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/george-zimmermans-attorney-if-jury-rules-trayvon-was-the-aggressor-is-that-a-loss-for-civil-rights/
Posted by marble falls | Sun Jun 2, 2013, 09:02 PM (5 replies)

Marsha Blackburn: Women 'Don't Want' Equal Pay Laws


Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said on Sunday that women "don't want" equal pay laws.

During a roundtable discussion on NBC's Meet The Press, former White House advisor David Axelrod asked if she would support a law promoting workplace gender equality. Blackburn responded:

"I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves."

Blackburn voted against the 2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a landmark bill for women's rights in the workplace. The law makes it easier for women to file wage discrimination suits against employers. She also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009.

Blackburn is hardly the only female politician to oppose laws aimed at discouraging the gender wage gap. In 2012, a new Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate after receiving nay votes from Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

The gender pay gap has expanded in recent years. In 2012, women earned approximately 80.9% of what men earned. According to a recent analysis, the average U.S. woman now stands to lose out on $443,000 over 40 years.

Video clip at Huffington.
Posted by marble falls | Sun Jun 2, 2013, 07:56 PM (9 replies)

Russian Officials: Boston Bombing Could Have Been Prevented


Posted by marble falls | Sun Jun 2, 2013, 07:34 PM (0 replies)
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