Leslie Jones McCloud's feed

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Upper Class

Upper Class: Some members of the corporate right are indigenous to the elite upper class and some are not but the outsiders are indoctrinated into upper class circles of influence through high-income earnings and stock options.6 The elite corporate community comprise 10 percent of the population but through influence, wealth and lobbyists, control 50 percent of the seats in the main governing institutions. It has five times more people in legislative positions than would be expected and are overrepresented in government.4 It is for this reason the upper class is often referred to as the ruling class in a society.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stock Your Pantry: Accuweather forecasts extreme cold winter for Chicago - Yahoo! News

Accuweather forecasts extreme cold winter for Chicago - Yahoo! News

As best as you can, begin to stock up on food. There will be days you will not be allowed out because of extreme conditions or feel like dealing with the snow. I will heed my own advice!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"If You Love Me, Help Me Pass This Bill!"

Wednesday that is what President Obama told a crowd in North Carolina while promoting The American Jobs Act. He asked everyone who cared about the country's future, joblessness and their own pocket, to call their appointed legislators. Call your US congressman and your US Senator and let them know you want the American Jobs Act passed! (because I really, really need a job--this is a laboroflove) http://ping.fm/nE8mm http://ping.fm/YbHjf
EU: "Contagion has spread across the markets" http://amplify.com/u/a1cv0t

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Imadeamesss.com: I remember #9/11

Imadeamesss.com: I remember #9/11: - Sent using Google Toolbar
I was up for some reason early today and watched CNN coverage of 9/11. I was moved to remember a very sad point in American History and now, reality.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How will the American Jobs Act be financed?

The president said Thursday during his address to Congress that savings from the July 2011 debt ceiling negotiations will go toward financing the American Jobs Act. Watch the video below.
The American Jobs Act will not add to the deficit.  It will be paid for.  And here’s how. 
"The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next 10 years.  It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas.  Tonight, I am asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act.  And a week from Monday, I’ll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan -- a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run."

"This approach is basically the one I’ve been advocating for months.  In addition to the trillion dollars of spending cuts I’ve already signed into law, it’s a balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by making additional spending cuts, by making modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid and by reforming our tax code in a way that asks the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.   What’s more, the spending cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small businesses and middle-class families get back on their feet right away."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

#food The Real Reason Big Macs Are Cheaper Than More Nutritious Alternatives | Food | AlterNet

The Real Reason Big Macs Are Cheaper Than More Nutritious Alternatives | Food | AlterNet: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

"In this chapter of that larger tragicomedy, lawmakers whose campaigns are underwritten by agribusinesses have used billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize those agribusinesses' specific commodities (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc.) that are the key ingredients of unhealthy food. Not surprisingly, the subsidies have manufactured a price inequality that helps junk food undersell nutritious-but-unsubsidized foodstuffs like fruits and vegetables. The end result is that recession-battered consumers are increasingly forced by economic circumstance to "choose" the lower-priced junk food that their taxes support."

Yes, I go in the store to buy an apple and it is more expensive than the bag of chips but I still buy the apple and suffer later when I am hungry again--but that is just how I am.#weneedhealthyfoodsubsidies

*that is why we buy big macs--fewer hunger pains

Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government | Truthout

Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government | Truthout: "Florida State Representative Chris Dorworth (R-Lake Mary) introduced HB 1021. The bill sought to curtail the political power of unions by prohibiting public employers from deducting any amount from an employee’s pay for use by an employee organization (i.e., union dues) or for any political activity (i.e., the portion of union dues used for lobbying or for supporting candidates for office).

Furthermore, HB 1021 stated that, should a union seek to use any portion of dues independently collected from members for political activity, the union must obtain annual written authorization from each member.

In effect, this bill defunds public-sector unions—like AFSCME, SEIU, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association—by making the collection of member dues an onerous, costly task. With public-sector unions denatured, they would no longer be able to stand in the way of radical free marketeers who plan to profit from the privatization of public services.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

We the People Should Pay Closer Attnetion: Say "NO" to Tax Cuts! - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com

Say "NO" to Tax Cuts! - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

"Paul O'Neill, Treasury Secretary, opposed the 2003 Tax Relief Act on the grounds that they would:
-fail as a growth stimulus
-increase inequality

-worsen the budget outlook considerably

The combined effect of the three tax cuts proved to have a substantial net negative impact on revenues according to the Economic Policy Institute. At least 450 economists took out an ad in the New York Times in February 2003 asserting that the Bush tax plan was not the answer to our sluggish economy."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bringing Healthy, Affordable Food to Underserved Communities | The White House

Bringing Healthy, Affordable Food to Underserved Communities | The White House: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
Thank You First Lady, Michelle Obama! I wish that somehow, qualified individuals from the food desert communities could be pulled to start these farmer's markets and fresh food oasis. Long-established black churches can offer recommendations from their trustee boards for youngish people to have stores where they live and raise families above the stores, if necessary or become off-site owners. That way, new wealth could be created in the communities they serve and those dollars can circulate in the community.

Those loans can be SBA/government-backed for a short period until profitability could be established. Local food suppliers, churches and the community would profit. It could even lead to new food suppliers establishing themselves and thus widen the economic chain. Those employers would employ people from the communities they serve. From the establishment of this economic circle, other retailers would enter the communities and those communities would flourish and become more autonomous. Just a thought.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Internet Communications Firm Owners Plead Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud and Failure to Pay Tax

Internet Communications Firm Owners Plead Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud and Failure to Pay Tax: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Friday, July 15, 2011
Internet Communications Firm Owners Plead Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud and Failure to Pay Tax

WASHINGTON – Frank G. Bivings and Isabelle Blanco of Washington, D.C., husband and wife and co-owners of The Bivings Group Inc., pleaded guilty today to charges stemming from the failure to pay more than $2 million in employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The guilty plea took place in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Bivings pleaded guilty to one count of failure to pay over employment taxes. Blanco pleaded guilty to one count of failure to pay a tax. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for Oct. 20, 2011.

The Bivings Group was a full-service Internet communications business. In pleading guilty, Bivings and Blanco both admitted that between Jan. 1, 2002, and June 30, 2008, The Bivings Group failed to pay over to the IRS a total of $2,420,927 in employment taxes, which includes withholding and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. Of this amount, $1,813,488 represented the money that was withheld from employees for taxes but that was not paid over to the IRS. The department said that, instead of paying these payroll taxes to the IRS, the defendants used the funds to pay themselves substantial salaries and withdrew additional corporate funds for other expenses.

Bivings faces a maximum of five years in prison, and Blanco faces a maximum of one year in prison. The parties agreed, however, that the calculation under the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for each defendant is 30 to 37 months in prison. Both defendants also agreed to pay $2,420,927 in restitution.

In announcing today’s guilty plea, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., of the District of Columbia and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett commended the investigatory work of IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent Michael Helgesen. They also praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan B. Menzer and Tax Division Trial Attorney Tino Lisella, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Tax Division
Buy the book! Buy the book Eighteen Months and Short Stories, Real Life today!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Indi Filmmaker Jason E. (Six-Nine) Barnes seeks backers for "shocking" new film

UNREPORTED : Feature Film -- IndieGoGo: "- Sent using Google Toolbar" Check out the trailer Unreported, a shocking new film by indi film producer, Jason E. Barnes. Go to the links below to find out about Justin Lake's terrible secrets.

Filmmaker, producer and Washington, D.C. native, Jason E. Barnes is sizzling hot. His newest film, "Unreported," has a twist: male rape.

The film is in pre-production and Barnes is seeking to raise funds for the project.

When asked, Barnes said he chose the subject matter of the film because it happens more frequently that anyone will admit.

"This film delves into the after effects of the attack and really shows the breakdown that men feel when their manhood is threatened. Thousands of men are raped every year and very few (less than 5%) ever report it because they are fearful of being thought gay, less of a man, weak, etcetera but it still happens. More and more, men are targeted for just that reason," Barnes said.

Pressed further, films like "Deliverance," "Pulp Fiction" and "Brokeback Mountain," come to mind as they involve male rape or sodomy themes and scenes. Barnes insists his film is different.

"(With) Pulp fiction--it was only a small portion of the film. Brokeback Mountain was more of a gay love story."Unreported" is tapping into a topic that people will feel on a visceral level. No one up until now had made a script to explore this area of our lives. People will want to see it and it will get them communicating more," Barnes said. No word on whether or not the R-rated film will contain a male rape scene.

Barnes, who has been living in Los Angeles for a while, said the film tracks the psychological and physical breakdown of lead character, Justin Lake as his life is torn apart by the bad decisions he makes in the aftermath of his brutal attack--in an attempt to hide it.

Barnes said his will be the first feature film that deals realistically with the devastating impact of male rape outside of a prison setting.

--Leslie Jones McCloud

smaller-raises-for-seniors-smartmoney: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

smaller-raises-for-seniors-smartmoney: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance: "Of course, lower benefits are part of the point. Using the slower-rising index is being billed by many including President Barack Obama's fiscal responsibility commission and the Bipartisan Policy Center -- as a way to generate much-needed savings to help deal with the country's mounting debt crisis. In fact, the savings could amount to an estimated $112 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 'This is a start in helping us fix Social Security,' says David John, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

But critics say the new proposal only makes a bad system worse. The current measurement of inflation is supposed to account for the spending habits of adults of all ages, including only a small proportion of retirees. That doesn't reflect the true inflation seniors face, says Moshe A. Milevsky, a finance professor at York University in Toronto. For example, many older people spend a large share of their budgets on items like health care, whose prices have risen about twice as fast as overall prices, according to a 2010 paper published by the Congressional Research Service.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

United States gubernatorial elections, 2012 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States gubernatorial elections, 2012 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Mike Pence is no friend to Northwest Indiana. Do not let him win governorship of this state.
Jim Wallace won't campaign past Indianapolis--Northwest Indiana Republicans. Let this be a note to the wise. Northwest Indiana had better support a man who supports Lake County. Our vote is valuable, we don't have to give it away to just anyone.

AS FOUND ON WIKIPEDIA so grain-of-salt it.

Governor Mitch Daniels will be term-limited in 2012.

Mike Pence, a Republican currently serving his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, has announced his candidacy for his party's nomination. Pence (who has funraised over one million dollars) and whose announcement was anticipated by his resignation of a leading position in the GOP caucus in the House, is regarded as the favorite for election.[14]

Indianapolis businessman and former Hamilton County Councilman Jim Wallace (who has funraised about $500,000 and is probably a friend to Mike Pence) had previously announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination.[15][16] Other potential Republican candidates include former state Attorney General Steve Carter, current Indianapolis Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, conservative activist Eric Miller,[17] Indiana Superintendent of Public Education Tony Bennett, State House Speaker Brian Bosma, State Senate President David Long, and state GOP chairman Murray Clark.

Potential candidates in the Democratic field include Mayor of Hammond Thomas McDermott, Jr.,[18] Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez,[19] Rep. Joe Donnelly, former state House Speaker John R. Gregg, and state Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson. Former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh,[20] Mayor of Evansville Jonathan Weinzapfel, and former Rep. Brad Ellsworth have decided not to run.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Obamawear2012: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

The shirts are nice, you can wear them anywhere. Click on the link. Most of them are under $20 but it depends on the shirt--it's not me!

Freshman U.S. senator gives Obama debt-limit fits | Reuters

Freshman U.S. senator gives Obama debt-limit fits | Reuters: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
Definition of a Corporate right robber barren. He cares not for the American People but only protects the interests of big business. Big business cannot seem to find a way to hire the American People because they don't care about the American People--they care about huge profits only. Who elected this person to the U.S. Senate? Couldn't have been the American People. That would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It was a low-down , no-good, godawful bailout. But it paid. - The Washington Post

It was a low-down , no-good, godawful bailout. But it paid. - The Washington Post: "a Fortune analysis shows that U.S. taxpayers are also coming out ahead on it — by at least $40 billion, and possibly by as much as $100 billion eventually. This is our count for the entire bailout, not just the 3 percent represented by the massively unpopular Troubled Assets Relief Program. Yes, that’s right — TARP is only 3 percent of the bailout, even though it gets 97 percent of the attention.

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

How the Debt Ceiling Issue Will Hit Ordinary Americans in the Wallet - DailyFinance

How the Debt Ceiling Issue Will Hit Ordinary Americans in the Wallet - DailyFinance: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

It is our congressional leaders who are being "dicks." Debt ceiling issues usually get bipartisan support. Call your congressman or woman and tell them to raise the debt ceiling.

"It also matters because all the parts of our economy are intricately intertwined, like a woven basket where each reed relies upon the next for support. Say the government postpones payments to a contractor. That contractor may decide to hold off on that new ad campaign it had planned to launch. Now, people working in the advertising industry, and maybe the newspapers and television channels that rely on advertising dollars, start to feel the pinch, and so those people decide to start saving more and spending less, in case the economy takes a downturn. Because consumers are now spending less money, stores start seeing a decrease in sales, and respond by reducing employees' hours or even engaging in outright layoffs. And it spirals downward from there."

Buy the book! Buy the book Eighteen Months and Short Stories, Real Life today!

Buy the book! Buy the book Eighteen Months and Short Stories, Real Life today!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If this world were mine: Economic Diversity in the Black Community

Photo courtesy of usslave.blogspot.com
I awoke with the thought that the reason the unemployment rate is higher in the black community and among teens is because neither group owns the means of production to anything worthwhile. We should have way more printing presses circulating in the black community because communication at that level is the easiest and most effective thing to own. Newspapers sit around for weeks staring at you begging you to either read it, recycle it or throw it away. Broadcast has to travel by word-of-mouth after its 30 seconds are gone.
Where are our advertising agencies? Where are our television and radio stations? We should have them by the 100s of thousands, constantly telling ourselves what ever it is we want to be reminded of or know. Have you ever noticed that we as a country don't share our local news readily? How would the vast majority of us know whether or not we were all experiencing the same thing if network news did not tell us? It would be back to word-of-mouth and telephones just like the olden days.

The lack of these items in our community relates to a deficiency in jobs or rather viable career paths. Plenty of black folks major in these areas in college (if we are allowed and yeah, I said it) but then we have to go a beggin' to other community groups for the work. Those groups are selective amongst themselves between rich and poor. Blacks deserve the same opportunity to make those decisions but we do not get the chance to do so. We have not given ourselves the right to make these places viable work options.

It is for this reason our communications and news is filtered mostly though sets of eyes and minds that do not work like ours do and do not understand what we know. Gatekeepers of another color, creed, race, religion in some instances a whole 'nother agenda. That is why we do not know every little thing our favorite black celebrity is doing. Now, if given the choice of more privacy and freedom or more money, many of the black glitteratti would choose the latter--bet. And there would be more black glitterati--maybe you or another person you know.

It is for this reason, our nation's first black president has to have his message spun in a million different directions. There are no black news or communication agencies that broadcast nationally. None. Not everyone is on the Web. The bulk of our black wealth is not on the Internet. They look on television broadcasts and newspapers for a reflection of self but all they see is criminality--a concept many cannot relate to as they follow the law and God.

 So let us decided to do this thing for ourselves because from that point, businesses will erupt and create commerce like a seedling in the springtime. We all have to provide food, clothing and shelter for ourselves so we need black farms, black textile factories and black construction companies. Competition in the economic arena in the form of capitalism leads to flourishing advertising and marketing. And there we have our economically viable black community. All we would have to do is to populate it, educate it, guide and direct it.

The black farm needs workers and heavy equipment so let us, like we do in Farmville, create the means of production to do this. We would need a steel foundry--Gary has plenty but not owned by blacks or Americans for that matter however, I'm sure at the right price we would be in business together. The company that creates heavy earth moving equipment gets steel from them and the black farmer buys the tractor. Everybody works and makes money. The few black banks we have would have to finance our endeavors, so on and so forth.

Of course this is a simplistic, Stone Soup way of looking at a very layered and complicated mission but if we were ever in the position to have to do this, we would be able to do so. There would be a group of like minded individuals who would rise about the rest and become the true black bourgeois, keeping us fed, sheltered and clothed because they would not be able to afford selfishness and greed to lead their decisions because that would lead to death very quickly. And there would be jobs aplenty--so much so that black women would go back to the old days and start having babies earlier in life to keep up with the demand our society would place on itself. Those women would be charged with the duty of being a mom and wife and her husband would be able to support his family legally, ethically and morally.

Editor's Note:
I prefer the Stone Soup analogy to the one of Allumette the original. I grew up reading Grimm Brother's Fairy Tales--the American version of Allumette. (Whatever dudes, the girl starved to death outside of the French bakery but she died hallucinating that she had a cornucopia of delicious baked goods.)

Freeman-Wilson unveils New Day Task Force in advance of expected November victory

Freeman-Wilson unveils New Day Task Force in advance of expected November victory: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NewsDaily: S&P hands Greece world's lowest credit rating

NewsDaily: S&P hands Greece world's lowest credit rating: "- Sent using Google Toolbar" worse off than Pakistan...

NewsDaily: Bernanke, Obama warn as lawmakers meet on budget

NewsDaily: Bernanke, Obama warn as lawmakers meet on budget: "Ben Bernanke said the United States could lose its coveted AAA credit rating and the dollar's special status as a reserve currency could be damaged if there was not a quick resolution to the battle over raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit.

REPUBLICANS DON'T CARE..."principle over party" M. Bachmann

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NewsDaily: Republicans blast Obama, not each other

NewsDaily: Republicans blast Obama, not each other: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

V.P. Biden Announces Campaign to Cut Waste | The White House

V.P. Biden Announces Campaign to Cut Waste | The White House: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Experts say cellphones are possibly carcinogenic - Yahoo! News

Experts say cellphones are possibly carcinogenic - Yahoo! News
Do not carry it on your person. Men will have to find a way to carry a fanny pack or clutch with manliness style.
Women can just carry it in their purses. Damn shame.
Truth be told, only and handful of us need to be in constant contact. Leave it at home, if you can.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Being Tall, Obese may Significantly Increase Risk of Blood Clots in Deep Veins

Study Highlights:

- The combination of being tall and obese, particularly in men, may substantially raise the risk of developing potentially dangerous blood clots in veins deep in the body.

- If you're tall, you can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight.

DALLAS, April 28, 2011 -- Being tall and obese may increase your risk for potentially dangerous blood clots, according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the United States, more than 275,000 people each year are hospitalized with deep vein clots or pulmonary embolism, according to the American Heart Association.

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for clots in deep veins (usually in the legs) and for pulmonary embolism, a clot in blood vessels of the lungs that can result in sudden death or strain on the heart. Together, the two conditions are called venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Compared with short (5 feet, 7.7 inches or less) and normal-weight men (body mass index < 25kg/m2), the age-adjusted risk of VTE was:

   --  5.28 times higher in obese and tall men
   --  2.57 times higher in normal-weight and tall men (at least 5 feet, 11.7
       inches tall)
   --  2.11 times higher in obese and short men

The amount of risk conferred by being both obese and tall was comparable to other known risk factors for VTE, including pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, and carrying one gene for an inherited predisposition to clotting called Factor V Leiden.

Compared with short (5 feet, 2.6 inches or less) normal-weight women, the age-adjusted risk of VTE was:

   --  2.77 times higher in obese and tall women
   --  1.83 times higher in obese and short women
   --  Not increased in normal-weight and tall women (more than 5 feet, 6

"We believe that we observed the increased risk in tall and normal-weight men, but not women, because most women do not get sufficiently tall," said Sigrid K. Braekkan, Ph.D., senior study author and a researcher in the Hematological Research Group at the University of Tromso in Norway. "The risk may be present in very tall women, but there were too few to investigate this properly."

Researchers said more studies are needed to determine the mechanisms of the association between tall stature, excess weight and the combination on the risk of VTEs.

"In tall people the blood must be pumped a longer distance by the calf-muscle pump, which may cause reduced flow in the legs and thereby raise the risk of clotting," Braekkan said.

"Understanding and preventing VTE is important because even the first occurrence may be fatal. Obesity, in combination with other VTE risk factors, has been shown to substantially increase the risk, so we wanted to assess the combined effects of tall stature and obesity."

The research team analyzed data from the Tromso study, which conducts periodic health surveys of adults 25-97 years old in the Norwegian town. Researchers collected height and obesity measures on 26,714 men and women followed a median of 12.5 years between 1994 and 2007. During that time, 461 VTEs occurred.

Obesity causes increased pressure in the abdomen, which may reduce the ability of the calf-muscle pump to return the blood from the legs. "Obesity is also linked to a state of constant low-grade inflammation, and inflammation may render blood more susceptible to clotting," Braekkan said.

Physicians should consider people's height and weight as they assess their overall risk for dangerous clots, researchers said.

"Since body height is not easy to modify, the most important thing is to stay slim, especially if you are tall," Braekkan said.

The researchers previously found a strikingly similar rise in clot risk along with height in American men, and believe that the height cut-offs would apply to Caucasian populations in other regions.

Co-authors are Knut H. Borch, M.D.; Cecilie Nyegaard, M.D.; John-Bjarne Hansen, M.D., Ph.D.; Ellisiv B. Mathiesen, M.D., Ph.D.; Inger Njolstad, M.D., Ph.D. and Tom Wilsgaard, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The University of Tromso and the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority funded the study.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position.  The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability.  The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding.

SOURCE  American Heart Association

Warning Signs of Heart Failure

Shortness of breath and fluid retention aren't the only warning signs...
"If you have heart failure, chances are you have (or had) one or more of the conditions listed below. Some of these can be present without you knowing it. Typically these conditions cause the "wear and tear" that leads to heart failure. Having more than one of these factors dramatically increases your risk."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mercedes-Benz First Teen Driving School in the United States to Open in Los Angeles

Learn to drive in style.

MONTVALE, N.J.- Mercedes-Benz USA announces today that it is opening the company's first Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in Los Angeles in October 2011, offering a fully integrated driver's education program and school that incorporates online, classroom and behind-the-wheel training for Los Angeles-area teens.

The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is unveiling details for its teen driving school at the annual California State PTA Convention, where approximately 2,500 California PTA members are attending from April 28 - May 1, 2011 in Long Beach, CA.

Mercedes-Benz is appointing Carolyn Duchene as Director for the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, and she will be responsible for the launch and management of daily operations. A Mercedes-Benz USA employee since 1994, Duchene has held several positions in the areas of marketing, digital media, training and education, and customer service.

"In addition to a unique educational approach, our highly qualified staff will be a key differentiator for the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. We are recruiting and hiring the best talent for all areas of operation," said Duchene.
"The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will connect with students and parents using a personalized, customer-centric approach that truly creates a unique offering among driver's education services for new teen drivers."

In preparation for its fall launch, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is actively recruiting uniquely qualified driving instructors, who will be groomed to deliver the Academy's research-based program in a highly effective coaching style. The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy instructors are going to be Mercedes-Benz employees and eligible to receive Mercedes-Benz USA benefit packages.

Several auto manufacturers and third-party organizations are currently offering teen driving programs which primarily focus on crash avoidance and defensive driving exercises. However, Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy aims to be the only car manufacturer to offer a California DMV-approved program, fully integrated with the Graduated Driver Licensing framework. The goal of the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is to prepare students for today's driving environment by going beyond basic car control skills and rote learning of traffic rules.

The core program utilizes multiple teaching techniques and delivery methods ranging from online learning to interactive classroom sessions and behind-the-wheel training. The program will incorporate approaches such as digital animation to visualize road hazards in an online program, problem-solving exercises in the classroom, and hands-on experience of risky situations and in-car coaching techniques based on questioning rather than instruction. This approach is combined with consistent feedback from driving coaches to parents, which aims to assist them in planning their supervised driving practice. The overall collective curriculum aims to benefit and appeal to the vast spectrum of learning-styles which will ensure greater engagement and absorption of skills and knowledge.

A fully integrated California-focused curriculum will take a student from their instruction permit license stage through their provisional license. Other offerings include an on-road only curriculum for those who have chosen to complete their driver education requirement through other means, and a tailored program that takes into account individual driver's needs to further develop and improve driving skills.

"Vehicles, highways, and the driving environment have changed dramatically over the past 60 years, however driver education remains relatively unchanged in the U.S.," said Alexander Hobbach, Senior Manager of Business Innovation at Daimler AG. "Mercedes-Benz feels there is opportunity to better prepare teens for today's driving conditions, and while our offering will have premium pricing over existing schools, we are dedicated to delivering significant value based on unique coaching methods and curriculum that is aimed at teaching new teens how to drive safely."

The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is working with several advisers in the finalization of its proprietary curriculum including Daniel R. Mayhew, Senior Vice President of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF); Allan Williams, Ph.D., former Chief Scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS);and Bill Combs, Executive Director of the Driver Education and Training Administrators and former Director of Communications at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"A teenager's ability to drive safely should be one of the most important priorities for parents and it is extremely imperative that parents take a very active part in this process from researching driving schools to following through on supervised driving," said Mayhew.

Beyond curriculum development that sets new industry standards, The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is building on strategic partnerships in an effort to raise awareness about teen driver safety and to also engage educators and parents to ultimately combat the leading cause of deaths among teens, which is motor vehicle crashes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, in conjunction with Impact Teen Drivers, will be delivering a public service outreach program through 2-hour parent/teen workshops, delivered in local Los Angeles- area high schools. These workshops will raise awareness on the importance of teaching teens the proper way to drive. Through interactive work groups, parents and their children will discuss the responsibility they have to each other when it comes to driver education while acknowledging that driving is an important part of teenager's life that leads to more freedom and independence. With the help of the California PTA, approximately twenty schools will be identified to host the workshops beginning late summer.

"The opportunity to have Mercedes-Benz step-up to work with Impact Teen Drivers and law enforcement and education partners to offer driver safety seminars at no cost to Los Angeles-area schools is commendable," said Kelly Browning, PhD, executive director of Impact Teen Drivers. "It is crucial that we educate teens and empower them to promote the safe driving message in order to have a fundamental and sustained behavior shift. This isn't about bad kids doing bad things, but good kids making poor choices. One poor choice can alter or end their lives and the lives of those they care about."

Impact Teen Drivers, Inc., which was founded by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the California Teachers Association, and California Casualty, provides education to teens and parents regarding the dangers of reckless and distracted driving through breakthrough campaigns delivered online and in schools.

Committed to raising the level of driver education and increasing road safety, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy continues Mercedes-Benz long-standing corporate dedication to driver safety. For continuous updates before the October 2011 opening and employment opportunities, please visit mbdrivingacademy.com for information.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Limits of School Reform - NYTimes.com

The Limits of School Reform - NYTimes.com

Excerpt from article. PLEASE READ ENTIRE.

Going back to the famous Coleman report in the 1960s, social scientists have contended — and unquestionably proved — that students’ socioeconomic backgrounds vastly outweigh what goes on in the school as factors in determining how much they learn. Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute lists dozens of reasons why this is so, from the more frequent illness and stress poor students suffer, to the fact that they don’t hear the large vocabularies that middle-class children hear at home.

Yet the reformers act as if a student’s home life is irrelevant. “There is no question that family engagement can matter,” said Klein when I spoke to him. “But they seem to be saying that poverty is destiny, so let’s go home. We don’t yet know how much education can overcome poverty,” he insisted — notwithstanding the voluminous studies that have been done on the subject. “To let us off the hook prematurely seems, to me, to play into the hands of the other side.”

That last sentence strikes me as the key to the reformers’ resistance: To admit the importance of a student’s background, they fear, is to give ammo to the enemy — which to them are their social-scientist critics and the teachers’ unions. But that shouldn’t be the case. Making schools better is always a goal worth striving for, whether it means improving pedagogy itself or being able to fire bad teachers more easily.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima, the Chilean Miners and the Human Cost of Energy - Ecocentric - TIME.com

"Blood per Kilowatt." (Never thought I would see this idea in secular print.)
Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima, the Chilean Miners and the Human Cost of Energy - Ecocentric - TIME.com

"It isn't just oil or electrons that flows in our pipelines and transmission wires. It's blood.

In fact, the blood cost is another way to calculate the energy equation: blood per kilowatt."

Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/04/22/on-earth-day-contemplating-the-human-cost-of-energy/#ixzz1KUe0akRx

NY case underscores Wi-Fi privacy dangers - Yahoo! News

NY case underscores Wi-Fi privacy dangers - Yahoo! News
What it should be: "I think it's convenient and polite to have an open Wi-Fi network," said Rebecca Jeschke, whose home signal is accessible to anyone within range."Public Wi-Fi is for the common good and I'm happy to participate in that — and lots of people are," said Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that takes on cyberspace civil liberties issues.

What it is:
Wi-Fi and Internet was never invented or intended for criminal use or criminals--of any sort. Why should the innocent pay a price for the dammed? Love good, hate evil. Society is always burdened with what to do about evil, as it infects just about everything. Evil is inconvenient to those who are just. Concentrate on incarcerating the dammed and leave the innocent alone. Open and unsecured Wi-Fi or hotspots, as they were called back in the day before the widespread use of wireless internet, are just as the EFF spokeswoman said.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homeless woman prosecuted for enrolling son in Conn. school - Yahoo! News

Homeless woman prosecuted for enrolling son in Conn. school - Yahoo! News
This is an unfortunate shame. It is as if we as a body of people, who form this country, have no common sense. Why put this woman in jail and kick her friend out? Isn't their another way? The harshness of the law meets these women because they are poor and black or because the law regarding changing school districts is harsh?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

State Rep. Charlie Brown: IBLC Condems Affordable Health Care Repeal

State Rep. Charlie Brown


INDIANAPOLIS —— Members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus today condemned the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives for voting to deny millions of Hoosiers basic health care coverage, including affordable prescription drugs and protections against unreasonable premium increases.

“Today, the Republicans who run the U.S. House have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), chairwoman of the caucus. “This means they are more interested in protecting big insurance companies, rather than the millions of Hoosiers who will benefit from the provisions of this act.”

State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) added, “If this repeal is approved in the U.S. Senate—which thankfully looks very unlikely at this point in time—we would see a return to the days when children with pre-existing medical conditions would be denied coverage, when people who are sick would see coverage cancelled, and when the amount of care a person receives would be based on the arbitrary whims of insurance industry bean-counters, not doctors.”

Caucus members noted that the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act would be felt across all segments of Indiana’s population:

  • More than 21,000 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans. (The Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plans up to the age of 26 if they do not have coverage of their own.)

  • More than 3.8 million Indiana residents with private insurance coverage would find themselves vulnerable again to having insurance companies place limits on how much will be spent on their health care.

  • Nearly 280,000 Hoosiers again would be at risk of losing their insurance at the moment they are in an accident or fall sick, simply because of a mistake made on their application for coverage.

  • More than 950,000 older Hoosiers who have Medicare coverage would be forced to pay extra for annual check-ups, and they would have to help pay for services like mammograms and colonoscopies.

  • More than 66,000 Hoosiers on Medicare would lose the discounts they were set to receive for falling into the “donut hole” coverage gap, which means they would be paying significantly more on their prescription drugs.

“Beyond all of these things, repealing this act would prevent Indiana from getting the federal resources that would help us crack down on unreasonable insurance premium increases,” noted State Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary), ranking Democrat on the Indiana House Public Health Committee and a long-time advocate of universal health care.

“In addition, we wouldn’t be getting the federal funds needed to start health insurance exchanges to drive down costs and we wouldn’t have the support needed to start a consumer assistance program designed to protect all of us from the worst insurance industry practices,” Summers continued.

Pryor said, “Repealing this act will bring a return to the worst abuses that created our country’s health care crisis. We are hopeful that the U.S. Senate will do what’s right and stop this travesty by refusing to follow the House’s lead.”

If you have an opinion you would like to share about this issue or any other topics related to Indiana state government, you can contact Rep. Brown directly.

State Rep. Vernon G. Smith: Indiana Dems Moderate Radical Right HB

State Rep. Vernon G. Smith


INDIANAPOLIS —— State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) said Indiana House Democrats returned to the Statehouse after gaining concessions on several Republican bills now before the Indiana House of Representatives.

Smith said the protest by Democrats did not cost taxpayers any money as House Republicans claimed. He said the business before the Indiana House and Senate should be completed by the end of April, so no special session is necessary. In addition, House Democrats gave up their daily stipend, while their Republican colleagues collected theirs. The Democrats also were fined $350 per day by the Republican majority for denying a quorum in the House.

“When I calculated what our protest cost me in fines, loss of daily stipend and other expenditures, the figure was more than $8,000,” said Smith. “It has been a significant drain of personal finances, yet it was worth the cost. If we had not left the state to prevent a quorum, these extreme, Republican bills would have decimated our public education system and severely damaged the earning power of working-class families in Indiana.

“The Republicans were pushing these bills through the process as quickly as possible, which prevented proper, public review of these devastating measures,” explained Smith. “The stop-action allowed a timeout for millions of Hoosiers, so they could learn more about what was happening in Indianapolis. Our protest was absolutely necessary.

“With the solid support and thunderous voice of a vast number teachers, in addition to thousands of working families, many from Northwest Indiana, we were able to force the House Republicans to compromise on several of the bills,” added Smith. “The compromises are not perfect, but those particular bills are much better than they were. I appreciate Speaker Bosma’s willingness to negotiate with us and help find solutions to our most serious concerns.”

Smith said the compromises included several areas of contention:

  • the so-called “right-to-work” legislation is off the table, preserving collective bargaining rights and preventing Hoosier wages from being drastically reduced;

  • the permanent ban on public employee bargaining is off the table in the House;

  • collective bargaining rights for teachers is protected;

  • enabling legislation for the private takeover of public schools is off the table in the House;

  • private school vouchers will be limited to 7,500 students in the first year and 15,000 in the second year, rather than creating the largest voucher program in the country, which would have shifted $1 billion in state tax money from public schools to private schools;

  • instead of an outright ban of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), as originally proposed by Republicans, PLAs will still be able to be included with projects passed by public referendum; and

  • the threshold for applying the common construction wage to projects would be $250,000 for 2012 and $350,000 for 2013, instead of the GOP’s original $1 million threshold, which would have had a significant, negative impact on Hoosier workers.

If you wish to share your views or opinions about these issues or any other topics related to Indiana state government, please contact me. Please take a moment—if you have not already done so—to sign up for periodic Statehouse eUpdates about the Indiana State Legislature.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Is 'racial resentment' behind health reform backlash?

Is 'racial resentment' behind health reform backlash?
Ask a truthful (many are) southern white man how he feels about taking orders from a black man(or woman) . Now ask any man. What did you find out?
Surprised? I'm not. I live with this fact everyday that I am black.

I am reading the Book of Revelation right now, learning about how God warns us humans to repent from our evil ways and all but a few ignore his warnings. If people won't listen to their Creator, why do I expect them to listen to me?
We have to stop hindering and mistreating each other. What good comes of it?

"A mob of 10,000 white men destroyed the prosperous black community of Tulsa, known as Greenwood or Black Wall Street. The white community, resenting the success of their African-American neighbors, killed at least 300 black residents, possibly many more. "

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Philippine priest in ancient battle with 'demons' - Yahoo! News

Philippine priest in ancient battle with 'demons' - Yahoo! News
"With God by your side, you can do no wrong."
This article is about a priest who left a comfortable lifestyle to serve the Lord in a capacity that many pretend do not exist. He banishes demons and unclean spirits from the souls of humans.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Jay Carney aboard Air Force One en route Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Barack Obama | Government News from the White House and Congress - Senate/House of Representatives

Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Jay Carney aboard Air Force One en route Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Barack Obama | Government News from the White House and Congress - Senate/House of Representatives

Release Time:
For Immediate Release

Aboard Air Force One
En Route Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1:06 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: So, here we are flying to Philadelphia. I’m here to gaggle. And I just wanted to quickly brief you on phone calls the President made this morning to Senator Reid and to Speaker Boehner. He had good conversations with both leaders, got an update on negotiations over funding for fiscal year 2011, and will monitor progress as the day progresses -- as the day continues, and will -- he’ll call another meeting at the White House if he believes that that’s required. But for now, he was just getting an update.

Q Can you provide an update on the thinking from the White House now on a short-term CR just until they can finalize these negotiations?

MR. CARNEY: What the President said yesterday is what his position is today, which is that he would entertain a essentially clean, very short-term CR if there were an agreement entrain and all that was necessary was a few more days to essentially file the paperwork and get it through the process on Capitol Hill.

Q Jay, the President said yesterday that he would call another meeting today if there wasn’t an agreement yesterday, and then the next day if there wasn’t an agreement --

MR. CARNEY: No, he said if there wasn’t progress. And we all -- you all have reported that there has been some progress in these conversations, in these meetings. And that’s good, obviously -- not an agreement, but progress. And he will monitor the progress or lack thereof on the Hill and will call a meeting if he thinks it’s necessary.

Q With that said --

Q -- his speech to come back for the meeting?

MR. CARNEY: He’ll call a meeting at whatever hour of the day is necessary if he believes that progress is not being made, because we are very close to a situation that would bring about a shutdown in government. And he thinks it would be the -- highly unnecessary and the height of irresponsibility to not get an agreement when agreement is so clearly within reach.

We are, as we talked about yesterday, the Democrats and the President have shown -- demonstrated a willingness to move more than halfway towards the Republicans, willingness to accept the largest domestic discretionary spending cuts in history, discretionary spending cuts that represent the largest cuts as a percentage of GDP since 1982, cuts in programs that in an ideal world he would not want to have to make.

So he’s -- but also he’s laid out his priorities and the choices that he thinks face us now as we are in these final stages of negotiations.

Q Will the President still go to New York even if he needs to call a meeting?

MR. CARNEY: We have no -- well, that's an “if, if” question, a speculative question. We have no plans to change our schedule. As I said, if a meeting needed to be called -- and as of now, there are reports of progress on the Hill. So I’m not saying -- I’m not saying a meeting will happen or not happen today. It may happen tomorrow if necessary. Or as he said, if he needs to meet tomorrow, he’ll meet tomorrow. If he needs to meet today, he’ll meet today, Thursday, Friday, as the President said yesterday.

Q Is he going to talk about that in either appearance today, about the budget negotiations?

MR. CARNEY: I don't want to anticipate what he’ll say. The trip to Philadelphia, he’ll have a town hall meeting to talk about things that Americans really care about as opposed to bickering in Washington over very small -- small ball.

Q Right, but they care about whether the government will shut down or not, right?

MR. CARNEY: Well, they care about gas prices and they care about how energy prices affect their livelihoods and they care deeply about an energy policy that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil in the long term so that we don't have these kind of situations, the shock that people get when prices go up at the gas pump like they have.

So I think that most Americans would -- you would find are much more worried about that than they are about CR FY2011 budget negotiations.

Q Can I just ask one more -- on the wire, it said, right before we took off, that “U.S. official says Qaddafi appeals to Obama in a letter to halt NATO campaign.” Can you -- do you have anything on that, Jay?

MR. CARNEY: Well, we can confirm that there was a letter, but obviously not the first. And the issue of a ceasefire is, as the President made clear when he announced his decision a number of weeks ago, is that it’s not a question of the conditions to -- the conditions the President laid out were clear, which is action, not words -- cessation of violence, withdrawal from the cities and the menacing sort of positions that the Qaddafi forces had taken. And I would just leave it at that, that words are different from actions.

Q Did he talk to President Karzai this morning about the Koran burning?

MR. CARNEY: He did have a SVTC with President Karzai, but I don’t have a readout on the meeting.

Q Will there be a readout later, do you think?

MR. CARNEY: I’ll have to check. I don’t know.

Q Just real quickly back to the budget, would Democrats and the White House accept a $40 billion tax cut package if it did include the riders?

MR. CARNEY: I’m not going to negotiate the elements of an agreement. What I would say is $40 billion is $80 billion; 33 is 73 -- $73 billion, which the President and the Democrats have shown that they are willing to accept, is a great deal more than halfway towards the Republicans. It is also the very amount of spending cuts that the Speaker of the House, the leader of the Republican Party in the House, and the chairman of the House Republican Appropriations Committee identified initially as their target, their goal -- $73 billion, largest cuts in history.

So that’s our position and we believe that what separates us here is not a question about who is for spending cuts and who is not, but an issue over choices made that are -- need to be made in terms of what the composition of those cuts are and choices that we think are -- need to be made based on priorities like funding for education, funding for medical research, funding for Head Start, and not, as I’ve said before, funding for highway earmarks or military spending that the Pentagon has already said it does not want and does not need.

So those are the choices we believe are on the table.

Q Thank you.

MR. CARNEY: Thanks, guys.

1:13 P.M. EDT

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Low levels of radiation found in US milk - Yahoo! News

Low levels of radiation found in US milk - Yahoo! News (Yikes! What??!!)
Food and Drug Administration officials say milk radiation levels are expected to drop.
Remember, women in their childbearing years, expectant mothers and parents of children should check with their physician to find out if it is better to avoid milk and other certain food products during this period of elevated radiation risks.

For 12-year old astrophysics prodigy, the sky’s the limit - Yahoo! News

For 12-year old astrophysics prodigy, the sky’s the limit - Yahoo! News

Report: Radiation From Japan Found In Chicago Area - Yahoo! News

Report: Radiation From Japan Found In Chicago Area - Yahoo! News
It's the type of radiation associated with the nuclear facility in Japan.

Ala. lab is 1st defense for radiation from Japan - Yahoo! News

Ala. lab is 1st defense for radiation from Japan - Yahoo! News


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Nothing much to say...ummm..my teeth are really white and that's a good thing...ummmm...
I will put links to blog posts here from time to time and I would like you to read and comment. Please watch, subscribe to the videos too. Thank you!
Oh Yeah, I started a new blog!
I began DIY Life Hack Mamma because that is what I do most of the time: figure stuff out.
 If you've ever heard of the phrase champagne taste on a beer budget, you've found me. I make soap from scratch because regular soap does not agree with my skin, I recreate restaurant meals at home, create appliances I cannot install or afford (yet,) and in general, I figure out a way from no way. I pray a lot too. Join me on my journey. It will be fun. 
Everything you see me do is for entertainment purposes only. All of my experiments are for my purposes only. It's fun to watch.

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