Loyal Pit Bull Saves Mother And Child From Home Invader

A three-year-old Pit bull named Ruger saved his family from a violent intruder in Valparasio, Illinois on Wednesday. Twenty-year-old Jayne Casteel said Ruger protected her and her son after a stranger forced his way into her apartment.

Jayne said she woke to change her son’s diaper around 3 a.m. when she heard a knock at the front door. Peering through the peephole, she saw a man she recognized from a few weeks ago, who had stopped by her apartment looking for someone who did not live there.

Jayne cracked open the door with the chain still in place, and asked what the man wanted. He told her his car had broken down and he needed to use her phone. When she told him her phone was out of order, he replied “Oh really?” and kicked through her screen door door and punched through the front door, breaking the chain.

Jayne screamed as the man knocked her to the ground. She had gone to the front door with her three dogs and her son and when she fell, Ruger immediately came to her defense and clamped down on the man’s arm. Jayne told the Chicago Post Tribune the man “barely got in the house” before Ruger dragged the man back out of the house by the arm.

By this time, Jayne’s fiance Nathan Asbridge and a friend who is living with them, heard her and her son’s screams and followed the man out of the apartment and began punching the stranger and his accomplice who had been waiting outside. Ruger also bit the intruder a second time on the leg. The two suspects soon ran off.

After the encounter, Jayne explained Ruger is usually very gentle and “a big baby”. She believes Ruger lept to the family’s defense because her toddler began crying after she was pushed. She added they had trained hiim to be protective of her son when he was just a baby. “I’m so proud of him,” Jayne said of Ruger.

Valparaiso police are now hunting for the suspects. They found blood, two shoes and a glove at the scene which may help in locating the criminals. Jayne described the man as white, average height and around 200 pounds, wearing dark-colored basketball shorts without a shirt.

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In Honor Of Poet Adrienne Rich 1929–2012

“Death Interrupted” By: Heather Whitley Gibson.

The faithful catfish below,
Clear day,
I can’t hear those faithful eyes.
gathered; swollen skies…grasses
shells warm in the sun, wasted the faithful
catfish.
Plant a paper moon (I heard just now)
writing. Plant a paper moon.
A Poet dies. A turn. Path brok-en.
Beneath the tree. Donate dinner.
A no-wear man is weak.
Falling apples. Green and hard.
Hold on to branches, hold on.
Collect, gather rocks. Inside yourself.
Age. “They pace in sleek….certainty”.
Those tigers that swim. Underneath water.
Wire’s, wire’s. Slipped cage.
Lier, Lier, Change.
Words water.
Down the draining, drowing
Change loose; bites me.
Like a fossil. Rock.
Half- waxed. meaning two birds fell. hearing.
To see the unfindab.le tear

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Senator Paul Speaks Out Against Corporate Welfare

Published on March 20, 2012 http://www.randpaul2010.com

I rise today in opposition to corporate welfare. At a time when our country is borrowing over a trillion dollars a year, I think it makes no sense to loan money back to countries we are borrowing from. For example, we borrowed $29 billion from Mexico, and yet we’re sending them back $8 billion of the money we borrow from them to subsidize trade.
A lot of the subsidized trade goes to very wealthy corporations. You know, when 12 million people are out of work in the United States, does it make sense for the U.S. taxpayer to subsidize loans of major multinational corporations?
The President’s big on saying “Well, these rich companies need to pay their fair share.” Well, why then is the President sending loans out to these very wealthy corporations and he’s actually giving them their fair share of our taxpayer money? Why is that occurring?
I have often asked the question, is government inherently stupid? Well, I don’t think government is inherently stupid, but it’s a debatable question, but what government is government doesn’t get the same signals that your local bank gets.
Your local bank has to look at your creditworthiness, your local bank has to make a profit, your local bank has to meet a payroll. But once the government gets in charge of these things, Katie, bar the door. We don’t have a good track record with government banks because they don’t feel deep inside the same pain that an individual banker feels when he gives a loan.
So we have got Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae losing $6 billion a quarter of your money, and what do they want to do? They want to expand another government bank. So get this right.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are government banks are losing $6 billion a quarter. Just recently, they wanted to give them multimillion-dollar bonuses. They said well, you have got to pay people if you want to keep good talent.
You know, my question is how much talent does it take to lose $6 billion a quarter? I think there are people here today watching the Senate that would take $19 million a year to run one of these government banks to have your only record be that you lose $6 billion a quarter, that’s outrageous.
And they are wanting to expand a new government bank and give money to very wealthy corporations that are making a profit. It makes no sense what so ever.
Now, Jefferson said “That government is best that governs least.” Now, what did he mean by that? He meant that he wanted government to be small because government is inherently inefficient.
Government doesn’t get the same signals. That’s why we should only let government do the things that the private sector can’t do. Banking is something the private sector can do.
We’re not talking about starting new companies for the most part, we’re mostly talking about subsidizing very wealthy multinational companies. With the start-up companies, though, let’s look at the companies that the export-import bank is subsidizing. One of them is called First Solar.
Now, you may have heard that a lot of these solar companies are big contributors to President Obama. I wonder if that has something to do with them getting loans. But here is the loan that First Solar gets from export-import.
You know what? They get paid and they have a loan that says that they’re going to make solar panels, and then who is going to buy the solar panels? Themselves.
So they made a deal with another company they own, and the taxpayers is stuck financing a loan, so First Solar can make solar panels and then buy them from themselves. Well, that sounds like a good deal. You get the government to subsidize a loan to buy your own product.

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“OUT OF SYNC” – SEASONS ARE SHIFTING, BUT SOME CREATURES AND LAWS AREN’T

By Shannon McNeeley

ATMOS NEWS

Ah, spring. From ancient civilizations on, what poet hasn’t greeted the season of longer days, increasing warmth, melting snow, and blooming flowers? But today’s poets may have to revise their odes.
Many signs of spring have shifted earlier and earlier, out of sync with the lengthening days. Warmer weather, snowmelt, and flowers, for example, are now arriving during what used to be winter in many parts of the globe. Evidence is growing that some animals and insects aren’t adapting fast enough to the changes in timing of the seasonal signs, and that the consequences of that failure can be disastrous.
Legislators have also greeted the seasons, typically with regulations governing water use, hunting, grazing on public lands, and other seasonal activities. And like other creatures, people are beginning to feel the effects of the increasing disconnect between the permanent dates written into these laws and the changing seasons.
It’s taken scientists a while to respond to the issue—sometimes referred to as seasonal asynchrony—which has a distinct set of consequences beyond those of more commonly recognized indicators of global climate change. Specific populations are being put at risk, including migratory animals and people governed by date-specific laws that no longer match reality.
Biologists only began researching the effects on vulnerable animal populations in the early 2000s. A few social scientists have recently begun looking at how human populations are also being affected, particularly in Alaska, one of the fastest-warming places on Earth. And just within the last decade, experts in environmental law have began questioning the consequences of outdated policies on agriculture and water supplies.
This area of study is so new, according to NCAR postdoctoral researcher Shannon McNeeley, that it’s suffering from a lack of a comprehensive view.
“Some people focus on changing seasonality from either a biological or a climate point of view, and a small but growing community study the links between changing seasonality and policies,” McNeeley says. “There aren’t many yet who do truly comprehensive social and natural science research from a systems point of view by integrating social science, climatology, and ecology to understand how this affects vulnerable livelihoods on the ground.”
Here’s a brief overview of research emerging on the effects of seasonal mistiming.

EVIDENCE FROM THE NATURAL WORLD

Warmth governs the ability of seeds to germinate, the dates of snowmelt, and other triggers of the growing season.
There’s copious documentation that plant growth is shifting earlier in response to a warmer climate. The U.K.’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has been tracking first flowering dates for some 100 species since the 1950s; snowdrops are now flowering 10 days earlier on average, and spring narcissus almost two weeks earlier. In the United States, the flowering date for winter wheat, a major crop of the High Plains, has advanced by one to two weeks since World War II, marching forward 0.8–1.8 days per decade over the last 70 years.
Among animals and insects, however, the situation isn’t so straightforward. Researchers have been aware for some time that warming is changing the geographic range of species. For example, a 1996 study by Camille Parmesan (University of Texas) noted the range shift of a California butterfly northward and to higher altitudes.
Migratory and hibernating animals may take their cues to move from increasing or decreasing sunlight or from temperature changes in their current habitat (spring warming in their wintering grounds, for example). In either case, the migrators may arrive at their destination habitat to find that it’s out of sync with their needs if climate change is producing different results there. When that happens, the consequences ripple through entire ecosystems.
The full extent to which the seasonal drift is putting plants and animals at risk is not yet known. One of the first studies of multiple species was a 2005 paper by Dutch ecologists. Searching for long-term datasets covering both vulnerable species and their food sources, the authors found adequate information for only 11 species. In this small sample, however, 8 species—including birds, insects, and zooplankton—had changed their behavior either too little or too much, so they were out of sync with their food sources. Only 3 species were adapting in sync.

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Religion At Work Can Bring Fire And Brimstone

By Eve Tahmincioglu

Employees have religious rights in the workplace, but wearing your religion on your sleeve at work can be hazardous to your career.
The question of how much religion in the workplace is too much is playing out in a California court this week with a closely watched case involving a former NASA employee.
David Coppedge, a former computer specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is claiming he lost his managerial role and then his job because he believes in a higher power. His employer says he was harassing employees but was ultimately let go as part of a round of mass layoffs.
Coppedge admitted in a court filing that he was engaging his co-workers in religious conversation, most notably handing out DVDs on intelligent design, and that he was warned by a supervisor to cut it out because it amounted to “pushing religion,” and that the dialogue was “unwelcome” and “disruptive.”
Despite this, Coppedge is suing his former employer for religious discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.
This type of religious conflict at work is something we’re seeing more of today, compared to even a few decades ago when the workplace was more homogenous, said Jamie Prenkert, an attorney and associate professor of business law at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
There is more diversity in offices and factories, and the labor laws have been bolstered to protect the religious rights of employees, covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Indeed, cases of religious discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have been on the rise since 1997, reaching 4,151 charges last year.
Employers are required to provide “reasonable accommodation for the religious practices and beliefs of employees” under the law. When it’s not considered an undue hardship for employers by the courts, workers have won battles including everything from not working on certain religious holidays to prayer time to wearing religious garb.
Increasingly, however, workers are pushing the envelope on what they want to do in the name of their religion, Prenkert said, because many individuals are politically and socially emboldened today to “carry their religion into all aspects of their life.”
That desire, however, can create problems at work. “When you bring that together in the workplace with people of varying backgrounds and beliefs that have to work together, it often results in allegations of intolerance that fly both ways,” he said.
It’s tempting to say we should leave religion at the door, Prenkert added, “but that does ignore some people’s deeply held beliefs.”
Clearly, an employer can’t discriminate against an employee based on religion, but that doesn’t mean your boss has to put up with all behaviors associated with your beliefs, especially if they include harassment, said Joanna Friedman an employment attorney with Tully Rinckey in Washington.
When it comes to religion in the workplace, she said, “it’s fine for employees and even supervisors to talk about religious beliefs as long as it’s not done in a manner that’s intimidating or interferes with employment duties or creates a situation where you’re abusing your authority,” she stressed.
It’s unclear if Coppedge stepped over the line.
In his suit, he claims he did not “coerce” or “compel” anyone and that he was singled out because of: “his religious convictions generally, and specifically for his belief in God as the creator of the universe, his support for California’s Proposition 8, which was adopted by voters in November 2008 (striking down the rights of same-sex couples to marry), and his request that JPL’s annual “holiday party” be renamed the “Christmas party,” as it had been called in the past.”

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14 years old: Too young for life in prison?

By Sevil Omer, msnbc.com

Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson are lifers, condemned at 14 to spend their lives in prison without the possibility of parole for their involvement in separate murders. Their backers say their sentences are cruel and unusual, leaving them without the second chance the young are so often given. They hope the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.
Next Tuesday, the court will hear arguments in their cases and its ruling could have far-reaching effects. More than 2,200 people nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles — defined as 17 or younger — according to the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., a civil rights group that represents Miller and Jackson.
The group hopes the companion cases will be another victory for juvenile criminals, who have found some relief before the Supreme Court over the past seven years. In 2005, the court abolished executions for juvenile offenders. Then, two years ago, the court ruled that it is unconstitutional to impose life sentences on juveniles convicted of crimes that do not involve homicide.
Lawyers for Miller, now 23, and Jackson, now 26, contend that juveniles are works in progress and will argue that forensic evidence shows adolescent brains are not fully developed. “Condemning an immature, vulnerable, and not-yet-fully-formed adolescent to life in prison – no matter the crime – is constitutionally a disproportionate punishment,” they say in their petition to the court. The Equal Justice Initiative declined to discuss the case because of the pending hearing.
Kim Taylor-Thompson, a professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law, has studied juvenile offenders for nearly a decade and agrees with the group. “No one is excusing the fact of what happened,” she said. “What we are saying is: Did these two young men engage in thought processes that would make us say today they’re the type of individuals who can never be rehabilitated, never change and be locked up to never see the light of day?

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Lester Chambers: ’60s Musician Gets Support From Yoko Ono Over Royalties Plight

Article From http://www.spinner.com

There are too many stories of musicians signing rights away to songs and future royalties, and now a member of ’60s group the Chambers Brothers — best known for their classic ‘Time Has Come Today’ — is taking his plight to the masses via YouTube and Facebook, attracting the support of Yoko Ono.
Earlier this week, a photo began circulating online showing 72-year-old Lester Chambers hiding behind a gold record with a lengthy message beneath it. “I am the former lead singer of a 60’s band,” the letter began, adding the various festivals the group played. “I did not squander my money on drugs or a fancy home. I went from 1967-1994 before I saw my first royalty check. The music giants I recorded with only paid me for seven of my albums. I have never seen a penny in royalties from my other 10 albums I recorded.”
Chambers also said “our hit song” was licensed to over 100 “films, TV & commercials without our permission.” He concluded the message by stating his current economic status, trying to live on $1,200 US a month, with music charity Sweet Relief taking donations for him. Chambers also said only one percent of those in his situation are financially capable of suing for royalties, stating: “I AM THE 99 Percent.”
A video featuring a song co-produced by Chambers was posted Wednesday on YouTube; it expands on the musician’s situation. “America, we have been given a bad cheque, a cheque that has come back labeled insufficient funds,” he says in spoken word on the song ‘Make a Stand.’ “We cannot believe that there are no funds in this money vault of opportunity, in this great nation, this great country that we call America.”
The five-minute video features various images of the Chambers Brothers — one of rock’s first interracial bands — with facts on the band’s history and sales, including the point that six of the band’s albums made Billboard’s Top 200 and six singles were in the Hot 100.
“My foreign royalties from 1977-1999 were $1,300 total for only a few Columbia albums,” a statement in the video reads. “Never received foreign royalties on any of our other products.”
Chambers also says ABC used ‘Time Has Come Today’ for a national ad in 2000 but “Sony insisted we only receive payment from Boston ABC network, so the payment I received for an 8 week national commercial was $625.”
“So even though we face trouble of today and tomorrow I have hope that we will stand up, join hands, unite and make a stand,” says a message that concludes the video.
Chambers’ campaign has struck a chord with many. According to The Examiner, 24 hours after it was posted, Chambers’ Sweet Relief Musicians Fund received close to $10,000 in donations.
“We received an e-mail from Yoko Ono’s office this morning, and they were glad to see that the word was getting out and hoped that Lester’s cause would get more attention now,” Sweet Relief’s executive director Rob Max said. Max also said Chambers’ living conditions as recent as two years ago had him “sleeping on an air mattress” in a house that “was under construction and it had no roof” north of San Francisco. Max also stated that Sweet Relief is not assisting Chambers regarding his royalties dispute but “we wish him all the success, always.”
Although his health condition makes touring quite a challenge, Chambers is taking advantage of the Internet again by playing a concert as Lester Chambers & The Mud Stompers on March 24 which will stream online.
The Chambers Brothers released their final album, ‘Recorded Live in Concert on Mars’ in 1976.