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Saturday, March 31, 2012

"War On Drugs Has Long Been Lost".

War On Drugs Has Long Been Lost
By Joseph Fraser

We call ourselves a free country, yet it is illegal to use marijuana on a recreational basis.

Seriously? Think about this, marijuana funds 60 percent of illegal drug operations across the United States. This market dictated by violence and extortion is really an unregulated form of capitalism. Ever wonder what capitalism would be without regulation? Just look at what the war on drugs has done to America. Some $1.5 trillion spent and nothing gained on the home front when it comes to the usage of drugs.

Ever wonder why? It's simple, you can't legislate free will, and any time the government deems it necessary to do so, it costs the taxpayer unmeasured amounts. Why unmeasured? With so much money spent to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is likely we are borrowing money from the Chinese government to tell Bob he doesn't have the freedom to enjoy a plant at his own discretion.

Isn't it apparent that we have lost the war on drugs after arresting so many millions? According to Adam Liptak of The New York Times in 2008, "The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners."

On average, it costs our country about $40,000 per prisoner per year. It just doesn't seem to be the real reason behind the drug war, does it? It's almost like another dirty little government secret. It appears to be a racially motivated legislation. We all know minorities are filling these prisons, and we also know that the majority of these prisoners are criminally prosecuted and incarcerated based on nonviolent drug offenses.

Is it really worth $40,000 to keep one individual from getting high?

Meanwhile, this country is $16 trillion in debt. Do you want to cut grandma's health care? Or should we cut back on the cost of the drug war by legalizing marijuana? You can't have an honest conversation about reducing the nation's debt burden without considering it.

America is known for its agricultural resources which it shares with people across the globe. So why should we be ashamed of producing a useful product that people might enjoy too? Everyone knows that hemp, a non-psycho-tropic form of marijuana, can be used to make lots of products. In fact, hemp was used to make rope for years, right here in Kentucky.

Instead of wasting money subsidizing farmers to not grow in this country, let the farmers earn an honest living, so they can once again put their children through college. Why is it in America we continue to hold back an industry because a certain uneducated part of the country doesn't understand it or doesn't believe in a person's right to get high? News flash: Folks are still getting high, legal or not, like it or not.

Our government thinks it has the right to dictate a way of living to the American people. I say enough is enough. It is high time we start dictating to them what it is we will spend our money on. Let's be serious in 2012 America, and it all starts with legalizing marijuana. It's just common sense.

Joseph Fraser, a Navy veteran, is a student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Read more here:


We Congratulate University Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Team On Their Win Over University Of Louisville Cardinals. We Expect To Congratulate The Wildcats On Their Win Over Kansas Jayhawks On Monday.

Kentucky's Version Of (Basketball) Civil War Is About To Start Between University Of Louisville And University Of Kentucky. Good Luck To BOTH Teams. I Just Need The Championship Trophy Back To Kentucky.

We Congratulate University Of Kentucky's Anthony Davis For Winning The Los Angeles Athletic Club's John R. Wooden Award For National Player Of The Year. Way To Go, Spiderman!

Anthony Davis becomes UK’s first Wooden Award winner

It’s hard to believe with all of the All-Americans and future professional stars that have played basketball at the University of Kentucky that it never has had a player win the most prestigious player of the year award.

But now it has. Today, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced that Anthony Davis has won the John R. Wooden award for National Player of the Year.

Davis won the AP player of the year award on Friday, and also has been named player of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and received the Adolph Rupp Trophy.

Got a minute? Here are the awards Davis has won this season, as best I can collect.

John R. Wooden Award
NABC National Player of the Year
AP Player of the Year
Adolph Rupp Trophy
First team AP All-American
Wooden All-American
NCAA All-South Region
NABC First team All-American
Oscar Robertson Trophy
USBWA First team All-American
Sporting News National Player of the Year
Sporting News National Freshman of the Year
Sporting News First team All-American
SEC All-Tournament team
SEC Player of the Year (coaches)
SEC Player of the Year (AP)
SEC Defensive Player of the Year (coaches)
SEC Freshman of the Year (coaches)
SEC Newcomer of the Year (AP)
All-SEC First team (coaches/AP)
SEC All-Freshman team
SEC All-Defensive team

And that doesn’t count the numerous weekly and preseason awards he has piled up.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Kentucky Law Makers Avoid Childish Play, Pass Two Year State Budget. We Congratulate Them.

Kentucky Senate approves compromise state budget
By Beth Musgrave

FRANKFORT — The Republican Senate gave its approval Friday to a compromise two-year state budget that provides little money for new projects and cuts funding by 8.4 percent for many state agencies and 6.4 percent for state universities.

House Bill 265 now goes back to the House, where it is expected to get final approval later Friday and be sent to Gov. Steve Beshear.

Friday was the 59th day of the 60-workday legislative session. The General Assembly is set to return April 12 for the final day of the session, which will be used to consider overriding any potential vetoes by Beshear.

House and Senate leaders said early Friday that they did not expect an agreement on the two-year road plan on Friday. That means that the measure will likely be taken up on April 12.

The compromise budget includes an additional $3.5 million this fiscal year for the Kentucky Horse Park, which has struggled financially in recent several years. The budget also includes an additional $2.5 million to begin reworking Rupp Arena and nearby areas of downtown. The city must come up with $2.5 million in matching money.

The budget, which calls for spending more than $19 billion over the next two years, includes no pay raises for state employees and nixes a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase for state retirees. It also does not cut the main funding formula for K-12 education.

House and Senate leaders negotiated the compromise budget early Thursday morning after three days of negotiations. Key points of contention between the Democratic House and Republican Senate over the two-year budget that begins July 1 included how much debt the state should incur and the funding of some projects paid for by coal severance taxes.

Senate budget committee Chairman Robert Leeper, I-Paducah, said the compromise budget includes less new debt and relies of less one-time money than previous budgets. It uses $217 million in one-time money to fund ongoing programs, down from $487 million in the two-year budget that ends June 30.

Using one-time money to balance the state's books was part of the reason why Kentucky bond rating was downgraded last May.

The budget also returns $72 million to the state's "Rainy Day" fund, another factor rating agencies consider when assessing the state's ability to repay its debts.

If the House approves the budget as expected, this will be the first time since 2006 the General Assembly has approved a two-year budget on time.

Read more here:


Kentucky General Assembly Passes Reasonable Bill To Help Curb Meth Manufacturing, Governor Steve Beshear Should Sign It Into Law.

Senate sends anti-meth bill to Beshear
By Jack Brammer

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Senate gave final passage Friday to a bill that would further limit the amount of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine that consumers could buy without a prescription.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient used in making methamphetamine, a major problem in the state.

Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, now goes to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature or veto.

The Senate voted 29-8 Friday in concurring with changes the House made to the bill.

SB 3 would require Kentuckians to get a doctor’s prescription to buy more than 7.2 grams of pseudoephedrine a month and 24 grams a year. A generic box of pseudoephedrine with 48 pills, each with a 30-milligram dosage, contains 1.44 grams of the medicine.

The bill’s sponsors had wanted lower limits, but they compromised with opponents who worried about inconveniencing cold and allergy sufferers.

The pharmaceutical industry has lobbied aggressively against the state requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine at any level.

Gel caps and liquid pseudoephedrine would be excluded from the limits in SB 3 because making meth from those forms is considered more difficult.

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University Of Kentucky Wildcats's Anthony Davis Wins The Oscar Robertson Award, As The 2012 U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Player Of The Year. Congrats. Again, Spider Man.

(Anthony Davis, middle, held the Oscar Robertson Trophy as his parents, Anthony Davis Sr. & Erainer Davis, left, and Oscar Robertson and John Calipari, right, posed for a photograph at the 2012 U.S. Basketball Writers Association 2012 College Basketball Awards breakfast at the Marriott Hotel in New Orleans, La., Friday, March 30, 2012. The University of Kentucky's Anthony Davis received the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the player of the year.)

Go here to read more.

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Keith Olbermann Fired By Current TV, To Be Replaced By Former New York Governor, Elliot "Foot Fetish" Spitzer.

Check out for more.


Kentucky's Anthony Davis Named Associated Press (AP) National Player Of The Year. Congratulations, "Spider Man".

(Kentucky's Anthony Davis, pictured above, is only the second freshman to be named AP Player of the Year)
Kentucky's Davis is Player of the Year

Anthony Davis is The Associated Press' college basketball Player of the Year, the first Kentucky player and second freshman to win the award.

He received 43 votes Friday from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Balloting was done before the NCAA tournament.

The 6-foot-10 player from Chicago is the Southeastern Conference's Player, Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.6 blocks while shooting 64.2 percent. His block total is a school record and third best for a freshman.

Kevin Durant of Texas in 2007 is the only other freshman to win the award.

Thomas Robinson of Kansas was second with 20 votes, and Draymond Green of Michigan State received the other two votes.

Jimmer Fredette of BYU won the award last season.

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Video Of George Zimmermann On The Night Of The Killing Of Trayvon Martin Released, Described Injuries Largely Missing. Watch Video.

Dick Cheney Needs To Recuperate From Heart Transplant Before Resuming Normal Duties. LOL.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

PEGGY NOONAN: "[POTUS Barack] Obama Increasingly Comes Across As Devious And Dishonest." And I *SIGH* At What Might Have Been!

Not-So-Smooth Operator
Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest.


Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault.

The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? "You're kidding me. That's not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it's not even constitutional!" Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church's religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who'd been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.

Next, a boy of 17 is shot and killed under disputed and unclear circumstances. The whole issue is racially charged, emotions are high, and the only memorable words from the president's response were, "If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon" At first it seemed OK—not great, but all right—but as the story continued and suddenly there were death threats and tweeted addresses and congressmen in hoodies, it seemed insufficient to the moment. At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: "Hey buddy, we don't need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it's not about you."

Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn't notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?

Maybe a stinging decision is coming, maybe not, but in a purely political sense this is how it looks: We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history's time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!—by following an imaginary bunny that disappeared down a rabbit hole.

The high court's hearings gave off an overall air not of political misfeasance but malfeasance.

All these things have hardened lines of opposition, and left opponents with an aversion that will not go away.

I am not saying that the president has a terrible relationship with the American people. I'm only saying he's made his relationship with those who oppose him worse.

In terms of the broad electorate, I'm not sure he really has a relationship. A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.

From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That's what the American people were thinking about.

But the new president wasn't thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn't know it was so bad, didn't understand the depth of the crisis, didn't have a sense of how long it would last. They didn't have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.

The president had his mind on health care. And, to be fair-minded, health care was part of the economic story. But only a part! And not the most urgent part. Not the most frightening, distressing, immediate part. Not the 'Is America over?' part.

And so the relationship the president wanted never really knitted together. Health care was like the birth-control mandate: It came from his hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America. They know Chicago, the machine, the ethnic realities. They know Democratic Party politics. They know the books they've read, largely written by people like them—bright, credentialed, intellectually cloistered. But there always seems a lack of lived experience among them, which is why they were so surprised by the town hall uprisings of August 2009 and the 2010 midterm elections.
More Peggy Noonan

Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns

click here to order her book, Patriotic Grace

If you jumped into a time machine to the day after the election, in November, 2012, and saw a headline saying "Obama Loses," do you imagine that would be followed by widespread sadness, pain and a rending of garments? You do not. Even his own supporters will not be that sad. It's hard to imagine people running around in 2014 saying, "If only Obama were president!" Including Mr. Obama, who is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but who doesn't seem to like his job that much. As a former president he'd be quiet, detached, aloof. He'd make speeches and write a memoir laced with a certain high-toned bitterness. It was the Republicans' fault. They didn't want to work with him.

He will likely not see even then that an American president has to make the other side work with him. You think Tip O'Neill liked Ronald Reagan? You think he wanted to give him the gift of compromise? He was a mean, tough partisan who went to work every day to defeat Ronald Reagan. But forced by facts and numbers to deal, he dealt. So did Reagan.

An American president has to make cooperation happen.

But we've strayed from the point. Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.

Really, he cannot win the coming election. But the Republicans, still, can lose it. At this point in the column we usually sigh.


We Congratulate University Of Kentucky Wildcat's Anthony Davis For Winning The 2012 Adolph Rupp Award, As The National Player Of The Year.

Follow link for video.


Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton And Others Plead Not Guilty To Charges In Federal Court, May 30 Is Next Scheduled Court Date.

Sheriff Eaton, three others plead not guilty

Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and three employees with the sheriff’s office entered not guilty pleas Wednesday in federal court on charges of civil rights violations.

Eaton, deputies Aaron Adam Bennett and Joseph Adam Gene Minor, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Duane Guffey were all arraigned in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.

Eaton has been charged by a federal grand jury with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, two counts of witness tampering, one count of falsification of a document and one count of giving a false statement to federal investigators.

Bennett and Minor are charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and providing a false statement to federal investigators, while Guffey is under indictment on two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of providing a false statement to federal investigators.

In being charged with deprivation of rights under color of law, Eaton, Bennett, Minor and Guffey are accused of assaulting or aiding and abetting one another in the assault of a person identified in the indictment as “B.R.S.” on or about Feb. 24, 2010. The second deprivation count against Eaton stems from an allegation that he “willfully” failed to prevent officers under his command from assaulting B.R.S.

The law enforcement officers have been charged in connection with alleged actions taking during a Feb. 24, 2010, arrest. Federal authorities accuse the men of beating a suspect while he was in handcuffs and then attempting to cover it up.

Records from the Barren County Corrections Center show that Billy Randall Stinnett was the only person brought to the jail on that date.

Stinnett would go on to plead guilty to numerous charges resulting from that arrest, which occurred after a pursuit through two counties that ended near Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow.

He is serving a 20-year prison sentence, but also has sued Eaton and the deputies, along with the county government, alleging that his civil rights were violated.

The lawsuit, which was filed in February 2011, indicates that five teenagers witnessed the arrest from inside Calvary Baptist Church. The witnesses claimed to the FBI that Stinnett was kicked and beaten with batons by law enforcement while he was handcuffed and lying on his stomach on the ground, according to court documents.

Eaton maintained in court records that the arrest was handled properly and that Stinnett was suspected of being armed and was actively resisting arrest.

That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court, with a status conference set for Nov. 8.

Eaton and the other defendants are free on recognizance bonds, remain employed and are continuing to perform their duties while the criminal case is pending.

They were all charged in a superseding indictment earlier this month.

The superseding indictment removed Deputy Danny “Bobby” McCown from the list of defendants. McCown was originally indicted in February with the other officers on similar charges of civil rights violations.

Eaton, Bennett, Minor and Guffey are next scheduled to appear in court May 30, according to court records.


Kentucky's General ASSembly Agrees On State Budget, Avoids Recurring ANNUAL "Special" Session.

Lawmakers reach deal on state budget shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday
By Beth Musgrave

FRANKFORT — House and Senate leaders agreed on a $19 billion, two-year state budget just before 3 a.m. Thursday, providing $3.5 million to help the Kentucky Horse Park and $2.5 million to start the redevelopment of Rupp Arena.

Lawmakers closed the deal just minutes before a self-imposed deadline, giving legislative staffers enough time to make requested changes in the bill before rank-and-file members must vote on it late Friday.

If there are no hiccups on Thursday or Friday, this will be the first state budget the General Assembly has approved on time in three years. Lawmakers would still have one day in mid April to override any line-item vetoes issued by Gov. Steve Beshear.

“We have white smoke,” said Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, shortly after the deal was inked. “They gave us until 3 o’clock in the morning and I want everyone to know that we finished five minutes early.”

The budget includes $2.5 million for Rupp Arena, less than the $3.5 million Lexington had hoped it would get to start planning the redevelopment of Rupp Arena and the surrounding area. To get the money, Lexington must come up with $2.5 million in matching money, about $1 million more than the city had planned to contribute, and the state’s funds can only be used for the Rupp Arena portion of the project.

The agreed budget also includes money for a scholarship program for kids from the state’s 38 coal-producing counties, helping those students attend private colleges or satellites campuses of state universities that are located in coal-producing counties.

The budget deal also tells Gov. Steve Beshear to find $80 million in additional savings in order to make the state’s books balance.

The deal came after three days of negotiations.

The House and Senate versions of the budget — approved earlier this month — were not that different. Both budgets kept key provisions of Gov. Steve Beshear’s original budget proposal, including 8.4 percent cuts to many state agencies, no change in the main funding formula for K-12 schools and no pay raises for state employees. Both chambers also included an additional $21 million to hire 300 more social workers and $1 million for colon cancer screening.

The Senate plan included less new debt than Beshear and the Democratic House and relied less on one-time money to balance the books.

Much of the discussions late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning focused on debt and projects paid for by coal severance taxes. Portions of the taxes on severed coal go back to the coal-producing counties. The House had placed 68 pages of coal severance projects in the budget.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told Senate leaders during budget negotiations that he did not believe House members would approve the budget without the coal severance projects.

Williams said Republicans did not believe coal severance taxes — which are supposed to be used for capital projects and economic development in coal counties — should be used for re-occurring expenses. The projects paid for using coal severance money include everything from Little League baseball equipment to fire trucks.

“We don’t think the single-county money is being spent as efficiently as it should be,” Williams said.

The Senate eventually agreed to allow the coal severance projects, but Senate leaders asked that language be include in the budget to make it clear that the money was for limited purposes. If a House member and Senate member from the same geographic area do not agree on a coal severance project in that area, no project will be listed in the budget. The coal-producing county might still receive the funding, but would have to apply for it through Beshear’s administration.

The House also had proposed using some coal severance money for a college scholarship program to encourage more Eastern Kentucky students to attend college. But the Senate argued that the scholarship program should be open to all 38 coal-producing counties, including those in Western Kentucky. The scholarships could be used at a university or a satellite of a university located in coal-producing counties.

After hours of going back and forth on Wednesday night, House and Senate leaders were separated by $12.9 million in projects the House wanted.

To close that gap, the Senate agreed to allow $3.5 million to go to the Kentucky Horse Park out of funds that Beshear must find in the budget. Beshear had originally proposed giving additional funding to the Horse Park to offset a budget deficit of $3.6 million. However, both sides agreed that the Horse Park would have to provide a business plan to state leaders by June 30.

The two sides also agreed to give the city of Lexington $1.25 million in each year of the two-year budget for the downtown redevelopment project. The House and Beshear had originally budgeted $3.5 million for the project. But Stumbo said the two sides felt that the money should only go toward the renovation of Rupp Arena. The remaining aspects of a downtown revitalization should be paid for by the city, he said.

The budget did not include an additional $7.5 million to expand the state’s preschool programs, a provision in the House budget. Beshear had originally proposed $15 million over two years for the expansion of preschools. Also not included was additional funding for Kentucky Educational Television and $500,000 for a legal scholarship for minority law students.

Typically, budget negotiations take place behind closed doors. This year, the budget negotiations were broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television, giving the public a rare glimpse of how the final decisions on the state’s two-year budget are made.

“I’ve served on many conference committees and free conference committees and I think this was the most productive and cordial conference committee I’ve ever seen,” Williams said.

Read more here:


The Politics Of Obamacare! LMAO!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Date For 2012 Southern Kentucky Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner Set.

2012 Southern Kentucky Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner

You are invited to attend the 2012 Southern Kentucky Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

The 2012 Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner is going to be Saturday, April 21st at the Carroll Knicely Center on WKU’s South Campus in Bowling Green. There will be a meet and greet reception starting at 5:15 pm followed by dinner and program at 6:00 pm. Congressman Brett Guthrie and U.S. Senator Rand Paul will be the featured speakers for the evening.

Individual tickets for the dinner will be $40 dollars. There are also 4 levels of sponsorship available:

Presidential Level - $1000 and up – includes full table and program recognition
Senatorial Level - $500 to $999 – includes full table and program recognition
Congressional Level - $250 to $499 – includes 4 dinner tickets and program recognition
Legislative Level - $100 and $249 – includes 2 dinner tickets and program recognition

To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact the County Party at or e-mail Scott Lasley at or call 270-991-3817.

A PDF version of the invitation is attached. Please share this information with friends and family.

Republican Party of Warren County

Visit the Republican Party of Warren County on Facebook


Lead Homicide Investigator In Tayvon Martin Case Recommended Manslaughter Charges Be Brought Against George Zimmerman In DISBELIEF Of His Story, Florida State Attorney Nixed Idea!

Report: Investigator Had Wanted Manslaughter Charge For Zimmerman
The latest development comes as leaks from both sides attempt to reshape the public narrative of Trayvon Martin's death.
By Josh Voorhees and Abby Ohlheiser

UPDATE: ABC News with the latest scoop: The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of Trayvon Martin originally recommended that police charge George Zimmerman with manslaughter the night of the shooting.

The network, citing "multiple sources," reports that Investigator Chris Serino was instructed, however, not to press charges against Zimmerman because the Florida state attorney's office had determined that there wasn't enough evidence to lead to a conviction.

ABC News also reports that Zimmerman was brought to the police station for questioning "for a few hours" on the night of the shooting, despite his request for medical attention first, and that Serino filed an affidavit on the night that Martin was killed that stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman's version of events.

The state attorney's office declined to comment when asked about the affidavit by ABC on Tuesday. Read the full ABC News story here.

Tuesday, March 27 at 12:37 p.m.: As federal investigators continue to look into the Trayvon Martin case, the media's attention appears to have shifted somewhat to the 17-year-old's apparent troubled past.

The Miami Herald reports that Martin was suspended from school three times over the past year, including once last year for spraying graffiti on school grounds. According to the paper, in the aftermath of that incident, a school police officer who confronted Martin the following day found a dozen items of women's jewelry and a screwdriver in his backpack.

The officer described the screwdriver as a "burglary tool" in his police report, although Martin was never charged or specifically disciplined for that incident.

Here's more on the incident from the Herald:

Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds.

Trayvon was asked if the jewelry belonged to his family or a girlfriend.

“Martin replied it’s not mine. A friend gave it to me,” he responded, according to the report. Trayvon declined to name the friend.

Martin had never been arrested, according to police and his family. However, he was also suspended from school after being caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it, and once for tardiness and truancy.

A family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, confirmed the suspensions to ABC News on Tuesday, but called the information "irrelevant" to the case. He likewise cast doubts on the Sanford police leak confirming much of Zimmerman's account of the lead-up to the shooting, calling it a "conspiracy" to further cloud the case.

Tuesday, March 27: As George Zimmerman and Sanford police defend themselves in the face of growing outrage over Trayvon Martin's death, the 17-year-old's parents are visiting Capitol Hill Tuesday to attend a racial profiling hearing organized by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee.

As CNN reports, a march is also planned in Washington for Tuesday outside of the White House, calling for a civil rights investigation into Martin's death.

Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed Martin last month, claiming self-defense. As details of the case spread over social networks and national media outlets, many advocates have increased calls for Zimmerman's arrest and have claimed that his actions, along with the Sanford police's decision not to arrest him, were racially motivated.

The Justice Department and a Florida grand jury are examining the evidence in the case.

After President Obama offered his first public comments on the case—"If I had a son he would look like Trayvon," he said—new information that appears to support Zimmerman's version of the incident began to emerge this week.

Zimmerman reportedly told police that he was approached from behind by Martin, and then attacked after a brief exchange of words. Sanford police say they have witness accounts that corroborate much of this version of the story, but few specifics have so far emerged, including when Zimmerman pulled his gun. Further clouding the issue is the fact that the Sanford police department itself is under scrutiny for its decision not to arrest Zimmerman, raising questions about the timing and the veracity of the leaked info.

Meanwhile, GOP hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have spoken out against Obama's remarks on the case, which they say are dividing Americans by bring racism into the discussion. On Sunday, Gingrich said Obama's words were "disgraceful" and "appalling."

And as Politico points out, Santorum has been saving his harshest remarks about the race discussion surrounding the Martin case for the conservative airwaves. He told Laura Ingraham on Monday, referring to Obama's remarks about Martin, that "to introduce this type of rhetoric that is clearly meant to bring up these very sensitive issues I just think is out of line for this president."

Editor's note: Check out Florida's homicide statute here, (which includes manslaughter); and, read Zimmerman's account here.

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As The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On "Obamacare", POTUS Barack Obama Peers Into Enemy Territory. I'm Rolling On The Floor In Laughter!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ANYONE Who Believes That Government (CONgress) Can CONSTITUTIONALLY Force Us To Buy A Commodity, Such As Health Insurance, At The Pain Of A Penalty, Belongs In A COMMUNIST Country As A Comrade!

Yes, you heard me: If there is anyone out there who thinks that CONgress has the power to FORCE consumers to buy healthcare, or any other consumer item, at the pain of monetary penalty, that someone needs to IMMEDIATELY move to a COMMUNIST country, and become a COMRADE.

Having said that, permit me to say this: I have a cure for the healthcare debacle>

The cure is: CONgress needs to give each one of us THE EXACT SAME insurance coverage each of their members have; EXACT SAME ONE! NO ifs, ands or buts.

After that, we promise not to bother the CONs anymore.

So, who's with me?!

BY the wa: I can't wait for the U. S. Supreme Court to strike down OBAMACARE's mandate to buy insurance or face the GESTAPO!

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Cal Thomas: "Trayvon Martin Should Not Have Been Killed, But [George] Zimmerman Shouldn’t Be The Only One Facing Indictment." I Agree!

Media deserve some of the blame in Trayvon Martin case
Written by Cal Thomas

If you watch the news in any large city you are probably desensitized to stories about crime involving young black men. Most nights there are reports about several of them getting shot; often, more than one dies. It might be a gang fight, a revenge killing, robbery or a drive-by. Someone is likely killed for their cellphone, or simply because they talked to the wrong girl at a party. Tragedy has become routine. Too many young black men die on our streets; too many rot in our prisons.

Two weeks ago, the Chicago Tribune reported that at least 10 people, including a 6-year-old girl, were killed in weekend shootings in Chicago.

The media love these stories because they boost the ratings and spike newsstand sales. Fear sells. “If it bleeds, it leads” is a familiar saying among those in the news business. Politicians use these horrific stories as an opportunity to pontificate for the cameras. They all deplore the violence, denounce it and demand its end, their outrage well timed to make the 10 o’clock news.

The Rev. Al Sharpton frequently inserts himself into these situations, crying for “justice,” which in the case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is likely to come without his help, given the multiple levels of government involvement in the investigation.

The facts in this case are not yet fully known, but that doesn’t stop people from thinking they have them, giving some an excuse to resurrect racial templates from the past. The Washington Post featured this headline last week, “Florida Shooting Stirs Memories of Civil Rights Era.”

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a member of a neighborhood watch group. Whether Zimmerman was an official member, or a cop wannabe, is one of the questions investigators are asking. Zimmerman has yet to be charged, presumably, because officials are trying to sort out whether a Florida law known as “stand your ground,” which gives Florida residents the right to protect themselves with deadly force, applies in the Martin case. That hasn’t stopped nearly 1 million signers of an online “petition” from reaching conclusions before investigators and a grand jury have completed their work.

I will leave the questions about this tragedy to those looking into it, but the politics of it is worthy of comment.

In light of the number of young black men who are too often gunned down on America’s streets, what’s different about the Trayvon Martin case? Is it the fact that he was killed in a gated community and not in an alley in Detroit? If Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, were black, would we have the current controversy? If Martin were white, or any other race, would the president of the United States have called for “soul searching”? He made no comment about the Chicago shootings.

Would Al Sharpton have made the trip to Florida if Martin had been white? Not likely. Sharpton apparently hopes people have forgotten the 1987 Tawana Brawley incident during which he waved the “racism” flag in support of the African-American teenager’s contention that she had been raped by six white men. A grand jury later found that Brawley had not been the victim of a forced sexual assault. The New York prosecutor whom Brawley had accused as one of her alleged assailants successfully sued Brawley and her three advisers, including Sharpton, for defamation.

The media bear some responsibility for exacerbating racial tensions. By too often featuring stories of violent young black men they appear to promote the very racial stereotyping they deplore. Why don’t we see more stories about young black men making right choices, staying in school, rejecting drugs and getting married before having children? They exist. Can’t the media find them?

The steady drumbeat of crime and violence in the media and their association of race and crime with certain parts of town feed into the often irrational fears of white people. I’m not suggesting these stories shouldn’t be covered. I am suggesting that local news ought to tell more stories of young black men who make good decisions that benefit themselves and their communities. Or have we forgotten what “good” looks like?

Trayvon Martin should not have been killed, but Zimmerman shouldn’t be the only one facing indictment.

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Kentucky vs. Louisville: A Dream Rivalry YEP!

Kentucky vs. Louisville: A dream rivalry

In the chronicles of rivalries, some stand out more than others.

Coke and Pepsi.

The Hatfields and the McCoys.

Edison and Tesla.

The Beatles and the Stones.

Steinem and Schlafly.

Kennedy and Nixon.

Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.

Connery and Moore and Brosnan and Craig.

Grant and Lee.

Athens and Sparta.

And in sports, the arena with perhaps the most spirited rivalries, who can forget Bird and Johnson, Ali and Frazier, Kerrigan and Harding, Seabiscuit and War Admiral, Palmer and Nicklaus, King and Riggs and Borg and McEnroe?

This week, another rivalry for the ages, a homegrown epic, goes full-tilt in the Bluegrass State and on the national stage:

UK and U of L.

The University of Kentucky Wildcats and the University of Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball teams go head to head, toe to toe, in a March Madness, Final Four match-up, the Blue and Red likes of which haven’t been seen since … well, ever, never, whatever.

As the sports writers are pointing out, in the words of this particular nugget from Yahoo!: “Kentucky and Louisville have met 43 times since 1913 and every year since 1983, but the Bluegrass State rivals have never faced each other in a Final Four. In fact, they’ve only met four times in the NCAA tournament, splitting four meetings with Louisville winning the most famous one — the 1983 ‘Dream Game’ in the Elite Eight that essentially relaunched the rivalry.”

To get to this red-hot moment in the UK/U of L rivalry — they meet Saturday in New Orleans; the winner goes to the NCAA finals against either Kansas or Ohio State — Kentucky had to keep on keeping on with its No. 1-caliber performances. U of L had to scrap and claw its way back after its tumble from top rankings earlier in the season. Very different paths to the same destination close to the summit of their sport, as the Wildcats clinched their spot in the Final Four after schooling the Baylor Bears in a blowout and the Cards prevailed in a nail-biter over the Florida Gators.

Frankly, what’s going to happen on the court Saturday is the least of our worries. The teams have practices, drills, coaches, doctors and trainers to keep their minds occupied, their eyes on the ball and their fettles fine.

We’re wondering if the rest of Kentucky can hold it together before, during and after the Son of Dream Game because the rivalry of Cats and Cards partisans deserves to be on the all-time list, too.

If states could wag and wiggle, Kentucky would be all over the map right about now. Talk about fan-demonium.

As we count down to game day, and celebrate the excellence of effort that put both teams in the Final Four, let us all remember what Sir Charles Barkley, basketball sage, said about keeping the rivalry on the court, and only during the game, where and when it belongs:

“I don't hate anyone, at least not for more than 48 minutes, barring overtime.”


"Stand Your Ground" In Florida.


Monday, March 26, 2012

U. S. Government Pays Each Victim Murdered By Sgt. Robert Bales In Afghanistan Fifty Thousand Dollars.

Afghans: US paid $50K per shooting spree death

Afghanistan Massacre Aftermath

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The U.S. paid $50,000 in compensation for each villager killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a rogue American soldier in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Sunday.

The families were told that the money came from President Barack Obama. The unusually large payouts were the latest move by the White House to mend relations with the Afghan people after the killings threatened to shatter already tense relations.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of sneaking off his base on March 11, then creeping into houses in two nearby villages and opening fire on families as they slept.

The killings came as tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan were strained following the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in February. That act - which U.S. officials have acknowleged was a mistake - sparked riots and attacks that killed more than 30 people, including six American soldiers.

There have been no violent protests following the March 11 shootings in Kandahar province's Panjwai district, but demands for justice on Afghan terms have been getting louder since Bales was flown out of the country to a U.S. military prison. Many Afghans in Kandahar have continued to argue that there must have been multiple gunmen and accused the U.S. government of using Bales as a scapegoat.

U.S. investigators believe the gunman returned to his base after the first attack and later slipped away to kill again.

That would seem to support the U.S. government's assertion that the shooter acted alone, since the killings would have been perpetrated over a longer period of time than assumed when Bales was detained outside his base in Kandahar province's Panjwai district.

But it also raises new questions about how the suspect could have carried out the pre-dawn attacks without drawing attention from any Americans on the base.

Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes and could face the death penalty if convicted.

The families of the dead received the money Saturday at the governor's office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. He and community elder Jan Agha confirmed the payout amounts.

In previous civilian deaths, survivors received smaller compensation payments from Afghan officials - $2,000 for each death and $1,000 for each person wounded.

Two U.S. officials confirmed that compensation had been paid but declined to discuss exact amounts, saying only that the payments reflected the devastating nature of the incident. The officials spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the subject.

A spokesman for NATO and U.S. forces, Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, said only that coalition members often make compensation payments, but they are usually kept private.

"As the settlement of claims is in most cases a sensitive topic for those who have suffered loss, it is usually a matter of agreement that the terms of the settlement remain confidential," Cummings said.

However, civilian death compensations are occasionally made public. In 2010, U.S. troops in Helmand province said they paid $1,500 to $2,000 if a civilian was killed in a military operation and $600 to $1,500 for a serious injury. The Panjwai shootings are different because they were not part of a sanctioned operation, but it is a distinction lost on many Afghans who see any civilian deaths as criminal.

The provided compensation figures would mean that at least $866,000 was paid out in all. Afghan officials and villagers have counted 16 dead - 12 in the village of Balandi and four in neighboring Alkozai - and six wounded. The U.S. military has charged Bales with 17 murders without explaining the discrepancy.

The 38-year-old soldier, who is from Lake Tapps, Wash., is accused of using his 9mm pistol and M-4 rifle to kill four men, four women, two boys and seven girls, then burning some of the bodies. The ages of the children were not disclosed in the charge sheet.

Bales is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The mandatory minimum sentence if he is convicted is life imprisonment with the chance of parole. He could also receive the death penalty.

Families of the dead declined to comment on any payments by U.S. officials on Sunday, but some said previously that they were more concerned about seeing the perpetrator punished than money.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban and remains a dangerous area despite several offensives.

In the latest violence, a bomb struck a joint NATO-Afghan foot patrol in Kandahar's Arghandab district late Saturday, killing nine Afghans and one international service member, according to Shah Mohammad, the district administrator.

Arghandab is a farming region just outside Kandahar city that has long provided refuge for Taliban insurgents. It was one of a number of communities around Kandahar city that were targeted in a 2010 sweep to oust the insurgency from the area.

The Afghan dead included one soldier, three police officers, four members of the Afghan "local police" - a government-sponsored militia force - and one translator, Mohammad said.

NATO reported earlier Sunday that one of its service members was killed Saturday in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan but did not provide additional details. It was not clear if this referred to the same incident, as NATO usually waits for individual coalition nations to confirm the details of deaths of their troops.


Read more here:


For Unemployed Kentuckians At Risk Of Losing Their Homes To Mortgage Foreclosures, Help Is With Unemployment Bridge Program.

Mortgage assistance there for the asking
By Cheryl Truman

If you are an unemployed Kentucky homeowner staring into the abyss of unmade mortgage payments, the Kentucky Housing Corp. would like to hear from you: It has $92 million in unclaimed mortgage assistance.

Let’s repeat that number: $92 million.

“We still do have assistance available,” said Amanda Palmer, a spokeswoman for the corporation, which serves as the state housing finance agency. “We want people to know about it.”

Palmer said that while the housing corporation is pleased with the amount disbursed since the Unemployment Bridge Program began last year, Kentuckians who are unemployed as a result of the recession need to know that there is government help and that it is not charity. Those who are unemployed as a result of other causes, such as disability, are not eligible for the program.

The program’s biggest hurdle is assuring potential participants that it’s for real.

“A lot of people thought it was too good to be true,” Palmer said. “We had to overcome that sense. There’s a lot of scams out there.”

Homeowners can get in touch with the Kentucky Housing Corp. by seeing a local counselor or by applying to the program at its Web site,  , which Palmer said is faster.

“When they lose their jobs, they may not be in danger of losing their home because they’re using their retirement or some other savings,” Palmer said. “They don’t have to do that.”

The program, funded by the federal government, was started last April with $148.9 million, more than $90 million of which is still available. More than 1,400 Kentucky home owners have been helped.

Kentucky was one of 18 states and the District of Columbia chosen to participate in the program, based on high levels of unemployment and decline in home values.

The program ends Dec. 31, 2017, or when all the money is spent.

Stephanie Givens of Lexington knows how much that assistance can mean. The program helped Givens keep up her mortgage payments while unemployed, which the medical claims processor said took a huge weight off her shoulders.

Givens saw a brochure advertising the program by chance one day while in the unemployment office.

“I had no idea it was going to be as much as they gave me,” she said. “It has taken a tremendous burden off me. Being on unemployment, I didn’t know if I was going to lose my house or not.”

Sandra Wilfong of Lexington, a former accountant for an engineering firm who has been laid off twice, had applied for a loan modification through her mortgage compa ny and was turned down. But her loan officer told her to look into the Kentucky Housing Corp. program.

“She kind of whispered it,” said Wilfong, whose husband is a school bus driver.

Wilfong was shocked when she was approved.

“I said, ‘Well, I’ll be darned,’” she said. “It took two weeks, and they’re paying my mortgage for a year. It’s not embarrassing at all. ... It gives me a year to get a job that is a good job.”

Wilfong said the application was easy to assemble, and her counselor cheerfully aided her through the process.

Bryan Warner of Louisville found out about the program from his parents, who had received a brochure advertising the program in the mail after his father was laid off from the General Electric plant in Lexington.

Warner had just gotten out of the Army and was having trouble finding a job.

He said the program helps stabilize communities by keeping people in their homes.

“It does a lot of people a lot of good,” Warner said. “They know they’re helping people who actually need help.”

Nonetheless, he is pleased to be getting off the program after six months. He has found a job working with an industrial cleaning company and said he was happy to submit his first pay stub to show he is back in the work force.

Robin Allen, a regional manager for Apprisen, which counsels consumers with debt, is one of those who helps Kentucky Housing Corp. in doing the pre-screening.

“A few people have heard about it, but they really don’t think it’s real because it sounds too good to be true,” Allen said.

Even unemployed homeowners who are behind on their payments are eligible, Allen said, as long as the total assistance does not exceed $25,000.

Said Allen: “It is a big relief for everyone to know, ‘I’ve got a year, my mortgage is going to be taken care of.’”

Wilfong praised the Community Ventures Corp. liaison who helped her through the process.

“They look at the simple fact that you are unemployed and need help,” she said. “They are very non-judgmental people.”

Editor's note:

Kentucky Housing Corp. Unemployment Bridge Program

The forgivable loan program is for homeowners who, through no fault of their own, have experienced a job loss or reduction in income due to changing economic conditions, and demonstrate a need for assistance. The program is not for job or income loss due to divorce, death or disability. The job loss or reduction of employment income must have occurred within the three years before the date of application.

The maximum assistance is $25,000 or for 12 months, whichever occurs first. Of the $25,000, the maximum amount that may be used for reinstatement — all related fees and payments to bring your loan current — is $7,500.

Participants must meet the following guidelines, and the mortgage must be with one of the program’s more than 200 participating servicers.
• Maximum amount of liens on the property cannot exceed $275,000.
• Maximum of two liens are permitted on the property.
• Borrower’s principal, interest, taxes and insurance, or PITI, must exceed 31 percent of the gross monthly income, or borrower must experience a 15 percent reduction in employment income.
• Maximum liquid reserves is six months PITI (excluding retirement funds).
• Borrowers must sign a hardship affidavit acknowledging the reduction in income is due to no fault of their own.

The program is available only to borrowers whose mortgage servicing company agrees to partner with the Kentucky Housing Corp. A borrower cannot receive assistance if his or her servicer has not enrolled as a participant. To see whether your servicing company is on this list, go to

To contact the housing corporation, call (502) 564-7630 or 1-800-633-8896.


For Lexington-area homeowners, more information is available through the following organizations:
• Community Ventures Corp.: Keysha Cuyler, (859) 231-0054,
• Apprisen Financial Advocates, locally known as Consumer Credit Counseling Services: Robin Allen,
• REACH: Chris Ford, (859) 455-8057.

To read more, click here.


We Concur With This Conclusion From Louisville Courier Journal: "Saints? Hardly!"

Editorial | Saints? Hardly

They were more honest about it in the days of the Old West. Wanted posters were hung in public. Bounty hunters went after their human quarry, knowing the reward attached. The human quarry knew, too.

The modern-day New Orleans Saints had a behind-the-scenes bounty program. They didn’t advertise it. Their quarry — opposing quarterbacks like Aaron Rogers, Cam Newton, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner — didn’t have the fair warning of public posters, but the bounty hunters who suited up in team uniforms knew who they were to intentionally maim or knock silly and they knew how much they would be paid for it: $1,500 for knockouts, $1,000 for cart-offs, and the reward was double or triple for playoff games.

If this doesn’t horrify fans who have at least read about the higher rates of concussions being reported in the NFL, then there’s something amiss with more than professional football.

But some fans don’t have a problem with this. They say it’s all part of the game — rough stuff for grownups, if you can’t take the hits, stay off the field, yadda-yadda-yadda. They need to ask themselves this: Would they want their kids playing a game this way, or to grow up to play a game that offers bounties?

The NFL has a problem with the Saints’ bounty program, very belatedly, some say — but organized football hit New Orleans hard last week for it: Head Coach Sean Payton, suspended without pay for the next season; former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, indefinitely banned; general manager Mickey Loomis banned for the first eight games next season, assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six. Also the team lost two second-round draft picks and was fined $500,000.

Despite the unprecedented nature of some of the league punishments, all that sounded like pretty weak tea to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., too. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he plans to convene a hearing about bounties in pro sports (football and others) and to examine whether federal law should make such programs and acts a crime. “If this activity were taking place off of a sporting field, away from a court, nobody would have a second thought (about whether it’s wrong),” he told MSNBC.

Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell looked beyond the immediate repercussions to the bigger questions about the bounties, the punishments and the sport at the center of it all. Saying pro football was at its crossroads, he wrote, “The NFL has to change. A lot. Can Lions, Bears, Jaguars and Bengals really change their claws, paws, jaws and stripes?”

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George Zimmerman RACIST, Cop Wanna-be, Or BOTH!?

Who is George Zimmerman? Is he really a racist or just an overzealous wannabe cop?

, accused of the murder of an unarmed Afro-American teenager, Trayvon Martin, 26 days ago.

Written by Manuel Roig-Franzia, Tom Jackman and Darryl Fears

The shooter was once a Catholic altar boy — with a surname that could have been Jewish.

His father is white, neighbors say. His mother is Latina. And his family is eager to point out that some of his relatives are black.

There may be no box to check for George Zimmerman, no tidy way to categorize, define and sort the 28-year-old man whose pull of a trigger on a darkened Florida street is forcing America to once again confront its fraught relationship with race and identity. The victim, we know, was named Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager in a hoodie. The rest becomes a matter for interpretation.

The drama in Florida takes on a kind of modern complexity. Its nuances show America for what it is steadily becoming, a realm in which identity is understood as something that cannot be summed up in a single word.

The images of Zimmerman — not just his face, but the words used to describe him — can confound and confuse. Why are they calling him white, wondered Paul Ebert, the Prince William County commonwealth’s attorney who knew Zimmerman’s mother, Gladys, from her days as an interpreter at the county courthouse. Zimmerman’s mother, Ebert knew, was Peruvian, and he thought of her as Hispanic.

Looking at Zimmerman’s photograph made Darren Soto, a Florida state legislator, think he might be Latino. But he just as easily might have been Italian or French, he thought. “It’s all over the place in Florida,” said Soto, who represents a statehouse district in Orlando, a 20-minute drive from the gated subdivision in Sanford where Martin died. “You have people with Anglo first and last names who speak perfect Spanish and are from Puerto Rico. And you’ve got a third- or fourth-generation Joey Gonzalez from Tampa who can’t speak a word of Spanish.”

The focus in Florida, where thousands gathered Thursday night in Sanford for an emotional rally, has primarily been on complaints that Martin may have been targeted because of his race. The uproar led Thursday to the temporary resignation of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who has been accused by demonstrators of bungling the case and criticized for not arresting Zimmerman.

In Manassas, Va., where Zimmerman lived in the 1980s and 1990s with his parents and two siblings, neighbors tended to define the family based on their spiritual profile. “Very Catholic ... very religious,” their neighbor Jim Rudzenski recalled Thursday. The children attended All Saints Catholic School on Stonewall Road through the eighth grade before going to Osbourn High School. George became an altar server and evening receptionist at All Saints Catholic Church. The Zimmermans “were known and respected in the community for their dedication and service,” said Robert Cilinski, pastor of All Saints Catholic Church.

The father, Robert Zimmerman Sr., is a retired military man. He could be strict. And the children’s grandmother, who lived with the family, also kept a watchful eye, said Kay Hall, who lived across the street from the Zimmermans in a neighborhood just west of Sudley Road for about 20 years. George and his siblings “didn’t play with the neighborhood kids,” Rudzen­ski said. “They had to stay home and play.” It was always “Yes, ma’am,” “No, ma’am,” Hall said.

Zimmerman’s life was not without difficulties. In 2001 — when he was 17 or 18 — he was the victim of a minor criminal assault, said Manassas police Sgt. Eddie Rivera. The city’s computer records do not provide details of the crime.

In school, Zimmerman hinted at ambitions in the business world. He joined a Future Business Leaders of America club. And in his senior yearbook, he wrote: “I’m going to Florida to work with my godfather who just bought a $1 million business.”

In Florida, Zimmerman shifted his plans, enrolling in Seminole State College with hopes of becoming a law enforcement officer. He became the self-appointed protector of the streets around his home, although his neighborhood watch organization was not officially registered. He called the police department at least 46 times since 2004 to report everything from open garages to suspicious people. In 2005, according to police records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel and other news organizations, Zimmerman was twice accused of either criminal misconduct or violence. He had a concealed-weapon permit and had a black Kel-Tec semiautomatic handgun and a holster the night Martin died.

Zimmerman’s father has sought to emphasize his family’s diversity in hopes of saving his son from condemnation as a racist. While images of protests from across the country skitter past on television screens, the elder Zimmerman has tried to do what others have been doing, in various ways, for days: define his son. George is “a Spanish-speaking minority,” the father wrote in a letter delivered to the Orlando Sentinel. “He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.” George, the father insisted, was more like the boy he killed than people thought. George was a minority — the other — too.

But the argument that the father is making feels hollow and self-serving to Michaela Angela Davis, an African-American writer and activist who lives in New York. In her eyes, George Zimmerman’s Hispanic roots don’t give him cover.

“You being a minority doesn’t make you immune to racist beliefs,” she said in an interview Thursday. Davis sees a pervasive cultural imprint, reinforced by media and entertainment imagery: the black man as a symbol of “violence, fear and deviant behavior.” A young man could be susceptible to the influence of that image whether his “mother is from Peru or Norway.”

Hispanics and black Americans have a shared history of discrimination in the United States. But they also have a shared history of tension — in neighborhoods, schools, even prisons. In Latin America, including Peru, Afro Latinos have frequently complained of a lack of political representation, economic disenfranchisement and the virtual absence of their image in popular culture, such as soap operas, an issue they attribute to racial exclusion.

Zimmerman’s legal fate could rest on examinations of possible motives that will be pieced together from clues, including snatches of audiotape, and from inquiries into whether he muttered a racial slur before the shooting.

Zimmerman’s family background doesn’t invite a racial motive, but it doesn’t discount one either, said Luis Martinez-Fernandez, a professor of Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Central Florida. Hispanics are an ethnic group, but within that group there are different races. There are black Dominicans and Cubans, for instance.

“Who is Hispanic and who’s not is not as clear as other ethnic groups,” said Martinez-Fernandez. “There’s no such thing as a Hispanic race. It has to do with origin, culture and race. Some people argue that language should be a part. All this complicates identity.”

Hispanics make up the nation’s largest ethnic group at more than 13 percent of the population, while African Americans are the largest racial group, with more than 12 percent of the population. In the 2010 Census, more than half of people who identified as Hispanic said they were white, and only 3 percent said they were black.

“There’s a sense that one group has been harmed historically more than the other,” Martinez-Fernandez said. “There’s been a history of the dominant group in power pitting one group against the other. I think we have not fought together. There have been few instances of that.”

But there have been some signs in Florida that Hispanics and African Americans are forging a bond, said Soto, the state legislator. During ongoing redistricting debates in Florida, the two groups have “stuck together very solidly,” he said.

If not for a quirk of fate, Martin and Zimmerman might never have encountered each other, sparing the nation a painful episode. Several years ago, Zimmerman returned to his old neighborhood and showed up unannounced at the house across the street. He came back two more times to see George Hall, a retired Presbyterian minister. Zimmerman told him that he had plans. He wanted to move back to Virginia. He wanted to be a police officer, but he needed a letter of recommendation that Zimmerman could give to prospective employers.

“I told them he was a great guy,” Hall recalled. “We never did hear what happened with that.”

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Words To Live By, Words Of Wisdom, And Words To Ponder.

“Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”

-- former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, on the "self defense" law relied on by George Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin.

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Joel Pett Reveals POTUS Barack Obama HATERS. This IS Way Beyond Funny. I Can't Stop Laughing!


Joseph Gerth: Governor [Steve] Beshear Hurt By His Low Profile.

Gov. Beshear hurt by his low profile
Written by Joseph Gerth

FRANKFORT, KY. — As the 2012 General Assembly session comes to a close, the name you just don’t hear much of in the halls of Frankfort these days is that of Gov. Steve Beshear.

His limited legislative agenda left by the Senate on the side of the road like so many old fast food containers, Beshear’s presence hasn’t been felt here since he testified before a Senate committee in February in favor of his expanded gambling legislation.

It’s a laissez-faire approach that he has adopted since he took office in December 2007 which, combined with a Republican Senate that hasn’t wanted to give him any victories and a horrible budget situation that’s given him no money to work with, has seen him pass few of his initiatives in his five legislative sessions.

“That’s his style,” said Rep. Jim Wayne, a Louisville Democrat who laments that not enough is being done on big issues like tax reform. For that, he blames legislative leaders along with Beshear for Frankfort’s failure to act decisively on such issues.

“It’s his style and if he were to ask me — and I’ve actually mentioned this to him on occasion — I think it would be much easier for him … if he had more personal relations with the legislators of both parties and mixed with us more, had us over to the mansion for informal discussions to create some common ground that doesn’t exist right now, I think he could be a much more effective governor,” Wayne said.

“And I hope he can still do that,” Wayne said.

Former Gov. Paul Patton was a master at that. He held informal gatherings — often to watch University of Kentucky basketball and football games — in which he built support for his agenda.

Defenders note that for the past three weeks, Beshear has been tied up dealing with the tornadoes that raked the state March 2, the strongest of which ravaged communities like West Liberty and East Bernstadt.

“I don’t want to be critical of the governor,” said Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, whose district is home to East Bernstadt. “I traveled with the governor to these sites. I saw a man with a lot of compassion getting things done. …

“I was so impressed with that because I know he has a lot on his plate,” Jensen said.

“The way he handled that, the meetings that he had and said, ‘Just tell us what you need.’ … Under that circumstance and the pressure of all that in the short time he had, I think he acted (as) a very good governor — a very good governor,” said Jensen. “I thought he really elevated his performance in a tough time.”

Beshear has gotten high marks during times of crisis but has failed on passing legislation to achieve his goals.

One lobbyist who has watched numerous governors argues that the most effective ones of the past 65 years have had one thing in common: They’ve all been former county judges.

“They learn there that they can’t get things done alone,” he said.

With the help of the General Assembly, Gov. Earle C. Clements, a former Union County judge, raised taxes on liquor and pari-mutuel wagering and used the money to build a dozen large state parks. He raised the gas tax and expanded the state’s road system, building the Western Kentucky Parkway and the Kentucky Turnpike, which is now known as Interstate 65.

Republican Gov. Louie Nunn, who had been Barren County’s judge-executive, worked with a Democratic legislature to raise some taxes and lower others. He added to the state park system, elevated the old Northern Kentucky Community College into the state college system and increased services to people with mental health problems.

And Patton, the old Pike County judge-executive, used his influence to wrest control of the community college system from the University of Kentucky, instituted the “Bucks for Brains” program that brought high-powered talent to state universities, and persuaded a legislature full of black-lung lawyers to revamp the state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Those types of accomplishments might be out of reach for any governor faced with a divided legislature as fractious as the one Beshear has, but a little shindig in the governor’s mansion every now and then couldn’t hurt.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

We Congratulate University Of Kentucky, Wildcats' Basketball Team On Becoming 2012 South Regional Tournament Champions, And For Showing Baylor University How To Play Basketball.

UK-U of L in Final Four is a dream game for Kentuckians
By John Clay

ATLANTA — Not even Bourbon Street will know what hit it.

Welcome to what promises to be the wildest, craziest, most hyped, most exciting, most nerve-wracking and sleepless six days leading up to the biggest, most-anticipated sporting event in the history of our little commonwealth.

For a state that lives for basketball, this is a dream and a nightmare at the same time.

This is Kentucky vs. Louisville in the Final Four for the first time ever.

This is the top-dog Cats, the NCAA Tournament's overall No. 1 seed, winners of the South Regional by beating Baylor 82-70 on Sunday, versus the underdog Cards, No. 4 seed and surprise 72-68 West Regional winner over Florida on Saturday, squaring off in the Big Easy for a berth in the national championship game.

This is something that comes along once in, ... never.

It's UK versus U of L, the state's two biggest rivals on the sport's biggest stage.

It's John Calipari and Rick Pitino, former coaching friends, now current coaching competitors.

It's one passionately insane fan base against another passionately insane fan base, both of which happen to reside within the same borders.

"It's basketball," Calipari said Sunday, as if this were a mere sporting event.

No, it's Kentucky and Louisville basketball.

Oh, UK and U of L have played in the NCAA Tournament before, in the 1959 Mideast Regional semifinals (Louisville won), in the 1983 Mideast Regional finals (Louisville won) and in the 1984 Mideast second round (Kentucky won).

They've never met in the Final Four, although they came close twice.

In 1986, Louisville beat Auburn to win the West Regional, but Kentucky lost to LSU in the finals of the Mideast Regional.

In 1975, the two came within a whisker of playing for the national championship when Kentucky beat Syracuse in the national semifinal in San Diego, then Louisville lost a heartbreaker to UCLA in the second game that day.

Now, finally, everything has fallen into place.

It will be the first time two schools from the same state will face off in the Final Four since Ohio State played Cincinnati in the 1962 championship game.

Louisville shrugged off its late-season struggles to become the tournament's hot team, winning the Big East Tournament title, then knocking off No. 1 seed Michigan State in the West semifinal before rallying from a 11-point second-half deficit to clip Florida in the finals.

Kentucky has taken a more dominant path: consensus No. 1 in the polls, a 36-2 team deemed the Big Dance favorite the moment the draw was announced on Selection Sunday.

The Cats gave no reason for anyone to think any differently this weekend in the Georgia Dome.

They sprinted past Indiana 102-90 in a track meet of a semifinal on Friday night. They freshened up and roared to a 42-22 halftime lead on No. 3 seed Baylor, messed around a little in the second half, and cut down the nets after a 12-point win.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 19 points to earn MVP honors. Terrence Jones had the best one-point half of his life in the first 20 minutes, dishing six assists, grabbing five rebounds, blocking three shots and making two steals.

There was an uh-oh moment in the second half when freshman center and national player of the year Anthony Davis banged knees with a Baylor Bear and was writhing on the floor in pain. But he returned to the game and pronounced himself fine.

"I'm not going to miss the next game," Davis said.

Nor will anyone from Paducah to Paintsville, even if post-game Sunday, Kentucky's players were trying to shrug off the rematch with a "just another game" mantra that no one was buying.

A day earlier in Phoenix, Pitino couldn't help but toss a verbal salvo at Big Brother by saying Kentucky fans "would have nervous breakdown if they lose to us" and that they would have to "raise the fences on the bridges."

"I don't know what that means," Mitch Barnhart said, but the UK athletics director also said, "I think it's great for the state."

Treated with shared respect and pride, it will be insanely great for the commonwealth as Kentuckians make their way to Louisiana for that 6:09 p.m. tipoff in the Superdome.

Be ready, Bourbon Street.

And the last one to leave Kentucky, turn out the lights.

Read more here:


Ky. Voices: Young, Religious, And Supporting Barack Obama.

Ky. Voices: Young, religious, and supporting Barack Obama
By Jordan Stivers
I'm a young person of faith and I helped elect President Barack Obama in 2008. This year I'm doing it again. The remaining contenders for the GOP nomination claim that they best represent the religious and social values of "real Americans." I'm real, I'm an American, and the extreme Republican rhetoric does not reflect my values. This weekend, I'm making sure my voice and my values are heard again by getting help from some of the smartest people around at the Young Democrats of America's first-of-its-kind Faith and Values Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

The YDA Summit is focused on preparing young Democrats to connect with people and communities of faith. Top Democratic leaders will train participants in strategies aimed at showing the deep connection between religious Americans and the Democratic Party values — like loving our neighbor, justice and opportunity for all, and a belief that we're greater together when we pursue the common good through our public policies.

The summit is bringing together 100 young leaders from around the country who are committed to connecting with religious "millennials," a demographic group that is increasingly progressive. YDA is certainly entering new territory with this effort, but the timing and political environment could not be better. Young people of faith are leaving the GOP in large numbers and looking for a new political home.

I was born and raised in Bowling Green and came to Lexington in 2006 to attend the University of Kentucky. For most of my upbringing, my family attended a Baptist church.

During college I became drawn to the Episcopal church after experiencing the reverence and beauty of the Holy Eucharist at the Washington National Cathedral while I was a summer intern. College was an enriching experience where I learned about many different faiths and analyzed my own biases and assumptions about all faiths.

As a freshman, I had registered to vote as a Republican at a table on campus. Throughout that first year of college, my mind was opened and my spirituality was deepened as I was exposed to new people and new ideas. In the fall of my sophomore year, after spending the summer interning for a Democratic elected official in Bowling Green, I changed my party registration to Democrat.

As I started following politics it became clear to me that my values of empathy, personal responsibility and the courage to help others were evident in the policies of Democrats.

Matthew 25:40 says, "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' "

I believe this verse best represents the spirit of Jesus' teaching, and why Democratic policies are compatible with it. I think of this verse as we discuss universal health care, early childhood education and protecting women's health.

There's much work for Democrats to do on faith outreach, but the Faith and Values Leadership Summit is an exciting first step in what promises to be a worthwhile conversation about which party best represents the values of people of faith. I am excited to be a part of this unique gathering and look forward to what lies ahead.

Jordan Stivers, of Lexington, is a University of Kentucky graduate.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

We Congratulate University Of Louisville Cardinals On Winning The West Regional Championship, And Beating Florida To Win A Trip To The NCAA Final Four!


Liberals Always Claim That Dick Cheney Doesn't Have A Heart And Called Him Dart Vader. Well .. He's Got A New One Now After A Heart Transplant. We Wish Him Well. Watch News Video.



How Gasoline (FUEL) Prices Are Determined.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Michael Skolnik: White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin!

White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin! by Michael Skolnik
Posted March 19, 2012 by Michael Skolnik

17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a Neighborhood Watch captain inside his own gated Orlando, Florida community where he was living with his father, stepmother and little brother.

I will never look suspicious to you. Even if I have a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers fact, that is what I wore yesterday...I still will never look suspicious. No matter how much the hoodie covers my face or how baggie my jeans are, I will never look out of place to you. I will never watch a taxi cab pass me by to pick someone else up. I will never witness someone clutch their purse tightly against their body as they walk by me. I won't have to worry about a police car following me for two miles, so they can "run my plates." I will never have to pay before I eat. And I certainly will never get "stopped and frisked." I will never look suspicious to you, because of one thing and one thing only. The color of my skin. I am white.

I was born white. It was the card I was dealt. No choice in the matter. Just the card handed out by the dealer. I have lived my whole life privileged. Privileged to be born without a glass ceiling. Privileged to grow up in the richest country in the world. Privileged to never look suspicious. I have no guilt for the color of my skin or the privilege that I have. Remember, it was just the next card that came out of the deck. But, I have choices. I got choices on how I play the hand I was dealt. I got a lot of options. The ball is in my court.

So, today I decided to hit the ball. Making a choice. A choice to stand up for Trayvon Martin. 17 years old. black. innocent. murdered with a bag of skittles and a bottle of ice tea in his hands. "Suspicious." that is what the guy who killed him said he looked like cause he had on a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers. But, remember I had on that same outfit yesterday. And yes my Air Force Ones were "brand-new" clean. After all, I was raised in hip-hop...part of our dress code. I digress. Back to Trayvon and the gated community in Sanford, Florida, where he was visiting his father.

I got a lot of emails about Trayvon. I have read a lot of articles. I have seen a lot of television segments. The message is consistent. Most of the commentators, writers, op-ed pages agree. Something went wrong. Trayvon was murdered. Racially profiled. Race. America's elephant that never seems to leave the room. But, the part that doesn't sit well with me is that all of the messengers of this message are all black too. I mean, it was only two weeks ago when almost every white person I knew was tweeting about stopping a brutal African warlord from killing more innocent children. And they even took thirty minutes out of their busy schedules to watch a movie about dude. They bought t-shirts. Some bracelets. Even tweeted at Rihanna to take a stance. But, a 17 year old American kid is followed and then ultimately killed by a neighborhood vigilante who happens to be carrying a semi-automatic weapon and my white friends are quiet. Eerily quiet. Not even a trending topic for the young man.

We've heard the 911 calls. We seen the 13 year old witness. We've read the letter from the alleged killer's father. We listened to the anger of the family's attorney. We've felt the pain of Trayvon's mother. For heaven's sake, for 24 hours he was a deceased John Doe at the hospital because even the police couldn't believe that maybe he LIVES in the community. There are still some facts to figure out. There are still some questions to be answered. But, let's be clear. Let's be very, very clear. Before the neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, started following him against the better judgement of the 911 dispatcher. Before any altercation. Before any self-defense claim. Before Travyon's cries for help were heard on the 911 tapes. Before the bullet hit him dead in the chest. Before all of this. He was suspicious. He was suspicious. suspicious. And you know, like I know, it wasn't because of the hoodie or the jeans or the sneakers. Cause I had on that same outfit yesterday and no one called 911 saying I was just wandering around their neighborhood. It was because of one thing and one thing only. Trayvon is black.

So I've made the choice today to tell my white friends that the rights I take for granted are only valid if I fight to give those same rights to others. The taxi cab. The purse. The meal. The police car. The police. These are all things I've taken for granted.

So, I fight for Trayvon Martin. I fight for Amadou Diallo. I fight for Rodney King. I fight for every young black man who looks "suspicious" to someone who thinks they have the right to take away their freedom to walk through their own neighborhood. I fight against my own stereotypes and my own suspicions. I fight for people whose ancestors built this country, literally, and who are still treated like second class citizens. Being quiet is not an option, for we have been too quiet for too long.

Michael Skolnik

Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik

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For those of you interested, listen to the 911 tape:

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