The Gun Report: October 11, 2013 –

A 7-year-old boy was shot in the hip when the car in which he was riding came under fire in Hammond, La., Wednesday evening. The window of the vehicle was struck by a bullet, but his parents were unaware that their son was injured until they stopped at a gas station. Police are soliciting tips.

via The Gun Report: October 11, 2013 –

Stories From The Fringe Freaks – ‘Truker Rally’ UPDATE – ‘Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind This Week’s Trucker Rally In D.C.’

The Last Of The Millenniums

zeeda andrews

‘In recent days, a series of planned anti-government rallies involving truckers protesting on the Capital Beltway has produced widespread press coverage and been given a publicity boost by Fox News and Glenn Beck’.

‘Though the organizers and participants have been presented by conservative media as salt-of-the-earth people with constitutional objections to President Obama and members of Congress, the event is actually being organized by a fringe conspiracy theorist’.

‘Zeeda Andrews — a co-organizer of the effort who made October 8 appearances on Fox News and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze to promote the event –‘

  • ‘Apparently thinks that President Obama and Osama bin Laden are somehow the same person’;
  • ‘That Obama is a secret Muslim’;
  • ‘That the Boston bombings were a “false flag”‘;
  • ‘That the CIA murdered Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings’;

‘And that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling ammunition in order to slaughter Americans’.

‘On her Facebook page, Andrews…

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4 Reasons Why US Shouldn’t Reduce Aid to Egypt


I wrote this piece for AlMonitor.  I tried to provide an Egyptian  perspective on the U.S. military aid reduction move

It’s hard to find any written analysis about America and Egypt without mention of the $1.3 billion aid package the United States delivers annually to the Egyptian military. Following the 2011 Arab Spring, the general debate in the United States focused on how America could help the Middle East in its time of upheaval. However, things have changed recently. In Syria, instead of focusing on the overall stability of the Levant, the debate has shrunk to a discussion about President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons. In Egypt, the debate that once concentrated on ways in which the United States could help that country’s emerging democracy has now shifted to military aid.

Last May, despite concerns about President Mohammed Morsi’s leadership abilities, US Secretary of State John Kerry quietly approved a 

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Citizen of the Year: Patricia Michaels – The Taos News: News

Her first show was in 1992. At the end, she said, Lloyd Kiva New, founder of the Institute of American Indian Arts, told her, “First Santa Fe and then Paris!”

Michaels apprenticed with a tailor in Milan, Italy, and with two children in tow, headed to New York City’s garment district. Another career highlight was working with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on two international cultural exchange shows for Native American and South African fashion designers and artists. As the featured artist for the Aboriginal Awards Festival, she showed at Toronto Fashion Week.

Michaels exhibited her fashion at a number of museum and art shows. Still, she kept encountering a pervasive question: “What’s so Native American about her clothes?” Her response was, “I’m Native American so that’s what is Native American about it.”

via Citizen of the Year: Patricia Michaels – The Taos News: News.

NYC launches initiative to control hepatitis C prevalence in the city | Vaccine News Daily

“This is a very hopeful time for persons living with hepatitis C,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. “After many years in which the infection was very difficult to treat, hepatitis C can now be cured. We also expect that medications that are easier to use and even more effective will be available in just a few months, and many other promising drugs should be approved for use in the next few years.”

The initiative is titled Hepatitis C in New York City: State of the Epidemic and Action Plan. It is estimated approximately 146,500 people in New York are carrying HCV and only half are aware that they have the infection. Most will not experience symptoms until 10 to 30 years after infection, when life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, develop as a result of the initial infection.

“Unfortunately, roughly half of those living with HCV infection do not know that they are infected,” Farley added. “With new opportunities to treat and cure this disease, all health care providers in New York City must become familiar with current recommendations for testing and treatment.”

via NYC launches initiative to control hepatitis C prevalence in the city | Vaccine News Daily.

USDA Allows Foster Farms Plants to Stay Open

Shut them down until entire plants get cleaned and new training of employees takes place – or 100% inspection at their cost until assured safe – The CDC says the outbreak is ongoing and some illnesses began as recently as two weeks ago. The majority of illnesses have been in California but people in 17 states have been infected, from Texas to Michigan to North Carolina.

Salmonella can contaminate meat during slaughter and processing and is especially common in raw chicken. The infections can be avoided by proper handling and cooking of raw poultry.

The pathogen causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within a few days of eating a contaminated product and can be life-threatening to those with weakened immune systems.

via USDA Allows Foster Farms Plants to Stay Open.

4 Reasons Why US Shouldn’t Reduce Aid to Egypt – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Perhaps the United States should consider a shift in its aid policy from the current carrot-and-stick approach to a more substantial coaching and mentoring package. The civil-military relationship in emerging democracies is a particular area in which the United States can help — that is, of course, if it really considers Egypt a friend, not just an ally.

The Arab awakening may have been a tragic and disappointing journey, but at least it taught people that the mess is their own, and that they are the only ones who can sort it out. All the people from the outside world want — including the United States — is straight, honest and impartial support, even if very little money comes with it.

via 4 Reasons Why US Shouldn’t Reduce Aid to Egypt – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

Royal Mail share buyers make instant £250 as price soars | UK news |

Royal Mail share buyers make instant £250 as price soars | UK news |

Billy Hayes, the general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents more than 100,000 postmen and women, said Cable had made “one of the stupidest decisions he is ever likely to make as a politician”.

“This is a sham, really. The company has been undervalued,” he told the BBC’s Today programme. “It’s basically David Cameron rewarding his mates in the City. Vince Cable, one of the cleverest men in British politics, has made one of the stupidest decisions he is ever likely to make as a politician.”

Cable dismissed the huge share price rise as “froth” and said people should concentrate on the long-term future the government has secured for Royal Mail as a listed company.

Stockbrokers Peel Hunt said: “This is not ‘froth’; it’s real people buying, selling, averaging down.”

More than 100 million shares had been sold within the first hour of trading on the London stock exchange on Friday. Private investors who bought their shares directly from the government will have to wait until at least Tuesday to sell their shares.

About 690,000 people were granted 227 Royal Mail shares worth £749.10 (at the 330p float price) following overwhelming public demand for the shares.

In Search of Utopium: The Elusive Metal

Fascinating talk with applications in many areas and understanding of innovation – The so-called Damascus steel was originally actually from — not Syria, but from India.  It still was produced there in India and then exported to the Middle East so that they could fabricate all these knives and swords and all these things.  The interesting aspect of this particular type of Damascus steel is that if you look at the microstructure, you can see all the different types of designs you can get and these are very sharp.  The blades are very, very sharp, they’re very strong and therefore they have certain properties which are not easy obtain in other types of steels.  And so these were being produced more than 2,500 years ago, but now that particular art is lost. What is the reason why we are not able to reproduce this particular type of material now is because we didn’t know what type of materials they were using.

via In Search of Utopium: The Elusive Metal.