Monday, June 30, 2014
The Ken Spivey Band performs 'Why did You Let Rose Tyler Go?' at the Time Lord Fest at MegaCon 2014.
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. To the south, the king’s powers are failing—his most trusted adviser dead under mysterious circumstances and his enemies emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the king’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but the kingdom itself.
Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; a child is lost in the twilight between life and death; and a determined woman undertakes a treacherous journey to protect all she holds dear. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the Starks hangs perilously in the balance, as each side endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
An introductory Android book for programmers with Java experience. Based on Big Nerd Ranch’s popular Android Bootcamp course, this guide will lead you through the wilderness using hands-on example apps combined with clear explanations of key concepts and APIs. This book focuses on practical techniques for developing apps compatible with all versions of Android widely used today (Android 2.2 - 4.2). Write and run code every step of the way – creating apps that catalog crime scenes, browse photos, track your jogging route, and more. Each chapter and app has been designed and tested to provide the knowledge and experience you need to get started in Android development.
Write and run code every step of the way — creating apps that catalog crime scenes, browse photos, track your jogging route, and more. Each chapter and app has been designed and tested to provide the knowledge and experience you need to get started in Android development.
Friday, June 27, 2014
After our house burned down in Wisconsin a few months ago, my husband and I packed our four young kids and all our belongings into a gold minivan and drove to my sister-in-law’s place, just outside of Atlanta. On the back windshield, we pasted six stick figures: a dad, a mom, three young girls, and one baby boy.
That minivan was sitting in the front driveway of my sister-in-law’s place the night a SWAT team broke in, looking for a small amount of drugs they thought my husband’s nephew had. Some of my kids’ toys were in the front yard, but the officers claimed they had no way of knowing children might be present. Our whole family was sleeping in the same room, one bed for us, one for the girls, and a crib.
After the SWAT team broke down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade inside. It landed in my son’s crib.
Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.
There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.
My husband’s nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn’t there. He doesn’t even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.
I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.
The U.S. Constitution requires the president to receive the “advice and consent” of the Senate when filling vacancies in high government offices. Yet in January 2012 President Barack Obama bypassed that requirement and placed three new members on the National Labor Relations Board without first receiving senatorial confirmation. To justify this unilateral exercise of executive power, Obama cited the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause, which permits the president to make temporary appointments to “fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.” But there was a problem: The Senate was not in recess at that time. In fact, Senate Republicans were then holding pro forma sessions for the precise purpose of denying Obama a legitimate opportunity to make any and all recess appointments. Obama’s actions therefore violated both the text of the Constitution and the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
Today, by a vote of 9-0, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Obama’s unconstitutional overreach in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. “In our view,” declared the majority opinion of Justice Stephen Breyer, “the pro forma sessions count as sessions, not as periods of recess.” Therefore, “We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is.”
You may soon get a call from your doctor if you’ve let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.
That’s because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do.
Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data. Patients and their advocates, meanwhile, say they’re concerned that big data’s expansion into medical care will hurt the doctor-patient relationship and threaten privacy.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Ty Hauck is shattered by the news. A close friend from his past, along with her husband and daughter, has been brutally murdered in her home by vicious intruders. Now he will risk everything he loves to avenge her death. . . .
A wealthy banker, seeing his world about to crumble around him, knows his family is in unfathomable danger. . . .
A U.S. government agent watches the sudden bank transfers of millions in cash and suspects that this is the first step in a plot to unleash a wave of global panic. . . .
Ty Hauck hunts the murderer of a friend—and steps into the crosshairs of a sinister conspiracy—in this most electrifying novel yet from New York Times bestselling thriller master Andrew Gross Private security investigator Ty Hauck, with Naomi Blum, a tenacious agent from the U.S. Department of Treasury, unravels the evidence that joins these seemingly unrelated events—revealing a reckless scheme that stretches from New York to London to central Europe and gives new meaning to the phrase "too big to fail." What began with a tragedy that opened a door to Hauck's past—a door that he thought was long closed—ends with a frantic race to avert a disaster.
In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles—micro-robots—has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.
It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.
Every attempt to destroy it has failed.
And we are the prey.
The Ken Spivey Band performs 'Time For a New Companion' at the Time Lord Fest at MegaCon 2014.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Police in Florida have, at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, been deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of a controversial surveillance tool to track suspects, according to newly obtained emails.
At the request of the Marshals Service, the officers using so-called stingrays have been routinely telling judges, in applications for warrants, that they obtained knowledge of a suspect’s location from a “confidential source” rather than disclosing that the information was gleaned using a stingray.
A series of five emails (.pdf) written in April, 2009, were obtained today by the American Civil Liberties Union showing police officials discussing the deception. The organization has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with police departments throughout Florida seeking information about their use of stingrays.
“Concealing the use of stingrays deprives defendants of their right to challenge unconstitutional surveillance and keeps the public in the dark about invasive monitoring by local police,” the ACLU writes in a blog post about the emails. “And local and federal law enforcement should certainly not be colluding to hide basic and accurate information about their practices from the public and the courts.”
The U.S. Marshals Service did not respond to a call for comment.
It’s no secret that establishment Republicans are out to get Rand Paul, but the “darkest secret” on Wall Street, reports Politico, is that they’ll happily vote Hillary in 2016 to do it.
The Monday piece reveals that Wall Street Republicans won’t think twice about voting for Hillary Clinton in a world where Jeb Bush and Chris Christie aren’t running for president and Rand Paul holds the GOP nomination.
“The bulk of the big money guys are either Big Boy [Christie] or Jeb,” said a top GOP donor. “Rand Paul still is a grass-roots phenom and a boardroom horror show.”
The prevailing sentiment of Wall Street Republicans is as follows: “If we can’t nominate someone like Bush or Christie from the pro-business wing of the party, and if the GOP nominee is from the far right, then we will hold our noses and tolerate Clinton.”
It appears that Wall Street would even support Joe Biden over Rand Paul.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
In the post-meltdown world, it is irresponsible, ineffective, and ultimately useless to have a serious economic debate without considering and challenging the role of the Federal Reserve.
Most people think of the Fed as an indispensable institution without which the country's economy could not properly function. But in END THE FED, Ron Paul draws on American history, economics, and fascinating stories from his own long political life to argue that the Fed is both corrupt and unconstitutional. It is inflating currency today at nearly a Weimar or Zimbabwe level, a practice that threatens to put us into an inflationary depression where $100 bills are worthless. What most people don't realize is that the Fed -- created by the Morgans and Rockefellers at a private club off the coast of Georgia -- is actually working against their own personal interests. Congressman Paul's urgent appeal to all citizens and officials tells us where we went wrong and what we need to do fix America's economic policy for future generations.
In an Arizona desert a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival–six hundred years ago. . . .
MTV.com's favorite Doctor Who band comes to Megacon for a show of Celtic music, laughs, adventures, and Whovian cosplay fun to make your evening a veritable "Time Lord Fest".
Monday, June 23, 2014
A Florida couple was traumatized after a dozen heavily armed SWAT agents crashed through their front door, flash-banged their cat, aimed rifles at them and searched their home without explanation.
The raid took place in the pre-dawn hours of June 10th, 2014. At approximately 6:16 a.m., Kari Edwards and her live-in boyfriend were intruded upon by men dressed in full SWAT gear and wielding rifles. After smashing down the couple’s front door, agents tossed concussion grenades and proceeded into the home.
“They busted in like I was a terrorist or something,” said Ms. Edwards.
“[An officer] demanded that I drop the towel I was covering my naked body with,” Ms. Edwards said, “before snatching it off me physically and throwing me to the ground.”
“While I lay naked, I was cuffed so tightly I could not feel my hands. For no reason, at gunpoint,” Edwards said. “[Agents] refused to cover me, no matter how many times I asked.”
In 1984, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, in an effort to prevent another Vietnam from happening, laid out the criteria for engaging in war in his speech “Uses of Military Power.”
His rules for military engagement became known as the Weinberger Doctrine and were an integral part of the Reagan administration’s foreign policy vision.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for a return to Reagan’s vision and emphasized that if it had been followed during the lead up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, that war might not have happened.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Parents of toddler injured by flash bang grenade during raid on Georgia home call for justice after meeting with feds
The parents of a 19-month-old severely injured when police threw a flash bang grenade into his playpen during a raid met with federal authorities in Georgia Tuesday to plead for justice.
The toddler, Bou Bou Phonesavanh, remains in a medically induced coma two weeks after he was blasted in the face and chest during a botched drug raid on the Habersham County house, where he and his parents were staying following a fire at their Wisconsin home.
So far, state and federal agents, including the Georgie Bureau of Investigations and investigators from two district attorneys’ offices, have found no wrongdoing in last month’s predawn raid.
The seasonally-adjusted price index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs hit an all-time high in May, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In January 1967, when the BLS started tracking this measure, the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 38.1. As of last May, it was 234.572. By this January, it hit 240.006. By April, it hit 249.362. And, in May, it climbed to a record 252.832.
“The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs has risen 7.7 percent over the span [last year],” says the BLS.
“The index for food at home increased 0.7 percent, its largest increase since July 2011. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in May. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.4 percent in May after a 1.5 increase in April, with virtually all its major components increasing,” BLS states.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.
Miliary records and sources reveal that on July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.
They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.
The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.
The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.
Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.
The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet jihad.
Friday, June 6, 2014
What is it like to work in Hollywood? Q & A with John Heder (Napolean Dynamite).
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Chester Nez, the last original Navajo Code Talker, has passed away in his Albuquerque home.
Nez was recruited with 28 other Native Americans by the U.S. Marines to create a code the Japanese couldn’t crack during World War II.
Nez went into kidney failure Wednesday morning. He was 93.
“Many people have met him,” said Judy Avila, a friend and author of Nez’s memoir. “When you meet him, you’re charmed by him.”
He was the last living member of the group.
The FBI’s semi-annual uniform crime data for the first half of 2013 confirms once again what the firearms community already knew, that violent crime has continued to decline while gun sales have continued to climb, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
The report, issued last week, says murders declined 6.9 percent from the first half of 2012, while aggravated assaults dropped by 6.6 percent nationwide and robberies were down 1.8 percent. Forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent from the same period in 2012 and overall, violent crime fell by 10.6 percent in non-metropolitan counties and 3.6 percent in metropolitan counties.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
A Pentagon directive that details military support to civilian authorities has potentially troubling aspects that involve the use of federal military force against American citizens on U.S. soil.
The directive, which outlines the Obama administrations policy regarding military support, was issued on Dec. 29, 2010.
While there are noncontroversial provisions, such as support to civilian fire and emergency services and domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers, the more troubling aspects of the directive are in regards to the domestic use of military arms and forces.
“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive, according to the Washington Times.
The directive, No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”
“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.
“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances,”...
A former Florida Department of Children and Families child protective investigator is among the two suspects arrested Friday on child neglect and drug charges in Osceola County.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at a home on Hollyhock Court.
During their search, agents found 26 marijuana plants, 8 grams of marijuana, counterfeit money and a handgun.
Deputies said the home was in a deplorable condition, with overflowing trash and roaches and spiders on the walls and beds.
Agents discovered six children resided at the home, but they were not there at the time.
Homeowners Randy and Kysa Donawa were charged with production of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and six counts of child neglect.
DCF fired Kysa Donawa upon learning of her arrest.
A four-year-old girl whose face was blown off during a US drone strike in Afghanistan was kidnapped by American troops and hidden by an international organization, her family says.
The child, named Aisha Rashid, was travelling with her parents, a sibling and several other relatives from Kabul to their home in the village of Gamber in Kunar province on a hot September day, when the drone exploded, Expressen.se reported. An uncle, Meya Jan, is at home on his farm in that village when he receives a phone call about the strike from the neighboring village. He and others rush to the strike.
Suddenly they hear a voice. “Water, water…”
It is Aisha. She is missing a hand, her leg is bleeding, and there is nothing left of her eyes or nose.
Older relatives rush her to the hospital in Asadabad, but doctors there can do nothing. She is transported by ambulance to a hospital in Jalalabad, where surgeons do what they can to patch her face, but her case is too difficult for them. Hospital staff contact the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), who arranges for her to be sent by medical helicopter to Kabul four days later.
The incident occurred on September 7, 2013, when NATO drones destroyed a pickup truck with civilians inside after its driver agreed to give a lift to Taliban insurgents, provincial governor Shuja ul Mulk Jalala said at the time. A report listed that four women, four children, and four men had been killed in the strike. The remaining four fatalities were said to be Taliban militants. NATO command acknowledged that the strike took place, but stated that the operation killed only militants – not civilians.
Once in the Kabul hospital, Aisha is visited by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “She had lost the whole family, the entire family, 14 of them, in the bombing in Kunar. And that day . . . [note: there is a 39-second pause as Karzai struggles with his emotions] . . . that day, I wished she were dead, so she could be buried with her parents and brothers and sisters,” he said, recalling the visit in an interview with the Washington Post five months later.
“She is walking now, she is in America. We arranged for her to be taken to America. She’s there now,” Karzai said in the March phone interview.
But Jan and Aisha’s other uncle, Hasrat Gul, did not give permission for the only surviving member of the Rashid family to be taken to the US, nor were they allowed to go with her. And they were not given any news of their niece.
It was a kindergarten class piece of art that Jessie Sansone probably won’t want to hang on the refrigerator anytime soon.
After Jesse Sansone’s 4-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun, cops handcuffed the clueless father and dragged him off to jail. It was there that the dad was stripped of his clothes and searched by the authorities. Sansone was never charged with a crime.
Sansone wasn’t expecting to be greeted by police when he went to pick up his three children from school last week. Faculty there had become concerned, however, after the man’s 4-year-old daughter drew an image last Wednesday that they thought warranted investigation. It was a picture of a man holding a gun, and when teachers asked the girl to explain it, she said it was a depiction of her father.
“He uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” teachers say the girl explained.
The father says he doesn’t own a gun. Nor does he kill monsters.
“I’m picking up my kids and then, next thing you know, I’m locked up,” Sansone, 26, tells The Record out of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
“I was in shock. This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school,” he says.