Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday Debrief

Democrats debate.
I watched the highlights this morning and still like Bernie Sanders best. Scripted comments were given - nothing said that we haven't heard before. Once again ... most Americans know the issues and await their resolutions. Sanders was funny when he said Americans are sick and tired of hearing about Hillary's damn emails, though later he turned on Hillary over her proposals to address Wall Street wrongdoing. The debate was predictable as Hillary, alternately biting and humorous, forcefully went after Sanders for his positions on gun control, health care and Syria. It's not the guns - it's mental health issues. In Israel - and other countries - guns sales are up. Humans often feel safer with weapons. It's in our programming. The other candidates didn't get to say much as most people know they can't win. You can watch the commentary on TV or the Internet today. And the beat goes on ...

  CNN/Facebook Democratic debate winners and losers   CNN - October 14, 2015

  The Best Moments From The First Democratic Primary Debate   Huffington Post - October 14, 2015

9 Issues Democrats Just Debated That Have Been Almost Completely Ignored By Republicans   Huffington Post - October 14, 2015
1. Race
2. Campaign finance reform and Citizens United
3. Domestic surveillance
4. Wall Street reform
5. The 1 percent
6. College affordability
7. Diplomacy
8. Paid family leave, health care and insurance
9. Benghazi and Clinton's emails

If you're paying attention to the current stats ... and I'm not ...
Ben Carson is in a statistical tie with Donald J. Trump in a new Fox News poll of likely Republican voters. With a margin of error of five percentage points, the survey found that 24 percent supported Mr. Trump and 23 percent backed Mr. Carson.

The attacks in Israel.
Violence in the Middle East seems to have no end - gun sales rising and violence treating new enemies. As in the US - young adults are causing some of the chaos. If you could "see" future timelines - if played out - you would see violence go on and on everywhere. The latest violence comes mostly from a cadre of young Palestinians spurred on by social media campaigns - some by Hamas and other militant Islamist movements, others by enraged individuals. Seemingly young and leaderless, they have killed seven Israelis and wounded scores in two dozen episodes since October 1 authorities said.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Senior officials say President Obama appears increasingly willing to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan in numbers large enough to fight Qaeda and Islamic State militants beyond next year, which would mean abandoning his goal to bring almost all of them home before he leaves office. The Taliban's recent advances in Afghanistan have convinced many of the need for troop strength there.

Another New Year.
The Jewish New Year arrived last month. The Islamic lunar year of 1427 begins with the sighting of the crescent moon after sunset, likely to be tonight across the Muslim world, making Thursday a holiday. The year's first month, Muharram, honors the Prophet Muhammad's journey to Medina, Saudi Arabia, from Mecca in what was the Gregorian year of 622 AD.

Sky Watching and The Things We Believe.
Many people got caught up in the once-in-a-generation super-blood-total-lunar-eclipse last month - imagining all sorts of end time scenarios. The night sky over the next two weeks offers some rare gems as well including, possibly, the source of what some believe was the biblical star of Bethlehem 2,015 or so years ago. Five planets of our solar system (six, if you count Earth) should be visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere: the elusive Mercury, along with Mars, Venus and Jupiter, at sunrise on the East Coast, and Saturn at sunset. With binoculars, or maybe without, you can even pick out a seventh, the blue-green-tinged Uranus. (Neptune and Pluto require a telescope.)

Another phenomenon, the zodiacal light, appears in the east before sunup. Also called the false dawn - the cone of light is caused by sunlight reflecting off dust particles scattered between planets. Theories about the Star of Bethlehem, which the Bible says guided three Magi from Babylonia to Judea to find the newborn Jesus, include a meteor, comet, nova or supernova. But some experts say the most likely explanation, given the timing, the location and the brightness, is the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, similar to what we can see this month. The two are at their closest the night of October 25.

A switch on fetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood says it will no longer accept reimbursement for the costs of providing fetal tissue for medical research. The move comes after months of criticism of the organization, beginning with the release in July of undercover videos by anti-abortion groups.

Financial aid for alternative schools.
The U.S. Education Department unveils a pilot program today to allow students to use federal loans and grants for nontraditional education like boot camp software coding programs and MOOCs, or massive open online courses.

Apple could be liable for up to $862 million in damages after a U.S. jury found it used technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison without permission in chips found in many iPhones. The trial now moves on to determining how much Apple will pay.

The Dodgers beat the Mets setting up a decisive fifth game tomorrow. The Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-4, to advance to the National League Championship Series Sunday In today's games, the Toronto Blue Jays host the Texas Rangers, and the Kansas City Royals host the Houston Astros.

Where the art money is.
What began in 1988 as a pop-up show of works by 16 young artists, organized in London by a student named Damien Hirst, this year features nine high-end auctions and 164 gallery shows from 27 countries. Prices for artwork at Frieze Week, which starts today, typically range from about $10,000 to $1 million.

The court system.
It may work for this parapsychologist - who shares my credentials - but I used my psychic abilities to get out of jury duty saying I couldn't be objective - and I can't. Funny part of the story is ... the judge recognized me ... how? He was one of my clients and I told him he would become a judge. You should have seen the look on his face when he recognized me. I never heard from them again. Ellie dismissed.

Using Psychics in the Courtroom: Parapsychology Consultant Discusses   Epoch Times - October 14, 2015
Lawyers sometimes use psychics to select favorable juries, for example. Or they may consider including paranormal phenomena in their clients' defense. Proprietors of historic sites, restaurants, and other allegedly haunted places consider how their ghosts should figure in their business plans. He holds a Master's degree in parapsychology, he is the director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations (OPI), a professor at Atlantic University in Virginia and at JFK University in California, and he is the creator of the Certificate Program in Parapsychology Studies at the HCH Institute. His OPI work involves not only investigating paranormal phenomena, but also acting as a consultant on all things paranormal.