Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

RANDOM SHOTS - Pet Ducks And Getting %$#@&*!



FIRST SHOT!

The Ducks come later, first let's talk about a Christian being picked on because of her faith!

Student ordered to remove cross necklace at California college

An official at Sonoma State University ordered a student working at a freshman orientation fair to remove or hide a cross necklace on two separate occasions.

The unnamed official feared that other students could be offended by the two-inch-long symbol of Christianity.

The first of the two incidents occurred at the public school in Northern California’s wine country on June 27, reports Fox News.

The official, an orientation supervisor, warned Sonoma State student Audrey Jarvis that “the chancellor” enforced a policy against wearing religious items.

“The chancellor” is presumably Timothy P. White, the chancellor of the entire 23-school California State University system.

According to Hiram Sasser, an attorney representing Jarvis, the supervisor advised the practicing Catholic “that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome.”

Jarvis, 19, said she was floored by the explanation.

“I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else,” she told Fox News.

“I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement — which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all — was violated.”

On a second occasion, the supervisor ordered Jarvis to conceal the cross under her shirt or get rid of it. That’s when the liberal arts major decided to bail early on the orientation job.

Sasser, the director of litigation at the conservative- and Christian-oriented Liberty Institute, calls the supervisor’s actions “obvious religious discrimination” and is seeking an apology.

The attorney added that the law is pretty settled in this area.

“State employees may wear crosses while they are performing their duties as long as the wearing does not interfere with the employees’ duties or harm the employer’s business interests,” Sasser counseled.

Management at Sonoma State, a school known mostly as a laidback hippie haven with a nice library, is apologizing repeatedly and without reservation.

“Someone who works here was concerned that the cross might be off-putting to students who are coming to campus for the first time,” confirmed university spokeswoman Susan Kashack.

She added that the supervisor’s behavior was “completely wrong.”

“It was absolutely an inappropriate action for him to make that request of her,” Kashack added, according to Fox News.

“It’s possible that political correctness got out of hand.”

Sonoma State President Ruben Arminana is in on the groveling as well.

“The president was very upset about it and asked me to contact Miss Jarvis and give a profuse apology,” Kashack said.

Kashack noted that school officials have communicated with the unidentified employee who ordered Jarvis to remove the cross necklace.

However, she refused to disclose what was said or if he faces any sort of consequences.



Democrat Missouri Governor vetoes bill that nullified federal gun laws

Democrat Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed legislation that would have made it a Missouri crime for federal agents to attempt to enforce federal gun laws in the state and could have landed journalists in jail for publishing the names of gun owners.

The Democrat Governor said the bill passed by the Republican-led Legislature violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which generally gives preference to federal laws over conflicting state ones.

He said it also infringed in the First Amendment rights of free speech and press.
Some supporters of the legislation had proclaimed it one of the most gun-friendly bills ever passed by a state legislature.

Nixon, however, said it could have had extreme consequences.

"Under this bill, newspaper editors around the state that annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer could be charged with a crime," the governor said in a written statement announcing the veto.

Legislators would need a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate to override Nixon's veto when they return to session in September.

The legislation would have made it a misdemeanor crime for federal agents to attempt to enforce any federal gun regulations that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms."

It also sought to invalidate some specific federal laws, including a 1934 law that imposed on tax on transferring machine guns or silencers.

The measure would have made it a misdemeanor to publish the names of gun owners.
Other provisions in the bill would have allowed school teachers and administrators with concealed-gun permits and special training to be designated as a "school protection officer" capable of carrying hidden guns into schools.

Missouri's age to obtain a conceal-carry permit would have been lowered to 19 instead of the current 21, and the bill would have allowed people with concealed gun permits to openly carry firearms up to 16 inches long -- even in jurisdictions that have ordinances against the open display of guns.


Only 47% of Adults Have Full-Time Job

The release of the June Jobs' Report Friday was something of a relief for the markets.

The Labor Department reported that the economy gained 195,000 jobs in June, which beat economists' expectations.

The Department also reported that the economy gained 70,000 more jobs in April and May than it originally estimated.

The report, however, also provides clear evidence that the the nation is splitting into two; only 47% of Americans have a full-time job and those who don't are finding it increasingly out of reach.

Of the 144 million Americans employed last month, only 116 million were working full-time.

Friday's report showed that 58.7% of the civilian adult population of 245 million was working last month. Only 47% of Americans, however, had a full-time job.

The market's positive reaction to Friday's report is another sign of how far our economic expectations have fallen.

If today the same proportion of Americans worked as just a decade ago, there would by almost nine million more people working.

Just in the last year, almost two million Americans have left the labor force. With a majority of the population not holding a full-time job, it isn't surprising that economic growth has been so weak.

In June, the number of Americans who wanted to work full-time, but were forced into part-time jobs because of the economy, jumped 352,000 to over eight million.

The Jobs' Report is increasingly measuring only a part of the American economy.

While Friday's report was better than expected, it only measures those who are working or actively looking for work.

There is a growing number of Americans slipping through the cracks of the job market.

And while this is going on ...


Foreclosures surge in 32 states

New foreclosures are up, and that could prove to be a drag on the U.S. housing market.

RealtyTrac.com reports that home foreclosures are up 2.26 percent from January to February, and the average price to buy a foreclosed home rose 3.84 percent, to $179,000.

Still, some states are seeing even more significant upticks in foreclosure activity.

Take Oregon for example, where new rules on judicial foreclosures have taken effect, including measures that mandate mediation between homeowners and lenders.

According to "The Oregonian," statewide foreclosures are up by 65 percent from January to February:

"Oregon's seven largest counties collectively reported legal action on 996 properties, according to Gorilla Capital, a Eugene company that buys, redevelops and sells foreclosed homes. Those numbers mostly represent foreclosure cases.

That's 65 percent more cases than seen a month earlier. And it rivals the 1,036 out-of-court foreclosure starts recorded in those counties a year earlier, before legal complications sent most foreclosures into the court system."

RealtyTrac points out that while U.S. foreclosures were up in February, home repossessions are actually down 25 percent year to year.

Officials at the Irvine Calif., real estate services provider say the foreclosure bonfire is largely extinguished after five years of historically high activity.

Not completely, though.

"At a high level, the U.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reduced to a slow burn in the next two years," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

"But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in states where foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by new legislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system. Foreclosure starts have been steadily building in those states over the last several months and likely will end up as bank repossessions or short sales later this year.”

Blomquist points to Oregon’s neighbor, Washington, along with other states as examples of heightened foreclosure activity.

"These new foreclosure hotspots include states like Washington, where seven straight months of rising foreclosure activity pushed the state's foreclosure rate to fifth-highest nationwide — the highest it's ever been in our report — and Maryland, where eight straight months of rising foreclosure activity placed the state's foreclosure rate among the top 10 nationwide for the first time since July 2010," Blomquist adds.

All told, U.S. foreclosure starts were up in 32 states in February, with some states showing alarmingly high rates. Look at these states’ foreclosure rate growth in February:
  • Nevada +334 percent
  • Maryland +319 percent
  • Washington +172 percent
  • New York +139 percent
  • New Jersey +70 percent
On the plus side, the more foreclosures sold off, the more surrounding homes are worth.
Foreclosed homes usually drag down the prices of nearby homes.

But an increase in foreclosures also signals that the U.S. housing market is not out of the woods yet. Until the inventory of foreclosed homes is largely sold off, there can’t be significant recovery in the nation’s residential housing market.

From what RealtyTrac is reporting, the so-called recovery isn’t as strong as the Obama administration wants us to think and are just liars.

Than again, what's new with that!


LAST SHOT!

Now for the Ducks!

Pennsylvania town of Delmont fines man for pet ducks

Yes, it is absolutely true! The officials in Delmont, PA, have nothing else to do with their time except go after a man and his pet ducks!

A Pennsylvania man is facing a fine of $500 a day for having four pet ducks.

Delmont resident Jim Kistler was notified that having his web-footed pals, Larry, Moe, Curly and Fred, is a violation of a borough ordinance, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

And even though the ducks are kept in an enclosure and not exactly dangerous, there doesn't appear to be much he can do.

“It’s not easy to deal with,” Kistler told FoxNews.com. It is absolutely ridiculous. I am very upset about it.”

“It is a David and Goliath story, they really don’t want me to have the ducks. But most of the borough is rallying behind me, so we will see what happens.” - Jim Kistler

The ducks won’t hurt anybody, according to Jim Bonner, executive director of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Blue Swedish ducks are fairly common pets and are known for being docile and quiet, he said.

“They are a domesticated species,” he said. “These guys have been bred for centuries. It's really no different from a dog or cat. If my neighbor had one, I wouldn't mind.”

But the borough ordinance doesn’t just ban ducks.

Swine, goats, sheep, insects, reptiles having a venomous or constrictor nature, bovines and quadrupeds — such as elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, moose and deer are all forbidden as household pets.

The municipal law also bans “poultry,” a classification which apparently takes in ducks, but which Kistler believes is aimed at residential chicken farming.

“I am not going to eat my pets,” he said.

Neither borough zoning officer William Heaps nor zoning board attorney Jon Sweeney could be reached for comment.

Kistler keeps the ducks in a pen in his yard with a disposable pool and a small wood house.

The pen is secured with a lock and is topped with a predator screen for protection from redtail hawks.

A hearing is scheduled with the borough on July 22 to decide the fate of the ducks. Until then, Kistler hopes to garner as much support as he can to help his cause.

“It is a David and Goliath story, they really don’t want me to have the ducks.” he told FoxNews.com. “But most of the borough is rallying behind me, so we will see what happens.”

Whoever it is in the city that has the time to run this into the ground should be looked at for wasting city funds.

This is one of those stories where you just can't help but shake your head and ask, with everything that cities should be worried about these days why duck with a guys pet ducks?

He's not raising food, they are his pets!

This whole story makes the Delmont officials look like a bunch of fools!




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