Apparent Meteor Spotted Over New England

PEABODY, Mass.,  (UPI) —  The American Meteor Society said an apparent meteor spotted over Massachusetts and Maine likely ended up over the ocean.

Mike Hankey, operations manager of the meteor society, said the brightly colored object was spotted in the sky between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday, with witnesses variously reporting it as red, green or yellow, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

“Based on the witness reports, it looks like the fireball was headed mostly west to east and probably ended somewhere over the ocean,” Hankey said.

Hankey said the object is believed to have been a type of meteor known as a “bolide” fireball, which the society defines as “a special type of fireball, which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.”

Man Charged In Leaf Blower Attack

MEMPHIS, Aug. 29 (UPI) —  A Tennessee man is charged with simple assault for allegedly pointing a leaf blower at a woman who complained about debris on her car.

Judge Dan Brown ruled Monday there is probable cause to charge Michael Bridgewater Jr., 33, of Southaven with simple assault in the July 5 incident, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday.

Kelly Carraway, an employee of Stage Road Barber Shop in Bartlett, told authorities she saw Bridgewater blowing grass-cutting debris onto her car and approached him. She said Bridgewater “intentionally” pointed the still-running blower at her “in an offensive and provocative manner.”

Carraway said the blower “caused grass clippings, dirt and landscaping/parking lot debris to make physical contact with” her face. She said the incident led to respiratory problems that required medical attention.

Occupy Buffalo Asks About Surveillance

BUFFALO, N.Y.,  (UPI) —  Members of the Occupy protest movement in Buffalo, N.Y., say they have sued in federal court to learn the extent of government surveillance of their group.

“The Department of Homeland Security was created after 9/11 for the sake of national security and just over a decade later, we can clearly see it’s monitoring ordinary United States citizens,” said Nichol Stewart, an Occupy Buffalo volunteer.

The group’s attorneys, as part of the lawsuit, are seeking documents on when and how various government agencies monitored the Buffalo protesters, The Buffalo News reported Wednesday.

“The public has a right to know why the FBI has a file on Occupy Buffalo. The FBI doesn’t have a right to open an investigation when folks simply chose to speak out,” said Michael Kuzma, a lawyer for the group.

One of the documents already released, through the Freedom of Information Act, is a Homeland Security report on a peaceful protest on the Rainbow Bridge, connecting nearby Niagara Falls, N.Y., to Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Jan. 1, the newspaper said.

“Approximately 30 members of the U.S. Occupy movement went to the middle of the Rainbow Bridge and a brief ceremony was held,” the report read in part.

Isaac Atrophies Into Tropical Storm

NEW ORLEANS,  (UPI) —  Isaac weakened to tropical storm strength Wednesday but still posed life-threatening hazards from storm surge and inland flooding, U.S. forecasters said.

In its 3 p.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Isaac’s center was about 50 miles west-southwest of New Orleans and about 55 miles south-southeast of Baton Rouge, La., with top sustained winds of 70 mph. The storm was moving northwest at 6 mph.

Isaac dumped heavy rain on southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi Wednesday and forecasters warned of flooding further inland Wednesday night. A tropical storm warning was posted for Cameron, La., to the Alabama-Florida line.

Isaac was expected to turn toward the north-northwest by Thursday night or early Friday, and the center of the storm was expected to move inland over Louisiana Wednesday and Thursday, before moving over southern Arkansas by early Friday.

Gradual weakening is expected during the next 48 hours.

President Barack Obama Wednesday directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make “all available resources” available to support state and local responders, “including any resources to support power restoration efforts once the storm clears,” the White House said.

The president directed federal agencies to maintain close contact with state governors’ offices.

He held a conference call Wednesday afternoon with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, advising the governors of the federal government’s preparations and asking them to “identify any additional needs if they arise as the effects of Isaac and the response efforts continue,” the White House said.

Isaac has darkened a half million homes and businesses in Louisiana and the governor of Florida declared an emergency due to flooding from the storm.

Widespread power outages were reported throughout the southern parts of Louisiana, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

In St. Bernard Parish, La., more than 16,700 outages had been reported, while more than 10,900 customers were without power in Plaquemines Parish. More than 29,800 homes and businesses were dark in Lafourche Parish.

At 5 a.m., Cleco Power, which serves the north shore, said 15,700 customers had no electricity.

More than 156,000 customers of Entergy New Orleans were without electricity by 7:30 a.m., the utility said on its Web site.

Melonie Hall, director of customer services for the utility, warned in an automated call to customers the storm could take to 30 hours to pass and service would be restored “as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Extra utility crews had already begun arriving before Isaac slammed ashore late Tuesday.

In Plaquemines Parish, residents with boats have rescued at least six people. Dozens of people were reported stranded by water as high as 9 feet.

The parish’s emergency management director said an 18-mile stretch of levee may have been overtopped.

In Florida, water managers were trying to deal with the high water in South Florida left by Isaac Monday, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Gov. Rick Scott attended a briefing in West Palm Beach during which Assistant County Administrator Shannon LaRocque said damage to the county’s roads and culverts was estimated at $9.5 million and that number would likely rise.

Wellington City Manager Paul Schofield said there was “no place for the water to go,” given the amount of rain left by storms prior to Isaac.

He predicted it would be “many, many days” before things return to normal.

Rain amounts of 7 to 14 inches are predicted over Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama through Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. Southern Arkansas could get 3 to 6 inches of precipitation by Friday morning.

Confession Allowed In Texas Rape Trial

LIBERTY, Texas, (UPI) —  A videotaped admission of participation in the sexual assault of an 11-year-old Cleveland, Texas, girl can be used as evidence in a man’s trial, a judge ruled.

Liberty County Judge Mark Morefield saw the 100-minute videotape Tuesday, in which defendant Eric Bernard McGowen, now 21, graphically admitted his role in the 2010 gang rape, and ruled it admissible in McGowen’s trial. Opening statements were to begin Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

McGowen’s attorney, Matthew Poston, argued his client’s statements should be barred because he was illegally detained by Cleveland police when he was brought in for questioning. Prosecutor Joe Warren countered McGowen was advised of his rights before the videotaped interview.

Twenty boys and men have been charged in the assault, the newspaper noted, adding that some of those allegedly present made videos and took photographs with their cellphones.

McGowen is the first defendant to go to trial. Eight others have entered guilty pleas, the newspaper said.

GOP Favorability Rating Similar To 2008

PRINCETON, N.J., (UPI) —  The Republican Party’s favorability ratings among U.S. voters this year closely match 2008 ratings before party convention began, Gallup said Wednesday.

Forty-four percent of registered voters said they had a favorable view of the GOP, which was similar before the 2008 convention kicked off, results from the USA Today-Gallup poll indicated. The Republican National Convention gaveled in Monday in Tampa, Fla.

Forty-three percent of registered voters said they viewed their party favorably, 11 percent lower than in 2008, and the lowest pre-convention rating since Gallup began tracking it in 2002, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said. The Democratic National Convention is next week in Charlotte, N.C.

Gallup said the relatively low favorability ratings for both parties likely reflect a broader dissatisfaction with the country’s direction and government leaders, including Congress.

The parity also reflects political polarization Gallup said it sees in national party identification. However, the pollster said it wasn’t unusual for the major political parties to have similar ratings at this point in an election year, including in 2004, 2000 and 1992.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews conducted Aug. 20-23 with 1,033 adults. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

Two Southwest Jets Make Emergency Landings

OAKLAND, Calif.,  (UPI) —  Problems with smoke and cabin pressure forced two Southwest Airlines jets to make emergency landings at the airport in Oakland, Calif., the airline said.

A Southwest spokeswoman told the Oakland Tribune one of the planes had just taken off from Oakland bound for Reno, Nev., when a flight attendant smelled smoke in the cabin.

The Boeing 737 with 119 passengers and crew members aboard landed safety Tuesday morning with fire and rescue crews standing by.

Earlier, a Southwest flight from San Francisco to Denver made an emergency landing in Oakland because of a problem with cabin pressure, the spokeswoman said.

Officials decided it was easier to land the plane at Oakland rather than have it return to San Francisco.

Neither incident had an impact on regular operations at Oakland International, an airport representative said.

Administrative Subpoena Loved By Government Spies

Americans believe that the Bill of Rights, or what is left of it, protects them from unreasonable and warrantless search and seizure under the 4th Amendment. This simply isn’t true, and hundreds of thousands of warrantless searches are likely under way as you read this.

Thanks to a helpful tool in the Federal government’s Soviet-esque spy arsenal called the “administrative subpoena” — the power of which has been emboldened in recent years by the Patriot Act and about 335 other Federal statutes — you no longer have the right to remain secure in your home, papers and effects.

The administrative subpoena gives Federal bureaucrats the ability to glean a variety of information about you from just about any entity that you choose to conduct business with. And while the government would have you believe that the tool is necessary to thwart terrorism and drug activity, an exposé published by Wired tells a different story:

Some of the stranger statutes authorizing administrative subpoenas involve the Agriculture Department’s power to investigate breaches of the Floral Research and Consumer Information Act and the Fresh Cut Flowers and Fresh Cut Greens Promotion and Information Act. The Commerce Department has administrative subpoena power for enforcing laws relating to the Atlantic tuna and the Northern Pacific halibut. It also has those powers when it comes to enforcing the National Weather Modification Act of 1976, requiring “any person to submit a report before, during, or after that person may engage in any weather modification attempt or activity.”

The administrative subpoena is also widely used to extract information from cellphone and Internet providers including location data, Web activity and information regarding private correspondence.

DNC Makes Plans For Islamic Prayer

The Democratic National Convention will be supporting an Islamic Jumah prayer, a prayer said by Muslims on Fridays. The event is “intended to address the concerns and issues that are challenging to the American Muslim citizens in the 21st century.”

The plan to proceed with the event comes as a shock to some, given that the Democratic Party did not respond to a Catholic bishop’s request to pray at the DNC.

As many as 20,000 Muslims are expected to attend as a way to show their concerns in regard to Muslim rights in the United States. Topics of interest include the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Thousands of Muslims are going to perform the Friday ritual prayer,” said Jibril Hough, a local Muslim activist. “We hope our people will leave feeling rewarded about who they are and what their issues are and have a candidate checklist.”

But not all Muslims are supporting the event. Zuhdi Jasser, the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, has voiced concern:

It is troubling that the Democratic National Convention has decided to promote and lend its name and national political platform to the organizers of the “Jummah at the DNC”. The leaders of this event – Jibril Hough and Imam Siraj Wahhaj as advertised are no moderates. They are radicals. These individuals embrace Islamist supremacy and have demonstrated support for radical ideologies.

A quick Google search by the DNC would have shown them that Hough and Wahhaj are leaders in the separatist American Islamist movement. While they may be able to get a few thousand Muslims to attend the event, they are NOT going to be mainstream Muslims.  Most will likely come from Hough and Wahhaj’s radical networks that have long been entrenched in the Charlotte area. Make no mistake they are part of the Islamist movement.

If that is who the DNC is consorting with then all Americans, Democrats should be concerned. There are many patriotic Muslims who are part of both parties, and when radical ideologues like this do a demonstration of “solidarity” in the name of our faith and choose an imam like Siraj Wahhaj who I saw with my own eyes in 1995 seditiously say it his duty and our duty as Muslims to replace the US Constitution with the Quran- then we need to speak up!


 

Update 8-31: According to a press release issued Tuesday, Timothy Cardinal Dolan will be leading a closing prayer at the DNC.

Faking The News

On the day Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, one peculiarly left-leaning outlet literally devoted its entire broadcast day to shamelessly cheerleading Obama’s transparently empty promises of “hope and change.” The fact that Obama’s campaign slogan was lifted from the Eddie Murphy movie “The Distinguished Gentleman” missed the irony-proof liberals manning the wheel at this outlet; they were too busy shamelessly promoting the man while he doubtless planned which part of the oath of office he intended to abrogate first. Which outlet? The obvious guess is the Democrat Channel (aka MSNBC) but those tinfoil-hat brigadiers were simply outdone in creepily fawning over the community organizer from the front pew at Jeremiah Wright’s “church.”

In this instance, it wasn’t TV; it was HBO. Ignoring their subscribers, HBO presented “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.” It was hardly the first time HBO, which once aired “Hacking Democracy” (a film based on the entirely discredited Democrat claims of vote rigging in Ohio in 2004), turned its programming into applause for the leftist cause du jour. Indeed, although not a basic cable channel, HBO has devolved from a good spot to see feature films from the comfort of the couch to another mouthpiece for the misogyny, racism and hypocrisy that have turned liberalism into one of the more pressing threats to freedom in existence.

Among the lowlights shining on the channel: multimillionaire misogynist and Obama donor Bill Maher. But Maher has fellow travelers on the road to ruin. Ex-(probably) crackhead Aaron Sorkin, the man who brought you the occasionally brilliant “The West Wing” and the routinely horrendous “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” fills up an hour of HBO’s airtime each week with a show entitled “The Newsroom.”

Purportedly a show about the inner workings of a major cable news outlet and an anchor who struggles with a career built on merely reporting the news and his internal desire to excoriate everyone who doesn’t share his contempt for himself and his country, “The Newsroom” is a docudrama about the corporate media of today. The names have been changed to protect the guilty, but the Will McAvoy character is a clear metaphor for the post-Cronkite crowd. He’s also a barely disguised doppelganger for his creator, Sorkin. However, sitting through an episode of “The Newsroom” made me realize two things:

  1. Aaron Sorkin’s writing style has not changed one bit since “Sports Night.” Enormously self-important people of varying degrees of juvenile snarkiness wander through one another’s space making greeting-card observations about life, love and why conservatives suck.
  2. That cocaine must be one hell of a drug. I can’t imagine anything else out there that could account for the sort of madness that produces garbage like “The Newsroom.”

Imagine going through life so consumed by self-hatred that your job involves repackaging the same liberal shlock for more than a decade. No wonder Sorkin has trouble with the nose candy. Furthermore, imagine being so bereft of intellect and/or awareness that you’re the poor sap for whom Sorkin is regurgitating said shlock. Now imagine hearing Sorkin’s alter ego McAvoy’s raging blather and actually nodding your head in agreement with such ludicrous leftist babble. I do believe HBO’s cavalcade of crazy would say: “F*** your life.”

During last Sunday’s episode, McEvoy/Sorkin — already infamous for the charming anti-American rant featured in the pre-run trailers for “The Newsroom” — throws caution to the wind and unleashes a stream of venom that read like it had been lifted straight out of the minutes for the next Moveon.org meeting:

Ideological purity, compromise as weakness, a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism, denying science, unmoved by facts, undeterred by new information, a hostile fear of progress, a demonization of education, a need to control women’s bodies, severe xenophobia, tribal mentality, intolerance of dissent and a pathological hatred of the U.S. government. They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves conservatives. And they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are. The American Taliban.

That, my friends, is as close to a modern American Liberal Manifesto as we’ll ever need: false, rude and sized just right to fit into the onscreen menu. Of course, it’s absolute garbage. But asking a TV writer to keep it honest is like asking Al Sharpton to ease up on the Soul Glo. Well, I suppose it’s nice to see ol’ Aaron managed to get off the pipe — presuming he did.

I have neither the time nor the space to deconstruct Sorkin’s whinnying in toto. But a few of the bullet points are certainly worth refutation. Sorkin claims the Tea Party is marked by a “demonization of education.” Under Sorkin’s Democratic Fuehrers, “education” has become a bureaucratic monstrosity, overrun with union thugs and incapable of feats of academic legerdemain beyond almost teaching fifth-graders how to put on condoms. I’m dreadfully sorry we conservatives didn’t list Mother Jones on our syllabus, Aaron. We were busy hoping the next generation might learn rudimentary math, so they can wait tables in the kind of high-end restaurants where people like you sit around posing for photographs.

As for controlling “womens’ bodies,” I’m sure glad the left is on that case. After all, what better way to keep conservatives from opposing the inhuman practice of abortion than by putting the Federal government in charge of everyone’s healthcare? To be completely honest, if you want someone to vacuum your child out of you, then be my guest. You’re welcome to settle up with the Almighty on your own time. Oops! That would be His time. My guess tends toward thinking His response might be somewhat less convenient than the abortion.

And I’m not denying any proven science of which I’m currently aware. Granted, I’m not up to speed on whether dark matter is indeed the cohesive force holding the universe together; but I’m not sure that theory is set in stone just yet. I suppose the denying science remark might be a reference to my recognition of so-called “global warming” as the phrenology of the modern age. Pardon me; it’s not “global warming” any more. It’s “global cooling.” I beg your pardon further; “global cooling” is what the pseudo-science snake-oil salesmen called it before actual data revealed them to be wrong. Now that the “warmists” are actually fudging their own data (see also: academic fraud) to keep their show onstage, it’s “climate change.” I call it “weather.”

Given that the liberals have redefined racism as “any thought, word or deed by a white person who disagrees with us,” it’s an impossible charge for them to resist levying. To be fair, there will indubitably be one or two at any large gathering of people, much less conservative people. But there are tens of thousands of conservatives and their less-adamant brethren in Tampa, Fla., right now, and it’s a fair bet that there are more racists in the MSNBC broadcast booth. The Democratic Party did everything but bring the rope to Florida to string up George Zimmerman — with what amounted to a Presidential endorsement — and those Tea Party bastards are bigots? I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time I see members of a Democratic-aligned hate group like Common Cause demand the lynching of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Lest you think I buried the lede: “American Taliban.” Really, Aaron? You name a terrorist group that openly advocates for a future just this side of the extermination of the species, and you draw a moral equivalence between them and a bunch of middle-class folks who dislike watching their earnings going to fund Planned Parenthood’s “maternity counseling” or the first lady’s shopping trips? I apologize for shaking you liberals out of your blissful reverie, but standing up to the Democrats’ openly touted war on freedom is hardly the sort of thing that earns merit badges in Pakistan’s Waziristan region. But blowing up bridges in Cleveland might work. Oh, right. They were your guys.

It’s worth noting that even some of the corporate media types who share Sorkin’s twisted and hateful view of the world can still see “The Newsroom” for what it is: hackneyed leftist garbage. Critics from The New York Times, Huffington Post and even TIME Magazine have all decried the show’s sanctimonious sermonizing. My favorite reaction belongs to ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “McAvoy—and, by extension, Sorkin… extol the Fourth Estate’s democratic duty, but they believe that responsibility consists mostly of criticizing Republicans.”

I won’t encourage you to watch an episode of “The Newsroom.” I won’t discourage you from doing so, either. Should you choose to endure it, remember that what you’re seeing — including the excerpt above — is a televised version of the way the Democrats see you and everyone else who defies their way of thinking. And that’s the good news: If this is the best their best have to offer, they’re eventually going to be cancelled; and I don’t just mean their sad little TV programs.

–Ben Crystal

School Board Victimizes 3-Year-Old Deaf Boy

A Nebraska school district is telling the parents of a deaf 3-year-old boy that the sign language for his name, Hunter Spanjer, looks too much like a gun and must be changed.

Despite the fact that Hunter uses Signing Exact English (S.E.E.), the standard sign language, for his name, the school district says that the gestures he makes too closely resemble a gun. The imagery of a “dangerous weapon” is created when he crosses his index and middle fingers and waves them slightly.

But, the child’s name apparently offends the Grand Island School districts “Weapons in Schools” Board Policy 8470 which forbids “any instrument…that looks like a weapon.” This apparently includes a 3-year-old’s hands.

“Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way,” Hunter’s grandmother Janet Logue told the local NCN news channel.

 

 

“We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson, told KOLN.

The American Civil Liberties Union has urged the district to reconsider its deeming of the child’s name as an offensive gesture.

Agenda 21 And Executive Orders

As of July 26, President Barack Obama has issued 133 executive orders. The definition of the executive order (EO) is: “noun. (often initial capital letters) an order having the force of law issued by the President of the U.S. to the army, navy, or other part of the executive branch of the government.” Some of the 133 EOs relate to, or aim at, the implementation of Agenda 21.

Per Wikipedia: “Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regards to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The ‘21’ in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.”

President George H.W. Bush signed the agreement in 1992; the total number of signers was 178. In 1995, Presi­dent Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12858 to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Develop­ment in order to harmonize U.S. environmental policy with U.N. directives as outlined in Agenda 21.

According to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainability advocates insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components: global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction. Social equity (social justice) is described as the right and opportunity of all people “to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment.”

The objectives are lofty. At the first reading, the titles of the different chapters and subsections are appealing. But there is a Constitutional problem. According to eco-logic, “Agenda 21 has never been debated or adopted by the Congress of the United States. Nevertheless, it is being vigorously implemented by the administrative agencies of the federal government, and by other nations around the world. More than 150 nations, including the United States of America, are participants in the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). America’s participation is not the result of an international treaty, ratified by Congress. America’s participation is the result of George Bush [41] signing Agenda 21 at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio [de Janeiro].”  

JR Nyquist quotes Wikipedia as stating: “Within the executive branch of the U.S. government, President H.W. Bush, President Clinton, and President Obama have all signed executive orders that broadly support the tenets of Agenda 21 but do not make reference to Agenda 21 by name.”

Some of the objectives of the Agenda 21 are against American traditions and even laws. Redistribution of wealth, if it is forced from above, violates the principle of protection of private property. Another tenet is the need to substantially reduce the world population; one overzealous estimate mentions by 85 percent. Those two requirements aim at “enhancing” the sustainability and equitable sharing the global wealth among all nations.

The obvious questions are:

  • Who will decide what is an equitable share for a resident in the United States versus one in Bangladesh or Sweden?
  • Who is going to decide how many people each country must abort or exterminate to reach their allotment of the world population quota?
  • How will progress toward these goals be assured?

The experiences of my childhood and youth spent in Nazi and Communist dictatorships have taught me that Agenda 21 is not achievable, short of a harsh dictatorship. For example, even repeating the Holocaust by killing another 6 million people would reduce the present global population by less than 0.1 percent. Redistribution of wealth is equal to make all equally poor.

The paths leading to Agenda 21 are the economy, the environment and education. The pursuit of each has produced some recent detrimental results, like turning down the Keystone pipeline project, refusing to implement the economic recommendations of the bipartisan “supercommittee” and the continuous dumbing down of the educational requirements.

The objectives of Agenda 21 appear to first promote local (national) dictatorships, culminating in a global dictatorship.

In human history many rulers have tried the latter, from the Chinese emperors and the pharaohs to the various 20th century dictators. Not one was able to establish a lasting legacy. Agenda 21, just like the Com­munist nirvana, is totally incompatible with human nature.

–Tom Pattantyus

‘2016: Obama’s America’ Receives Negative Review From AP

The anti-Barack Obama film “2016: Obama’s America” has been a hit at the box office. It raked in more than $6.2 million, made the top 10 and appeared in 1,091 theaters. But not everyone appreciates the documentary. The Associate Press recently gave the movie a negative review.

The movie is based on the book The Roots of Obama’s Rage, written by Dinesh D’Souza. In “2016: Obama’s America,” D’Souza travels to Kenya and attempts to uncover the roots of the President’s political ideology.

An AP article called D’Souza’s efforts “entirely subjective and a logical stretch at best,” and said that, in regard to certain matters, there is “no evidence.” Furthermore, writer Beth Fouhy believes that D’Souza’s claims “don’t hold water.”

Fouhy writes: “It’s difficult to see how Obama’s political leanings could have been so directly shaped by his father.”

Joel Gilbert has tried to explain the conundrum in his film, “Dreams from My Real Father.”

Is Romney A Birther?

On the campaign stump last week, Mitt Romney took a thinly veiled swipe at President Barack Obama’s birth certificate controversy when he said to a crowd in Michigan: “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised.”

The crowd cheered.

 

 

Romney quickly backtracked when confronted by the media, claiming, “there’s no question about where [Obama] was born. He was born in the U.S.”

Actually, there’s a big question about where Obama was born. And there are still many people asking it. A CNN poll in 2010 showed that 58 percent of respondents had doubts about Obama’s birth story.

If Romney wants to ignite the grass roots, he’ll quit running from the birther controversy and bring it up at every opportunity — or at least until Obama provides an original copy of his birth certificate and proves he is a natural-born citizen. And while he’s at it, perhaps he could provide proof he attended Columbia. It’s quite curious not one of his classmates remembers him there.

Central Atlantic Business Decline Slows

RICHMOND, Va.,  (UPI) —  The Richmond, Va., Federal Reserve Bank said manufacturing activity shrank in the central Atlantic states in August, but at a slower pace than July.

The overall manufacturing index showed business activity, which fell from minus one in June to minus 17 in July, recovered slightly, coming in at minus nine in August.

Prior to June, manufacturing had enjoyed six consecutive months of growth, indicated by numbers above zero.

The new orders index in August rose from minus 25 to minus 20. while the jobs index dropped from a positive reading of one to negative 5.

The wage index showed continued growth, but the pace moderated with a reading of three in August following a more robust nine in July.

Housing Nudges Stocks Higher

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  U.S. stock indexes turned slightly higher in New York Tuesday as a closely watched home price report indicated a nascent recovery in the housing market.

The S&P Case-Shiller report said home prices rose May to June in all 20 of the cities the report monitors. Prices were up in 13 of the 20 cities on an annual basis.

In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 14.45 points or 0.11 percent to 13,139.12. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index added 5.40 points or 0.18 percent to 3,078.59. The Standard and Poor’s 500 gained 1.82 points or 0.13 percent to 1,412.29.

The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 5/32, yielding 1.64 percent.

The euro rose to $1.2563 from Monday’s $1.2499. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 78.52 yen from 78.75 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 255 index lost 52.10 points, 0.57 percent, to 9,03329.

Home Prices Gain On Solid Ground

NEW YORK,  (UPI) —  U.S. home prices rose in the second quarter on three closely watched indexes, the monthly Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller report said Tuesday.

Home prices rose in the Case-Shiller 10-city and 20-city indexes and in the U.S. National Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, the report said.

The U.S. National Home Price Index showed a gain of 1.2 percent in the second quarter over the same period a year earlier. The 10-City Composite Index posted an annual gain of 0.1 percent, while the 20-City Composite Index  showed a gain of 0.5 percent, Case-Shiller said.

The 10-city and 20-city figures were also up comparing June to May, rising 2.2 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the national composite gained 6.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the first.

All 20 cities saw home prices rise in June and all of those, save two, saw gains accelerate compared to their gains in May.

“Only Charlotte and Dallas saw a deceleration in their annual rates,” the report said.

“In this month’s report all three composites and all 20 cities improved both in June and through the entire second quarter of 2012. All 20 cities and both monthly composites rose for the second consecutive month. It would have been a third consecutive month had we not seen home prices fall in Detroit back in April.,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

Despite the blitz of positive numbers, the index is down on an annual basis in six cities — Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Calif., and Las Vegas and flat in Boston.

Blitzer said the gains, however, put a housing market recovery on solid footing.

“We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery: Monthly increases coupled with improved annual rates of change.”

“The market may have finally turned around,” he said in a statement.

Awards For 5D Robotics

SAN DIEGO,  (UPI) —  A U.S. company that produces software for use with robots has, with its partners, won several awards at the 2012 Robotics Rodeo at Fort Benning, Ga.

California company 5D Robotics Inc. said its software “integrates human behaviors with leading robotics hardware.”

“We’re happy to be providing a single common software package to so many different companies,” said David J. Bruemmer, 5D’s vice president for research and development. “At Benning, we enabled a wide range of behaviors on robots ranging in size from 5 pounds to 5000 pounds.”

The Robotics Rodeo was sponsored by the U.S. Joint IED Defeat Organization and exhibited the latest technology in unmanned ground systems.

5D Robotics worked with DRS, Mesa Technologies, Segway, AMREL, RE2, MacroUSA and Bokam. Among the awards garnered were: second place dismounted, for DRS’ adaptive mission payload; third place mounted for Mesa’s ACER; and third place portable for MacroUSA’s Scorpion robot.

Navistar CEO Steps Down

LISLE, Ill., (UPI) —  U.S. truck and bus maker Navistar International Corp. said Monday Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ustian is retiring, effective immediately.

The company’s statement did not mention the company’s current troubles, which include a loss of $172 million in the second quarter and a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of “certain accounting and disclosure matters,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Company shares dropped 14 percent in value when the investigation became public the first week of August.

The company’s board appointed Lewis Campbell, former chairman, president and CEO of Textron Inc. to serve as  interim CEO.

Campbell is now on the board of directors at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sensata Technologies Holding N.V. and Noblis Inc., a not-for-profit science, technology and strategy organization.

After 37 years with Navistar, Ustian is also quitting the board of directors, the company said.

The changes include a promotion for Troy Clarke, now president of truck and engine operations. He will be president and chief operating officer for the company.

Sleep Lack Slows Visual Observation Skill

BOSTON, (UPI) —  Not getting enough sleep might make a person worse at noticing things, but most people don’t realize it, a U.S. researchers says.

Jeanne Duffy of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said 12 people took part in a one-month study in a sleep laboratory. Participants’ sleep was cut back from 10-to-12 hours a night to fewer than 6 hours and the participants were then asked to search for differences in pictures on a computer screen.

The participants who had less sleep performed the task slower than the others, even if they didn’t realize it, Duffy said.

“When they cut back on the amount of sleep that they’re getting, especially if they do that on a regular basis, they may not realize how impaired they are by their own sleepiness,” Duffy said.

The study was published in the Journal of Vision.

Half Of Military Crashes In Humvees

BALTIMORE,  (UPI) —  Nearly half of military personnel involved in motor vehicle crashes in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan from 2002-2006 were in Humvees, U.S. researchers said.

Principal investigator Keshia Pollack of The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues examined the risk factors for injuries to U.S. military personnel from crashes involving highly mobile multipurpose wheeled vehicles, or HMMWVs, better known as Humvees.

The study, published in the journal Military Medicine, found involvement in combat and serving as the vehicle’s operator or gunner posed the greatest risk for injury.

U.S. Department of Army motor vehicle crashes — both privately owned and military vehicles — account for nearly one-third of all U.S. military fatalities annually and are among the top five causes of hospitalization for military personnel, Pollack said.

“The finding that the odds of being injured when the crash occurred in combat indicates that in a high-stress situation, the soldier may be distracted or less likely to take self-protective measures or follow safety regulations,” study co-author Susan P. Baker, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, said in a statement. “As motor vehicle crashes are responsible for one-third of all U.S. military deaths annually, it’s imperative that significant measures be taken to save lives.”

Fitness Before Age 50 Slows Aging

DALLAS,  (UPI) —  Being physically fit before age 50, not only helps extend lifespan, but it also increases the chances of aging healthily, U.S. researchers say.

Senior author Dr. Jarett Berry of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and colleagues at The Cooper Institute examined data on 18,670 patients participating in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study — research that contains more than 250,000 medical records maintained over a 40-year span.

These data were linked with the patients’ Medicare claims filed later in life from ages 70-85.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, indicated when patients increased fitness levels by 20 percent in their midlife years, they decreased their chances of developing chronic diseases — congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease and colon cancer — decades later by 20 percent.

“We’ve determined that being fit is not just delaying the inevitable, but it is actually lowering the onset of chronic disease in the final years of life,” Berry said in a statement.

This positive effect continued until the end of life, with more-fit individuals — walking, jogging or running at least 2.5 hours per week — living their final five years of life with fewer chronic diseases in both men and women, Berry said.