Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Swampland: The Secret Communion on the Moon: The 44-Year Anniversary

Top Posts on TIME's Swampland: The Secret Communion on the Moon: The 44-Year Anniversary

Posted: 20 Jul 2013 02:45 AM PDT
The date, July 20, 1969, will forever be known as the day the United States of America put the first man on the moon. What most people do not know is the date also marks when Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin celebrated the first and only Lord’s Supper on the moon, a fact the U.S. government refused to make public at the time. Inside the lunar module, just hours before stepping onto the moon for the first time, Aldrin radioed Houston Space Center Mission Control. He asked for a few moments of silence “to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.” In that moment of silence that followed, Aldrin silently read a passage from the book of John that he had written out on a 3×5 card: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” Then he took out the miniature chalice and bread and wine from his personal allowance pouch. “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me,” he told Guideposts magazine in 1970. “In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.” Neil Armstrong, the other astronaut onboard, did not participate. But that was not Aldrin’s original plan—he had wanted to celebrate communion on the air with the rest of his comments, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was not happy about it. Just months earlier, the Apollo 8 astronauts broadcast parts of the Biblical creation narrative from the book of Genesis while orbiting the moon on Christmas Eve: ”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form,
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 01:25 PM PDT
(WASHINGTON) — House Republicans voted Friday to dismantle the troubled No Child Left Behind law for evaluating America’s students and schools, saying states and local school districts rather than Washington should be setting rules for ensuring that kids are getting good educations. The legislation would eliminate federally required testing of students, which has been controversial from the start. But the measure passed with no Democratic support and drew a veto threat from the Obama administration, which said it would be a “step backward” in efforts to better prepare children for colleges and careers and to bring improvements to low-performing schools. Democrats in the Senate, where they hold the majority, are working on their own bill. It would also give states greater flexibility in designing school improvement standards. But it would maintain the authority of the federal education secretary to approve those plans. A Senate vote on that legislation is unlikely until autumn. The House bill, which Republicans named the Student Success Act and Democrats dubbed the Letting Students Down Act, passed 221-207, with every Democrat, and 12 Republicans voting against it. That partisanship comes against a background in which nearly everyone agrees that No Child Left Behind, while achieving some successes in improving achievement levels, is too inflexible and needs a major overhaul. The law was passed by Congress in 2001, a bipartisan effort led by, among others, current House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. President George W. Bush was a strong supporter and signed it into law in early 2002. It required that all students be able to read and do math at their actual grade level by 2014. But the Obama administration, in a tacit acknowledgement that the goal was unattainable, last year began offering waivers to states that came up with their own federally approved plans to prepare students for college and careers and to measure student and teacher performance. To date, 39 states and the District of Columbia have been granted waivers. President Barack Obama said he was forced to
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 11:45 AM PDT
(WASHINGTON) — Looking for positive lessons to draw from the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, President Barack Obama said Friday the nation needs to do some “soul-searching,” look for ways to bolster African-American boys and examine state and local laws to see if they encourage confrontations like the one in Florida. “Where do we take this?” Obama wondered aloud in an impromptu appearance in the White House briefing room. “How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction?” The president said it’s time “for all of us to some soul searching,” but he also said it’s generally not productive when politicians try to orchestrate a conversation. (WATCH: Trayvon Martin’s Parents Speak Out on Not Guilty Verdict) On the positive side, he said race relations in the United States actually are getting better Looking at his own daughters and their interactions with friends, the president said, “They’re better than we are. They’re better than we were.” The president declined to wade into the detail of legal questions about the Florida case, saying, “Once the jury’s spoken, that’s how our system works.” But he said state and local laws, such as Florida’s “stand your ground” statute, need a close look. Obama said it would be useful “to examine some state and local laws to see if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of confrontation” that led to Martin’s death. He questioned whether a law that sends the message that someone who is armed “has the right to use those firearms even if there is a way for them to exit from a situation” really promotes the peace and security that people want. And he raised the question of whether Martin himself, if he had been armed, “could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk” and shot neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman if he felt threatened when being followed. Obama’s appearance marked his first extended comments on the Martin case since Zimmerman was acquitted last weekend of second-degree murder and manslaughter
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 11:44 AM PDT
For many Americans, airline security is an onerous and even excessive burden. But in remarks at a national security forum on Friday, Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole illustrated why the federal government is still on high alert. Speaking in unusual detail, Pistole offered specifics about an underwear bomb devised by a master al Qaeda bomb-maker in Yemen meant to be exploded in an airliner over the United States last year. The plot was foiled thanks to a double-agent inside al Qaeda’s Yemen branch, in a case that has also become the subject of a controversial Justice Department leak investigation.  In an exchange with ABC News reporter Brian Ross at the 2013 Aspen Security Forum, Pistole described the bomb as “Underwear 2,” a successor to the underwear bomb worn Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate on Northwest Flight 253 near Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. Abdulmutallab’s bomb fizzled, severely injuring his groin but no one else. Pistole described the May 2012 bomb as “a next generation device” that was “new and improved in many respects” from the Christmas 2009 bomb. Designed by one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, Ibrahim al-Asiri, the device featured “a new type of explosive that we had never seen,” Pistole said. “All of our explosive detection equipment… wasn’t calibrated to detect that. And all of our 800 bomb-sniffing dogs had not been trained for that specific type.” The use of a new explosive has been previously reported, but Pistole continued with less familiar details about Underwear 2 that reflect the growing sophistication of Asiri’s sinister craftsmanship. He said the device included redundancy, by mean of two different syringes to mix liquid explosive compounds–”a double initiation system,” apparently a response to a failure of Abdulmutallab’s initiation process. In essence, Pistole said, “they made two devices.” Finally, Pistole said, the new bomb was encased in simple household caulk in an effort to trap vapors that might alert any bomb-sniffing machines or dogs that did happen to be capable of identifying the explosive. “So you really have
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 11:38 AM PDT
To read TIME’s cover story, “After Trayvon,” subscribe here. Already a subscriber? Click here. In an unscheduled statement to the press Friday, President Barack Obama addressed the state of race relations in America, less than a week after George Zimmerman was acquitted Saturday on self defense grounds for killing the unarmed black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, speaking with surprising personal detail on the subject. Obama, who has been called on by African American leaders to spearhead a national conversation about race, instead spoke personally about the tragedy and the national controversy, calling for individuals to engage in soul searching instead of “stilted and politicized” conversations driven by elected officials. It was his most detailed address on race in America since his noted 2008 address following following media coverage of incendiary remarks by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In the aftermath of the shooting last year, Obama said that if he had a son he would look like Martin. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama said Friday. “There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are probably very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.” Obama said those experiences inform the African American community’s response to the shooting and to the subsequent court decision. “It’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear,” he said. Speaking without notes, Obama detailed some ideas he is thinking about to help restore trust, from a look at state gun laws to anti-racial profiling legislation and talks between local community leaders and law enforcement.
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 11:30 AM PDT
[*] QUESTION: Whoa! That’s so disappointing, man. QUESTION: What’re you doing here? Jay, is this the kind of respect that you get? (LAUGHTER) You know, on television, it usually looks like you’re addressing a full room. (CROSSTALK) I got you. All right. Sorry about that. Do you think anybody else is showing up? Good. Well, I wanted to come out here, first of all, to tell you that Jay is prepared for all your questions, and is very much looking forward to the session. Second thing is, I want to let you know that over the next couple of weeks, there are going to obviously be a whole range of issues — immigration, economics, et cetera. We’ll try to arrange a fuller press conference to address your questions. The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that’s obviously gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week, the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling. I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday, but watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit. First of all, I want to make sure that once again I send my thought and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they’re going through and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it. The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there are going to be a lot of arguments about the legal — the legal issues in the case. I’ll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues. The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries (sic) were properly instructed that in a
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 08:45 AM PDT
(WASHINGTON) — House Republicans on Friday passed legislation outlining their vision for national educational policy to replace the No Child Left Behind law. The measure would give state and local governments greater powers to determine how best to improve schools and would sharply reduce federal involvement in education matters. The Student Success Act reflects the long-held Republican premise that Washington has no business determining how local school systems are run. The measure drew strong criticism and a veto threat from the White House, which said the bill “would represent a significant step backwards” in the effort to prepare children for the future. The partisan divide came despite general agreement that the No Child Left Behind law, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002 and expired since 2007, needs a thorough overhaul. (-** Perspectives on No Child Left Behind, 10 Years After Its Signing) The vote was 221-207, with no Democrats supporting it and 12 Republicans voting against it. The House bill has no chance of moving through the Democratic-led Senate as it is written. The Senate committee overseeing education has completed work on its own measure that would give states greater flexibility in writing their own plans to improve schools. But, unlike the GOP proposal, that bill would allow the education secretary to retain approval power over those proposals. Full Senate consideration of the measure is unlikely to happen before the fall. The House bill would eliminate No Child Left Behind’s testing and teacher evaluation systems, instead giving states and local school districts responsibility for setting up methods for measuring student learning. “This legislation will restore local control, empower parents, eliminate unnecessary Washington red tape and intrusion in schools and support innovation and excellence in the classroom,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn. The 2002 law was a bipartisan product of, among others, current House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. It required that all students be able to read and do math at grade level by 2014. But the
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 08:25 AM PDT

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