Finding Inner Peace During the Holidays

Inner PeaceI am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives.

By following the simple advice I heard on the Dr. Phil Show, I have finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed, “The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you’ve started and never finished”.

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn’t finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel. Please pass this on to those you feel might be in need of innerpeace.

Darol Wester – Contributor

City of Palo Alto Habitation Vehicles will remain for now

“Eat Pussy Not Cow”

Palo Alto vehicle dwellers received a reprieve at last night’s Policy and Services Committee meeting not to ban vehicle dwellers in a 3 to 1 vote.

Instead choosing a 6 month pilot program modeled after the Homeless Car Camping Program in Eugene, Ore.

Seriously absent throughout all discussions were the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission tasked with dealing with human issues impacting our community including this one contrary to their mission statement:

“To address human relations issues, including promotion of awareness, understanding and resolution of actual or potential conflicts, discrimination, or injustice while encouraging community building and civic engagement.”

All commissioners were essentially deaf dumb and blind a major embarrassment and sat comfortably in the back seat of their vehicles and chose to ride out the disenfranchised storm. We continue to question their advocacy and existence in light of their absence on this important community issue.

On a personal level we would much rather see the naysayers of this now defunct city ordinance to ban vehicle dwellers eat crow rather then what the feature picture suggests.

Creative Sentencing

CLEVELAND: A woman caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to pass a Cleveland school bus that was unloading children stood in the cold at an intersection holding a sign warning people about idiots.

A Cleveland Municipal Court judge ordered 32-year-old Shena Hardin to serve the highly public sentence for one hour Tuesday and Wednesday. She arrived bundled up against the 34-degree cold, puffing a cigarette, wearing head phones and avoiding comment as passing vehicles honked.

Satellite TV trucks were on hand to stream the event live near downtown Cleveland.

The sign read: “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

Hardin’s license was suspended for 30 days and she was ordered to pay $250 in court costs.

Hardin’s case was just the latest example of creative, and sometimes controversial, sentences handed out by judges to publicly shame offenders. Some other examples from around the country:

UTAH: PONYTAIL CUT OFF

The mother of a 13-year-old Utah girl chopped off her daughter’s ponytail in court in order to reduce her community service sentence.

The teen had landed in court in May because she and another girl used dollar-store scissors to cut off the hair of a 3-year-old they had befriended at a McDonald’s.

A judge agreed to reduce the teen’s community service time if her mother chopped off her daughter’s ponytail in court. The mother has since filed a formal complaint, saying the judge in Price intimidated her into the eye-for-an-eye penalty.

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HOUSTON: ‘I AM A THIEF’

Daniel and Eloise Mireles were convicted of stealing more than $265,000 from the crime victims fund in Harris County, Texas.

In addition to restitution and jail time, the Houston couple were sentenced in July 2010 to stand in front of the local mall for five hours every weekend for six years with a sign reading, “I am a thief.”

A sign was also posted outside their house stating they were convicted thieves.

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PENNSYLVANIA: ‘I STOLE FROM A 9-YEAR-OLD’

Western Pennsylvania residents Evelyn Border and her daughter, Tina Griekspoor, 35, were caught stealing a gift card from a child inside a Wal-Mart.

In November 2009, the Bedford County district attorney said he would recommend probation instead of jail time because the women stood in front of the courthouse for 4 1/2 hours holding signs reading, “I stole from a 9-year-old on her birthday! Don’t steal or this could happen to you!”

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WISCONSIN: ‘I WAS STUPID’

A man who crashed his car into the gates at a Wisconsin waste water treatment plant spent eight hours holding a sign saying, “I was stupid.”

Shane McQuillan decided he would rather do that than spend 20 days in jail on a charge of criminal damage to property.

McQuillan had a blood alcohol level of 0.238 percent, nearly three times the legal limit for driving, at the time of the 2008 accident in Eau Claire.

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OHIO: ‘SORRY FOR THE JACKASS OFFENSE’

An Ohio judge ordered a man and woman who vandalized a baby Jesus statue in a church’s outdoor nativity to march through town with a donkey to apologize.

Jessica Lange and Brian Patrick admitted to defacing the statue at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Eve 2003. They led a donkey provided by a petting zoo through the streets of Fairport Harbor carrying a sign that said, “Sorry for the jackass offense.”

After the 30-minute march, the pair were taken to serve 45-day sentences that included drug and alcohol treatment. They also were ordered to replace the statue.

Compost facility plan must be responsible to the Green in our budget as well as Planet Earth

Dear Editor:

The proposed Compost facility plan must be responsible to the Green in our budget as well as Planet Earth.

The project’s hypothesis is that the waste-to-energy plant on the 10 acres of Bixby Park will be less expensive than shipping waste elsewhere.

Let’s stand together and protect the integrity of this evaluation by making sure that the City’s enthusiasm for being Green doesn’t ignore the green of the budget.

The City staff is diligently working on the analysis, and we need to be certain a few simple principles are followed:

1. The City’s cost of preparing the ten-acre site must be fully accounted for.

2. State law requires that the use of City property and resources be compensated at fair market value. The feasibility study must include a lease payment for the ten acres based on the fair market value of a $100 million valuation at a commercial market interest rate.

3. While Bixby Park was used as a dump, the Refuse Enterprise Fund paid “rent” to the Parks fund. That ended, so now each day that the Compost project delays the conversion to Park Land must be accounted for as a start-up cost of the project. This is simple accountability.

4. The City costs, as described, will be matched with savings from not having to pay to have the waste to a regional facility.

Palo Alto needs to quickly quantify the above items and have them clearly stated in the request for proposal (RFP).

If the above reasonable expectations cause our Green inspirations to be in the red, then we need to move on and get our waterfront ready for the recreational destiny that has been held in check for 50 years.

Timothy Gray (Candidate for Palo Alto City Council)

The Daily Post today – Editor says NO on Palo Alto medical marijuana initiative

Daily Post Editor Dave Price

Why?  “Cities that have allowed medical marijuana clinics have seen an increase in crime around those businesses. Customers are robbed and the shops are held up. Pot clubs aren’t about helping people with serious diseases. They sell drugs for recreational use. This is a headache our community doesn’t need. ”

The problem we see with Mr. Price’s assessment of alleged facts on associated crimes linked to medical marijuana clinics is that he provides none.  Leaving his readers to be misled believing otherwise.  We feel this is irresponsible journalism.

However, there are key attributes to crime but the data is inconclusive. We suggest you do your homework becoming well informed before jumping to conclusions as the Daily Post has done.

1. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs: Exploring the Ecological Association Between Crime and Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

2. Public Policy Polling finds a majority of voters in Washington support a marijuana legalization measure that will appear on the state ballot on Election Day.”

American Icon and Longtime Indian Activist Russell Means Dies at 72

Russell Means spent a lifetime as a modern American Indian warrior. He railed against broken treaties, fought for the return of stolen land and even took up arms against the federal government.

A onetime leader of the American Indian Movement, he called national attention to the plight of impoverished tribes and often lamented the waning of Indian culture. After leaving the movement in the 1980s, the handsome, braided activist was still a cultural presence, appearing in several movies.

Means, who died Monday from throat cancer at age 72, helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee — a bloody confrontation that raised America’s awareness about the struggles of Indians and gave rise to a wider protest movement that lasted for the rest of the decade.

Before AIM, there were few national advocates for American Indians. Means was one of the first to emerge. He sought to restore Indians’ pride in their culture and to challenge a government that had paid little attention to tribes in generations. He was also one of the first to urge sports teams to do away with Indian names and mascots.

“No one except Hollywood stars and very rich Texans wore Indian jewelry,” Means said, recalling the early days of the movement. And there were dozens, if not hundreds, of athletic teams “that in essence were insulting us, from grade schools to college. That’s all changed.”

AIM was founded in the late 1960s to demand that the government honor its treaties with American Indian tribes. The movement eventually faded away, Means said, as Native Americans became more self-aware and self-determined.

There were plenty of American Indian activists before AIM, but it became the “radical media gorilla,” said Paul DeMain, editor of News from Indian Country, a national newspaper focused on tribal affairs.

“If someone needed help, you called on the American Indian Movement, and they showed up and caused all kind of ruckus and looked beautiful on a 20-second clip on TV that night,” DeMain said.

Means and AIM co-founder Dennis Banks were charged in 1974 for their role in the Wounded Knee uprising in which hundreds of protesters occupied the town on the site of the 1890 Indian massacre. Protesters and federal authorities were locked in a standoff for 71 days and frequently exchanged gunfire. Before it was over, two tribal members were killed and a federal agent seriously wounded.

After a trial that lasted several months, a judge threw out the charges on grounds of government misconduct.

Other protests led by Means included an American Indian prayer vigil on top of Mount Rushmore and the seizure of a replica of the Mayflower on Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth, Mass.

“The friendship between Russell and I goes back almost 50 years,” Banks said late Monday night. “I lost a great friend. But native people lost one of the greatest warriors of modern-day times. Truly, he was a great visionary. He was controversial, yes. But he brought issues to the front page.”

But Means’ constant quest for the spotlight raised doubts about his motives. Critics who included many fellow tribe members said his main interest was building his own notoriety.

Means said his most important accomplishment was the proposal for the Republic of Lakotah, a plan to carve out a sovereign Indian nation inside the United States. He took the idea all the way to the United Nations, even though it was ignored by tribal governments closer to home, including his own Oglala Sioux leaders, with whom he often clashed.

For decades, Means was dogged by questions about whether the group promoted violence, especially the 1975 slaying of a woman in the tribe and the gun battles with federal agents at Wounded Knee.

Authorities believe three AIM members shot and killed Annie Mae Aquash on the Pine Ridge reservation on the orders of someone in AIM’s leadership because they suspected she was an FBI informant.

Two activists — Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham — were both eventually convicted of murder. The third has never been charged.

Also in 1975, murder charges were filed against Means and Dick Marshall, an AIM member, in the shooting death of a Sioux man at a saloon in the town of Scenic, S.D. Marshall served 24 years in prison. Means was acquitted.

His activism extended to tribes beyond the United States. In the mid-1980s, Means traveled to Nicaragua to support indigenous Miskito Indians who were fighting the Sandinista government.

Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Means grew up in the San Francisco area and battled drugs and alcohol as a young man before becoming an early leader of AIM.

With his rugged good looks and long, dark braids, he also was known for a handful of Hollywood roles, most notably in the 1992 movie “The Last of the Mohicans,” in which he portrayed Chingachgook alongside Daniel Day-Lewis’ Hawkeye.

He also appeared in the 1994 film “Natural Born Killers,” voiced Chief Powhatan in the 1995 animated film “Pocahontas” and guest starred in 2004 on the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Means also ran unsuccessfully for the Libertarian nomination for president in 1988 and briefly served as a vice presidential candidate in 1984 on the ticket of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt.

Means always considered himself a Libertarian and couldn’t believe that anyone would want to call themselves a Republican or a Democrat.

“It’s just unconscionable that America has become so stupid,” he said.

Means often refused interviews and verbally blasted journalists who showed up to cover his public appearances. Instead, he chose to speak to his fan base through YouTube videos and blog posts on his website.

Means recounted his life in the book “Where White Men Fear to Tread.” He said he pulled no punches in the autobiography, admitting to his frailties but also acknowledging his successes.

“I tell the truth, and I expose myself as a weak, misguided, misdirected, dysfunctional human being I used to be,” he said.

Means died at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D. He announced in August 2011 that he had inoperable throat cancer and told The Associated Press that he would forego mainstream medicine in favor of traditional American Indian remedies.

Means’ death came a day after former Sen. George McGovern died in Sioux Falls at the age of 90. McGovern had traveled to Wounded Knee with then-Sen. James Abourezk during the takeover to try to negotiate an end to hostilities.

“I’ve lost two good friends in a matter of two to three days,” Abourezk said Monday. “I don’t pretend to understand it.”

Oglala Sioux Tribe spokeswoman Donna Salomon said wake services for Means’ will be Wednesday on Pine Ridge, and his ashes will be scattered in the Black Hills on Thursday.

By DIRK LAMMERS and KRISTI EATON Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. October 22, 2012 (AP)

Ear Mites Case a Rarity, Report Finds

A man whose ear had itched for two months turned out to have mites crawling in his ear canal, a new case report says.

The 70-year-old man in Taiwan also reported feeling a sense of fullness in the right ear, but had no hearing impairment, ringing in his ears or discharge. Upon looking into the man’s ear canal, doctors discovered mites and mite eggs, belonging to a species identified as the house-dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, according to a report of the man’s case published Thursday (Oct. 4) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Having mites in one’s ear, a condition formally called otoacariasis, is pretty rare, said Dr. Ian Storper, director of otology at the New York Head & Neck Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. The video the Taiwan doctors captured of the mites crawling in the man’s ear shows the typical swelling of the ear tissue, and debris in the ear canal that is found in such infections, he said.

“It’s much more common to see a cockroach in the ear,” Storper said, estimating that he’s seen a few dozen cases of cockroaches, but only two cases involving mites. Most of the time, the cockroach is dead inside the ear canal when the patient comes in — the difficulty that insects have in walking backward may account for their inability to get out. If it’s alive, the patient is likely to report hearing a buzzing sound, along with their pain, he said.

Dr. Richard Nelson, vice chair of emergency medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that he’s learned — after seeing cases of mosquitos, gnats, and at least a dozen cockroaches in ears over his three decades in medicine — that sometimes it’s better to tell the patient about the bug after it has been extracted.

In the first cockroach-in-the-ear case he saw as a medical resident, the female patient became so agitated that he thought he might have to sedate her in order to remove the insect.

“She was really freaked out,” Nelson said, and he’s had other patients who, upon being told about the creature lurking in their ear canals, start screaming or running around — which makes them very hard to treat.

“Now, I just say, I think I see the problem, I’m going to put some stuff in your ear,” and tell them about it after the cockroach is out, he said. Some patients are surprisingly calm upon hearing the news, and one patient even told him he’d had a cockroach in his ear before, he said.

Nelson also said he now sometimes knows, before he looks in the ear, what he’s likely to see. “Patients with cockroaches in their ear always show up at 2 a.m. — they wake up with sudden onset of ear pain,” because the bug crawled in while they were sleeping, he said.

Typically, treatment involves irrigating the ear canal — oil, alcohol, or an anesthetic might be used. The irrigation may flush out the bug, or tiny forceps might be used to pull out the critter.

“It’s very important to pull out the whole thing,” Storper said. Sometimes, he said, a bug’s legs may get stuck or fall apart, leaving leggy bits behind. “If you leave legs, you can get a bacterial infection. They’re dirty, they’ve been crawling everywhere,” he said.

In the Taiwan case, the doctors reported treating the patient with eardrops containing an antifungal agent, an antibacterial agent, an anti-inflammatory medicine and an anti-mite medication. The typical treatment for mites in the ear is an anti-mite drug, Storper said, and the other drugs likely helped reduce the risk of other infections.

Two months after treating the Taiwan man, the doctors followed up with him and reported that his symptoms had completely resolved. In most cases, pain and other symptoms go away within a few days of treatment, Storper said.

Pass it on: Ear mites are relatively rare, a new report finds.

By Karen Rowan, MyHealthNewsDaily Managing Editor | LiveScience.com

A Judge’s Plea for Pot

Op-Ed Contributor

A Judge’s Plea for Pot

By GUSTIN L. REICHBACH

Published: May 16, 2012

THREE and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.

New York Times-Kristian Hammerstad

My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, my cancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that takes three hours, I wear a pump that slowly injects more of the drugs over the next 48 hours.

Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Sixteen states already permit the legitimate clinical use of marijuana, including our neighbor New Jersey, and Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming No. 17. The New York State Legislature is now debating a bill to recognize marijuana as an effective and legitimate medicinal substance and establish a lawful framework for its use. The Assembly has passed such bills before, but they went nowhere in the State Senate. This year I hope that the outcome will be different. Cancer is a nonpartisan disease, so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to imagine that there are legislators whose families have not also been touched by this scourge. It is to help all who have been affected by cancer, and those who will come after, that I now speak.

Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue. But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight. It is another heartbreaking aporia in the world of cancer that the one drug that gives relief without deleterious side effects remains classified as a narcotic with no medicinal value.

Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.

Gustin L. Reichbach is a justice of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

RFID – You are tracked and hunted!

RFID Chips are tiny, nearly microscopic semiconductor chips that emit a radio signal containing digital information when energized by a nearby scanner reader or recorder.

They do no need a battery or internal energy source.  They can operate indefinitely, even through animal or human flesh.

RFID Chips were first used to help simplify inventory, accounting, industrial parts and even cat and dog identification.  However, the chips can now be used to reveal your identity and location anywhere on earth within seconds.

Every time you buy something with a credit or debit card, your account information, number and personal information from the card is linked and encoded in the item purchased if a tiny RFID chip is embedded in the item.

This information is valuable to Corporations as it provides valuable marketing and inventory information about who is buying the product, when and where the transactions occur.  Government Security forces can also use the same tiny RFID chips to determine the identity of the owner or user of a tagged item.

For example, as you enter a public concert venue, you may be scanned by Police equipment placed at the gate.   Police are then able to identify every person entering the concert by the RFID tags in their clothes, credit cards and/or Drivers licenses.  The same holds true for entering any public place, train station, subway, or airport.

RFID chips may be a great help in Prisons, Police and Probation departments but dictatorships, tyrannies and other misguided forces around the world and at home, may already be interested.

Thanks to IBM, Motorola, Zebra Technologies, Smartrac, OMNI-ID, Invengo, MetalCraft, Intermec, Impinj, Confidex, Alien Technologies and other tech companies, microscopic Radio Frequency Identity Chips (RFID) are finding their way into clothing, credit cards, drivers licenses, passports, airline tickets, shoes, windshields, virtually any consumer item.

Next time someone tells you to get lost, ask them, how ?

Public Urination – Palo Alto city attorney Molly Stump to deal with main concern

Newly planned vehicle habitation ordinance schedule to come before city council Mid-September designed to deal with the growing population of unwanted over-night parking and those who find themselves inhabiting their vehicles some say, will be enacted soon now dubbed, operation “Hydrant”.

At the core of this newly developed city planned ordinance according to city attorney Donald Larkin as discussed in previously held behind closed door meetings and confirmed by one source in an email below, is too deal with what Mr. Larkin describes as the continued flow of public urination.

“during the first Working Group Meeting Mr. Larkin stated that the Vehicle Habitation Ordinance was necessary to prevent public urination.

During the last Working Group Meeting I asked Mr. Larkin how the Vehicle Habitation Ordinance would prevent: public urination, littering, disturbing the peace etc.. all of the acts that he is using to justify enacting the ordinance however he refused to respond and Curtis Williams intervened by stating that that is not why we are here. Mr. Williams intervened not once but twice and I never received an explanation.

The city is not capable of engaging in a meaningful dialog regarding the proposed ordinance because the city’s justification lacks any merit and would be exposed as such if they did engage in meaningful debate.

This unwillingness to subject their position to examination and then foist it upon u.s. citizens demonstrates that we do not live a democracy but a form of oligarchy.”

As of this writing, city attorney Molly Stump as well as All city council members have refused All public urination comment.  Mr. Ciampi, we believe, just may have a leg up on everyone……