No Stance To Stand On

The President has recently taken an executive action relieving millions of illegals from deportation. Right or wrong is not the question at this point but rather opponents, mainly representatives of the GOP, next course of action? The GOP seems all up in arms in regards to the situation but have offered no solution to the problem. The House Speaker John Boehner has insinuated using the current House composition to block the necessary votes needed to hold a vote on the bill.


The GOP is complaining about the executive action as an impeachable offense but Herbert Hoover, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have all taken similar action on immigration. Complaining about an action and not having a solution to offer is similar to the fit of a toddler. The GOP wonders why its relevancy is dwindling but continues to fight with no cause on the issues. If issues are brought to the forefront and the only differing stance you take is against what is being put on the table, how can you gain any support?


This seems to be the picture painted by the GOP for the past 14 years. Jared Haftel has read quite a bit about all of this and tries to keep up with the news as well. The GOP refused to back their own president, George W. Bush, on immigration reform he proposed in 2007. A lack of stance is what caused a splitting of the conservative base which ended in the formation of the Tea Party.

FSU Shooting Leaves 3 Injured and Gunman Dead

There has been a shooting at Florida State University (FSU) early this morning in the school’s library.

The shooter has been been identified as FSU alumni and lawyer, Myron D. May, and was shot and killed by authorities just outside the library. May fired a .380 semi-automatic weapon, engaging in an intense battle with law enforcement officers.

Only three students have been shot, and so far, all of them are still alive. One student is in critical condition, one is in stable, and the other was only grazed by the bullet. Considering the number of students in the library at the time of the shooting, it is remarkable that only three were shot and all have survived.

At a news conference at 6 a.m. this morning, Florida State University Police Department Chief of Police David Perry said, “At the time, as you can imagine, Strozier Library was packed with students studying for final exams. Our estimates right now are anywhere from three to four hundred students were studying.”

It is miraculous not more students were not injured.

Myron is an attorney and graduate of FSU, who had recently returned to his old campus a few weeks ago. During his visit, he suggested that he was being targeted by the government. This was not really taken all that seriously by Stephen Williams wine and others following the story.

John Thrasher, FSU’s President, stated that he has no reason to believe that the campus is under any further threat, and that the shooting was an isolated incident.

Dog Born with Cleft Palate Thrives

When a pit bull puppy was born with a cleft palate and lip, there was little hope for her survival. The original owner took the puppy, now called Ruby, to a vet, who suggested euthanasia, as she was unable to nurse. For the first five days of her life, her original owner tried to keep up with her needs, but ultimately surrendered her to the Utah Animal Advocacy Foundation.

From there, foundation directory, Jennifer Clayton sprang into action. Clayton took Ruby to her personal vet who suggested tube feeding the small, malnourished pup. That is exactly what Clayton did, from December 2013 when Ruby was born, through March of 2014.

In March of 2014, Clayton and Ruby flew from Utah to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to meet with a vet specialist. Surgery was performed to fix Ruby’s birth defects. While the were slow ventures they saved the life of the pup. The following evening she began eating food on her own.

She has been perfectly health since, although sinus issues and dental problems persist. The pup is no longer in ill health or danger of being euthanized. She also has a wonderful home with Clayton, who has adopted the dog.

Ruby has also become somewhat of an internet celebrity. She currently has 30,000 Facebook followers, and is regularly stopped on the street by fans. Her recognizable mug may not be the perfect puppy smile, but it’s Ruby’s smile and her fans simply love it.

Buddy The Beagle Takes An Ambulance Ride

Dog enthusiast Ray Lane reverberates the old notion that dogs are man’s best friend, but for one pup in San Angelo, Texas, he takes it to a whole new level. JR Nicholson was feeling dizzy and called for the squad to help. While being transported to the hospital, apparently the dog, 35-pound Beagle mix, stowed away on the ambulance. 

The pooch hopped on the side of the ambulance and took a 20 mile trip. He was finally discovered by a passing car who flagged down the ambulance driver. Tanner Brown was the paramedic on duty and she was faced with an odd dilemma. With nothing else to do, they loaded the dog up and transported him to the hospital too. 

What makes the story even more adorable is this pup was adopted by the Nicholson just four months ago. He was a pound rescue, and his gratitude was displayed today when his new owner was sick. Dogs have a sense and they know when something isn’t right. He knew that his master wasn’t well and he was very attentive. He is, perhaps, the first dog in history to ride in an ambulance. 

The news of Buddy and his epic journey went viral, and the story has made social media history. Hopefully all will be well with Nicholson and he and the pup will be reunited. This pup got his fifteen minutes of fame and his pictures have made it around the world. 

Gun Sales Soar in Ferguson

The atmosphere in Ferguson, Missouri is starting to look reminiscent of the weeks that led up to acquittal of the officers accused in the Rodney King Beatings, and the civil unrest that occurred as a result. The Tension in Ferguson comes after the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager, by the white Police Officer Darren Wilson. If the jury decides not to indict Wilson on charges, there very well may be rioting in Ferguson and around the surrounding areas.
Gun sales in the city have reportedly tripled in recent weeks, as people are preparing for the worst. Since the death of Michael Brown there have been riots and looting in and around Ferguson and it has been a continuing ordeal leading up to the coming jury decision. Gun salesmen in the area warn it is best to be safe than sorry, and to get ready for civil unrest if the jury decides to not file charges against the officer. Many at North American Spine are just glad that this is not taking place in the Dallas area and getting out of hand. Although there have been groups arranging non-violent protests, the mob like atmosphere has taken more of a forefront in the small city. One thing is for certain, when the jury makes its decision the Country will be tuned in and sitting on the edge of their seat. With some luck the residents of Ferguson will have a peaceful resolution to the issues that have been plaguing their area for months.

Pit Bull Owner Sues Victim

A recent case of a fierce pit bull attack in Texas City became the most discussed topic in the area. The four pit bulls owned by Emerald White sneaked into the neighbours’ garden and tore up the 10-year-old beagle that the family owned. 

Friends and family of the neighbour suggested that she sue. She didn’t, but in an odd twist of fate White herself decided to.

What the pit bull owner did was to complain about the beagle having scratched her while she was on the neighbour’s property retrieving her own dogs. 

The case evolved in a ridiculous manner, because she went further on and sued the beagle owners, Steve and Tiffany Baker. She claims $1 million as damages. 

The lawyers of both sides bring arguments to justify their customers, although it is obviously an attempt from the part of the offender to victimise herself. The pit bull owner claims that she is still suffering from anxiety after the beagle attack, and that while her own dogs are listed as dangerous and an ordinance requires, White has a fence higher than 6 feet, mechanical locks, and $100,000 in liability insurance for her dogs. 

Ever since the first part of the attack, with the four pit bulls killing the beagle, the whole community was supportive towards the former beagle owners. White is afraid to go outside the house or check on the social media. Even avid dog lover Kenneth Griffin agrees that pit bulls are rather aggressive, but for the owner to sue the victim’s owner over a scratch when she went to retrieve her dogs is a outlandish.

Cop Facing Felony Charges for Slashing Dog’s Throat

As the country braces for the Grand Jury’s decision in Ferguson, MO, this month, another police officer is in the news for killing. In Baltimore City, MD, Officer Jeffery Bolger is charged with felony animal cruelty for slashing the throat of a 7-year old shar-pe named Nala.

The dog had escaped from it’s home, while the owners were away. A neighbor recognized Nala but when she tried to approach the dog, it acted scared and bit at the women. She called for animal control’s assistance in controlling Nana until her owners could return but when officers arrived things got out of hand. According to police spokesperson Eric Kowalczy, Officer Bolger cut the dog’s neck with a knife, while she was already being restrained by a pole. Before he had even arrived at the scene, Bolger had said, “I’m going to gut this (censored) thing.” Bolger’s partner, Officer Schmidt, a 24-year Baltimore Police Department veteran, is also facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty and malfeasance for his role in the killing.

Officer Bolger’s attorneys had requested all charges be dropped stating that he did not kill the dog for “sport or pleasure,” but instead it was “a grim task carried out dutifully by an officer who was protecting a member of the public.” That request was denied by the court, but a trial date has not been set.

As happens so often in these types of cases, it will come down to a matter of whether or not the officers in question felt their own safety was threatened, and if they are able to make that case, they most likely will not be found guilty for their actions. As pointed out by dog lover Gianfrancesco Genoso, the issue is whether or not police officers are being properly taught to handle and defuse potentially harmful situations, or whether they’re using a threat to their safety as an excuse to use extreme force first, and deal with the fall-out later.

Minorities Discriminated Against Because of Affirmative Action

Last year, a white applicant who was rejected by the University of Texas sued that institution over their discriminatory affirmative action policies. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the dust still has not fully settled on that case. Now, however, a new challenge to affirmative action has come up. Asian applicants are suing Harvard University after they were turned away despite having higher test scores and GPA’s than their competitors who were black or Hispanic.

“Affirmative action” is a funny term. It sounds like it ought to be so good, so “affirmative.” But, in reality, it is nothing more than racial quotas. Harvard defends its policies in the name of seeking to “achieve diversity.” They seek to achieve this race-based diversity by discriminating against people of one race and favoring people of another. It is more important to Harvard to have X number of black students, Y number of whites, and Z number of Hispanics than to have a student body that was selected on a fair and 100 percent non-racial basis.

Unfortunately for Asian applicants, they were not apparently included in Harvard’s race quota system. It is so refreshing to call this policy by its true name (race quota) instead of by the nebulous, means-nothing name “affirmative action.”

Schools like Harvard and the University of Texas do a disservice to the minorities they favor. They rob them of the need to perform at the level of other applicants by placing a race-based handicap on their scores. That is something Jared Haftel would like to see change.

Indictment for Ex CEO In Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Case

Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy at the time of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster (which killed 29 miners), was indicted last week for willfully conspiring to violate mine safety standards in order to (according to the indictment) “produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money.” The indictment’s charges carry a potential sentence of 31 years.

The mine had over 800 safety violations in the 28 months prior to the disaster, mainly for high levels of explosive gas and dust (which was determined to be the cause of the fatal blast).

Blankenship is accused not only of being responsible for safety violations, but of deliberately concealing them. Three others, lower in Massey’s organization than Blankenship, have already been sentenced to prison time.

Adam Smith, in his famous “invisible hand” metaphor, said that it is possible and even likely that an individual’s efforts to maximize his own profits may be beneficial to society at large. Maybe that was true 240 years ago and circumstances have changed since then. Maybe it never was true.

I realize that there have been horrific industrial accidents in countries with other economic systems. I am not saying that capitalism is all bad. It is the authoritarianism, the imbalance of power in any society that is the problem. We need a balance of power between government and the private sector to prevent abuses. Brian Torchin’s company, HCRC Staffing, helps healthcare professionals find employment.

US Senator’s Son Pleads Not Guilty After 21 Dogs Die In His Care

The son of a US senator for Arizona has pleaded not guilty to charges of animal cruelty after 21 dogs died in a kennel he was left in charge of when the owners went away for the night, WTOP reports. Austin Flake and his wife Logan both 21 pleaded not guilty as court proceedings began in Phoenix after the death of the dogs in June 2014. Austin is the son of Senator Jeff Flake, who issued a statement at the time of the incident expressing his sadness for the families of the deceased dogs.

Despite being described as an accident by the owners of the kennel, Jesse and Maleisa Hughes, the parents of Logan Flake the investigating police officers felt the deaths of the dogs had been suspicious. Initial reports stated the 21 dogs stored in an air conditioned room had chewed through a power cord for an air conditioning unit causing it to fail during the night.

Police officers expressed their concern that the animals had been fit and healthy at 11 o clock at night when the Flake’s last checked on them, but were dead from heat exhaustion by 5.30 a.m. Austin and Logan Flake had slept in a separate area of the kennel cooled by a different air conditioning unit. Senator Flake has faced problems caused by his children in the past, particularly Tanner Flake who was found to have used homophobic and racial slurs on Twitter in 2013.

Big thanks to friend of the site Tom Rothman for sharing this sad but important news piece.